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Arizona Stocked Trout Fate

Five Things Learned From 4-year AZGFD Study


October 1, 2018

Ever wondered what happens to the thousands of trout that the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks into streams all around the state every year? You’re not alone.

We just completed a 4-year study (beginning in 2013) to investigate the fate of rainbow trout and Apache trout stocked into several of Arizona’s popular stream trout fisheries. As part of this project, AZGFD biologists conducted nearly 5,000 angler interviews on six different streams (Canyon Creek, East Fork Black River, East Verde River, Silver Creek, Tonto Creek, and West Fork Little Colorado River) during the trout stocking seasons (April to September) of 2013–2016.

From these interviews, biologists estimated total harvest (number of stocked trout kept by anglers), angler effort (total time spent fishing by anglers), and angler catch rates. Our biologists also implanted trout with radio transmitters in order to track their movements and determine how long they survived in the streams.

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We will now be unveiling the top 5 things we learned. Each day from Tuesday, Oct. 9 to Saturday, Oct. 13, on our Fish AZ site ( and our “Fish AZ” Facebook page, we will be posting one of the five things we learned.

This is 4 years of data coming to fruition, and the results have been interesting, to say the least.

Thank you to all the anglers who reported radio tag information and helped make this study possible.


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