Tiger trout are coming to town

Tiger trout are being raised at the Tonto Creek Hatchery and are scheduled to be stocked into select Arizona high country waters this spring.
Wondering where to catch some unique trout species? Try Arizona. Tiger trout are being raised at the Tonto Creek Hatchery near Payson, Ariz., and are scheduled to be stocked into select Arizona high country waters this spring.


Soon, rising to the surface at the end of some Arizona anglers’ lines, will be trout with wild and wavy patterns —  almost like a tiger.

For the first time in Arizona, the Arizona Game and Fish Department will be stocking tiger trout, adding an additional opportunity to your Arizona trout fishing menu.

Scheduled to be stocked in May, the tiger trout is a brown-brook trout hybrid, and as a result of this forced hybrid cross, will be unable to reproduce. Typically as tiger trout grow — by spring these stockers will average about 10 inches in total length — their wormy patterns become more pronounced.

But don’t wait until then — this is still an ideal time of the year to trout fish in Arizona, especially at our Community Fishing Program waters.

So grab a fishing license online if you need ’em (purchases helps conserve all wildlife for the future), and entice some trout to bite.

Where Arizona trout anglers can tame the tigers

The Department acquired around 18,000 tiger trout fingerlings at no cost (besides gas costs used to pick them up) from Utah Division of WIldlife Resources this past July. The trout are being reared at the Tonto Creek Hatchery.

The Department plans on stocking the trout into the following Mogollon Rim/White Mountains lakes: Becker, Carnero, Willow Springs and Woods Canyon.

Special regulations apply at Becker and Carnero: artificial lure and fly (single barbless hooks) only and, at Carnero, a two trout daily bag limit.

It is catch-and-release only at Becker.

Woods Canyon Lake near Payson, Arizona, will be one lake to receive tiger trout beginning in late spring or early May.
Woods Canyon Lake near Payson, Arizona, will be one lake to receive tiger trout beginning in late spring or early May.


At Woods and Willow Springs, where higher numbers of tiger trout are expected to be stocked,  the standard six trout aggregate bag limit applies. (Bait is allowed.)


How to catch tiger trout

Eye of the tiger

“From what I’ve read, people typically fly fish for tiger trout and they’re pretty aggressive,” said Mike Lopez, the Department’s Pinetop region Fish Program Manager. “They’re probably more like a brown, so lures and flies should work well. – something imitating a small fish.”

In other words, when it comes to angling action, “they’re grrrrreat.”

(Had to … )

25 thoughts on “Tiger trout are coming to town”

      1. I’m going camping up north at lower log white Mountains where can I go close to fish for Tiger trout

  1. you should put these in community ponds for people like me who cant get out to the woods often and help more people catch fish and increase popularity to fishing

    1. Thank you for the additional fishing opportunity . I came from the east and have fished them before, they are aggressive and put up a good fight! I think they will be a hit! Any future plans to have them stocked in some streams… Like the East Verde or the catch and release section of Canyon Creek.. 🙂
      Best Regards


  2. I wish you were putting them closer to towns like Snowflake and Show Low. The lakes where they will be are too far for me to travel to.

  3. Please consider putting these somewhere on Mt. Graham. Our mountain here is currently, as far as I know, the only place to catch Rainbow, Brown, Gila and Apache trout in a day. Please don’t take away our claim to fame by bringing in a non-native species and then not letting it be caught on the mountain.

    1. You do know that the Rainbows and Browns are not native either, don’t you.
      Gila and Apache are the only two native trout to Arizona. 🙂

    1. Not that we’re aware of. Because it’s a new species to Arizona, we don’t know too much about them. BUT — they apparently feed similar to a brown trout, and so throwing small, gold Kastmasters or Panther Martins is a good place to start.

  4. I’m not okay with hybrids being bred and stocked in our waters. I’m sure there’s probably a correlation between the first sticking of tiger trout and the mysterious appearance of a trout specific kidney disease. Tiger trout are rare in nature for a reason. The AZGFD should leave it that way.

    1. There is no correlation between any diseases and Tiger trout stockings!
      As for Tiger trout being rare in nature, it is really simple. They are not capable of breeding, they are a sterile hybrid!
      Any species which is not able to breed is going to be rare!!
      Think Mules if you need an example.

  5. Any specific dates for stocking? As a species, or in this case hybrid, fisher I’d love to catch one but I’d hate to hit it before they are stocked.

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