The Apache trout, one of the first native fish to be placed on the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) list, is an important part of Arizona’s natural heritage and recreational fisheries. Many restoration projects have occurred over the last 35 years. In 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), and Trout Unlimited formed the Apache Trout Recovery Partnership (Partnership) to conduct conservation work.
Trout Unlimited national, TU Arizona Council, and the Old Pueblo Chapter of Trout Unlimited has worked with the Partnership to develop a $271,600 National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant to conduct Apache trout restoration, research and education activities. The AGFD matched the TU grant with its own Heritage funds and the other partners contributed additional in-kind personnel, material, and equipment. The grant work is guided by a recovery plan for Apache Trout (USFWS 1983) authored by a Recovery Team pursuant to the ESA listing. The program conducted by TU and the Partnership has direct implications for restoring depleted and extirpated fish populations, de-listing the species under the ESA, and developing robust recreational fisheries. The Partnership and its work is just part of a long road to Apache trout recovery.