Arizona Game and FIsh Department - Managing Today for Wildlife Tomorrow: Arizona Game and Fish Department

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Additional Hatcheries pages
- Bubbling Ponds
- Silver Creek
- Canyon Creek
- Tonto Creek
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- General Hatchery FAQs


Q. What days are you open and what are your hours of business?
A. We are open 7 days a week and only closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas unless there are special
activities that may alter the schedule. Visiting hours are typically from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Q. Do you give tours to the public?
A. Yes, but we prefer that folks call in advance to schedule a tour. If people are visiting we will answer their questions if it does not interfere with existing activities.

Q. How long does it take for the fish to bite after you stock them?
A. Fish often start biting immediately. The fish are typically not fed for about 24 hours before distribution and if they are not stressed, they can bite immediately.

Q. Where do you get the eggs and how long does it take for them to hatch?
A. All our eggs are shipped in from federal, state, or private facilities from around the west from places such as Utah, Colorado, California and Montana. The eggs come to us wrapped in damp paper towels in insulated boxes chilled with ice. They are about 30 days old and come in shipments of 200,000 to 500,000 and typically arrive by overnight delivery. They are then water hardened, disinfected, counted and placed in jars to hatch, which takes a week to 10 days.

Q. How often and what do you feed the fish?
A. Fish are fed as many times as it takes to add 5 percent of their body weight in feed. The smallest fish are generally fed
hourly. By the time they are ready to be stocked as catchables, feeding may only be once a day. Fish are fed a soybean and, alfalfa based feed that includes all necessary minerals and vitamins. It is a floating low phosphate feed that reduces outflow waste standards to meet Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

Q. How do you transport the fish to the lakes and streams?
A. The fish are transported in fiberglass tanks mounted on large trucks but when necessary, we will use rafts, horses, milk cans, backpack cans, and helicopters.

Q. Can I fish at the hatchery?
A. No. All hatcheries are closed to fishing. However there are areas adjacent to several of the hatcheries that are open to fishing; i.e. section along the west bank of Oak Creek, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek and Tonto Creek below the hatcheries.

Q. Why are there restricted areas in the hatchery?
A. Hatcheries are working farms with moving equipment and areas that are not conducive to a normally safe environment. The public is provided access to areas that provide a typical representation of our operations.


Sterling Springs Hatchery

Q. Is this the place where I can bring my kids fishing?
A. No, this is a trout hatchery operated by Arizona Game and Fish Department; we supply fish for state waterways. The place you are looking for is Rainbow Trout Farm, a privately owned and operated fishing pond. It is located about two miles north of Sedona on Highway 89A. Their phone number is (928) 282-3379.

Q. When and where do you guys stock Oak Creek?
A. Oak Creek is stocked by Page Springs Hatchery during March through December. The creek is stocked wherever the hatchery truck can safely get off the roadway. Fish are hand carried in buckets to pools and deeper water all the way up the canyon ending at Pine Flat Campground.

Q. Where are the big fish?
A. Sterling Springs is a fingerling station; it receives egg shipments from many vendors and raises fish to the
fingerling stage, which is approximately 3 inches. The fish are then either stocked out as fingerlings or transferred to Page Springs Hatchery for grow out to catchable size (9.5 inches).

Updated April 2010


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