Commission Approves Amendments To Fishing Regulations
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted to approve the proposed amendments to Commission Order 40 (sport fishing bag and possession limits, special regulations, and specific closures) for calendar years 2021 and 2022. The proposed changes went through a public comment period in August. A webcast on Aug. 6 discussed the changes (starts about 35 seconds into the video).
Silver Creek Catch-And-Release
On Oct. 1, Silver Creek switched to its catch-and-release season regulations until March 31. During this time, only artificial flies/lures and barbless hooks are allowed. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) stocks super catchable rainbow trout annually into Silver Creek. These fish are larger than normal and are expected to remain in the creek until April 1, when catch-and-keep season returns. A valid fishing license is required for all anglers age 10 and older. See information on licenses at https://www.azgfd.com/License/.
“After Silver Creek opens to catch and release only, fishing should be great,” said Ryan Follmuth, AZGFD’s aquatic wildlife program manager for the Pinetop region. “Silver Creek presents anglers with the very real possibility to catch their largest trout of the year, or even their life, every time they fish this water.”
Silver Creek Hatchery
Silver Creek Hatchery is located about 5 miles east of Show Low on Highway 60. The hatchery is not currently open to the public, but the creek remains accessible to anglers without restrictions. AZGFD encourages anglers to continue practicing social distancing and spread out along the shoreline while fishing.
Desert areas will finally drop to the low 90s, high 80s soon. In the high country, expect pleasant days and chilly nights.
Biologists conducted their annual flathead catfish electrofishing survey the week of Sept. 13. At Bartlett Lake, 112 flathead catfish were caught in a one-day survey. The flatheads ranged from 3 inches to 41 inches in length. The largest weighed in at just over 37 pounds.
At Lake Pleasant, 183 flathead catfish were caught in the one-day survey. The flatheads ranged from 3 inches to 48 inches in length. The largest weighed in at just over 48.5 pounds. All the catfish were collected, weighed, measured, tagged, and released unharmed. By tagging flathead catfish, we learn about how fast they are growing in our Arizona Lakes.
Getting reports of good largemouth bass and striper fishing at Roosevelt, Saguaro, Bartlett and Pleasant. As surface water temperatures continue to fall and daytime and nighttime air temperatures drop, both the top-water bite and night bite should produce good fishing.
North Central Arizona
Brown trout were recently stocked here. This is a great area to enjoy the fall “cast and blast” squirrel and/or duck hunting along with fishing. Small spinners and spoons retrieved slowly seem to be working best.
Oak Creek was recently stocked with Gila trout. People are catching them on flies and spinners. Be aware there is a section of catch-and-release single point barbless regulations on Oak Creek.
Kaibab and Dogtown Lakes
These lakes near Williams are continuing to produce trout when fishing with PowerBait and spinners.
Western Arizona/Lower Colorado River
Colorado River – Below Davis Dam
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service resumed rainbow trout stocking in October and will continue stocking through March.
Twenty-nine teams participated in a tournament on Lake Havasu over two days in September. The largest bass caught was 5.65 pounds. Over those two days, anglers caught 142 largemouth bass and 89 smallmouth bass.
See page 10 of this issue for a recent Lake Powell Fishing Report from A.Wayne Gustaveson.
Fall Fishing Forecast
Be sure to see our Fall Fishing Forecast for the different regions in Arizona at https://www.azgfd.com/fishing/forecast/.
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, 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.