March 6, 2024

PINETOP, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has announced waters in the Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside areas will be stocked with catchable-size trout from March to July, a change from the traditional stocking schedule of April to September.

Those waters include Fool Hollow, Rainbow, Show Low, and Woodland lakes, as well as Scott Reservoir. AZGFD is expected to maintain the schedule change until at least 2026 to provide department staff with sufficient time to determine its effects on angling opportunities. 

The rationale behind the schedule change is that previously stocked trout already have adapted to warmer water temperatures and survived, while those fish being transported for stocking are accustomed to cooler water temperatures coming from the hatchery and could become stressed or even die when released into warmer waters.

The strategy includes stocking as many trout as possible before water-quality issues force the department to pause its stocking schedule, as was the case every summer from 2020 to 2023 when these lakes experienced warmer water temperatures and high pH levels from mid-July to mid- September. As a result, these factors can create stress on the trout, which can lead to poor angling opportunities and possible mortality. 

AZGFD assures anglers that the number of trout scheduled for stocking will remain the same or even increase from 2023, but all stockings are expected to be completed by July 4. Visit the department’s website for the latest stocking schedules. These schedules are tentative and subject to change due to weather or conditions at the sites.

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