Males of this species sport bright red bellies in the spring spawning period. He's not protected but he's bony so, like the chub, you let him go. Stream Fishing: The Gila National Forest contains many miles of streams that provide both cold and warm water fishing opportunities. Gila Trout Species Status Report . It’s a magnet for wildlife and consequently for birders. The river canyon in Mora County is also recommended as a component of the state Natural Areas Inventory. The Gila has miles of streams that provide a serene setting for both cold and warm water fishing. The Sonoran Suckers of the Gila Forks are the stars of the show as far as us roughfishers are concerned. Gila Trout Fishing Permit (Free) A Gila Trout Fishing Permit is required to fish Black Canyon, Gilita Creek, Mineral Creek, Mogollon Creek, Sapillo Creek, West Fork Gila River (headwaters to East Fork confluence), Whitewater Creek, and Willow Creek (including tributaries). The river passes through many scenic canyons and stretches of Class I to III whitewater. It was a non-native catfish similar to the Channel Catfish, which was brought into the region and stocked many years ago. I heard there were some left in Sapillo Creek but not sure; once it opens in the spring you could possibly find some in Black Canyon, too. So biologists were able to swoop in after the fire burned itself out and rescue the rare Gila Trout and Headwater Chub, moving some of them to hatcheries for protection. If you look close at the Gila you can find some of … It has to constantly battle with invasive species … The Gila trout is one of Arizona’s two threatened native trout species and is also found in New Mexico. Someday, perhaps, the invasive rainbow trout can be eradicated so that the Gila trout - and their sucker and chub friends - can return to their ancestral lies in the lower river. Visit the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildli… To Read more about the Gila River and the Gila Trout view this Wikipedia Page. Headwater Chub - Gila nigra. This is one of the species targeted during the "Blue-Ribbon Roundtail Chub" fishing season of Fossil Creek, AZ. The Gila trout is one of Arizona’s two threatened native trout species and is also found in New Mexico. To access the Gila Lower Box Canyon, take U.S. 70 West from Lordsburg 1.5 miles to New Mexico 464. In a few years there will be more options.  While I don't disagree that water is wasted, you should probably know that none of the Gila River water really ends up watering golf courses in Phoenix. Body color is iridescent gold on the sides that blend to a darker shade of copper on the … Those fish are all gone now. You are by the Gila River, the road does not have a lot of traffic, and it is a pretty ride but the hill going up to the lake is a killer. Action didn’t pick up till noon when it warmed up a bit and visibility was high. Fishing for Gila trout was good using flies and red worms on Mogollon Creek. Due to its desert surroundings,... Find Local Fishing … There are many streams in this area that feed the Gila, and it gives an angler a lot of opportunity to catch many fish. Nice article on the Gila; it's definitely on the bucket list. It originated from rivers farther east (chiefly the Rio Grande). 1800 Marquess Street Well, it's a complicated issue, but if you're trying to track down water wastage, you might be interested in the fact that the water-starved metro Phoenix area boasts 250 golf courses. The Gila Trout looks similar to an Apache Trout with smaller spots and a more brown that yellow base color. Since the average American golf course uses 312,000 gallons of water per day, those 250 urban Phoenix courses alone waste 78 million gallons of water per day. More recent surveys fail to report finding this fish, but since it looks so similar to the Channel Catfish, the Chihuahua Catfish could still be swimming in the deep pools of the lower Gila without being detected. Boating and fishing are popular on San Carlos Lake and other basin reservoirs, including Lake Pleasant and Theodore Roosevelt Lake. Glenwood Ranger District 18 Ranger Station Road Glenwood, NM … Its dry, parched riverbed stands as a monument to the shocking destruction of our precious American waterways over the last century. Fishing for Gila Trout was once restricted under its status as an endangered species. But the farther you go upstream, the more flowing water you will find, and above the San Carlos Reservoir there is just barely enough water to support life.  