Community Fishing Program Waters Receive Rainbow And Albino Trout
January 1, 2021
AZGFD’s Canyon Creek Hatchery will provide some trout for the department's Community Fishing Program waters this winter. The current drought conditions have caused reduced spring water flows at the hatchery, making it difficult to maintain the quality water flow needed to support the large number of fish in its raceways. Utilizing some of the fish for winter stockings in community waters will reduce numbers of trout at the hatchery and help ensure the fish there have adequate water to grow and thrive.
The first of these stockings occurred in late November when the department stocked trout from the hatchery into all three lakes in Green Valley Park in Payson. Altogether, about 350 pounds of rainbow trout and 350 pounds of albino rainbow trout were stocked. The rainbows averaged about 11 to 12 inches in length, while many of the albinos were in the 14-inch range.
“The albino rainbow trout are being stocked to provide anglers with a rare opportunity to catch an unusual fish,” said Geoffrey Rabinovich, statewide hatchery program manager for AZGFD. “Albino rainbows are easily spotted by predators, so they rarely occur in the wild in Arizona. However, they do grow well in a hatchery environment and are fun for anglers to catch.”
Stockings of some fish from Canyon Creek Hatchery began in Phoenix and Tucson Community Fishing Program waters in December. Rabinovich said these stockings will not impact the hatchery’s normal spring and summer stockings into state waters, as the money that is normally spent for out-of-state contractors for the Community Fishing Program in winter will now be used to help the hatchery maintain its normal schedule of trout production this summer.
. Water temperatures are falling as overnight lows in desert regions are forecast to be in the 40s. If you’re bass fishing in desert impoundments, a good strategy might be throwing crankbaits during mornings, and closer to midday switching to smaller plastic baits (Roboworms or baby brush hogs) on Texas rigs or dropshots in 15-25 feet of water.
At Roper Lake (near Safford), reports are that that trout fishing was very good last week, with many anglers catching their six-fish limits. Garlic-flavored dough baits fished on the bottom and small inline spinners were both working well. Bass fishing was slow. but this is the time of year outsized fish are typically caught on trout imitation baits. Some of the big Roper Lake largemouths are actively feeding on stocked rainbow trout. Try working an imitation lure parallel to the tules to draw a big fish from its ambush spot.
Bluegills and sunfish are still being caught on nightcrawlers fished under a bobber. Catfishing has been slow. (Report courtesy of Ranger Micheal DeLeon of Arizona State Parks).
At Lake Havasu, reports are that stripers have been chasing shad around the north Windsor basin in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Look for seagulls diving on the schools of shad coming to the surface. Other good locations this week are the Chalk Cliffs, Mesquite Bay 2, and the mouth of the river. Largemouth bass are hitting white- or chartreuse-colored spinnerbaits and shad-colored Rat-L-Traps on breezy days.
Smallmouth anglers have been successful using deep-diving, shad-colored crankbaits around rocks in 8-15 feet of water or gravel/rock shorelines where the smallmouth are chasing baitfish. (Report courtesy of John Galbraith of Bass Tackle Master via Arizona State Parks).
For Lake Powell, you can see Wayne Gustaveson's report on the results of gill netting surveys done the first two weeks of November.
Remember to see our fishing forecast for different regions of the state. The new winter forecast is anticipated to be available soon.
For each edition of the Fishing Report, we'll select some photos and reports submitted by members of the angling public either through the Fish AZ Facebook Group or through the firstname.lastname@example.org email address. If you'd like your photo/report considered for publication here, please indicate the species, place, date, name (we only publish first name and last initial), and any other information you'd like to provide. For more photos (including new photos each day), visit the Fish AZ Facebook Group.
Waters Recently Stocked With Rainbow Trout
Southeastern waters: Roper Lake, Dankworth Pond, Patagonia Lake.
North Central waters – Watson Lake, Fain Lake, Dead Horse Lake, Lynx Lake.
Community Fishing Program waters:
• Phoenix area - Alvord Lake, Bonsall Pond, Chaparral Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Cortez Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Desert West Lake, Encanto Lake, Evelyn Hallman Pond, Festival Fields Pond, Friendship Pond, Kiwanis Lake, Mansel Carter Oasis Lake, Pacana Pond, Paloma Lake, Papago Ponds (1, 2 and 3), Pioneer Lake, Red Mountain Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Riverview Lake, Roadrunner Pond, Steel Indian School Park, Surprise Lake, Veteran’s Oasis Lake.
• Tucson area - Silverbell Park, Kennedy Lake, Sauharita Lake, Lakeside Lake.
• Prescott area – Yavapai Lakes.
• Casa Grande area - Dave White Regional Park Pond.
• Payson area - Green Valley Lakes.
• Yuma area - Council Avenue Pond, Fortuna Pond, Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex (PAAC) Pond, Redondo Lake, Yuma West Wetlands Pond.
Southeastern waters: Parker Canyon Lake.
North Central waters: Goldwater Lake, Verde River (middle).
Thank You, Anglers!
Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984. Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.