Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Gila Trout





The Gila Trout is a conservation success story.  While doing some reading up on all the different types of trout that inhabit the waters of North America, I came across the Gila.  A relative of the Apache Trout, the Gila had lived most of the last century on the edge of extinction.  In 2006 that changed when it was downgraded to a threatened species.  The more I read into this species, the more I appreciated just what it took to restore this trout to a healthy population.
Through the efforts of anglers, scientists, and the government it is now legal to pursue this special trout with a fly rod and as long as anglers obey the rules established to protect it, this trout will be around for our children's children to enjoy.
This is the first time I have ever looked into the history of the Gila and after a brief Google search I was able to see just how much color this trout sports.  It truly is a beautiful fish and a worthy species to protect.
This New Mexico and Arizona native once had a range through most of the Gila river and its tributaries but in the late 60's their range had shrunk to a mere 20 miles.  Today they now enjoy a healthier habitat in over a dozen protected streams near and including the native Gila River.
The average length of this trout is around a foot but can reach sizes similar to its trout relatives of close to twenty two inches.  Whatever the length, it would be a joy to hook into one of these special trout. Solid conservation projects like protecting this trout are efforts every angler can support.
"Gila Trout"
Watercolor On Paper

4 comments:

Jim Yaussy Albright said...

Love this, and the Paiute. You catch trout in a way I wish I could. Thanks.

Brk Trt said...

Well done.
Doing tribute to these trout, in your special way.

HighPlainsFlyFisher said...

Seeing those fish come alive on your canvas really makes me wish I had a talent like that...pretty amazing to see what you can do with a blank slate.

AYearOnTheFly said...

Jim, Brk, and HPD - thanks for the kind words and the comments. I'm glad that there is this forum to share works like this.