HEBER, AZ - Newly created spawning sites at a prized fishery near Heber are expected to help boost the population of wild brown trout.
Volunteers dumped 20 tons of gravel in a 100-foot portion of Canyon Creek in early October. The water velocity and depth made the creek ideal for spawning, which is over statewide until next fall.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department says the project should result in a more resilient trout population and better fishing.
Fisheries program manager Curtis Gill says fish populations had been reduced by half after a particularly hot summer in 2012 that stressed the fish. He says conditions were conducive to spawning but not within 100 yards of the sites where gravel was added.