Located at about 6,500 feet elevation in the Tonto National Forest, the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery is a great place to escape searing desert summer heat, or to frolic in winter snow. The hatchery and surrounding wetland area provide outstanding opportunities for learning adventures and family outings such as picnics, hiking, and observing wildlife.
Recreational Opportunities - Day Use Only:
Visit the Hatchery to learn about fish production and to view wildlife. Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery produces and stocks over 165,000 catchable rainbow trout and 400,000 brook and cutthroat trout each year, plus 150,000 of Arizona's State Fish - the Apache Trout.
Hatchery grounds include the Hatchery operation itself, as well as surrounding wetlands and streams. These habitats are essential to the survival of many types of wildlife in Arizona, providing opportunities for viewing many species, especially birds. The Hatchery is open from 8 am — 4 pm daily, except holidays.
There are no camping facilities at the Hatchery. However, many Forest Service and private camping areas exist along the road into the facility. For more information about camping, contact the Payson Ranger District at (928) 474-7900.
Bird-Watching and Photography:
The Hatchery and surrounding area offer excellent birding habitat.
Though the Hatchery is closed to angling, trout produced in the facilities are stocked in surrounding streams and rivers, including Tonto Creek.
The Hatchery is closed to fishing.
The Hatchery is located about 21 miles east of Payson. Head east out of Payson on Route 260 to Kohl's Ranch. Then turn north onto Tonto Creek Road and follow signs to the Hatchery.