Category: A Day in the Field

Learn how fisheries biologist manage, maintain, and enhance sport fish in Arizona.

Palo Verde and Cibola Divisions the Colorado River Flathead Catfish Survey

Conditions in both the Palo Verde and Cibola Divisions of the Colorado River should be perfect to go out and catch some flathead catfish.  In May, our Yuma-Region Fisheries Program conducted an annual electrofishing trend survey targeting flathead catfish on the Palo Verde and Cibola Divisions of the Colorado River. Water temperatures are in the 70s and many fish sampled had fish in their mouths or stomachs — they were actively feeding. Your chance of catching a trophy-sized flathead is even better at other statewide flathead hot spots like Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest or the Imperial Division of...

Imperial Division of the Colorado River flathead catfish survey

The flathead catfish population in the Imperial Division backwaters appears to be doing well. In May, the Arizona Game and Fish Department Yuma Region Aquatic Wildlife Program conducted an annual electrofishing trend survey targeting Flathead Catfish on the Imperial Division of the Colorado River. See the survey technique we use for flathead catfish: In 30 randomly selected survey stations, a total of 596 flathead catfish were collected, weighed and measured.  Flathead catfish ranged in size from 3.3 in to 40.5 inches, with an average length of 14.1 inches. Weights ranged from .02 pounds to 30.6 pounds, with and average weight...

Apache Lake Spring 2017 Bass Survey

The Arizona Game and Fish Department conducted their spring Bass survey at Apache Lake this past April. Surveys include gill get and an electrofishing boat to survey locations around the entire lake. During the survey, we caught multiple species of fish including Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Bass, Walleye, Sunfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Common Carp, and Buffalo Fish. We caught a total of 283 Largemouth Bass and 32 Smallmouth Bass. At one electrofishing site (15 minutes of shocking), we caught 123 Largemouth Bass and 6 Smallmouth Bass. The biggest Largemouth Bass was 22 inches and weighed a little over...

Fish population of Alamo Lake doing well despite extremely low water level

The Arizona Game and Fish Department completed the annual fall electrofishing trend survey of Alamo Lake in December, 2016.  This was a unique year because the elevation of the lake was 1078 feet MSL during the survey which is 51 feet below full pool elevation of 1,129.00 feet MSL! These annual surveys are performed to gather data on relative abundance, size, and growth of fish in the lake, and to detect any large scale changes in the fish population.  All of the fish were collected, weighed, measured, and released unharmed.  A total of 2,891 were captured in sixteen survey stations,...

A Day in the Field: Video of Brown Trout Spawning in the Mogollon Rim

It is November and that means that Brown Trout spawning activity is in full swing on a number of streams along the Mogollon Rim. Brown trout make nests, known as redds, in shallow areas of streams with appropriate gravel substrate and water flow to allow for good oxygenation of the eggs. These eggs will develop in the gravel until they hatch out around February. Check out this short video of Brown Trout working redds at Canyon Creek last week. If you liked this post check out Fall Netting Surveys around Pinetop and Fun at Kinnikinick Lake!

Channel Catfish Survey at Parker Canyon Lake

The Arizona Game and Fish Department conducted a hoop net survey targeting Channel Catfish at Parker Canyon Lake. The survey was completed this past August. The goal of the survey was to evaluate the reintroduction of Channel Catfish that were stocked in 2012 and 2013. Previously Channel Catfish were stocked into the lake as a put-and-take fishery; however stocking ceased in 1995 due to budgetary constraints. After stocking stopped, the Channel Catfish population declined. Fisheries Biologists noted that catfish spawning habitat was marginal in the lake. Therefore, in 2016, 30 spawning barrels  were placed around the lake in hopes of...

Fall netting surveys completed around Pinetop

Fall netting surveys have been conducted at Lee Valley Lake, Carnero Lake, and Becker Lake to gather data on the size and growth of trout in these reservoirs.  Lee Valley Lake contained only Arctic Grayling, all of one age class approximately 12 inches in length.  No Apache Trout were found from previous years stocking. Carnero Lake contained multiple sizes of Rainbow Trout up to 20 inches and 2.7 pounds, and Tiger Trout approximately 13 inches in length.  Too few Tiger Trout were caught to determine much about their growth in Carnero Lake.  The lake is very low and very weedy,...

Check out the Crappie Survey Results from Roosevelt Lake

The Arizona Game and Fish Department conducted their annual Black Crappie trap netting survey at Roosevelt Lake October 3rd through October 5th. We caught 113 Black Crappie during the three day survey. We use trap nets to catch Crappie because they are not harmful to the fish. Trap nets have two main parts, a long 150 foot section of net with small mesh and a big square net connected to multiple smaller hoops. The long section of net guides fish from the shoreline to the big square net section where they are trapped. All of the fish were collected, weighed,...

Lake Mead Striped Bass going strong

On October 4-6, 2016 the Department’s Region III Fisheries Program out of Kingman surveyed a portion of Lake Mead.  Fall fish community surveys have been done at Lake Mead to monitor species richness, relative abundance, and population structural indices since 2004. With the help of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Park Service, up to 100 net sets and 40 electrofishing sites are sampled throughout Lake Mead. A total of 2,159 fish were sampled last fall using gill nets and 2,146 fish were sampled electrofishing. Fish sampled are weighed and measured, and then returned to the...

Check out the last Flathead Catfish Survey Video from Roosevelt Lake

Watch a video from last week’s Flathead Catfish Survey at Roosevelt Lake. If there was ever any question on how great the Roosevelt Lake Flathead Catfish population is just watch this video! In our longest video yet, you can see all the Flathead Catfish popping up around the Chase boat.  Also in the video is the electrofishing boat that puts a current into the water to briefly stun the fish. The current in the water results in Flathead Catfish floating or skittering along the surface of the water. These surveys are important because they provide information on the population, size...

A Day in the Field: Roosevelt Lake Flathead Catfish Survey Results Fall 2016

The Arizona Game and Fish Department conducted their annual Flathead Catfish electrofishing survey last week at Roosevelt Lake, October 3rd through October 5th. We caught a total of 131 Flathead Catfish in the 3 day survey! The Flathead Catfish were collected, weighed, measured, and tagged with an anchor tag. All of the Flathead Catfish caught during the survey were released unharmed. By tagging Flathead Catfish, we learn about how fast they are growing in our Arizona Lakes. The Flathead Catfish we caught ranged from 4 inches to 46 inches in length. The largest Flathead Catfish weighed in at just over...