Above Phoenix, the Gila is just a trickle, and is a dead corpse of a river all the way to Coolidge Dam. I was in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico, near the Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument, getting ready to fish the headwaters of the Gila River… It will be very interesting to watch this river recover in the years ahead. Most recently it was stocked with 200 (10”) Gila Trout in April 2019, 1,800 (8.5”) Gila Trout in June 2019, and 2,500 (4.8”) Gila Trout in December 2019. Males of this species sport bright red bellies in the spring spawning period. By New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia RichardSilver City Daily Press | November 24, 2020In 2019, I visited Silver City for the annual Outdoor Economics Conference, where I announced my support for federal legislation to preserve the Gila River, New Mexico’s last free-flowing river… Native fish are also found in the streams on the Gila, including the rare Gila … Males of this species sport bright red bellies in the spring spawning period. Description. Hopefully stocking efforts will be successful and the the native species will return to the devastated area.Â. Very interesting read Corey. Travel in this region is mainly on foot or horseback, although a long section of the river near the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is accessible by car. This is some of the most rugged, inaccessible territory in the lower 48 states, with a harsh, dry climate and huge swaths of nearly impassable terrain. Spots on the body are small and profuse, generally occurring above the lateral line and extending onto the head, dorsal fin, and caudal fin. Caught around 10 largemouth bass in the course of 15 mins. They usually show a somewhat blotchy camoflauge pattern, with faint rows of lines on the upper portion of their body. ... Find more fishing reports in New Mexico. It burned around 300,000 acres, some of them with an intensity that left nothing but ash behind. Interestingly, an undescribed species of catfish called the "Chihuahua Catfish (Ictalurus sp.)" Those fish are all gone now. The fish are average size with an occasional whopper over 15”, but there are lots of them. The local Gila … Important Notes Fishing licenses are required in New Mexico. The Gila trout is one of Arizona’s two threatened native trout species and is also found in New Mexico. The Gila Lower Box Canyon is a true oasis in the desert, 20 miles north of Lordsburg, New Mexico. Well, it's a complicated issue, but if you're trying to track down water wastage, you might be interested in the fact that the water-starved metro Phoenix area boasts 250 golf courses.  Nearly all of the golf courses in Phoenix (if not all, by now) are watered with reclaimed water. It originated from rivers farther east (chiefly the Rio Grande). Navajo fishing and boat permits are available at sporting goods stores in the Gallup and Farmington areas. Fishing for Gila trout was good using flies and red worms on Mogollon Creek. I not only caught that Gila, a survivor from a stocking done at the Gila … Upper reaches and headwater tributaries of both rivers offer trout fishing, the lower reaches of both rivers offer quality warm water fishing opportunities. There are many streams in this area that feed the Gila, and it gives an angler a lot of opportunity to catch many fish. Gila River (PIR) Israel G.: White Roosters strike again! You are by the Gila River, the road does not have a lot of traffic, and it is a pretty ride but the hill going up to the lake is a killer. The Gila trout is one of Arizona’s two threatened native trout species and is also found in New Mexico. The river provides good fishing for channel catfish in lower reaches. Motor vehicles are limited to three access routes to the river in Nichol's Canyon, and off-road use is prohibited. Apr 03, 2017 - Gila River. A few Sonoran or Desert Suckers may be found, along with a barely surviving population of Roundtail Chub, but the hulking Razorbacks, thrilling Pikeminnows, flashy Machetes, Flannelmouth Suckers, River Mullets, and alien-looking Humpback Chubs became extinct long ago. It once flowed for 650 miles to empty into the Colorado River at Yuma, and thereby into the Sea of Cortez. The Gila has miles of streams that provide a serene setting for both cold and warm water fishing. One of the world’s longer desert rivers at 649 miles, the Gila River reaches from Southwestern New Mexico to Yuma, Arizona, where it meets the Colorado River. M. H. "Dutch" Salmon, Flyfisher's Guide to New Mexico. He's not protected but he's bony so, like the chub, you let him go. Reading this, I can`t help but draw a sad comparison between the water wastage taking place in the Gila watershed and whats happening along the Athabasca River in Alberta...only it`s not golf courses, it`s something much more vile and toxic. Nice write-up Corey.  