Bubbling Ponds Hatchery
Hatchery lined pond, Black Hawk trail, and aerial view of the hatchery
Located less than two hours north of Phoenix in Cornville, Bubbling Ponds sits along the riparian corridor of Lower Oak Creek and offers a cool retreat from the desert during hot summer months. The hatchery is comprised of two separate parcels, Page Springs Hatchery and Bubbling Ponds Hatchery totaling approximately 273 acres.
Bubbling Ponds originally produced trout until 1980 when trout production was moved entirely to Page Springs Hatchery. It also has historically produced sportfish such as channel catfish, bluegill, walleye, and largemouth bass. Starting in the mid 1980’s, the hatchery began raising Colorado pikeminnow as well. Then, in the mid 1990’s, the hatchery switched to primarily raising endangered razorback suckers under contract for the Bureau of Reclamation. Since this time Bubbling Ponds Hatchery has consistently raised razorback suckers for the Bureau of Reclamation mitigation program as well as SRP’s habitat conservation program. Other native fish species are currently being raised at the hatchery including roundtail chub and Gila topminnow. In addition, a limited number of Florida strain Largemouth Bass, and trout are reared at the facility
The property provides habitat for rare or declining species such as northern Mexican garter snake, Page springsnail, and a rare species of caddis fly. The Audubon Society identified the habitat at the hatcheries and the riparian area along lower Oak Creek as an Important Bird Area (IBA), which draws thousands of wildlife watching enthusiasts. Although both hatcheries are listed as Important Bird Areas (IBA) the opportunity to view these bird species is greater at Bubbling Ponds. For detailed information, check out the Tucson Audubon website or the Northern Arizona Audubon website. The “Blackhawk trail” is about a 1.5 mile loop around the property. It includes a ramada for pack in, pack out day use, two viewing decks and bench seats along the trail. In addition to the trails the Audubon Society installed several informative signs describing hatchery operations, riparian habitat, geology and local wildlife. Bubbling Ponds Hatchery has hiking trails, picnic areas, but no public restrooms.
The department recently acquired the adjacent property to the west of Bubbling Ponds for native fish production which consists of 31.7 acres of land with water rights. This new native fish facility will support production ponds, a hatchery building and a visitor center. The existing pond production is planned to be returned to warm water sport fish, focusing on rearing Florida strain largemouth bass and trout. At this time this portion of the property is off limits to visitors. Please observe all posted signs for visitors.
The “Blackhawk trail” and hatchery is open daily from dawn to dusk. Hours will vary according to daylight. Patrons with dogs are welcome. Please observe the rules pertaining to dog visitors to ensure future use for your pets!
- The hatchery is closed to fishing
Bubbling Ponds Hatchery is located approximately 10 miles south of Sedona and 10 miles north of Cottonwood AZ.Springs road. The best access is from Interstate 17. Take the McGuirville exit (exit 293), turn west for approximately 10 miles to Cornville, AZ.; turn north on Page Springs Road for 5.5 miles to hatchery entrance.
Closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Contact us: 928 649-1297.
Where and when fish are stocked – schedule
The unique setting of Bubbling Ponds Hatchery provides habitat for a diversity of wildlife species.
Birds: Some common birds in the area are the black-crowned night-heron, great blue heron, belted kingfisher, and resident mallards. Along the nature trail, numerous migratory species have been seen. For a complete species checklist click here PSH 2020 checklist.
Invertebrates: The Page springsnail is found only at the Page Springs spring complex, from which several main springs and other minor springs arise. This snail typically occurs on firm substrates such as rocks, vegetation, floating algal mats and submerged woody debris, in association with slow to moderate flows of head springs, seeps and lateral spring runs.
Mammals: A few fish-eaters are known to stop by and try to sample trout. Raccoons manage to find their way into the enclosures. In recent years the river otter population has increased and they often feed in the open ponds at Bubbling Ponds Hatchery. Skunks clean up any spilt feed at the hatchery. In the surrounding uplands, mule and whitetail deer, javelina, bobcat, mountain lion, fox, coyote and black bear can occasionally be spotted.
Management goals of the Bubbling Ponds Fish Hatchery property are to provide for the continued operation of fish culture activities, emphasis on propagating Arizona’s native warm water species, protect endemic invertebrates, provide recreational opportunities, and educational interpretation.