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Excerpts From AZGFD Report

It's Prime Time For Cats And Crayfish


August 1, 2016

Tip Of The Week

For those athletic anglers looking for lots of exercise, good fishing, and no crowds, try Chevelon Lake. This steep-sided canyon lake is not shore-angler friendly, so float tubes, canoes or kayaks are almost a must.

The hike-in is knee-challenging on the way down and the long hike back up the steep trail will take your breath away in more ways than one. For aging anglers who are out of shape, avoid this lake; it's a cardiac special.

New fishing regulations on Chevelon Creek upstream of the lake and downstream of the lake (to Chevelon Crossing) now match the lake regulations, which is artificial fly and lure only with a two-trout-daily bag limit.

The Reel Deal

This is prime time for high-country crayfish and "low-country" catfish.

When the trout bite slows down, grab a bucket, some string, a stick and some meat (bacon, hot dogs or even fish guts will work) and go harvest some mud bugs. In fact, you'll be helping the environment - crayfish are not native to Arizona and cause immense problems in our trout waters.

It's also prime flathead catfish season. Arizona has proved to be a destination for these monster flatheads.

Consider 'Crayin' '

Back to crayin'. Some anglers' favorite lakes include Woods Canyon, Willow Springs, Knoll, Ashurst and Kaibab (water level is very low at Kaibab). But, you'll find crayfish in most of our high country lakes. The damage crayfish do to some of our trout streams can be staggering - these voracious crustaceans eat everything from frogs and vegetation to fish and insects.

Crayfish hunting is great for kids and young-at-heart adults. Children especially can get bored if the fish aren't biting. Crayfish can sometimes provide non-stop action. And, they make some fine-dining by a camp fire.

Cook 'Em Up

Typically, those folks who don't like crayfish have overcooked them.

Here's a simple cooking process: Boil water in a pot, then take the pot off the fire and put in the crayfish (do not put the pot back on the fire). In just a few minutes, the crayfish will turn bright red, which means they are done. Easy.

You can also get a packet of seasonings called a "crab boil" at most supermarkets and add the spices to the boiling water. Look up some recipes for crayfish and take your pick.

Note: Did you know the purchase of fishing license help conserve wildlife? (Probably - we talk about it all the time.) Get yours.


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