Jun 29, 2012 12:19 PM

Gila trout flown to Mt. Graham from New Mexico wildfire area

TUCSON - This isn't your typical "fish out of water" story - about 200 Gila trout salvaged from within the burned area of the Whitewater-Baldy Fire in New Mexico have been transported to Mt. Graham Wednesday.

The fish were collected from Spruce Creek Tuesday and flown by helicopter out of the wilderness, and were then trucked to Mount Graham, in the Coronado National Forest, according to a news release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Another 100 were trucked to the Mora National Fish Hatchery in Albuquerque. All the fish survived.

It was likely that the fish would died when ash, soil and fire debris choke Spruce Creek following the summer rains, the release states.

To date, the Whitewater-Baldy Fire has burned 297,845 acres and is now 87 percent contained.
The Gila trout was down-listed to threatened status from endangered in 2006.

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