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Trout Season Wraps-Up

Catfish Coming March 15


The final winter trout stockings in the Phoenix and Tucson area Urban lakes were March 8-13. Urban lake water temperatures are rising into the 60s, signaling the annual stocking changeover from winter trout to spring catfish.

The most recent trout delivery will be the ninth one of the season, concluding a very successful stocking season. A real bonus this year was the larger sizes of the stocked trout that are a result of an excellent growing season at our Colorado vendorís hatcheries.

Trout are stocked into lakes at rates of 50 to 80 fish per lake surface acre. For Paysonís Green Valley Lakes, trout stockings will continue every two weeks until the middle of May.

All lakes and ponds in the Phoenix and Tucson areas will be stocked with 15-20 inch channel catfish on Thursday, March 25. Beginning with the spring season kick-off stocking, catfish will be stocked eight times through early July at rates averaging from 40 to 60 fish per acre.

Nearly 14,000 pounds of Arkansas farm-raised catfish will be delivered and stocked into 20 Urban Fishing Program lakes every two weeks by Mr. Fish, our outstanding fish contractor.

Bluegill Stocking Happening Now

Twice each year, the Department stocks 5-8 inch bluegill into all Urban Fishing Program waters to replenish this popular sport fish and offer some great fishing opportunity for young anglers. A delivery of bluegill began March 15 and continues through March 20.

Over 18,000 of the feisty, hard-biting sunfish are being stocked at rates of 90-150 fish per acre across 20 waters. Daily bag limits for sunfish (includes bluegill and redear sunfish) are 10 per day at Urban Lakes or five per day at Urban Ponds. Best baits for bluegill are meal worms or worms fished 2-4 feet under a small bobber.

Urban Fishing Report

Typically, March offers the best time of the year to fish your nearby park lakes for trout, sunfish, bass and catfish. Good fishing for trout will continue through the month as all lakes have been receiving their final stockings.

Fish stockings at Tucsonís Lakeside Lake will resume with a large load of trout. Most trout are falling for Power Bait fished on the bottom. Other good baits include worms, corn and salmon eggs.

The cool morning hours are the best times to target the trout. As waters warm up, try fishing for largemouth bass that are now moving closer to shore as they prepare to spawn and search for food.

Regulations require that all bass under 13 inches must be released unharmed immediately. Bluegill are still being stocked through March 20 in all lakes to bolster populations of these popular and fun-to-catch sunfish species.

Try worms, meal worms or cheese fished under a small bobber. Reports keep coming in of anglers catching catfish, even though it has been nearly four months since the last cats were stocked. Speaking of catfish, the catfish stocking has been at all Phoenix and Tucson area Urban waters.

Excellent trout fishing conditions can be found at Paysonís Green Valley lakes. Best bets for these pine country trout are Power Bait, corn and worms. Some success has been found by anglers using spinners, small spoons and nymph and wet fly patterns.

Stocking Schedule

All 21 UFP waters in Phoenix Area, Tucson Area and Payson ó Last stocked, trout, the week of March 8-13; bluegill, the week of March 15-20; catfish, on Thursday, March 25.

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