Gila Trout Identification

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Gila Trout

Illustration by Steven Schalla,, used with permission

The most distinctive characteristics of the Gila Trout are its coppery to yellow body color, and spotting that is limited principally to the upper third of its body (above the lateral line), its well-formed, spotted adipose fin, and profuse spotting on its tail.  Many mature fish will also exhibit a yellow cutthroat mark, and faint parr marks.

Gila Trout have been badly affected by wildfires in recent years, wiping out some aboriginal populations and destroying many restored populations.  Fishing opportunities for wild gila trout are highly restricted.  In recent years, two populations have been established in Arizona.

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