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The Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists said the opening of this catch-and-release fishery for native roundtail chub, also called Verde trout, is yet another chapter in the remarkable history of this picturesque travertine stream that has played an integral role in the development of Arizona.
Several groups and organizations along with the Arizona Game and Fish Department will be available at Fossil Creek to provide information about the area and the importance of this fishery.
Rogers added that anglers have already demonstrated their dedicated conservation abilities in helping renovate this creek. “We feel that this fishery opens the door even wider for a whole new public appreciation for native fish species that will aid us in all our native fish recovery efforts.”
This seasonal fishery requires anglers to use artificial fly and lures only, single barbless hooks, and utilize catch-and-release techniques in which fish are immediately released unharmed. The fishing season will only be open from the first Saturday in October through April 30. Only the middle 4.5 miles of the creek is open to fishing (there will be signs). Check the Fishing Regulations for this description.
Fossil Creek is located on the Tonto and Coconino National Forests approximately 15 miles east of Camp Verde and 5 miles west of the town of Strawberry. You can find it by driving along Forest Service Road 708.
This renovated creek is home to many of Arizona’s imperiled native fishes. It has roundtail chub, speckled dace, longfin dace, desert suckers, and Sonora suckers, These fish now inhabit a superb habitat thanks to an extensive renovation and reintroduction project conducted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Coconino National Forest, the Northern Arizona Flycasters, Arizona Public Service, and Bureau of Reclamation .
The overall project included the removal of nonnative fish, the construction of a fish barrier on the lower portion of the creek, and the decommissioning of the Childs hydroelectric power plant. Upon completion of the project, the public was interested in reopening this area to fishing.
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