Biologists Report Progress In Native Apache Trout Recovery Program

Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 6:00pm
Updated: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 6:04pm
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Arizona fisheries biologist report progress in Apache trout recovery, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will look at the possibility of delisting the native fish in a few months. 

The Apache trout, one of just two species of trout native to Arizona, was once common in the White Mountains.

But it was listed as endangered due to overfishing, habitat loss and other factors. 

It was upgraded to a threatened status years ago. Biologists need to re-establish the fish in 30 streams to delist the fish. Zach Jackson has been studying the native trout for the Fish and Wildlife Service, and in a few months he'll go before a panel that will decide where to go from here.

“Their status is improving," Jackson said. "I think most of the folks working on Apache trout, I think everybody actually sees that delisting is possible, probably within reach, but there may be some slightly different viewpoints on whether or not we’re there yet.”

Even if delisting occurs, conservation work such as fish barrier maintenance will still be necessary.