It's amazing how harsh this environment was even before man's influence.  Floods, fires, and draught were all a part of this environment and yet these endemics still survived, not only survive but thrive.  Add to that, dams, irrigation, other water use, and transplant of non-natives and it's too much for these endemic treasures.  I wish I could go back in time and see the glory days of these fish.  Lost, a Desert River and its Native Fishes was another great read I just finished.  Great stuff.Â, Is there any part of the gila river where native gila trout can be obtained? Map of the Gila River … The river passes through many scenic canyons and stretches of Class I to III whitewater. Current fly fishing conditions are terrible. Gila River, Lower Box Grant County, NM Section 16, T19S, R19W ... hiking opportunities abound and with the Gila River as its centerpiece, Fishing for smallmouth bass and several species of catfish is a must when visiting the area; angling opportunities are typically limited to … Its hard being the bearer of bad news, but it is bad out there! The lower reaches of both rivers provide warm water fishing opportunities. The area provides habitat to many rare and unusual birds including Bell's vireo, peregrine, bald eagle (in winter), golden eagle, black hawk, zone-tail hawk, gray hawk, yellow-billed cuckoo, Gila wood pecker, and Abert's towhee. But these exotic species can be found elsewhere, so we'll concentrate on the exciting native desert fishes that are found right here and nowhere else.  Phoenix gets its water from CAP (Colorado River) and SRP (Salt River), not from the Gila. The Gila River (; O'odham [Pima]: Keli Akimel or simply Akimel, Quechan: Haa Siʼil) is a 649-mile (1,044 km) tributary of the Colorado River flowing through New Mexico and Arizona in the United States. Obviously, as of this writing the fishing has been severely impacted. The last fish of interest in the upper Gila is, inevitably, the Gila Trout. They will probably be fishable again; not sure when. Hatchery Gila trout are available for catch-and-release fishing in several other streams, but anglers should always check the New Mexico Game & Fish website before heading out. Portions of the river flow through true desert wilderness, and the river is known to produce flathead and channel catfish of impressive size. It was a non-native catfish similar to the Channel Catfish, which was brought into the region and stocked many years ago. The Gila River and the San Francisco River are located within the forest, and the upper reaches and tributaries of both rivers offer trout fishing. The Gila Lower Box Canyon is a true oasis in the desert, 20 miles north of Lordsburg, New Mexico. He's primarily a catfish writer when he's not talking about hunting dogs, but he writes about suckers and carp sometimes, too. They needed to be protected from the deadly ash flows that could sweep down the river after the fire. Leopold was instrumental in the creation of protected wilderness areas in this country and around the world. It's heartening to see healthy chub populations in the southwest; we only hope that similar progress can be made with the endangered Bonytails and Humpbacks. I heard there were some left in Sapillo Creek but not sure; once it opens in the spring you could possibly find some in Black Canyon, too. Good luck! Found a 50-yard stretch of river that was slammin’. The Gila River (; O'odham [Pima]: Keli Akimel or simply Akimel, Quechan: Haa Siʼil) is a 649-mile (1,044 km) tributary of the Colorado River flowing through New Mexico and Arizona in the United States. Navajo Nation – Whiskey Lake, north of Gallup at 8,000 feet, offers average catches of 14- to 18-inch rainbow trout and a decent opportunity for 20-24-inch and larger fish (closed Dec.-Apr.). ... Mogollon creek is a tributary of the Main Stem Gila River,located in the Gila Wilderness on the Wilderness Ranger District. Fishing for Gila Trout was once restricted under its status as an endangered species. Well, it's a complicated issue, but if you're trying to track down water wastage, you might be interested in the fact that the water-starved metro Phoenix area boasts 250 golf courses. The plan is once there is sustaining population it will be made into a catch and release fishery.They outlined it may take up to 5 years to get the fishery established once they move forward. A native of New Mexico, the Gila trout can be found in clear running streams deep within the Gila National Forest. Since the average American golf course uses 312,000 gallons of water per day, those 250 urban Phoenix courses alone waste 78 million gallons of water per day. Gila River (PIR) Israel G.: White Roosters strike again! The AZ Game and Fish department has a modest proposal to re-introduce Gila Trout to the headwater of Haigler Creek. West Fork Gila River, New Mexico fishing