Commission to consider fish regulation changes at October meeting

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October 14th, 2008

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is considering various changes to the 2009-10 fishing regulations during the Saturday portion of its Oct. 10-11 meeting in Phoenix at the department headquarters located at 5000 W. Carefree Highway (just west of I-17).

The Game and Fish Department gathered public input on the proposals by conducting a series of public meetings across the state, meeting with anglers, and gathering input via mail and e-mail. Department staff is in the process of evaluating all those comments and recommendations before making a final recommendation to the commission.

A detailed explanation of the proposed regulation proposals, as they are currently drafted, is available online at www.azgfd.gov. The following is a synopsis of the proposed regulations changes for 2009-10:

  • Reduce the bag and possession limit for trout from six to four (from three to two for unlicensed anglers) at Woodland Lake.
  • Remove bag limits for bass and catfish at Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Black Canyon Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Chevelon Lake, CC Cragin Reservoir (Blue Ridge Reservoir), Knoll Lake, and Long Tom Lake.
  • Extend the fishing closures on the Apache trout recovery waters that include Bear Wallow Creek, Snake Creek, Fish Creek (including tributaries Double Cienega and Corduroy creeks but excluding Ackre Lake), upper East Fork Little Colorado River, Hayground Creek, Conklin Creek, South Fork Little Colorado River, and Stinky Creek to fishing. The closures would remain in effect until population criteria are met for recovering native Apache trout.
  • Establish a one-of-a-kind, catch-and-release only, artificial fly and lure-only fishing season for native roundtail chub on the recently renovated and re-established free-flowing Fossil Creek in the Verde Valley.
  • Allow take of one bass in the slot at Roosevelt Lake. The limit would be changed to six bass, of which no more than one bass between 13 and 16 inches (protected slot limit) in length may be in possession.
  • Allow harvest of striped bass at Lake Pleasant by means of spear fishing.
  • Implement restrictions (reduced bag limit, slot limit or minimum size limit) on harvest of bass at Saguaro, Canyon and/or Apache lakes to aid in the recovery of these lakes from golden alga impacts.

The two-day commission meeting will cover other items as well. Items on the Friday, Oct. 10 portion of the meeting are:

  • An update on progress toward the director’s goals and objectives for 2008.
  • Request for the commission to approve a Notice of Docket Opening and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend Article 6 rules, addressing rules of practice before the commission.
  • A department briefing to the commission on the department’s involvement in Mexican wolf reintroduction in Arizona and New Mexico and related Mexican wolf recovery and conservation issues.
  • Request for the commission to approve the Article 1 Five-Year Rule Review Report on definitions and general provisions for filing with the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council.
  • Hearings on license revocations for violation of Game and Fish codes and civil assessments for the illegal taking and/or possession of wildlife.

Items on the Saturday, Oct. 11 agenda (in addition to the fish orders) are:

  • Request for the commission to adopt the department’s proposal for commission orders 25 (raptors), 41 (amphibians), 42 (crustaceans and mollusks), and 43 (reptiles), establishing open areas, season dates, and bag and possession limits for 2009 and 2010.
  • A department briefing to the commission on the cost estimates to move the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center to the Deer Valley South property and the costs for individual animal enclosures.

The commission may vote to take action on, or provide the department direction on, the above items and other items on the agenda.

The public is invited to attend. For a complete meeting agenda, visit www.azgfd.gov/commission and click on the “commission agenda” link.

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