Silver Creek Hatchery History
Silver Creek Fish Hatchery resides on commission owned land acquired in 1978 and is managed by the Hatchery Program. The facility includes an 840-acre wildlife area that is open to the public for fishing and hunting. This is a popular destination and has opportunities for viewing all forms of wildlife. In addition, Silver Creek provides aquatic habitat for native fish species including speckled dace and bluehead sucker, as well as angling opportunities for Apache and rainbow trout. There is an established trail along the creek, but during wet weather the area is extremely muddy.
Fish production history
The hatchery is the primary facility for growing & stocking Apache trout, which are one of the state’s two native trout species (the other is the endangered Gila trout). The only place Apache trout can be caught in the world is the White Mountains of Arizona. Silver Creek is a small hatchery, producing about 80,000 catchable sized Apache trout each year. Apache trout are stocked into selected streams and lakes in the White Mountains, including Silver Creek, the East Fork of the Black River, West Fork of the Black River, Sheeps Crossing on the Little Colorado River, and the Little Colorado River at Greer. All the Apache trout stocked in Arizona are produced by Silver Creek Hatchery.
Silver Creek Hatchery is located east of Show Low about 5 miles on Highway 60. Turn north from highway 60 on to Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Way Road. Turn east on Hatchery Way Road for a half mile to the facility.
Summer hours are from April 1 to Sept. 30 from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Winter hours begin Oct. 1 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tours by appointment only. Property access only through the main gate on Hatchery Road. Call Silver Creek Hatchery staff for questions at 928-537-7513.
Silver Creek Property Habitat
Fishing opportunities on the hatchery property are split into two seasons. There is a catch-and-keep season where baits and barbed hooks may be used from April 1 to Sept. 30 and a catch-and-release season from Oct. 1 to March 31, where only artificial flies/ lures and barbless hooks are allowed. To schedule a guided tour, contact the hatchery manager at 928-537-7513.
Species Raised: Apache trout and rainbow trout.
Where and when fish are stocked – schedule
Wildlife: The unique setting of Silver Creek Fish Hatchery provides habitat for many wildlife species.
Birds: Waterfowl game species include mallards, teal, gadwall, and wigeons, as well as a variety of nongame birds including but not limited to herons, hawks, and eagles.
Mammals: A few fish-eaters such as raccoons have been known to stop by and try to sample trout at the hatchery. Common game species include elk, mule deer, antelope, and rabbits.
Management goals of the Silver Creek Fish Hatchery are to provide for the continued operation of fish culture activities with a focus on the native Apache trout, and to provide public outdoor recreation opportunities like fishing, wildlife watching, and educational interpretation.
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