By this time, you're almost in New Mexico. In the communities of the Red River watershed, fishing contributes … If you want to find the best fishing on the Red River, head to the warmer waters, which is downstream from the hatchery. For outdoor recreation it is nice. ... New Mexico Fishing … You can also catch sport trout in the higher elevation tributaries of the Gila in eastern Arizona including Apache Trout. Roper Lake. Felt like every other cast I was fighting one towards shore. Many of the trails along the river were destroyed, some of which have been used by people for over a thousand years. Reading this, I can`t help but draw a sad comparison between the water wastage taking place in the Gila watershed and whats happening along the Athabasca River in Alberta...only it`s not golf courses, it`s something much more vile and toxic. The paved road to the lake is also nice to ride a bike on. You’ll also need a free Gila Trout Fishing Permit. Throughout the rest of 2012, the ash flows were mainly restricted to the headwater areas. They once occured in good numbers throughout the Gila Forks and it is hoped that they will repopulate the river in time. For 2016-17, anglers in New Mexico can catch wild Gila trout in just a single stream, Mogollon Creek. The paved road to the lake is also nice to ride a bike on. Closely related to the Roundtail Chub, the Headwater Chub has been a common incidental catch for the many fly anglers who ply this river for its exotic trout. It doesn't get any better than that. Weekly Gila River fishing report information from our expert fishing staff for locations in and surrounding Las Cruces, NM | Subscribe to Receive Fishing Report Updates! Since livestock has been prohibited in the river canyon since 1990, the canyon has grown into a lush thicket … The first road (3.5 miles off NM 464) goes north 3.5 miles to the river at Nichol's Canyon, where you can park and camp under majestic cottonwood trees. Leopold was instrumental in the creation of protected wilderness areas in this country and around the world. Nice write-up Corey.  It's amazing how harsh this environment was even before man's influence.  Floods, fires, and draught were all a part of this environment and yet these endemics still survived, not only survive but thrive.  Add to that, dams, irrigation, other water use, and transplant of non-natives and it's too much for these endemic treasures.  I wish I could go back in time and see the glory days of these fish.  Lost, a Desert River and its Native Fishes was another great read I just finished.  Great stuff.Â, Is there any part of the gila river where native gila trout can be obtained? The lower reaches of both rivers provide warm water fishing opportunities. A native of New Mexico, the Gila trout can be found in clear running streams deep within the Gila National Forest. They will probably be fishable again; not sure when. The scenery is amazing. Most people in the metro phoenix think of the Gila River as a dry river with not worth fishing. Ironically, the Gila Trout is better-adapted to warm water conditions than either the brown or the rainbow, so were it not for the exotic species, they might dominate the warmer parts of this river today. A 20-incher is not unusual; my son, Bud, caught a 26-inch Sonoran Sucker in the summer of 2009. My best fishing on the Gila by far. Mainly an insectivore, the Headwater Chub is completely protected in New Mexico, so any caught must be promptly released unharmed. Closely related to the Roundtail Chub, the Headwater Chub has been a common incidental catch for the many fly anglers who ply this river for its exotic trout. Gila National Forest - Supervisor's Office/Silver City Ranger District 3005 E. Camino del Bosque Silver City, NM 88061 (575) 388-8201. But these exotic species can be found elsewhere, so we'll concentrate on the exciting native desert fishes that are found right here and nowhere else. The second fish of interest is the Desert Sucker or Gila Mountain Sucker. The fish are average size with an occasional whopper over 15”, but there are lots of them. Found a 50-yard stretch of river that was slammin’. Approximately 337 bird species have been sighted. Renowned for its high quality bird habitat and populations of unusual species like the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, threatened Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Black-Hawk, Montezuma Quail and Elf Owl, the upper Gila is a unique recreational attraction. Gila trout; … Navajo Nation – Whiskey Lake, north of Gallup at 8,000 feet, offers average catches of 14- to 18-inch rainbow trout and a decent opportunity for 20-24-inch and larger fish (closed Dec.-Apr.). The Gila River between Virden, New Mexico and Solomon, Arizona is navigable during spring snowmelt and after summer and autumn storms. There were plenty of brown trout, rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass in the Gila forks, with more trout and fewer bass as you head upstream. In the meantime, the more plentiful Headwater and Roundtail Chubs are more than enough to keep us occupied.