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View Bighorn Sheep At Canyon Lake With AZGFD And Steamboat Dolly

The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Dolly Steamboat and the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, is hosting a public workshop to see and learn about desert bighorn sheep, one of Arizona’s most fascinating large mammals.

This special event includes two parts. The first is an evening classroom session where participants can learn about bighorn sheep, their natural history, management and historical significance from biologist Bruce Sitko, a long-time student of bighorns.

The second is a morning aboard the Dolly Steamboat where the group will tour Canyon Lake to view wild bighorn sheep. The classroom session will be held Friday, June 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Game and Fish's Mesa office located at 7200 E. University in Mesa.

The following day will provide the opportunity to view the bighorns in their native environment accompanied by department biologists and members of the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society during a three-hour boat ride that begins at 7 a.m. aboard Dolly Steamboat on Canyon Lake.

“June and July are the times of year when bighorns stay pretty close to water,” said John Dickson, wildlife manager in the Canyon Lake district. “The mating season is underway and the hotter it is, the better the opportunity to see the sheep along the water's edge.”

First Come, First ServedThese workshops are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited to 139 people, the number of passengers the Dolly can hold. The cost is $35 per person. To register, call the Dolly Steamboat at (480) 827-9144.

Participants are strongly encouraged to attend the free evening program to make the viewing more meaningful. To reserve your space for the classroom session, please call Randy Babb at the Game and Fish Mesa office at (480) 324-3546. This portion is limited to 70 people due to facility restrictions.

“This is a great opportunity for people to learn about bighorn sheep, the department, and the conservation efforts of many different agencies in regards to bighorn sheep,” said Dickson.

Bring Your CameraParticipants are encouraged to bring a camera, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and binoculars. Snacks and drinks will be provided compliments of the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society.

“It will be hot on the lake,” Dickson advised, “but that’s when bighorn come down for a drink. Much of the boat is air-conditioned but the outside temperatures will still be plenty warm, so dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather.”

Additional questions should be directed to Randy Babb at (480) 324-3546 or e-mail rbabb@azgfd.gov .


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