Apache Trout: A Good-News Conservation Story

September 20, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

With scientists from all over the world rushing to examine new Amazon plant and animal species before they are gone, it’s nice to think that even in our over-managed United States diligence and dedication can still preserve what may one day prove a vital link. Thank the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a recent example. Over the past couple of decades, they’ve brought the Apache trout back from the verge of extinction by building fish barriers and removing non-native trout in 27 Arizona streams. “The small, wary native trout is closely related to the rainbow, but exquisitely adapted to the small, flood- and drought-prone streams of the region. They boast the largest dorsal fin of any trout — which helps them hold their position in a small creek in heavy flows.” Pete Aleshire in the Payson, Arizona Roundup.