Gila trout state record possible with stockings at Frye Mesa Reservoir

Frye Mesa Reservoir

Have you ever caught a native Gila trout? Within the next couple days, we will have stocked about 1,500 Gila trout in Frye Mesa Reservoir — about half of the fish average 2 pounds (14-20 inches)!

There should be some state record fish stocked. The inland waters, hook-and-line Gila trout weighed 3 pounds, 5.6 ounces, and was caught by Robert Woods of Flagstaff on Feb. 28, 2011 at Frye Mesa.

Watercraft are not allowed onto Frye Mesa. But float tubes are welcome.

How to fish for Gila trout in Arizona

A native Gila trout

Go target some of these native beauties – your typical trout baits will work (PowerBait, salmon eggs, worms, 4-6-pound test line, No. 8-12 baitholder hooks). The daily bag limit of trout is six, in any combination, although no more than one may be a Gila trout.

Keep in mind that Frye Creek, a recovery stream, is closed until Oct. 1.

Frye Mesa Reservoir is a 4-acre lake located at 5,500 feet of elevation on Mt. Graham in the Coronado National Forest. Camping is allowed, but boating is not. The average depth of the lake is 17 feet.

Directions to Frye Mesa Reservoir

To get to Frye Mesa, drive northwest from Safford to Thatcher on U.S. Hwy 70. Turn left, (south) on Stadium Street and follow it to Forest Road 103.  Drive about 10 miles on FR 103 to Frye Mesa Reservoir.  This road is very rough in spots and requires a high clearance type 2-wheel drive vehicle.

Licensed to fish

Need a license? Follow the link below to purchase your license, which conserves wildlife for future generations.

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