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December 12th, 2007

URBAN LAKES – Trout stocking is scheduled for the week of Dec. 10-15 in the Phoenix, Tucson and Payson Urban Lakes.

As the 2007 year comes to a close, so does your chance to get one of your big fish into the record books. The 2007 Urban Fishing Program Big Fish-of-the-Year contest has one month to go. Some big fish have been reported already such as an 8.0 pound catfish, a 9.6 pound bass and a 3.9 pound trout. There is also a category for catch and release fish that requires only a picture and the total length of the fish.  Some of the more remarkable catch-and-release entries for 2007 include a 26 inch catfish and a 35 inch white amur. Some fish species have no entries so far including: bluegill, tilapia, carp or crappie. To enter the contest, use forms found in the Urban or Arizona Fishing regulations.  Check out the big fish entry status and information at www.azgfd.gov.

Don’t forget the 2007 Class U Urban fishing licenses will be available at half price for $9.25 until Dec. 31, 2007.  License dealers may be unfamiliar with this so bring your fishing regulations if they need verification.
A lightweight pole with 4- to 6-pound test line is optimum. The lighter the line, the better the sensitivity and the trout won’t see the line as easily. Another FYI for trout fishing in general, the more flexible rod you have the least likely you are to rip the lip of the trout.  This is a function of the low test line and the rod “giving” as opposed to the trout’s lip ripping. Setting the hook real hard isn’t a real good idea with trout; you end up loosing your fish.  

Don’t forget the 2007 Class U Urban fishing licenses will be available at half price for $9.25 through Dec. 31. 

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Next week, Dec. 17-21, we will stock 4,000 trout in Tempe Town Lake.  We already stocked 4000 during the week of Dec. 3-7.  This is great trout-fishing weather.

As a general rule, fish seem to like hanging out in the shallower portion of the lake from Scottsdale/Rural road over towards the east.  Throw out a night crawler and bump it along the bottom in the shallow areas.  This spat of colder weather should be the bite going.
LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1657 ft which is 54-percent full. 

Some diehard fishermen are reporting some good fishing for whites, stripers and largemouth using X-Raps and jerkbaits in shallow water to about 20 feet.  Fish are pretty active in the debris from inflows. Don’t forget, the bald eagle closure on the Agua Fria arm of the lake starts Dec. 15. The county has closed the access into the Agua Fria Arm from Table Mesa Road.

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake Elevation is 2,106 ft (51-percent full). There are some reports of good crappie fishing at the Tonto end of the lake using jigs. Most are 15 to 20 feet deep. Another report states some trolling success on the Salt end of the lake for crappie and bass. This may be the leading edge of the good winter crappie fishing.

APACHE – Lake elevation is 1,909 which is 95-percent full. I talked to the nice folks at the Apache Lake Marina and Resort and they said fishing is picking up at Apache Lake.  Don’t forget we stocked some real nice looking smallmouth about a month ago and they like to key in on the tasty morsels coming down the washes and runnels. This is a good time to go after yellow bass using small spinners and KastMasters (think gold). The trout fishing should be pretty good too.

Approximately 6,346 Largemouth bass were stocked in Apache two weeks ago at various locations on the lake with suitable largemouth bass habitat.  They were marked with coded wire tags so we can tell if they are stocked fish or naturally reproduced fish.  I would like to thank all the fishermen that helped with the stocking.  The fish came from Arkansas and were in good condition.

Just another reminder, thousands of rainbow trout were stocked at the main launch and at Burnt Coral Nov. 6-8, from Canyon Creek Hatchery and Tonto Hatchery.  The water temperature at the time of stocking was 60 F and the pH was 8.  They averaged around 6,5 – 7.5 inches from Canyon Creek and a little smaller from Tonto.  Although the trout are a little small for the frying pan, I’m sure they are getting the bass and walleye a little excited.  Try throwing out some “trout looking lures” to nab the big ones.  Also don’t forget the yellow bass in Apache. . . they like to hang near the drop offs at the points.  Try KastMasters and spoons.    

CANYON – Closed to boaters – lake elevation is 1,610 which is 34-percent full. The lake level was lowered for routine work on the dam. Come join us this weekend to build Pisces pyramids (fish structure) on the exposed lake bottom. The lake will open to the public around January 26th, 2008 unless this last batch of storms set them back. 

Canyon Lake received approximately 3,080 largemouth bass a couple weeks ago; they were marked with coded wire tags to differentiate them from naturally spawned fish.

Canyon Lake habitat installation was put on hold this last weekend due to inclement weather.  We hope to have a big push Saturday the 15th and if we have enough volunteers, we will work Sunday as well.  Due to the rainy weather, the Forest Service hasn’t been able to cut the trees needed for the “Pices Pyramids.”  Hopefully the ground will dry out enough so the trees can be cut and hauled to our site before Canyon Lake starts filling up again. If you can help, give Natalie Robb a call (480) 324-3541.

Work duties will involve moving construction materials, tree limbs (if we get them), cement blocks and pallets from a fenced storage yard to the lakeshore nearby, then transport of these materials across the lake to the pre-selected habitat development sites.  Items will then be off loaded lakeside and materials will need to be moved to the exact location for actual construction.  There will be some light-duty machinery available for moving materials to and from the shoreline, but a majority of items will need to be moved by hand due to the proximity and loading weight of the pontoon boats/barges involved. 

The “Pisces pyramids” are formed by stacking three pallets together to form tee-pee shaped structures on the dry lakebed. Cement blocks will are added as weight to the center of the tee-pee and finally trees and or tree limbs will be affixed to the sides of the pyramids.  All materials will be attached together using 2-3 foot zip-tie straps and structures will be secured to the lake bottom using galvanized cable to ensure that the pyramids will not float off site once the lake rises.   

Work hours will be from 8 a.m. to about 4 p.m.  Volunteers are asked to bring their own beverages, meals and appropriate clothes to suit the weather.  AGFD will have gloves available at the work site in addition to bottled water. Most gloves we have are large, so if you use small gloves you might want to bring your own.

Your volunteer time and effort not only helps build new habitat for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, black crappie and channel catfish and so on, but also counts as “match” for the Department to receive more Federal Sportfish Restoration dollars.  

SAGUARO – Lake elevation 1,526 feet at 95-percent full. With all the driftwood and other debris on the water, some fishermen were throwing frogs and they did real well catching a lot of the small bass.  A big bass was caught using a 1/12-ounce KastMaster, but they’re great for yellow bass too.   Spoons are hauling in the yellow bass and largemouth bass as well.

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,760 ft which is 52-percent full. Fishermen are reporting fishing success using crankbait. Watch out for possible floating debris from the much-needed runoff.

HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 2,000 feet which is 46-percent full! This might make a decent waterfowl-attracting area.

VERDE RIVER  – Verde River flow at Tangle is 3,277 cubic feet per second (cfs) and its 168 cfs at Camp Verde

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 3,160 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 1,463 cfs – that’s high runoff for winter time.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Trout are being stocked at Phon D Sutton and Granite Reef.  Try some Power Bait or worms.  Due to the article in the paper, I’ve received a lot of inquiries about how to get to Granite Reef and Phon D Sutton, but no-one called or e-mailed me to let me know how they did.  With the water so high, I imagine it was interesting. 

CREEKS – All still flowing pretty high. Rainy weather and lots of runoff isn’t the greatest for fly-fishing on the creeks, but my contact at Arizona Fly Fishing says that once the flows go down a bit, fishing should pick up.   


One Response to “CENTRAL ARIZONA”

  1. to get to phone d sutto or granit reef just head down power north and youll run into the river its off the left side of the road when your headed to saguaro its not to far

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