Santa Cruz Watershed
The Santa Cruz is an international watershed covering 8,200 square miles in south central Arizona and 400 square miles (5%) in northern Sonora, Mexico. The Santa Cruz River originates in the Canelo Hills area of San Raphael Valley, flows south into Mexico before looping north into Arizona once again 5-miles east of Nogales, Arizona. The river and its tributaries support over 22 threatened or endangered species, including birds, fish, reptiles, and plants in essential cottonwood-willow riparian habitat.
The Santa Cruz River watershed provides important habitat and resources for numerous native aquatic species, while also providing abundant opportunities for sport fishing and recreation.
Explore the Santa Cruz Watershed Interactive Map to learn more about how the Arizona Game and Fish Department will manage waters within the watershed, to balance public demand for recreational fishing with native aquatic species conservation and recovery. Within the Santa Cruz River watershed, 99% of stream miles were identified for native aquatic species and 99% of lake and pond surface acres were identified for sport fish recreation. Due to the isolated locations and lack of connectivity within the watershed where native species occur, there is very little overlap between native and sportfish species management.
This map will be updated as new information becomes available.