Silver Creek Hatchery
Covered raceways, fishing at Silver Creek, and Silver Creek landscape
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. Use caution while traversing the hatchery property.
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.
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 September 30th and a catch-and-release season from October 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.
- Some of the hatchery property is restricted and no public access is allowed. Areas closed to the public are marked by signs on the trail.
Silver Creek Hatchery is located east of Show Low about 5 miles on Highway 60. Turn north off 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Way Road. Turn east on Hatchery Way Road for 1/2 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 1st from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Due to limited staffing at Silver Creek Hatchery, tours are limited to groups of 10 or more, by appointment only, and scheduled in advance. Property access only through the main gate on Hatchery Road only. Call Silver Creek Hatchery staff for questions 928-537-7513.
Closed to Public on all major holidays, hatchery office and personnel.
Please refer to the White Mountains special regulations section of the AZGFD fishing regulations.
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.