March 2006

AZGFD Urban Fishing Report

Big Trout And More Big Trout

Already, 2006 looks like the year of the big trout from Urban Fishing Program lakes. A large number of trout over 13 inches were stocked into all 20 Urban lakes in mid-January as part of a special incentive stocking.

What makes this year special so far is that both of our Colorado trout suppliers have been bringing in dozens of huge trout from 2-6 pounds with all of their deliveries. This means that in every lake an angler has a chance to catch a real whopper over 20 inches.

In the past month, a 3-pounder was caught at Cortez, and a 5.2-pounder came from Desert West. An 8-pound rainbow trout was caught from Payson's Green Valley Lake and at press time, the 2006 leading entry for Big Fish-of-the-Year.

While an 8- pound trout may be hard to beat this year, anglers are reminded that Big Fish entries can be submitted for the Catch and Release category. All that is needed is the fishes' total length, a good picture of the fish and measuring tape, and a completed entry form. Good luck, and hang on!

Boat Show Donates Huge Trout

Operators of the Feb. 3-5 Arizona Boating Show in Phoenix generously offered all of their trout and bass left over from the weekend event to the Urban Fishing Program.

The 1,200 trout and 20 largemouth bass were graciously accepted; the rainbow trout ranged in size from 10-27 inches, with the largest trout estimated to be in the 7-pound range.

At least 200 of the trout were over 2 pounds, including some hook-jawed males and brightly colored females. Because the fish had to be evacuated quickly after the show, they were stocked into three nearby urban lakes in Phoenix: Alvord (Cesar Chavez Park), Cortez, and Steele Indian School. Give AZGFD a call or drop them a line if you catch any of these monster trout.

On The Lookout For Golden Alga

With lake temperatures beginning to warm up, the possibility of algae blooms increases. Game and Fish biologists and parks staff are on the lookout for any golden alga blooms in urban lakes.

In 2005, golden alga, a fish-killing microscopic organism, was responsible for the loss of all fish from Water Ranch Lake and from Alvord Lake. Biologists expect golden alga may show up in other lakes as well this year.

The algae blooms can be controlled with algaecides, but the challenge is to detect and identify golden alga in the early stages of a bloom. If you notice more than 10 dead fish at a lake, then it may be a sign, especially if the fish are shad, trout, or young sunfish.

Golden alga can also cause watercolor to change to a yellow or brownish shade - especially noticeable in the shallows. Contact Eric Swanson or Tom McMahon at Arizona Game & Fish Department if you suspect a golden alga bloom at your fishing lake.

Urban Fishing Report

Fishing for rainbow trout has been good to excellent at Urban Fishing Program waters. Big trout (13-20 inches) have been included in recent stockings.

Anglers have reported many exciting catches of 3-5 pound trout in recent weeks. Trout have been biting best on worms, minnows, and Power Bait.
Top artificials for trout are small spinners and lures that imitate small baitfish. Fly fishermen have done well using hares ear and peacock lady nymphs and wooly buggers.

More trout stockings were delivered to all program waters the week of Feb. 6-11. Trout fishing at Green Valley lakes (Payson) has slowed due to an unusual algae bloom that has decreased water clarity.