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PHOENIX – Arizona anglers are being blessed with an 11-mile trout fishing bonus along the Lower Salt River bordering the Valley of the Sun starting Jan. 22 thanks to plentiful December precipitation and unusual winter runoff in central Arizona that has almost filled the Salt River reservoirs.
Salt River Project plans to release water from Stewart Mountain Dam from now through the end of spring.
Arizona Game and Fish Department officials have jumped on this unexpected opportunity to provide anglers enhanced fishing opportunities along this distinctive desert river bordering the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
“The Lower Salt River is really a unique Arizona fishing experience. Anglers get to experience fishing for trout in a scenic desert river bordering a wilderness area, just minutes from some of the Valley of the Sun’s population centers. There’s nothing else quite like it,” said Fisheries Chief Kirk Young.
On Jan. 22 at around noon to 1 p.m., the Game and Fish Department will be stocking a truck full of feisty rainbow trout into the Lower Salt River at the Water Users and Blue Point areas that can be readily accessed by anglers via Bush Highway.
Be sure you have a current 2009 Arizona fishing license with trout fishing privileges. For those visiting the Valley, there is a special 4-month nonresident fishing license available at a bargain price.
This stretch of river also provides a superb fishing opportunity for those with kayaks, canoes or inflatables. This is the Salt River segment that attracts thousands of tubers in summer.
Young added that this enhanced fishing opportunity along the Lower Salt River is just the leading edge of superb fishing opportunities anglers can expect this year thanks to tremendous snow pack and runoff.
“The stars have truly aligned this year and the potential is there for some phenomenal fishing opportunities,” Young said.
Young explained that record runoff in 2005 in central Arizona resulted in a tremendous age class of fish, especially largemouth bass, that are now large four-year-old, line-stripping lunkers. Last year’s abundant runoff that filled Arizona’s lakes resulted in terrific spawns for both sport-fish and forage fish.
“The bottom line is this year there will be lots of feisty yearling fish to enhance angler catch rates along with lots of larger fish that can make fishing even more exciting. This might indeed be the year anglers will be talking about fondly for years to come,” Young said.
Media note: Come join us as we stock a large truck full of wiggling rainbow trout on Thursday, Jan. 22 at around 12:30 p.m. at the picturesque Water Users area on the Salt River just below Saguaro Lake along Bush Highway. There will be anglers and Game and Fish personnel there to interview about this unexpected fishing bonus. Call Rory Aikens at (623) 236-7214 if you are interested. We are planning to have some kayakers there as well.