Arizona Game and Fish Department Trout Challenge
Apache Trout, Oncorhynchus apache© Joseph R. Tomelleri
Gila Trout, Oncorhynchus gilae
Arizona’s Trout Challenge Program was developed to encourage anglers to learn more about fishing opportunities in the state. Arizona Game and Fish Department manages many waters statewide to provide anglers the opportunity to catch several different species of trout, including two found only in the Southwest, Gila Trout and Apache Trout.
There are two ways for anglers to complete the Challenge
- Catch all five species of wild trout in Arizona. These species include Apache, Brown, Brook, Gila and Rainbow trout.
*Anglers who completed the wild trout challenge without a Gila Trout while the Gila Trout requirement was suspended may submit a photo of a wild Gila Trout they catch for verification along with the stream it was caught at, date caught, and gear type used (fly or lure) to the email or mailing address listed below. You do not need to resubmit the full application. After the Gila Trout is verified it will be added to your certificate and a new wild trout challenge certificate will be issued.
- Catch at least six of the eight total species in Arizona (including hatchery-raised trout): Gila, Apache, Brown, Brook, Rainbow, Grayling, Cutthroat, and Tiger trout.
Email applications and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to:
Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85086
WMAQ, Native Trout and Chub Program
Rules for the Challenge
- Anglers must submit a completed application with species, location caught, and date caught.
- Anglers must submit photographs of each species caught.
- Fish must be caught legally in Arizona waters.
- Anglers will only be eligible to complete each Challenge once. After completing one Challenge, in order to be eligible for the second Challenge, all fish submitted must be from different waters.
- Waters not listed for a given species will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The program committee reserves the right to accept or deny any application
Successful anglers will receive a certificate with color images of each of the species they caught and submitted for the Challenge. Anglers are eligible to receive both the Wild Trout Challenge Certificate and the Arizona Trout Certificate; however, all fish submitted for the second Challenge must be submitted from different waters in Arizona. In addition to the certificates, anglers will receive an Arizona Trout Challenge hoodie upon completing their first challenge, and an Arizona Trout Challenge collectable coin upon completing both challenges.
Wild Trout Challenge
The Arizona Wild Trout Challenge highlights unique fisheries in Arizona that offer anglers the chance to pursue wild trout. Many of these fisheries are managed by Arizona Game and Fish Department either through special regulations (i.e. catch-and-release, limited harvest) or habitat improvement projects aimed at increasing natural reproduction in these populations. This Challenge also highlights the opportunity to fish for native Apache trout and Gila trout in Arizona. Both species are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but thanks to conservation efforts led by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and other partners, select waters are open to angling. Gila Trout are returning the wild trout challenge beginning in 2021 with the opening of Dude Creek to seasonal catch-and-release only angling regulations. Anglers who completed the wild trout challenge without a Gila Trout while the Gila Trout requirement was suspended may submit a photo of a wild Gila Trout they catch for verification along with the stream it was caught at, date caught, and gear type used to email or mailing address listed above. After the Gila Trout is verified it will be added to their certificate and a new wild trout challenge certificate will be issued.
Arizona Trout Challenge
The Arizona Trout Challenge was developed to get people out fishing across the state. Arizona Game and Fish Department manages approximately 100 waters for trout, providing anglers the opportunity to catch trout in nearly every region of the state. Currently, eight species of trout are stocked in Arizona, including Gila, Apache, Brown, Brook, Rainbow, Cutthroat, and Tiger trout and Grayling. This Challenge highlights the breadth of waters stocked in Arizona and the diversity of opportunities to catch unique trout species in the state.
For more information: 623-236-7653 or email@example.com