Take a trip down highway 260. Pass Kohl’s Ranch and turn yourself north onto Tonto Creek Road. In a few miles you’ll be in fish territory. 50 acres of land surrounding you consists of the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery, a home to an abundance of Arizona wildlife.
One of six hatcheries in the state the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery is home to the Apache trout, Rainbow, and Brown trout. These animals are born in the hatchery, and live through their adolescent stage until they are sizeable enough for anglers all over the state to catch. Of course, no fishing is allowed on the premises, but the hatchery does offer visiting hours and plenty of educational opportunities.
Most of the fish you catch in Arizona come from hatcheries, particularly trout. The reason for this is the way these fish spawn. Without a surplus of perennial streams, the trout are unable to reproduce. Thus, allowing hatcheries in the state the chance to help them along. Most hatcheries though, don’t produce their own eggs. They may have some small breeding tanks for the fish but the bulk of the trout eggs are imported from other places. Arizona takes the responsibility of growing them to a sizeable product and then shipping them to lakes or rivers, and even supplying some of our markets for consumption.
The hatcheries offer people the unique experience of seeing the lifecycle of their catch. The most important message they portray though, is how fishing can impact the environment. Although our lakes and streams are well stocked the opportunity to see the natural and artificial habitats of fish are an important aspect of environmental knowledge. Since wildlife hangs around the abundance of prey, the hatchery also offers visitors the chance to see predator and prey relationships between fish and birds, as well as other animals. This look into Arizona’s delicate ecosystem and the relationships between nature and humans is accented by the wooded landscape and sloping mountains of the Rim.
When you have the time off, take an afternoon to visit the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery. It’s quiet and secluded; mountain location offers a personalized experience for its guests. A tour of the facility will give beginning anglers key information into their catch and experienced fisherman a chance to look into something new.