PINETOP, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) will hold public meetings in Pinetop on Oct. 20 and Phoenix on Oct. 24 regarding proposed rotenone treatments to remove nonnative fish and restore approximately 44 miles of stream habitat for native aquatic species conservation, including Apache trout, in the West Fork Black River Watershed.
The meetings will be held at:
Pinetop: Thursday, Oct. 20, 6 p.m. (in person meeting only; not webcast)
AZGFD Pinetop regional office, 2878 E White Mountain Blvd, Pinetop, AZ 85935
Phoenix: Monday, Oct. 24, 6 p.m. (in person and also webcast at www.azgfd.gov/webcast) Arizona Game and Fish Department Headquarters, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Quail Room, Phoenix, AZ 85086
The proposed project would be conducted in two phases. The first phase, tentatively proposed for June 2023, would treat the portion of the upper West Fork Black River upstream of two protective fish barriers to the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR)/Apache Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF) boundary, Thompson Creek upstream to the FAIR/ASNF boundary, and Burro Creek.
The second phase, tentatively proposed for June 2024, would treat the portion of the West Fork Black River from the uppermost barrier to the lower barrier near the confluence with the East Fork Black River and its major tributaries: Hayground, Home, and Stinky creeks.
Apache trout would be restored to the West Fork Black River and its tributaries as soon as possible to minimize the loss of angling opportunities. There would be no angling closures outside of the proposed implementation windows of the proposed treatment.
The public is invited to attend either meeting to learn more about the project and ask any questions of project staff.