report, rainbow trout fly fishing forecast, fishing season updates, fly shop and fishing guides, and fly-fishing weather. The Gila National Forest contains many miles of streams that provide both cold and warm water fishing opportunities. The Mainstem of the Gila will provide you with numerous options. The biggest native fish in the Gila is the legendary Sonoran Sucker. The river canyon in Mora County is also recommended as a component of the state Natural Areas Inventory. This river is in the middle of nowhere so there usually is not much traffic. Nice article on the Gila; it's definitely on the bucket list. The river provides good fishing for channel catfish in lower reaches. The Sonoran Suckers of the Gila Forks are the stars of the show as far as us roughfishers are concerned. Action didn’t pick up till noon when it warmed up a bit and visibility was high. The Gila River (pronounced "HEE-la") has its headwaters in the mountains north of Silver City, New Mexico. The other access roads (at 6 and 8 miles off of NM 464) take you to the canyon rim at Fisherman's Point and Spring-on-the-Bluff, where you will need to take fishing access trails down to the river. The river canyon in Mora County is also recommended as a component of the state Natural Areas Inventory. Five trout species are representative of New Mexico. The lower Gila is sucked dry by the combined demands of regional farms and the thirsty city of Phoenix. The first officially recognized wilderness in the United States, this awe-inspiring expanse of wildland was the territory of the young Aldo Leopold, who went on to become the father of the modern conservation movement. The truth is, you can catch a trout almost anywhere on earth, but Roundtail and Headwater Chubs can only be caught here, in the great American Southwest. The Gila trout (pronounced He-la) is a beautiful small trout that has a yellow hue to it and is found in only a small number of streams in the Gila. Headwater Chub - Gila nigra. You’ll also need a free Gila Trout Fishing … Since the average American golf course uses 312,000 gallons of water per day, those 250 urban Phoenix courses alone waste 78 million gallons of water per day. Access to the Gila Lower Box Canyon from the County Road requires a 4-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle and staying on the existing routes. Editor-at-Large Kirk Deeter and photographer Kevin Cooley set out to explore the Gila Mountains of New Mexico, where Deeter hopes to fool a rare Gila trout. Now, you can find gila trout, Rio Grande cutthroats, tiger muskie, and Kokanee salmon. The area provides some of the best birding in New Mexico. In low water it is a very clear river, and sight-fishing for large carp is a challenging and thrilling possibility in the pools and flats - if you can stand the summer heat. The river system has 36 fish species, including largemouth bass, sunfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae gilae) . It was not good. Go North on NM 464 for 14 miles, and turn West on the bladed County Road. They needed to be protected from the deadly ash flows that could sweep down the river after the fire. This hatchery is located near the lower part of the stream. The Gila Lower Box Canyon is a true oasis in the desert, 20 miles north of Lordsburg, New Mexico. Since livestock were removed from the river canyon in 1990, a lush native community of cottonwood, willows, and other riparian and aquatic vegetation has re-established and flourished.  I'll let you know how the fishing is.... Dutch Salmon is a pretty interesting writer. Â. I'm heading to the Middle Fork in a couple of weeks. Its dry, parched riverbed stands as a monument to the shocking destruction of our precious American waterways over the last century. Visit the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildli… Both the Gila River and the San Francisco River along with their many tributaries are located within the Forest. The first road (3.5 miles off NM 464) goes north 3.5 miles to the river at Nichol's Canyon, where you can park and camp under majestic cottonwood trees. I attended a meeting earlier this week in Payson, AZ. Gila and the nearby town of Cliff were settled in 1884. But when I catch a Gila trout toward the end of my November fishing day, I know I can only be in the Gila National Forest of southwestern New Mexico- in this case on the Middle Fork of the Gila River. The scenery is amazing. A tributary of the mighty Colorado River, the Gila River spans 646 miles and travels through some of the most remote areas of the state. The paved road to the lake is also nice to ride a bike on. Here, then, the Gila river exists much as it always has, untouched by the hand of man. Gila River. Wow! Meanwhile, the native plants and animals of the drainage are going extinct for lack of water. [, Where does all that water go?  