Apache Trout

Service image

The apache trout is considered to be critically endangered by the IUCN.


The body coloration is golden-yellow or olive yellow, with a golden belly, and Parr marks (vertical bars) can be seen on juveniles, but these marks typically disappear in larger individuals. Spots can be seen in an even distribution of pronounced, moderate-sized, rounded or oval black spots on the sides of the body and on top of the head. These spots may sometimes extend below the lateral line and onto the dorsal and caudal fins. The top of the Apache trout’s head and back is typically dark olive to brown and a black stripe appears to go through each eye because of the presence of two small black dots on either side of the pupil. Below the lower jaw, there is a dash of color that will range from yellow to darker gold. The dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins are tipped with a white to orange color and the adipose fin is usually bordered with a black margin.


The Apache trout is native to Arizona and can be found in the lakes and streams of the White Mountains. It is one of only two trout species native to the State (gila trout). Through stocking and restoration programs, this species has been introduced in other areas of Arizona including the Little Colorado River, and its tributaries, near the Greer, Black River and Lee Valley Lakes. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:

Outsides of Bends                                  Overhanging Tress and Bushes

Riparian Zones                                       Rivers & Streams

Rocks and Boulders Pockets                 Drop-offs

Merging Currents                                    Undercuts


iving in lakes and streams, this fish will eat insects, invertebrates and small minnows. They are typically targeted using very light spinning or fly tackle using nymphs, wet or dry flies, worms or salmon eggs. These fish may also strike small spinner baits or spoons but some areas where these fish can be found have enacted policies where anglers may only use artificial lures so check all regulations before targeting these fish. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:

Fly Fishing                                                   Bait Casting

Still Fishing                                                  Spin Casting