DECEMBER 30, 2015

Tiger trout are coming to town

Soon, rising to the surface at the end of some Arizona anglers’ lines, will be trout with wild and wavy patterns -- almost like a tiger.

For the first time in Arizona, the Arizona Game and Fish Department will be stocking tiger trout, adding an additional opportunity to your Arizona trout fishing menu. See a media/mobile-friendly version of this release form the Fish AZ blog.

Scheduled to be stocked in late April or early May, the tiger trout is a brown-brook trout hybrid, and as a result of this forced hybrid cross, will be unable to reproduce. Typically as tiger trout grow ‒ by spring these stockers will average about 10 inches in total length ‒ their patterns become more pronounced.

But don't wait until then -- this is still an ideal time of the year to trout fish in Arizona, especially at our Community Fishing Program waters.

So grab a fishing license online if you need 'em (purchases helps conserve all wildlife for the future), and entice some trout to bite.

Where trout anglers can tame the tigers

The Department acquired around 18,000 tiger trout fingerlings at no cost (besides gas costs from picking them up) from Utah Division of Wildlife Resources this past July. The trout are being reared at the Tonto Creek Hatchery.

The Department plans on stocking the trout into the following Mogollon Rim/White Mountains lakes: Becker, Carnero, Willow Springs and Woods Canyon.

Special regulations apply at Becker and Carnero: artificial lure and fly (single barbless hooks) only and, at Carnero, a two trout daily bag limit.

It is catch-and-release only at Becker.

At Woods and Willow Springs, where higher numbers of tiger trout are expected to be stocked, the standard six trout aggregate bag limit applies. (Bait is allowed.)

“From what I’ve read, people typically fly fish for tiger trout and they’re pretty aggressive,” said Mike Lopez, the Department's Pinetop region Fish Program Manager. “They’re probably more like a brown, so lures and flies should work well. – something imitating a small fish.”