September 2007

Arizona Waterways: Just Amazing!

Considering that Arizona is a desert state, it’s amazing to learn just how many places there are to go boating and fishing. A new guide book, Arizona Waterways, a pocket guide to boating and fishing in Arizona provides information about most of them.

“I’ve lived here over 30 years and was surprised at how many places there are to enjoy watersports,” said author Mary Young. “And I’m still learning about some I hadn’t known about.”

But, at 52 pages, Arizona Waterways is pretty comprehensive. From tiny A-1 Lake in the White Mountains to the better-known lakes along the Salt River to the great spots along the Colorado River, water enthusiasts are bound to find some new, untried fishing hole or boat ramp that intrigues them.

“The reason there are so many places is precisely because we are in a desert,” Young said. “The system of dams that allows us to have year-round water for irrigation and electricity created a wonderful chain of reservoirs. But, even besides the man-made features, there are lots of natural lakes.”

Young was working in a book store several years ago when a customer asked for a guide on where to go boating and fishing in the state. She was unable to find one either on the shelf or even in print, so she decided to fill the gap. Published earlier this year by K and M Press, it’s already become a staple for those who love the water.

Young provides all the information on each site that you’d want to know: facilities such as stores and fuel, picnic grounds, camping and RV hookups, and boat ramps. She includes any restrictions at each site such as motor size and closings.
She said some of the sites are located in wildlife habitats and portions of the lakes may be closed during nesting season, as an example.

Young also researched the history of many of the sites, providing some colorful details.

“One of my favorite stories was about San Carlos Lake on the San Carlos Reservation,” she said. “The humorist Will Rogers and President Calvin Coolidge were both on hand at the dedication of the lake and watched as the water began trickling in behind the dam. Rogers said, “‘If it was my lake, I’d mow it.’”

She writes about Roper Lake being the gift of mining executive Winifred Roper to the state and lists some annual events such as the Sand Castle Building Contest at Lake Havasu.

The Table of Contents is arranged both alphabetically and by region so readers can readily locate a new spot. Driving directions are included as well as contact information for obtaining current data and fees.

Arizona Waterways is available from Arizona Boating and Watersports, Barnes & Noble, AAA and many boating and sports outlets around the state. Visit for a complete list of retailers.