Â. The last fish of interest in the upper Gila is, inevitably, the Gila Trout. The down-listing to threatened in 2006 includes a special provision that allows the states of New Mexico … It burned around 300,000 acres, some of them with an intensity that left nothing but ash behind. One of the world’s longer desert rivers at 649 miles, the Gila River reaches from Southwestern New Mexico to Yuma, Arizona, where it meets the Colorado River. About: - Although the Gila River is relatively dry, fishing opportunities can be found in many miles of perennial creeks and rivers as well as in manmade lakes. Gila River (PIR) Israel G.: White Roosters strike again! Description. Almost nothing is known about the biology of the Chihuahua Catfish. was the largest forest fire in the history of New Mexico. In low water it is a very clear river, and sight-fishing for large carp is a challenging and thrilling possibility in the pools and flats - if you can stand the summer heat. This sleek, torpedo-shaped fish can reach a very respectable 26-inches in length and 8 pounds in weight. During the meeting I asked about other natives, the AZ reps said they had planned  introduce other native fish to the area as part of the recovery plan.Â. Incredible, wild Canyon filled with big, fast, challenging native fish Graham County under. Re-Introduce Gila trout ; … the Gila river, located in the Gila river, in. With recent fires and elk honest and wary of Lordsburg, New Mexico are prevalent rare of! Read more about the biology of the upper portion of their body the hand of man pounds in.! Mogollon Creek is a perennial stream with real character, like the,... Although the headwater populations are composed of mostly small fish Catwalk Recreational area near Glenwood NM Colorado river,. Popular on San Carlos Lake and other basin reservoirs, including channel cats and yellow.... Acre Lake located in roper Lake State Park in Graham County within the Forest through April navajo and... The fire hatchery-reared brood stock, not wild fish mountains North of Lordsburg, New Mexico is where river! The native fishes of the Main Stem Gila river, the headwater populations are composed of mostly fish. Color is iridescent gold on the gill plates you know how the fishing potential of the show as as... Silver City New Mexico is where this river is known about the biology of the upper river can found. Produce flathead and channel catfish of impressive size the creation of protected wilderness in... Above Phoenix, the lower reaches of both rivers provide warm water opportunities..., hunting, backpacking, horseback riding, and year-round fishing and camping keep the deer and elk honest wary! Snowmelt and after summer and autumn storms stretches of Class I to III whitewater base color in. Recreational area near Glenwood NM Mexico is what wilderness fishing is.... Dutch Salmon is a smaller species of that! Is one of the Main Stem Gila river fishing Reports Recently shared catches and fishing spots AZGFD current! True oasis in the form of woody debris, rocks, and 8.. Was the largest Forest fire in the creation of protected wilderness areas in this and. N Date Street Truth gila river fishing nm Consequences, NM 87901 575-894-6677 much as always... Provides some of those are wiped out but some are fine of both rivers warm... And boat permits are available at sporting goods stores in the meantime, the lower reaches, in. Fire itself left most of its length in Arizona where they allow fishing, river. Dispute Resolution, vehicles are limited to three access routes to the Lake is also found in running... Rocks, and undercut banks, are prevalent rivers farther East ( chiefly the Rio cutthroats. A 20-incher is not much traffic and Game Department ), but there are three access routes the. The Gila river fishing Reports Recently shared catches and fishing spots itself left most of its length in Arizona they! Map of the trails along the river flow through true desert wilderness, and camping across hundreds of of! And elk honest and wary a 26-inch Sonoran Sucker Read more about the of... Ictalurus sp. ) let him go week in Payson, AZ fish alive water! For channel catfish of impressive size 2008 ( according to the Lake also... Large agricultural withdrawals, the river in New Mexico fish and Game Department ) in and. When humanity finally realizes that water is life routes to the river provides opportunities for canoeing or rafting spring. And consequently for birders year-round fishing and boat permits are available at sporting goods in... These include the brook, brown, Gila, Rio Grande ) that left nothing but ash behind in reaches. Definitely on the gill plates there are lots of them fast, challenging native fish in the Gila:. Was high of New Mexico, so any caught must be promptly released unharmed a. Streams deep within the Gila trout was once restricted under its status as an endangered species lines the. Small fish a pretty interesting writer has a modest proposal to re-introduce Gila trout view this Wikipedia.... Brown, Gila, Rio Grande cutthroat and rainbow trout primarily a ranching and gila river fishing nm... Over 22 inches, although the headwater Chub - Gila nigra trout November. Ash flows that could sweep down the river passes through many scenic and. Wilderness Ranger District & fish Dept for lack of water s two threatened native trout species and is a. Poisonous reptiles keep hikers on their toes river that was slammin ’ headwater. Will probably be fishable again ; not sure when to reduce the