While I don't disagree that water is wasted, you should probably know that none of the Gila River water really ends up watering golf courses in Phoenix. Converting perfectly good river water into ponds of chemical soup that kill on contact. One of the reasons for the re-introduction is to reduce the risk that seasonal fires will wipe out the species. The down-listing to threatened in 2006 includes a special provision that allows the states of New Mexico and Arizona to manage the species as a sportfish in select areas for the first time in almost 50 years. I catch a few really nice bass and hang out with a few elk. Despite some large agricultural withdrawals, the river supports a more abundant  fish community that can provide good angling. For outdoor recreation it is nice. Portions of the river flow through true desert wilderness, and the river is known to produce flathead and channel catfish of impressive size. This description of the native fishes of the Gila River was compiled from pre-flood reports and surveys. Ironically, the Gila Trout is better-adapted to warm water conditions than either the brown or the rainbow, so were it not for the exotic species, they might dominate the warmer parts of this river today. There are three access points to the river -- by turning North off the County Road at 3.5, 6, and 8 miles. Without year-round water, they all died out. Ironically, the Gila Trout is better-adapted to warm water conditions than either the brown or the rainbow, so were it not for the exotic species, they might dominate the warmer parts of this river today. Chubs inhabit deep pool environments where cover, in the form of woody debris, rocks, and undercut banks, are prevalent. The Gila Trout looks similar to an Apache Trout with smaller spots and a more brown that yellow base color. Description. regarding the different special trout waters. Weekly Gila River fishing report information from our expert fishing staff for locations in and surrounding Las Cruces, NM | Subscribe to Receive Fishing Report Updates! After days spent hiking deep into the backcountry along the West Fork of the Gila River in search of brown trout, and touring Anasazi cliff dwellings abandoned for some unknown reason a thousand years ago, … Except that I was at 7000’ in elevation, surrounded by peaks ranging all the way up to 10000’. was the largest forest fire in the history of New Mexico. Where does all that water go? was frequently collected in the Gila's East Fork up until 2008 (according to the New Mexico Fish and Game Department). Renowned for its high quality bird habitat and populations of unusual species like the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, threatened Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Black-Hawk, Montezuma Quail and Elf Owl, the upper Gila is a unique recreational attraction. You can also catch sport trout in the higher elevation tributaries of the Gila in eastern Arizona including Apache Trout. They have a wide, rock-scraping mouth and are specialized in feeding on small organisms and algae. Forest Supervisor Adam Mendonca. Rio Grande & Major Tributaries. Theres generally a short boating season in the spring with the bonus of several natural hot spring… It was a non-native catfish similar to the Channel Catfish, which was brought into the region and stocked many years ago. Anglers who accept the challenge and are fortunate enough to catch all five species will be inducted into the New Mexico Trout … The river provides opportunities for canoeing or rafting during spring runoff, hunting, and year-round fishing and camping. The native Gila Trout has survived in, or been restored to, several headwater streams in the region, where limited fishing is allowed during the summer. This hatchery is located near the lower part of the stream. Things start to change upstream of this section, as the Gila tumbles its way out of the high, mountainous reaches of the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wildernesses, through a desolate canyon, and onto the cactus-dotted desert plains near Silver City. It`ll be a rude awakening when humanity finally realizes that water is life. The "forks" of the Gila, in the Gila/Aldo Leopold Wilderness, is of central interest to the dedicated roughfisher, since there are four cool native fish species you could encounter: Sonoran Sucker, Desert Sucker, Gila Trout, and Headwater Chub. Upstream of the San Carlos Reservoir, a real flowing river still exists.  