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December 22nd, 2008

Two brown pelicans have been seen at Urban Fishing Program lakes recently.  One pelican stayed at Papago Park in Phoenix over three weeks establishing a reputation as a fish thief.  Anglers reported watching the large bird swoop from the palm trees to dive and catch up to five or six trout a day.  On one occasion, the pelican flew towards some anglers and grabbed a stringer of three trout right in front of them and took off swallowing the fish and the stringer!  Other anglers complained about the pelican aggressively chasing trout as they tried to reel them in.  The pelican has since been removed by a wildlife rescue group.  A second brown pelican was recently observed at Sahuarita Lake, eating more trout.  If the fish gobbling bird doesn’t leave soon, wildlife officials will have the bird removed and relocated to the California coast to join the Papago Park fish thief.


  1. barbara dumbauld on December 22nd, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    we have a pelican fishing in Arrowhead lakes. Landed last week. Anyone know who to call for rescue?

  2. We spent Sunday, 01/11/09, fishing at Lakeside Lake, a surburban pond located in Tucson, AZ. All afternoon we watched a Brown Pelican catch and eat trout. It was totally unafraid of locals on the lake in small boats and certainly not bothered by people fishing from the shore.

    A strange sight if nothing else.

  3. Lakeside – 1/13/09 – the pelican is averaging 6 trout per hour now… Someone needs to send him back to the coast.

  4. Yes, but did YOU catch any fish? What kind? On what?

  5. can you fish at arrowhead lakes? does anyone know

  6. Arrowhead lakes and bodies of water in other subdivisions are not public waters, they are private, so you must abide by whatever rules they might have in place. From my experience, most do not allow angling by the general public, but only by those living there.

  7. There has been a large brown pelican at the lake at Pacana Park in Maricopa the last couple of weeks.

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