Tag Archives: trout stockings Arizona

Rainbow trout stocking restarts at Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery

Willow Beach, Ariz. – After a three-year hiatus, catchable-sized rainbow trout from Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery (NFH) will return to Colorado River waters downstream of Las Vegas.

The hatchery will release 2,500 rainbow trout into the cold waters below Davis Dam on Jan. 12. The trout measure up to 12 inches long.  Davis Camp and Bullhead City Park will be stocked once more in January, three times in February, four times in March, and once in April, for a total of 25,000 rainbow trout.

During the three-year hiatus of trout coming from the hatchery, the AZGFD continued stockings made possible by donations from local pest abatement districts.

Willow Beach trout stocking schedule

The Willow Beach area immediately downstream of the hatchery will be also stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout every Friday starting Feb. 3.

This weekly stocking schedule will continue year-round. See all the stocking schedules.

Rainbow trout production recently restarted at Willow Beach NFH after securing a reliable water source. A new pump and conveyance system delivers cold water to the federal fisheries facility that is needed by trout for proper growth.

Serving Arizona trout anglers


Trout stockings on the Colorado River continue. On Monday, Dec. 19, there were 5,000 pounds of rainbow trout stocked into the Colorado River in three spots from Davis Camp to Rotary Park. The next trout stocking on Jan. 12 will come from the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery. It will be the hatchery’s first stocking in several years thanks to the completion of a new water intake system.

“It gives me no small delight to see rainbow trout come back into production at Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery,” said Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest Region. “Many concerned folks put their shoulder to the wheel to see this through—to design and build a new water conveyance system, and jump-start trout production with fish from our state partners. The hatchery once again serves the angling public.”

The first batches of rainbow trout to be stocked were secured by a partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). The hatchery has also started raising rainbow trout from the egg stage again.  In December of 2016, more than 110,000 rainbow trout eggs arrived from Ennis National Fish Hatchery in Montana. Those eggs have since hatched and quickly transformed into young trout to be stocked later.

About Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery

The hatchery, built in 1959, is located 12 miles downstream of Hoover Dam on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. It is one of 70 other such facilities in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Hatchery System.

See more information about fishing in Arizona

Take it from a mom: trout fishing how-to’s

Not only has she taught her 16-year-old son how to fish, she’s been consistently hooking trout — only trout, not catfish — for more than 10 years at Community fishing lakes and ponds.

Our “core” waters all are scheduled to have been stocked with trout by Saturday.

Liz is an avid local AZ angler specializing in catching trout at Community Fishing Program waters,


So here  are some trout fishing tips from Liz, known on some social media accounts under the handle @TennismomAZ:


Gulp an egg (so to speak)

Community trout retain their trademark rainbow sheen.
  1. Use a worm threader to poke a hole through one garlic infused yellow Berkley Gulp Egg, and thread on 4-pound test leader (about one foot in length) onto either a size 14 or 18 treble hook/egg hook.
  2. Attach to snap swivel with an egg sinker above the hook. Light line and tackle is key for trout. I use an ultralight rod and fresh line every season.Vanish by Berkeley is great line — no more than 4-pound test.

Irresistible to trout: the floating worm 


Just one of many Community trout caught by Liz.

Another great technique is to use a worm threader and half a nightcrawler below the egg and use a worm blower to puff up the crawler to help it float. See a how-to video as an example.

A little more messy than just using the egg alone, but very effective for catching trout. Both can be purchased at (local tackle shops) inexpensively.

Staying Alive: snug bait = less snags


Garlic infused PowerBait is good, too, but I’ve found the Gulp Alive eggs to stay on my hook more easily and I’ve had less snags using them.

Yellow/chartreuse seems to be the most effective color for whatever reason. Chartreuse or white PowerBait, too. The garlic-infused is well worth the extra $. I always catch fish this way and I’ve been fishing urban lakes now for more than ten years.

Winters are the best for fishing in AZ!

Finally, twin trout tips

    • Never store your rods in your garage in Arizona–the heat will kill your line and equipment.
    • Open reels are best for using your hand to close the reel after each cast to avoid line twist.


So there you go. Grab a license online, 24/7, check the Community regulationsand hit the water for some trout.

Follow Liz on Twitter and Instagram @TennismomAZ


Editor’s note: If you plan on catching and releasing trout only, please consider using barbless hooks, or larger hooks (Nos. 6-8) that will allow for a quicker and easier release and give trout their best possible chance at survival.

