Silver Creek Hatchery is located east of Show Low about 5 miles on Highway 60. Turn north off 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Way Road. Turn east on Hatchery Way Road for 1/2 mile to the facility.
Silver Creek Hatchery was purchased by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission in 1978. Improvements have been made to the property by adding staff housing and office space. The site was previously owned by the Bourdon family, and the old ranch home still exists on the property; however, repeated flood damage and structure weathering caused much of the building to become unstable. Thus, the ranch home is not open to the public for safety reasons.
The facility includes an 840-acre wildlife area that is open to the public for fishing and hunting. This is a popular destination and has opportunities for viewing all forms of wildlife. There is an established trail along the creek, but during wet weather the area is extremely muddy. Use caution while traversing the hatchery property.
The hatchery is the primary facility for growing & stocking Apache trout, which are one of the state’s two native trout species (the other is the endangered Gila trout). The only place Apache trout can be caught in the world is the White Mountains of Arizona. Silver Creek is a small hatchery, producing about 80,000 catchable sized Apache trout each year. Apache trout are stocked into selected streams and lakes in the White Mountains, including Silver Creek, the East Fork of the Black River, West Fork of the Black River, Sheeps Crossing on the Little Colorado River, and the Little Colorado River at Greer.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SILVER CREEK:
Fishing opportunities on the hatchery property are split into two seasons. There is a catch-and-keep season where natural baits may be used from April 1 to September 30th and a catch-and-release season from October 1 to March 31 where only artificial flies/lures and barbless hooks are allowed. There are several fishing clinics held here annually. To schedule a guided tour or a fishing clinic, please contact the hatchery manager at 928-537-7513.
Silver Creek Hatchery is scheduled to be renovated in autumn 2010. A new fish rearing facility will be constructed on the property. The new facility will have far greater technology so that Arizona’s native fish, the Apache trout, can continue to be successfully cultured and reintroduced into Arizona’s waterways.
Phone Number and Hours of Operation: 928-537-7513. Open from dawn to dusk 7 days a week except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is a public toilet for use at the visitor parking area.
Silver Creek Hatchery FAQs
Q. What are the special regulations for fishing Silver Creek?
A. Catch and release starts October 1 and ends April 1. During this time, it is fly and lures only, barbless hooks, and fish must be released. Consult the current Arizona state fishing regulations for additional information.
Q. Which areas are closed during the catch-and-keep season.
A. After the catch and release season ends (April 1), we remove the special regulatory signs and reestablish the closed hatchery boundary area. Consult the current Arizona state fishing regulations for additional information.
Q. Can we hunt on Silver Creek Wildlife Area?
A. The public is allowed to hunt on Silver Creek for what is available, provided the hunter has the proper license, tags, and stamps. Small game such as cottontail, mourning dove, waterfowl and big game such as elk, deer and antelope can be found seasonally on the property. All regulations are strictly enforced with no shooting within a quarter mile of residences. Consult the current Arizona state hunting regulations for additional information.
Q. Why do you raise Apache trout instead of rainbow trout?
A. To give anglers an opportunity to catch and keep native Apache trout and stock them back into the areas where they were historically found.
Updated April 2010