About Us

Arizona Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office is part of a network of field stations located throughout the nation that works to conserve fish and aquatic resources. Over 300 biologists from the Arctic Circle to the Florida Keys monitor and control invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

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; protect imperiled species; evaluate native fish stocks and their habitats; and work with our partners to solve problems.

Since 1956, the Arizona Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office has worked throughout the state and beyond on projects to monitor and conserve native fish species and aquatic habitats in the American Southwest. We have three offices, each with its own species and ecosystem focus. From the Flagstaff office, we work on the conservation and recovery of native fish in the Colorado River through Grand Canyon with an emphasis on the endangered Humpback Chub. Our Whiteriver office, which is co-located with the Alchesay National Fish Hatchery in Whiteriver, primarily focuses on Apache Trout recovery in the eastern part of the state, assistance to the Tribes for recreational fisheries and native fish conservation and habitat restoration through our Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. From our Parker office, which is co-located with the Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge, we work on conservation efforts on the Lower Colorado River with an emphasis on Razorback Sucker and Bonytail Chub and conduct water quality monitoring on important fish habitat in Arizona. 

Our Mission

AZFWCO'S mission is to “work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and other aquatic organisms and their habitats in Arizona.” Our daily activities are driven by 3 primary focus areas or goals and include Aquatic Species Conservation and Management, Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Management, and Cooperation with Native American Tribes. AZFWCO is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's lead station for recovery of threatened and endangered fish including Apache trout and Little Colorado spinedace, and also works with loach minnow, Gila topminnow, and the “big river” fish such as razorback sucker, humpback chub, and bonytail that inhabit the Colorado River . Our recovery efforts include renovating streams and other aquatic habitats inhabited by non-native fish species that out-compete and often prey upon native fish. Additional efforts include constructing barriers to prevent upstream migration of non-native species, replicating native fish populations into suitable habitat (either natural or man-made), restoring fish passage fish passage
Fish passage is the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move freely throughout their life to find food, reproduce, and complete their natural migration cycles. Millions of barriers to fish passage across the country are fragmenting habitat and leading to species declines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program is working to reconnect watersheds to benefit both wildlife and people.

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to previously inaccessible habitat, and monitoring native fish populations. In addition to conserving and recovering Arizona 's native fish, we were committed to devoting resources to the many Native American Tribes in Arizona by providing technical fishery assistance in support of the conservation and management of Tribal recreational fishing programs and non-game, native fish.

Our History

The AZFWCO, formerly named Pinetop Fishery Assistance Office, was established in the late 1950s in Springerville, Arizona. In the early 1960s, the office moved to Pinetop, Arizona, where it later incorporated the Parker Fishery Assistance Office, which was established in 1962. Two satellite offices were later added to AZFWCO, one on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, established in 1988, and one in Flagstaff, Arizona, established in 1991.

Other Facilities in this Complex

Our Whiteriver office is co-located with the Alchesay National Fish Hatchery.

Our Parker office is located on the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge.