Fly Life Magazine

The Gila Trout, Saving It

Gila Trout – U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Part I  Saving America’s trout – the video

U. S. Fish and Wildlife / gila trout / October  23, 2018

That’s the sound of a barbless beadhead nymph falling into a glassy glide of Mineral Creek, a headwater stream of the Gila River in southwest New Mexico. There’s a short drift over a stony run, barely time to mend your line. Then follows that transmutation of fish flesh to your forearm—the taut tug of a trout on your 3-wt. fly rod.

But it’s not just any trout. This one is yellow like a school bus. Petite black shards fleck its flanks over a hint of a pink stripe and fading oval parr marks. It’s not a rainbow trout—no, this fish is far less common. Rare, even. It’s a Gila trout, a threatened species.” — Craig Springer

The Gila trout was for a time the only trout considered endangered in the United States. But decades of conservation work by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, U.S. Forest Service and other partners pushed the fish toward recovery.

Gila trout, a threatened species, benefits from the science-based conservation work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and U.S. Forest Service. A team of biologists strive to recover this native trout found only the headwaters of the Gila River in the Southwest. Anglers rejoice as more streams are open to fishing for Gila trout. Their fishing tackle and license purchases fund conservation through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Video Credit: Brett Billings/USFWS-NCTC, John Bradley/USFWS, and Grant Langmaid/USFWS

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