TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Calling all southern AZ fishermen, Frye Creek is off limits for the time being to fishing, according to a recent news release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Frye Creek, a Gila trout recovery stream located on Mt. Graham has been temporarily closed to fishing, in order for officials to evaluate and restore the population of Gila trout after the area was damaged by this summer's Frye Fire and subsequent flooding.
This creek offers fishing fans a chance to hook a Gila trout, according to the release. The Gila trout is only one of two trout that are native to Arizona.
AZGFD officials hope to reopen the creek to fishing once the area is suitable for stocking of the trout and a population is established that can withstand being fished regularly.
According to the release, this closure does not include Frye Mesa Reservoir, where the Gila trout are stocked for recreational fishing. However the area that the Reservoir is in, is still under closure orders issued by the Coronado National Forest.
In June, the 48,000-acre Frye Fire severely impacted the habitat in Frye Creek and nearby Ash Creek, and both populations of Gila trout, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, were effected by post-fire flood events that moved large amounts of ash, sediment and debris through the creeks.
Fortunately, just prior to the flooding, AZGFD salvaged 190 Gila trout from Frye and Ash creeks and they were transported in good health to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Mora National Fish Hatchery in New Mexico.