May 2008

Trout Anglers Get An 11-Mile Fishing Bonus

Trout anglers are getting an 11-mile trout-fishing bonus on the Lower Salt River close to the Valley of the Sun early this spring thanks to abundant snowpack and excellent runoff for a change this year.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department‘s Page Springs Hatchery has stocked rainbow trout in the upper reaches of the Lower Salt at the Water Users Recreation Area and the Blue Point Bridge.

This stocking on April 4 for the entire Lower Salt River was weeks early.

During winter, Salt River Project (SRP) typically relies on flows from the Verde River side of the watershed to meet irrigation and municipal needs. The well-above normal snow pack and exceptional runoff this season means SRP is doing an early switch this spring and releasing approximately 300 cfs from Stewart Mountain Dam.

These unexpected early flows meant the Game and Fish Department was able to stock the entire reach of the Lower Salt early.

“The Lower Salt is a unique fishing area in North America. We have a desert river lined with saguaros that is stocked with trout, plus, it is just a short drive from Mesa and Tempe,” said Rory Aikens, the fishing report editor for Game and Fish.

Having this trout fishing opportunity available close to Phoenix is especially important in these days of burgeoning gasoline costs. “The Lower Salt is an affordable high-quality trout-fishing experience close to home. It’s tough to beat,” Aikens said.

For more information and fishing tips on the Salt River or other waters, visit the Game and Fish Department’s Web site at and click on the Weekly Fishing Report.

Driving Directions

From Phoenix, take Beeline Highway (Highway 87) north to the Bush Highway (Saguaro Lake) turnoff – head east (turn right). Follow Bush Highway until it makes a 90-degree bend just past Saguaro Lake and to either the Water Users Recreation area or the Blue Point Bridge.

From Mesa, take Power Road north until it becomes Bush Highway and follow it to either the Blue Point Bridge or the Water Users parking lot just below Saguaro Lake.