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Wildlife News: June 1, 2018

Posted June 1, 2018

Bear activity on the increase statewide
The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds everyone to be Bear Aware, following separate incidents where habituated bears became a public safety threat and needed to be humanely euthanized under department policy. Read more

Understanding AZGFD’s response to human-wildlife conflicts
As drought conditions continue in Arizona there has been an increase in bear activity throughout the state. AZGFD livestreamed a news conference on May 31 to address the topic and explain how and why officers respond to these situations. At the heart of the issue is the need for the public to not feed wildlife. Watch the video on Facebook

Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 2
You can fish Arizona waters for free on Saturday, June 2, making this an ideal time to take the family out for some fun and relaxing outdoor recreation. During that Saturday only, no fishing licenses are required for persons fishing any public waters in Arizona. Read more

AZGFD works to protect native turtles
Every year, hundreds of unwanted pet turtles are released into the lagoon at Phoenix Zoo and at other community lakes all over Arizona by their owners. From May 18-20, AZGFD biologists worked in the lagoon outside the zoo’s main entrance to lure turtles into baited hoop nets in an effort to remove nonnative turtles from the area and turn them over to the Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group. Cristina Jones, AZGFD’s state turtle biologist, explained the goal of the event and how these released pet turtles can negatively impact native species. Watch the video on Facebook

Going boating? Designate a sober operator
If time on the lake is part of your summer plans, stay safe by always designating a sober operator if alcohol is being consumed on your boat. Although the legal limit for operating a boat in Arizona is a .08 blood-alcohol concentration, an operator is in violation of the law and may be prosecuted for operating a watercraft while impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol and/or drugs. Read more

Tonto Creek, Canyon Creek state hatcheries temporarily closed
AZGFD’s Tonto Creek and Canyon Creek hatcheries located in Tonto National Forest are temporarily closed to the public until further notice. The closure was enacted in support of the Tonto National Forest closure, which was prompted by extreme fire conditions. Read more

Stay updated on fire restrictions and closures
Before heading out, make sure the area you’re planning to visit is open and find out about any fire restrictions. For current information, check the websites for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Tonto National Forest and Kaibab National Forest.