longtime Arizonans, the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in the White
Mountains has been a hallowed fishing ground with such historic
waters as Ditch Camp, Hawley and Horseshoe beckoning year after
the 1.6-million acre reservation is awaking from its long winter's
nap with all lakes full and streams running bank to bank, according
to Tim Gatewood, the fisheries biologist for the White Mountain
should have pretty good water all summer," said Gatewood, a
native White Mountain Apache who has been in charge of the tribe's
fishing program for 10 years.
to Gatewood, the tribe's Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation Division
plants rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout and Apache trout
in the reservation's 16 lakes and portions of 400 miles of streams
available to the public. Only Apache trout, which were brought back
from near extinction following a massive recovery effort some years
ago, are stocked in the streams.
Cienega Lake, which was drained two years ago to patch leaks in
the dam, filled last year and has been restocked," said Gatewood.
"In fact, we are putting 8,000 surplus browns into Horseshoe
said he believes that Sunrise Lake, located near the tribe's winter
ski area, has not suffered any winter kill this year, but he won't
know for sure until he and his staff can personally check it out.
tribe sells more than 100,000 fishing permits annually to non-tribal
members. For 2009, the daily fee has been increased $1 to $7, allowing
anglers to take five fish per day. A $75 annual permit is also available.
sold 120,000 permits last year and that is down from a high of 175,000
some years back," said Gatewood. "The numbers dropped
after the Rodeo-Chediski fire in 2002 primarily due to dry summers
when we have to ban campfires."
addition to 12 lakes open to fishing, several other areas are available
via special permits. Impoundments such as Christmas Tree, Cyclone,
Hurricane and Earl Park are under special regulations. Hurricane
and Cyclone are available under a rent-a-lake program where families,
companies, organizations and others can enjoy exclusive use of a
Park Lake is managed for trophy Apache, brook, brown and rainbow
trout and is available at $10 per day. Christmas Tree permits are
$30 per day and the number of anglers is limited to 20 per day.
Big Apache and brown trout are available.
current Arizona state record fish were caught on the Fort Apache.
Sunrise Lake gave up a 4-pound, 15-ounce record brook trout in October
of 1995. Reservation Lake gave up a 22-pound, 14.5-ounce state record
brown trout in July of 1999 and the state (and world) record Apache
trout weighing 5 pounds, 15.5 ounces was caught at Hurricane Lake
in June of 1993.
more information, visit wmatoutdoors.org
or call 928-338-4385.