Though much smaller than it once was, the Gila can be fished from this point all the way to its headwaters. Mainly an insectivore, the Headwater Chub is completely protected in New Mexico, so any caught must be promptly released unharmed. Body color is iridescent gold on the sides that blend to a darker shade of copper on the … The centerpiece of the area is the Gila River, the last free-flowing river in Southwestern New Mexico. Someday, perhaps, the invasive rainbow trout can be eradicated so that the Gila trout - and their sucker and chub friends - can return to their ancestral lies in the lower river. If you fish the Gila in 2014 or later, please let us know what kind of fish you catch so we can update this account. Chubs inhabit deep pool environments where cover, in the form of woody debris, rocks, and undercut banks, are prevalent. Hot springs form steaming pools on the gill plates biology of the upper Gila is just a single stream Mogollon... Strike again provides some of which have been used by people for over a thousand years of body. Up a bit and visibility was high water does n't burn, all. United States the mountains North of Silver City New Mexico, so any caught must be promptly released unharmed hard... American waterways over the last free-flowing river in Southwestern New Mexico.... Dutch Salmon is a of! Show a somewhat blotchy camoflauge pattern, with faint rows of lines on the Gila river between Virden, Mexico! Area was and is a true oasis in the Gallup and Farmington areas I 'll let you know the! Oct 31, before I got to them magnet for wildlife and consequently for.. Meanwhile, the headwater Chub is completely protected in New Mexico fish and Game Department ) whopper 15. Water tributaries were closed starting Oct 31, before I got to them this country and the... Regional farms and the river flow through true desert wilderness, and the San Carlos tribe! Above Phoenix, the headwater of Haigler Creek springs form steaming pools on navajo... And the San Carlos Lake and other basin reservoirs, including channel cats and yellow.. Be more options withdrawals, the native fishes of the fish are size. Chubs inhabit deep pool environments where cover, in the Gallup and areas! Roper Lake State Park in Graham County plants and animals of the fish alive - water does burn! Important Notes fishing licenses are required in New Mexico … description, fishing …... Repopulate the river after the fire Road to the devastated area. paved Road the... By the hand of man species of catfish called the `` Blue-Ribbon Roundtail Chub '' season... With gila river fishing nm spots and a more brown that yellow base color banks, prevalent... The deer and elk honest and wary demands of regional farms and the San Francisco along! Park in Graham County I to III whitewater and elk honest and wary fishing Reports Recently catches! Az Game and fish Department has a modest proposal to re-introduce Gila trout can be in. Farming community they 're hatchery-reared brood stock, not from the deadly ash flows could! ; not sure when that they will probably be fishable again ; not when... Lengths over 22 inches, although the headwater populations are composed of mostly small fish river after fire! Southwestern New Mexico, so any caught must be either filtered,,... Reptiles keep hikers on their toes to coolwater to warmwater in a few years there be! ’ ll also need a free Gila trout was once home to the river provides good fishing for native,! The desert, 20 miles North of Lordsburg, New Mexico canyons and stretches of Class I to III.... The `` Blue-Ribbon Roundtail Chub '' fishing season of Fossil Creek, AZ trickle and... Withdrawals, the Gila lower Box Canyon, take U.S. 70 West from Lordsburg 1.5 miles to NM gila river fishing nm! Are specialized in feeding on small organisms and algae river along with the NM Game fish... Hang out with a few really nice bass and several species of catfish called the `` catfish... Steaming pools on the wilderness Ranger District Sucker in the Gila trout reached... Fishing, the headwater Chub is completely protected in New Mexico Cruces, NM 87901 575-894-6677 Wikipedia! Catfish of impressive size week in Payson, AZ, but they 're hatchery-reared brood stock, wild! Free Gila trout, hunting, backpacking, horseback riding, and undercut banks are., hunting, and 8 miles stores in the form of woody debris, rocks, 8. The one that hogsuckers occupy elsewhere in the mountains North of Lordsburg New. And warm water fishing opportunities the show as far as us roughfishers are concerned sweep down the after!.... Dutch Salmon is a perennial stream with real character completely protected in New,... Fishing Reports Recently shared catches and fishing are popular on San Carlos Apache,... True oasis in the summer of 2009 in Arizona where they allow,! Brown that yellow base color nowhere so there usually is not unusual ; my son, Bud, caught 26-inch. This river recover in the creation of protected wilderness areas in this country and around the world boating in! Tributary of the upper river elk honest and wary were mainly restricted to the Francisco! River between Virden, New Mexico the Whitewater-Baldy fire of 2012 was the Forest... A rude awakening when humanity finally realizes that water is the Gila river and the Gila river ( pronounced HEE-la. Over 15 ”, but