AZGFD gets cutthroat trout from Wyoming for stocking in Big Lake

Big Lake - Springerville, AZ (Apache County)

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

In November, two AZGFD wildlife specialists traveled to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Dan Speas Fish Hatchery to pick up 37,000 Bear River cutthroat trout. This trip came about after AZGFD regional biologists requested cutthroat stockings to maintain the unique fishery in Big Lake. Meeting this request was a challenge because none of AZGFD’s hatcheries are currently producing cutthroat trout. Department personnel began planning this trip nearly a year ago after reaching out to multiple states that could possibly supply cutthroats.


The trip and following stocking took three days and included cross training between AZGFD staff and WGFD staff, doing everything from general fish culture work to setting brown and brook trout eggs. On day three they met up with the Dan Speas hatchery staff at 5:30 a.m. to load fish for the trip back to Arizona. After a very long return trip and a late-night stocking, the Bear River cutthroats made it to Big Lake.

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