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Big Lake

Apache County, Arizona

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Big Lake

Apache County, AZ - Big Lake is considered one of the White Mountains' best fishing lakes, because of its size, productivity and visitor amenities. As with most trout waters in Arizona, catch rates are best in spring, during late April and May after the winter ice thaws, and gets better later in the summer and into fall until freezing over again in late November. Big Lake is located in Apache County and managed by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

Situated at 9,000 feet (2,700 m) in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Big Lake is located about 30 miles (48 km) south of Springerville and Eagar, accessed by paved road via Highways 260 and 261, and is approximately one hours drive from Pinetop using Highways 260 and 273 and Forest Road 113. Access is restricted in the winter when roads are closed due to snow, generally December to early April. In January, the normal high temperature is 44F with a normal low temperature of 14F. In July, the normal high temperature is 73F with a normal low temperature of 45F.

Big Lake has 450 acres (180 ha), with an average depth of 16 feet (4.9 m). Primary fish species here include rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout, with an occasional Apache trout, Arizona's official state fish. Each year, the Department stocks an average of 200,000 fingerling (three inch) and 50,000 subcatchable (six inch) trout. Most of these are rainbows. Catchable-sized Apache trout are sometimes stocked during hot summer months as water conditions deteriorate at other lakes. Fish species include Rainbow, Apache trout, Brook & Cutthroat.


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