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Mountain creek in Arizona closes after wildfire damage to habitat

(Arizona Department of Fish and Game Photo)

SAFFORD, Ariz. — A scenic creek on Mount Graham in southeastern Arizona has been closed temporarily to fishing because of habitat damage caused by a summer wildfire.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department said Frye Creek was closed for evaluation and restoration of Gila trout, a trout species native to Arizona.

The wildfire and later flooding moved ash, sediment and debris through Frye Creek and nearby Ash Creek, and the department says a recent survey didn’t find any fish.

The department said it hoped to reopen Frye Creek to fishing once habitat was suitable for stocking and a population was established.

The department said it helped the population’s recovery prospects that 190 Gila trout were salvaged from the two creeks just before flooding.

Those fish were transported to a federal fish hatchery in New Mexico.

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