Category: Fisheries Management

Learn how Arizona Game and Fish biologist manage the sport fisheries throughout 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...

Lake Mohave fishing report

Billy caught these 7 lb. and 12 lb. stripers at Princess Cove on Lake Mohave using anchovies fishing from shore. He also caught a 5 pounder that he didn’t send a picture of. He had all this fun in only 3 hours of fishing. Another report states that near the dam and by the power lines is your best bet as Mike and Ronald’s 7.54 lbs. striper shows. ”

Fishing for Bass on Beds

A question that always comes up this time of year is should anglers target largemouth bass on spawning beds? The answer is ….well….complicated.  Actually, it isn’t that complicated as far as the fish goes.  What’s complicated is the anglers and all the various opinions out there. Biologically, sight fishing bass on beds has little effect on the overall population of bass in a reservoir.  Now having said that, if catch rates for bass are fairly low in your favorite lake, you may want to think twice about yanking a male off his nest once you get into April and May....

Fool Hollow and Show Low Lakes Spring Fish Surveys

Pinetop fisheries biologist surveyed Fool Hollow and Show Low Lakes this week. In both lakes the Walleye were spawning, which is good for future recruitment in the lakes, and also makes for good fishing. Use a Rapala lure or any other fish-like lure. The temperatures in the lakes were up to about 55 degrees. In both Fool Hollow and Show Low Lakes we caught large Smallmouth Bass and Channel Catfish. Northern Pike are at the end of the spawn in Fool Hollow Lake, so try fishing the shallow, weedy coves. We recommend that you take keep these fish; they are...

Trout Stocking begins in the Flagstaff Area

Department Staff has been working hard to bring back quality fisheries near Flagstaff in time for Spring Break.  Trucks from both Page Springs Hatchery and Canyon Creek Hatchery have delivered fish to Lower Lake Mary over the past two days and more are scheduled for next week.  If you are in the Williams area, try fishing at Dogtown Lake. Dogtown has not been stocked yet because it is still spilling but there are likely some beautiful holdover trout there.  Both Frances Short Pond and Lower Lake Mary have been stocked in the Flagstaff area.  Come on out and enjoy the...

Fishing huge for local economies around the nation

The American Sportfishing Association and Southwick Associates created a new series of one-page infographics for all 435 Congressional districts in all 50 states. The 2017 infographics provide fishing participation and economic data at the Congressional district level. The information in the report and infographics use data from the most recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau, as presented in ASA’s Sportfishing in America report. The study used mapping and population software to hone in on smaller geographic areas in a way that is particularly relevant to members of the U.S. House...

Creel Survey at Patagonia Lake

It’s not always about the fish when managing Arizona’s fisheries resources.  Understanding the anglers that use those resources is an equally important part of the equation.  There’s no better way to gain that understanding than by asking the anglers themselves. The Department recently completed a yearlong creel survey at Patagonia Lake to gain an understanding of the typical Patagonia angler.   A total of 2,077 anglers were interviewed about their fishing experience from January through December 2016. The data shows that Patagonia Lake supported 41,402 angler hours and 7,648 angler days last year. Shore anglers comprised 41% of the angler population...

Making fishing better at Rainbow Lake

On February 17, Department biologists began their annual efforts to control illegally introduced Northern Pike in Rainbow Lake in Pinetop-Lakeside.  The pike were likely stocked by a naïve or selfish angler in the late 1990s and began to do very well in the shallow weedy lake. And though a few might like the pike, they have had a negative impact on the sportfishing as a whole in Rainbow Lake. The super competitive pike eat bass, sunfish and stocked trout to the point where those populations can be depressed and not as available to anglers.  Biologists began control efforts approximately 10...

Monitoring Conditions Under the Ice

On February 15, Regional fish biologists conducted a water quality survey at several high elevation lakes in the White Mountains, including Crescent Lake, Carnero Lake, and Lee Valley Lake.  To reach these lakes, biologists had to travel there by snowmobile, and a tracked ATV, since these roads are closed during the winter due to deep snow.  At 9,000 feet elevation and above, this area receives well over 100 inches of snow per winter, on average.  The water quality surveys have several objectives, a) measure current oxygen levels to determine if the lake has had a winter fish kill, b) use...