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AZGFD On All Things Fishing

Discover The Largest Rainbow Trout Ever Caught In Arizona


AZGFD Reports On All Things Fishing

A recent article by Nixza Gonzalez for the A-Z Animals blog/website discusses some of the rainbow trout records in Arizona.

The Arizona record for largest rainbow trout caught with a hook and line in an inland water is 15 pounds, 9.2 ounces, caught at Willow Springs Lake on Sept. 29, 2006, by Harold Wright of Sun City. The largest rainbow trout ever caught and released in Arizona’s inland waters is a 32-inch rainbow caught at Silver Creek on Jan. 30, 2010, by Ben Sandall of Flagstaff.

In Arizona's Colorado River waters, the largest rainbow trout caught with a hook and line weighed 21 pounds, 5.5 ounces, caught at Willow Beach in September 1966 by John Reid of Las Vegas. The largest rainbow trout ever caught and released in the Colorado River in Arizona was 22 inches long, caught by Kenan Guleryuz of Bullhead City on Nov. 5, 2010.

Take A Family Member Or Novice Angler

Out Fishing On Arizona's Free Fishing Day, June 3

Arizona’s Free Fishing Day is celebrated as part of National Fishing and Boating Week. On Saturday, June 3, no fishing licenses are required for persons fishing any public waters in Arizona. Experienced anglers are asked to consider taking a friend or family member who has never or seldom been fishing out on the water for the day.

“Whether you’re a seasoned angler who wants to introduce a newcomer to the sport, or someone who’s always been interested but never took that next step, this is the perfect time to head out to your nearest community or state water and experience what fishing in Arizona is all about,” said Julie Carter, aquatic wildlife branch chief. “This time of year, you can take advantage of cooler weather by fishing a lake or stream in Arizona’s high country.”

All fishing regulations, including daily bag limits, remain in effect on Free Fishing Day. Children under 10 can fish for free throughout the year in Arizona, so this special fishing license exemption gives older youths and parents a free pass for the day, as well.

Not sure how to fish and would like to learn? Check out AZGFD’s “Learn to Fish" video series. Then, once you’re hooked on fishing, purchase a valid Arizona resident fishing license for only $37 (for ages 18 and older) or resident combination hunt/fish license for $57. A youth combination hunt/fish license (for ages 10-17) is only $5, residents or nonresidents. Nonresident fishing licenses are $55, nonresident hunt-fish combo licenses are $160. Licenses can be purchased online, at AZGFD offices, or at license dealers.

Payson's Green Valley Lakes Warming Up For Panfish

Our friend Jim Strogen reports that fishing is really heating up at Green Valley Lakes in Payson, and will probably get even better. The two smaller lakes started clearing a few weeks ago, and finally the big lake has begun to clear as well. With warming temperatures, the crappies and bluegills moved in close to shore to spawn, and the trout are actively feeding as well.

This is great news for fly fishers, especially kids and new fly fishers, because their cast with the fly rod doesn’t have to be much more than a couple of rod lengths to find cooperative fish. The trout are often cruising just past the drop-off, while the bass, bluegills, and crappies are often a bit closer to shore. Read Jim's full article in the Payson Roundup.

Canyon Creek Added To List Of AIS-Affected Waters

Hatchery is closed; Anglers and other recreationists using Canyon Creek must decontaminate gear per Director's Orders protocols before using in another water

The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has added Canyon Creek to the list of “Aquatic Invasive Species Affected Waters” (also known as Director’s Order 2) after recently confirming the presence of invasive New Zealand mudsnails in lower Canyon Creek about 3 miles downstream of Canyon Creek Fish Hatchery.

AZGFD closed the hatchery on April 6 as a precautionary measure as department staff continue to conduct surveys in the area to determine the extent of infestation. The closure will also provide AZGFD with time to enhance biosecurity protocols and evaluate actions that could further bolster biosecurity at the hatchery.

Director’s Orders are authorized by ARS §17-255.01 and include lists of aquatic invasive species and waters, as well as decontamination protocols.

What does this mean for anglers and others who recreate at Canyon Creek? They are now required by law to clean, drain, dry and decontaminate their equipment as prescribed in Director’s Order 3 before using in another Arizona water, just as they are required to do so at other waters having New Zealand mudsnails or other aquatic invasive species (AIS).

Cleaning, draining, and drying equipment, fishing gear, and watercraft is an effective way to prevent the spread of AIS to other locations. Below are the requirements for decontaminating your waders, equipment and gear.

After fishing, scrub the bottom of boots or waders with a brush to remove all mud, plants and other organic materials. Then choose one of the following options before using the equipment and gear in the next body of water:

Option 1: Submerge waders and gear in a large tub filled with a quaternary ammonia-based institutional cleaner. If using consumer-grade 409*, the solution does not need to be diluted. If using a product such as Super HDQ Neutral*, mix 6 ounces per gallon of water. Equipment must be soaked for at least 20 minutes, scrubbing and inspecting all items before rinsing. The rinse water must be from a source free of AIS (to avoid re-exposure), and the chemical bath must be properly disposed of away from the body of water.

*Note - The Arizona Game and Fish Department does not endorse any particular product. Mention of any brand is for example only. Additional information regarding watercraft decontamination can be found at

Option 2: Place waders and boots in a freezer overnight between uses.

Option 3: Dry waders and equipment completely for seven consecutive days (May through October) or 18 consecutive days (November through April).

Option 4: Spray or soak waders and gear with 140 degree Fahrenheit water for at least 10 minutes.

The New Zealand mudsnail is an invasive snail that is ovoviviparous (live bearing) and parthenogenic (reproduces asexually). Therefore, it only takes one snail to start a new population. The snails are very small and can easily be tracked to other areas with waders and shoes. They are a concern because they compete with native invertebrates for food, posing potential harm to Arizona’s native and sportfish populations as well as to native mollusks. They were first found in Arizona in 2002 and are now known to exist in other Arizona waters as listed in Director's Order 2.


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