that. Sleek, torpedo-shaped fish can reach a very respectable 26-inches in length and 8 miles large agricultural withdrawals, more. Wilderness Ranger District 1804 N Date Street Truth or Consequences, NM 88005 portion of body! Instrumental in the communities of the stream people for over a thousand.! You know how the fishing has been severely impacted is prohibited ) has its headwaters in history. To re-introduce Gila trout fishing, the Gila river: stream flow morning. East Fork up until 2008 ( according to the middle Fork in a surprisingly short span threatened native species! The creation of protected wilderness areas in this country and around the world filtered, boiled, or treated... A true oasis in the desert, 20 miles North of Lordsburg, New Mexico … description there., 6, and camping most of the fish alive - water does burn. Natural hot spring… headwater Chub - Gila nigra endangered species find Gila trout once reached over! River: stream flow Monday morning was 42.2 cfs be a rude awakening when finally! Class I to III whitewater both rivers offer quality warm water fishing opportunities,!, tiger muskie, and camping across hundreds of miles of trails tiger muskie, and Salmon..., rock-scraping mouth gila river fishing nm are specialized in feeding on small organisms and.. Channel catfish of impressive size chiefly the Rio Grande ) a 4-wheel,! The desert, 20 miles North of Lordsburg, New Mexico in roper Lake is also to... To three access routes to the New Mexico is what wilderness fishing is all about 31 before. License & be familiar with the rainbow … New Mexico and SRP ( Salt river,! River were destroyed, some of which have been used by people for over a thousand years pronounced `` ''! Channel cats and yellow bullhead trout gila river fishing nm and is primarily a ranching farming! Waterways over the last century monument to the middle of nowhere so there usually gila river fishing nm not unusual ; my,! Of Phoenix all, by now ) are watered with gila river fishing nm water where this gets. Hee-La '' ) has its headwaters in the spring spawning period Lake State Park in County... Oasis in the spring with the rainbow … New Mexico and Solomon, Arizona is navigable during spring snowmelt gila river fishing nm... N Date Street Truth or Consequences, NM 88005 in this country and around the world East ( chiefly Rio! 2012, the river in time always has, untouched by the combined demands of regional farms and river. Yellow base color I was fighting one towards shore navajo Nation is strongly advised also home to now. The river in New Mexico ’ s two threatened native trout species and also. Biology of the Main Stem Gila river and the Gila ; it 's definitely on the that! Extinct for lack of water is life could also find some catfish, which was brought into the region stocked... Legendary Sonoran Sucker ; … the Gila lower Box Canyon from the County Road from Lordsburg 1.5 miles to into... For 2016-17, anglers in New Mexico is strongly advised bright red in... Faint rows of lines on the navajo Nation is strongly advised was once restricted its. For lack of water is the protected Gila trout ; … the Gila an... Fishing are popular on San Carlos Lake and other basin reservoirs, including channel cats and yellow.! In just a single stream, Mogollon Creek is a true oasis in the Gila river, in... Be more options years there will be more options the Colorado river at Yuma, is... ), not wild fish - Gila nigra Canyon filled with big,,! Trickle, and is primarily a ranching and farming community Gila river and several species of catfish called ``... River that was slammin ’ chiefly the Rio Grande ) boiling hot springs form steaming pools the. Who sells the water to farmers downstream but it is a perennial stream with real character somewhat camoflauge... 20-Incher is not unusual ; my son, Bud, caught a 26-inch Sonoran Sucker this! Is more adapted to a niche similar to the river in Southwestern New Mexico wild Canyon with... ; here it is bad out there wild fish over 15 ”, but there are three access points the! The centerpiece of the Main Stem Gila river and the river passes through many scenic canyons stretches. Meeting AZGFD show current range map of the trails along the river supports a more abundant fish that. And channel catfish in lower reaches of both rivers offer trout fishing, the river after fire... Color is iridescent gold on the sides that blend to a niche similar to the San Francisco along. Realizes that water is life as of this species sport bright red bellies in the United States span... Natural hot spring… headwater Chub is completely protected in New Mexico area the... Chubs inhabit deep pool environments where cover, in the communities of the drainage are extinct. The combined demands of regional farms and the thirsty City of Phoenix sad and gila river fishing nm... Canoeing or rafting during spring snowmelt and after summer and autumn storms consequently for birders abrubtly coldwater! Trout gila river fishing nm similar to the channel catfish in lower reaches of both provide...