Winter Fishing Forecast is out

Our winter fishing forecast is out.

This comprehensive source of fishing information includes detailed regional reports and ratings for the winter season (through February).

See the reports by region.

Start 2020 off right and help us drop Christmas trees into Bartlett Lake.

We’re looking for volunteers on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 3-4, and Saturday Jan. 11 to install these used Christmas trees that will help ensure robust fish populations at this Tonto National Forest impoundment. We’ll be starting at 8:30 a.m. each day from the yellow cliffs boat ramp.

A Tonto Pass will not be required for those who volunteer.

Just bring a pair of gloves, your own Christmas tree if you’d like (as long as it’s real and decoration-free) and help conserve sport-fishing opportunities for future generations!

Contact Bryant Dickens at 623-236-7593 if you have any questions.

UPDATE: This project has been completed and the hatchery is again open.

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department will be closing to the public the Silver Creek Fish Hatchery, located in Show Low, on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

This closure is necessary for public safety and to allow for replacement of a culvert.

For more information, contact the hatchery at 928-537-7513.

Invasive New Zealand mudsnails discovered in Oak Creek and AZGFD hatcheries near Cornville

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has confirmed the presence of New Zealand mudsnails, an aquatic invasive species, in AZGFD’s Page Springs Fish Hatchery.

Through environmental DNA technology, AZGFD believes wildlife may have introduced the mudsnails from Oak Creek to the Page Springs Fish Hatchery and is conducting surveys to determine the source location. At this time, no adults have been detected in Oak Creek or other nearby locations.

As a result, stockings from Page Springs have been halted, yet AZGFD has been purchasing fish from out-of-state vendors to ensure most waters scheduled to be stocked do indeed receive trout. See the latest trout stocking schedule, or visit AZGFD’s Fish AZ site for reports and updates.

Great opportunities for anglers also remain in Community Fishing Program waters — some were stocked this week with rainbow trout.

Stockings from Page Springs will resume as soon as AZGFD implements a process to ensure New Zealand mudsnails are not transported through stockings. AZGFD on Oct. 9 discovered New Zealand mudsnails in two Page Springs Fish Hatchery raceways during a routine invasive species survey at the hatchery. AZGFD continues to sample more areas and is conducting a treatment in an effort to eradicate the mudsnails from the facility.

The New Zealand mudsnail is an invasive snail that is ovoviviparous (live bearing) and parthenogenic (reproduces asexually). These snails were first found in Arizona in 2002 below Lake Powell in Lees Ferry, and then progressively moved downstream through the Grand Canyon and into Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. Since 2008, they have been known to inhabit the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery.

New Zealand mudsnails are currently listed in Director’s Orders 1, 2 and 3. Please remember to clean, drain, and dry your equipment and gear after every fishing trip.

Read more about aquatic invasive species in Arizona.

UPDATE: As of Wednesday, Dec. 11, the U.S. Forest Service had turned off the Highway 89A hydrant near Pine Flat Campground for water quality testing. Results were expected to be available on Friday, Dec. 13 and the water at the highway hydrant was projected to be turned on Saturday, Dec. 14.

PHOENIX — Arizona Game and Fish Department will temporarily shut down the water system servicing some of the upper Oak Creek users Dec. 5-7 in order to conduct repairs to the Sterling Spring Fish Hatchery delivery system.

The water system shutdown will impact the Pine Flats Subdivision, Manresa Resort, Pine Flat Campground and the public water faucet along state Route 89A.

The water service is expected to be operational Sunday. The repairs are being conducted in order to complete a renovation process that has been ongoing for the past year.

 


Stay tuned for more family fishing events.

PHOENIX —The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds boaters to “clean, drain and dry” – and especially decontaminate — their watercraft and equipment before exiting listed waters containing aquatic invasive species (AIS).

This reminder is particularly important for out-of-town visitors who moor their boats at AIS-affected waters and are preparing to head out of state.

Boaters are required to comply with all AIS regulations of the respective states in which they are traveling, as well as those of their final destination. Many states require that watercraft must stop for inspection, which may include both motorized and non-motorized boats. If you see signs that indicate that an inspection station is open, please stop and have your watercraft inspected.

To ensure a smooth process at inspection stations while traveling, AZGFD has authorized providers to perform free inspections and decontaminations for those with boats that have been on AIS-infested waters.

Fill out a decontamination request or call the Department’s AIS Program at (623) 236-7608. We recommend scheduling 2-3 weeks in advance of departure for best availability.

Most of the waters in the western U.S. are free from invasive zebra and quagga mussels due to watercraft inspection and decontamination programs. The potential economic and recreational impact of invasion in these places would be devastating to the west. “As boaters, it is crucial to take responsibility and to have your boat inspected and decontaminated to protect the places that we love,” AZGFD Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator Erin Raney said. “It’s a big job, but with everyone pitching in, we can stop the spread of AIS into new waters.”

Aquatic Invasive Species are non-native species that are often unintentionally introduced by human movement. They do not have predators outside of their native range, and are able to outcompete native species. These animals, plants, and even pathogens that cause disease in native wildlife can be invisible to the naked eye, making them even more difficult to control. Once introduced, they can alter and disrupt ecosystems, and cost millions of dollars to keep water and power infrastructure clear for delivery. These infestations directly affect your wallet by increasing the cost of water and power.

Stop the spread of AIS and keep our waters clean and beautiful for ourselves and future generations. Under Arizona law, boaters slipped and moored for 6 or more consecutive days must schedule an inspection and decontamination before transport. All watercraft and equipment leaving an AIS listed water must always use the steps below when leaving that waterbody.

  • Clean boats, waders, anchors, and equipment, by removing mud, plants, and attached animals such as snails.
  • Drain all residual water from engines and motors, ballast tanks, live wells, and bait wells. Pull your bilge plug(s) and leave out during transport.
  • Dry all equipment that gets wet such as life jackets, ropes, buoys, etc.

See more information on Arizona’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program. For interstate travel, be sure to contact your local state AIS authorities for any additional questions on local regulation compliance.

Gila trout, one of two trout species native to Arizona, are being restored to the Mt. Graham area. A major step was taken Monday when AZGFD, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and volunteers from Trout Unlimited and the University of Arizona backpacked 250 Gila trout into Frye Creek.

All Gila trout in this area were lost during the aftermath of the 2017 Frye Fire, a major setback to a recovery effort that began in 2009.

The creek remains closed to fishing.

See video of the stocking.

Arizona State Parks now plans to close the main boat ramp at Alamo Lake Nov. 30-mid Dec. Dates are subject to change. Cholla Ramp will remain open and is fully functional.

ASP had planned the closure for Nov. 1-25 to allow for dam repairs.

PHOENIX — Arizona Game and Fish Department will temporarily shut down the water system servicing some of the upper Oak Creek users Oct. 21-22 in order to conduct repairs to the Sterling Spring Fish Hatchery delivery system.

The water system shutdown will impact the Pine Flats Subdivision, Manresa Resort, Pine Flat Campground and the public water faucet along state Route 89A.

The water service is expected to be operational Oct. 23. The repairs are being conducted in order to complete a renovation process that has been ongoing for the past year.

For questions regarding this project call, David Fox, Sterling Springs Fish Hatchery manager, at (928) 282-3643.

Pleasant Harbor July_Sept 2016