Although Gila and Apache trout, along with Mexican golden trout, are closely related, they represent a long-isolated lineage of western North American trouts according to Robert Behnke (Behnke, Robert J., Trout and Salmon of North America, New York, 2002., pages 123 - 129).
Despite long isolation, Apache trout are quite similar to rainbow, brown, and brook trout in terms of thermal tolerance and habitat preferences. Like the cutthroat and the rainbow, the Gila and Apache trout spawn in the spring. The Gila and Apache share more similarities with rainbow trout than with cutthroat trout.
The historic range of the Apache Trout is restricted
to just a few watersheds in east-central Arizona, while
the Gila Trout is found only in the tributaries of the
Gila River in Arizona and New Mexico.