February 2008

Urban Fishing Regulations

Need-To-Knows In The City

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission specially designates certain municipal lakes as Urban Fishing Program waters. This special designation includes rules and regulations that are unique to these waters.

The following information highlights what are considered some of the key regulations of which anglers fishing these waters should be aware. For more details on general rules and regulations, please refer to the Arizona Fishing Regulations Booklet available at license dealers, department offices, or online.

License Requirements

  • All persons 14 years or older, while fishing in Arizona, must have on their person a current Arizona fishing license. Urban Fishing Program waters require one of the following license types (other types are not valid).
  • Under age 14, no license required.
  • Age 14 and over, Class U, Urban $18.50: good for calendar year; Class D, One Day Only $16.25: good for one day only; Class L, Super Fish: good for calendar year — residents’ cost is $53; non-residents’ price is $63.
  • Age 70 and over, Class P (Pioneer): free if person has been an Arizona resident for 25 or more years.
  • Other valid licenses include disabled veteran complimentary license and youth-group, two-day fishing license.

Licenses can be purchased at any Game and Fish office or at any one of our 340 license dealers or sporting goods stores statewide that sell state fishing and hunting licenses.

Class A (general fishing), Class F (combination hunt and fish), Class I (family fishing), and Class B (four-month fishing) licenses are not valid at designated Urban Fishing Program lakes.

Bag And Size Limits (See urban lakes stockings article on page XX.)

Method Of Take, Use Of Bait

  • One or two poles only. If using two poles, must have a $6 Two Pole stamp.
  • Most types of bait are legal, including minnows, worms, and waterdogs.
  • No snagging or use of nets to capture sport fish.
  • Park rules and regulations vary by city and are identified on signage at each park.
  • When fishing, Game and Fish laws require you to attend your line, that is, stay near your fishing pole at all times. If you need to leave, even for a short period, simply reel in your line and remove your bait from the water.
  • When fishing, the hook, fly, or lure must be used in such a manner that the fish voluntarily attempt to take it in their mouths.


It is a violation to fail to keep all edible portions of the fish in an edible condition or to leave fish to die. This is wasting "game" meat.

It is illegal to transport live fish from a lake or to transfer live fish from one body of water to another. Unauthorized stocking of fish, minnows and crayfish is illegal.

It is a violation to litter. This includes hooks, fishing line, bait containers, etc.

Emily Anderson, Cortez Park credit: Margie Anderson

Toni Demarco, John Anderson, Cortez Park
credit: Margie Anderson