Community Fishing Program waters to be unveiled beginning Jan. 1

PHOENIX — The motto of the program is, “If people can’t get to the fish, we’ll bring fish to the people.” Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, even more fish will be brought to the people — the Arizona Game and Fish Department will introduce 15 waters to the newly renamed Community Fishing Program (CFP).

These waters will come in addition to the current 21 waters. This means these new waters will begin receiving their first catchable stockings under the CFP name.

The new waters are:

Two newly built lakes, Pioneer Lake in Peoria, and Copper Sky Lake in Maricopa

On Jan. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, there will be a kickoff event for Pioneer Lake in Peoria, which will be stocked with trout in advance. The event will include a free fishing clinic with loaner rods and bait. The grand opening for Copper Sky Lake in Maricopa will be March 15.

Eight existing park ponds of 2-6 acres in the greater Phoenix area

They are: Bonsall Pond in Glendale, Granada Ponds and Roadrunner Pond in Phoenix, Eldorado Pond and McKellips Pond in Scottsdale, Discovery Ponds and McQueen Pond in Gilbert, and Pacana Pond in Maricopa. These waters will all be stocked on a day to be named in mid-February.

Tempe Town Lake.

Monthly trout stockings from November through March will continue.

Four Yuma-area waters: They are: West Wetlands Pond, Council Avenue Pond (in Somerton), Fortuna Lake and Redondo Lake

These ponds will continue to receive winter trout stockings, but will now receive catfish stockings in April, June (including bluegill), and October.

Riverview Lake in Mesa.

The newly rebuilt and enlarged Riverview Lake will rejoin the CFP after taking two years off and will again be stocked every two weeks. On Jan. 25 from 2-6 p.m., there will be a grand opening for the park and Cubs Park spring training site called “Double Play at the Park – Cubs Park and Riverview Park.” The event will include kids and family activities, shuttle rides around the complex, entertainment, tours of the stadium and more. Arizona Game and Fish will provide loaner rods and bait to fish for stocked trout in the lake.

All of these locations will be marked by new signage in the next few months. Meanwhile, 20 of the original urban fishing waters will continue to be managed and stocked annually with fish in the same amounts, every two weeks from September to June.

For more information on the CFP, including maps, fish stocking schedules, regulations and fishing tips, pick up a new and expanded 2014 Community Fishing Guidebook that will be available at more than 300 license dealer locations and Game and Fish offices by Friday, Dec. 20. The guidebooks are free.

In addition, thanks to a simplified license structure that will take effect Jan. 1, all of the following licenses will work for the CFP lakes and ponds – Community Fishing, General Fishing, Youth Combination Hunt and Fish (ages 10-17 and is only $5) and Combination Hunt and Fish (18 and over).

To fish any of the 36 Community Fishing waters, kids under age 10 fish for free. Youth ages 10-17 may fish with the $5 Youth Combo Hunt/Fish license. For adults 18 and over, choices include the Community Fishing license for $24 (good at the 36 CFP locations), the General Fishing license ($37 for residents, $55 for nonresidents, and good for state waters or CFP locations), or the Combo Hunt/Fish license ($57 for residents, $160 for nonresidents, and good for state waters or CFP locations).

The opening of the CFP is just part of some big changes beginning Jan. 1, including the new hunting and fishing license and fee structure.  See more information.

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