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Verde River Watershed Fish Management Plan Process Begins

COTTONWOOD, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department has begun creating a watershed-based fisheries management plan for the Verde River and is accepting public input on the development process.

The plan, when ultimately finished, will provide the department's fisheries personnel with a practical tool to help guide decisions regarding both sport fish and native fish management.

"This is the first time Game and Fish will be using the Watershed-based Fish Management Process (WFMP)," said Matt Chmiel, fisheries program manager at the Game and Fish Region 3 office in Kingman. "The process was developed through the efforts of the multi-agency Statewide Fish Management Team, which examined best fisheries management practices to balance the dual mandates for sport fish opportunities and native fish conservation."

The team's mission now is to apply that process to the Verde River watershed.

The public is invited to view the Watershed-based Fish Management Process at http://www.azgfd.gov/VerdeWatershed and provide comment to VerdeWatershed@azgfd.gov. Comments will be accepted through May 9.

Comments may also be submitted by U.S. mail to Arizona Game and Fish Department, Verde Watershed Fish Management Process, Attn: Matt Chmiel, 5325 N. Stockton Hill Road, Kingman, AZ 86409.

"It can be a complicated process, but we believe the benefits of having this plan in place to use as a guide when making decisions will be worth it," Chmiel said. "This will be a good thing for the Verde River watershed."


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