Get “out like trout” in Community fishing waters

By the weekend, thousands of pounds of rainbow trout will have been stocked into Community Fishing Program waters.

OK, we’ll even give you the exact day of the stocking …


Thank goodness for that day.

All of the “core” waters, plus Water Ranch in Gilbert and Green Valley lakes in Payson  (23 waters total), are scheduled to be stocked.

Anglers will be able to catch some of the nearly 6,000 pounds of trout that are coming from Colorado.

We’ve scheduled a total of nine stockings into “core” waters and 15 stockings into Green Valley lakes. Also, there are two planned stockings for the expansion waters with a possible a bonus stocking in January.

See the schedule.

(This will explain which waters are “core” and which are “expansion.”)

How to catch Community trout

Wanna get fancy? Throwing flies can catch trout, too!
Wanna get fancy? Throwing flies can catch trout, too!

To catch ’em, try worms, salmon eggs, PowerBait, corn, cheese, marshmallows, artificial lures and flies.

The number one key to successful trout fishing is to use light line (2 to 6 pound test), small hooks (10-14 sizes), and small sinkers.

See more fishing basics.

Licensed to fish

Grab a license 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online (and help conserve wildlife for future generations).

See complete Arizona fishing resources

Get real-time Arizona fish stockings, follow #AZfishtracker

Arizona rainbow trout stockings are taking place statewide. Follow @NickFishAZ for real-time stocking updates.
Arizona rainbow trout stockings are taking place statewide. Follow @NickFishAZ for real-time stocking updates.


So you just want to know where the fish are at?

Follow @NickFishAZ on Twitter and look for occasional real-time updates on the latest fish stockings — when, where and what.

As opposed to our stocking schedules, which are just that — schedules that are subject to change due to water quality, weather, etc.  — these tweets will give you confirmed stockings, and the information will come straight from our on-the-water employees.

Here’s the latest: Trout stocked Thursday went into Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Dankworth ponds, Roper Lake, Cluff Reservoir #3.

Delivery truck are en route to deliver fish to the Salt River, Yuma Wetlands West, Council (Somerton) Avenue Pond.

No more guessing. Without sending everybody to each location, we’re all about getting people onto fish by occasionally disclosing these confirmed stockings.

New to fishing? Check out our Fishing Basics page, or learn hands-on from one of our experts by attending an upcoming FREE public fishing event, and join this heritage-rich tradition.

See you on the water.

Northern Colorado River to receive trout

First stocking south of Davis Dam in nearly a year

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. –– Trout stocking south of Davis Dam has been on hiatus for nearly a year, but that will change beginning Oct. 1.

Trout from Arizona Game and Fish hatcheries, and raised by the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery, are ready for the first stocking south of Davis Dam since late 2013.

“This is great news and a fantastic opportunity for anglers on the Colorado River,” said Matt Chmiel, the Fisheries Program Manager for the Game and Fish Region 3 office in Kingman. “While fishing in the area has remained strong, trout have been recognizably absent for nearly a year.”

On Nov. 21, 2013, the Willow Beach hatchery conducted an emergency stocking of 11,000 rainbow trout when the low lake level made it impossible to draw in water due to a damaged lower-level pipeline. This fact, along with additional federal budget cuts, resulted in the closing of the sport fish part of the hatchery.

In early 2014, Game and Fish provided the national hatchery with 22,000 sub-catchable rainbow trout to raise to a catchable size while lake levels were high enough for the one functioning pipeline to draw in water.

“However, the lake level will soon be dropping and the time has come to stock the fish,” Chmiel said. “The timing is critical. All 22,000 fish must enter the river before water levels drop below the intake valve.”

Chmiel explained stockings will continue for several weeks in October at Rotary Park and Davis Camp.

“But there’s no need to focus on just those two locations,” he said. “Trout disperse quickly and many areas along that stretch of the river will work.”

For rainbow trout, Chmiel said small spinners and PowerBait are often effective, although marshmallows can work.

“Fishing is just a great way to relax and spend some time with the family with few interruptions,” Chmiel said. “Getting kids outside and away from the computers helps create an important connection with the outdoors.”

A fishing license is $37 for in-state residents and $5 for all youth ages 10-17. The license is good for trout and is valid for 12 months.

For a statewide fishing report, log on to the Game and Fish Department’s website at azgfd.gov. Licenses are available at the any of the Game and Fish regional offices or headquarters as well as at license dealers throughout the state and online at www.azgfd.gov/fishing.