The Arizona Game and Fish Commission approved creating the country’s first-ever blue ribbon catch-and-release-only seasonal roundtail chub fishery along Fossil Creek in the Verde Valley starting in October of 2009.
When the decommissioning of the Childs Hydroelectric Power Plant and accompanying renovation of Fossil Creek was first proposed, many anglers and angling groups expressed support for the project, but asked that the stream not be closed permanently to angling.
With the stream recovery progressing well, the Arizona Game and Fish Department gained the commission’s approval to create a catch-and-release artificial fly and lure-only (single barbless hook) fishery with a season opening the first Saturday in October and continuing through April 30.
The timing of the fishing season was selected to reduce the chance of conflicts between anglers and other users during the summer months.
Lots of Arizona anglers along the Verde River over the years have learned to appreciate the angling qualities of roundtail chub, and have long referred to them as Verde trout.