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.
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.
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.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.