Spring catfish stockings at urban lakes begin March 19

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March 12th, 2009

The catfish season officially kicks off at all Urban Fishing Program lakes and ponds in the Phoenix and Tucson areas on Thursday, March 19, when those lakes will be stocked with feisty 15- to 20-inch channel catfish.

Beginning with this stocking, nearly 14,000 pounds of Arkansas farm-raised catfish will be delivered and stocked into 20 Urban Fishing Program lakes every two weeks at rates ranging from 40 to 60 fish per acre.

“When we switch to stocking catfish instead of trout each spring, this is one of only two times each year when we announce the exact day of fish stockings to the general public,” says Urban Fishing Program Manager Eric Swanson. “The other time will be when we switch back to trout in late fall.”

Only the week of stockings is publicized when fish are added to urban lakes during the rest of the year.

The usual baits such as worms, stink baits, and shrimp should work well for catching “Mr. Whiskers.” Daily limits are four catfish per person at Urban Lakes or two catfish per person at Urban Ponds (note regulations and park signage for lake and pond designations).

An Urban Fishing license is required to fish urban program lakes and costs $18.50 for residents and nonresidents.

For more information on the Urban Fishing Program, visit www.azgfd.gov/fishing and click on the “urban fishing” link.

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