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AZ Game and Fish seeks input on Apache trout project in White Mountains

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced it may remove the Apache trout from the endangered species list.

Now the Arizona Game and Fish Department hopes to move forward with a project to restore the fish in a White Mountain watershed.

The department would like to build new fish barriers and use rotenone, a pesticide that kills fish, to remove nonnative trout from the West Fork of the Black River.

The work will help restore about 44 miles of stream habitat for native species, including the Apache trout.

Phase one of the project would create fish barriers in the upper portion of the stream in 2023.

The second phase would treat a lower portion of the stream in 2024.

The agency will have meetings for public input on the project this week and next.

The first meeting will take place 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Pinetop office, 2878 E. White Mountain Blvd, Pinetop, AZ 85935.

The next meeting will take place 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, in the Quail Room at Arizona Game and Fish Department Headquarters, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.

You can also attend virtually by going to azgfd.gov/webcast.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.