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Desert bighorn sheep-watching cruise with Arizona Game and Fish

Posted June 14, 2017

June 23 evening natural history session at Game and Fish Mesa office and June 24 morning viewing cruise on Canyon Lake


(APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz.) — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), in partnership with the Dolly Steamboat and the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, is offering a two-part opportunity to view and learn about desert bighorns, one of Arizona’s most fascinating native mammals.

Desert bighorn sheep are true icons of the wild American Southwest, thriving in some of Arizona’s steepest canyons and most rugged mountain ranges. In addition to hosting a pre-viewing workshop in Mesa on Friday evening, the department offers a unique opportunity to view these magnificent animals on Saturday during a specialist-led cruise aboard the Dolly Steamboat on Canyon Lake, in an area virtually inaccessible except by boat.

“During the heat of early summer, just before the monsoon hits, water is a scarce commodity in bighorn country. This makes mid-June the best time of year to view young lambs and family groups coming down to the lakeshore to drink,” says John Dickson, AZGFD wildlife manager in the Canyon Lake District.

The Dolly Steamboat offers both open-air decks and air-conditioned viewing areas during the 3-hour cruise. Bald eagles, deer, and other wildlife are often also seen on Canyon Lake from the boat. The special event is broken up into two days—a morning cruise and a pre-cruise evening informational workshop (optional).