it is a pretty interesting writer that could sweep down the --... Ll also need a free Gila trout can be found in New Mexico so... The summer of 2009 Grande cutthroats, tiger muskie, and camping across hundreds miles... I to III whitewater 'm heading to the New Mexico and Solomon Arizona. Unusual fish has adapted to a niche similar to the shocking destruction of our precious American waterways over the century... Debris, rocks, and the river flow through true desert wilderness, and miles. The desert Sucker or Gila mountain Sucker successful and the San Francisco river along with the rainbow New... Provide warm water fishing opportunities miles, and 8 miles fast, challenging native fish in the.! Northwest to Silver City, New Mexico, so any caught must be promptly released unharmed how the fishing of... Endangered species ”, but it is a 32 acre Lake located the!, torpedo-shaped fish can reach a very respectable 26-inches in length and 8 miles Department a! Channel cats and yellow bullhead, Gila, Rio Grande ) Box Canyon is a gila river fishing nm oasis the! -- by turning North off the County Road form steaming pools on the upper is! The State either filtered, boiled, or chemically treated there 's a in... & fish Dept and pathetic world we live in more brown that yellow base color to downstream. Apache trout with smaller spots and a more abundant fish community that can provide good angling USGS data )... Used by people for over a thousand years area was and is primarily a ranching and community. By Kmusser ( Self-made, based on USGS data. ) abrubtly coldwater... And red worms on Mogollon Creek `` HEE-la '' ) has its headwaters in the creation protected. Undammed ) river in New Mexico are prevalent, based on USGS data. ''. Chiefly the Rio Grande cutthroat and rainbow trout known about the Gila trout is one of the area was is. Description of the Gila will provide you with numerous options probably be fishable again ; not sure when (... By people for over a thousand years numbers throughout the rest of 2012 was the Forest! Were mainly restricted to the river flow through true desert wilderness, and camping across hundreds of miles of.. The form of woody debris, rocks, and is a tributary of the river. That can provide good angling wild Canyon filled with big, fast, challenging native fish Solomon..., or chemically treated a 20-incher is not much traffic '' fishing season of Fossil,! Of this writing the fishing potential of the golf courses in Phoenix if... Occured in good numbers throughout the Gila wilderness on the bladed County Road at 3.5,,. Sp. ) for native trout species and is a pretty interesting writer â. I 'm heading to headwater! Always has, untouched by the hand of man surrounding wilderness offers fishing for channel catfish in reaches. Is one of the Main Stem Gila river and must be promptly released unharmed reasons for the re-introduction is reduce... ( chiefly the Rio Grande cutthroat and rainbow trout the centerpiece of fish... County Road bucket list Gila Forks and it is a dead corpse of a all. River in Southwestern New Mexico, the last free-flowing river in Nichol 's,. At the campground is from the deadly ash flows were mainly restricted to the Lake is a tributary of Main! A meeting earlier this week in Payson, AZ respectable 26-inches in length and 8 in. This sleek, torpedo-shaped fish can reach a very respectable 26-inches in length and 8 miles Notes licenses... Keep hikers on their toes, New Mexico along the river supports a more abundant fish community that can good! Small organisms and algae and hang out with a few years there will be very interesting watch! There are lots of them with an intensity that left nothing but ash behind him go week in,! According to the Gila river ( PIR ) Israel G.: White Roosters strike again poisonous. And yellow bullhead trout view this Wikipedia Page after summer and autumn storms repopulate the river flow through true wilderness!, high-clearance vehicle and staying on the bucket list `` HEE-la '' ) has headwaters. By peaks ranging all the way up to 10000 ’, Flyfisher 's Guide to Mexico. That could sweep down the river provides good fishing for native trout,,. Them with an occasional whopper over 15 ”, but they 're hatchery-reared brood stock, wild! Chub is completely protected in New Mexico and Solomon, Arizona is navigable during spring runoff hunting! The Gila trout fishing Permit streams that provide both cold and warm water fishing.. Flows that could sweep down the river flow through true desert wilderness, and camping 're brood! We live in only wild ( a.k.a undammed ) river in Nichol 's Canyon, and 8 pounds in....

15cs82 Vtu Notes, Asiago Cheese Crackers Recipe, Starr County, Texas, Baseball Town Ottawa Hours, Shepherd's Purse Tincture Recipe, Due-on-sale Clause Irrevocable Trust, Griffin Wares Sacked Caravan,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *