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Trout Unlimited Providing $205,000 Grant For Apache Trout Recovery

PHOENIX – Trout Unlimited is providing a $205,000 grant to help recover Arizona’s state fish, the Apache trout, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department is committed to matching the grant dollar-for-dollar.

“Trout Unlimited has made Apache trout restoration one of our top conservation priorities,” said Joseph McGurrin, the national director of resources for Trout Unlimited. “Our members are pleased to be making this investment in a unique American resource and in the development of a valuable national trout fishery.”

Trout Unlimited is the nation's leading coldwater conservation organization with 127,000 members and 450 chapters nationwide working to conserve, protect and restore coldwater fisheries and their watersheds throughout North America.

Arizona Game and Fish Department Director Duane Shroufe said recovering the Apache trout is a top priority for the state. “Arizonans can be proud – their state fish is now poised to become the first native fish in the nation to come off the Endangered Species list. This is history in the making, but we aren’t there yet. There is still much work to be accomplished on the ground,” Shroufe said.

Shroufe emphasizes that the Apache trout recovery effort has been a cooperative endeavor among many partners. “We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the far-sighted actions of the White Mountain Apache Tribe in preserving the pure Apache trout lineages and their ongoing recovery efforts on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.”

Carl Lee, chair of the Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited, said the Apache trout is a great natural symbol of Arizona. “They are as much a part of our heritage as the Grand Canyon and the Sonoran desert. Trout Unlimited wants to help preserve that heritage. Apache trout are also a valuable economic resource.”

Both Lee and McGurrin pointed out the economic benefits of developing a destination fishery around a unique sportfish. “The greenback cutthroat trout supports a multi-million recreational fishery in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. A similar and more extensive fishery also exists for the Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Wyoming. I am confident that Arizona can create a unique fishery that draws anglers from across the country,” McGurrin said.

Shroufe agreed. “The grant itself shows how much national interest we already have on our Apache trout. What a potential boost for the economics our mountain communities and the state. One of our fishery biologists put it elegantly – you can fish for rainbow trout and brown trout just about anywhere in the nation, but the White Mountains are the only place on earth where you can fish for Apache trout.”




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