ST. JOHNS – Patterson Ponds, located in the rural community of St. Johns in the White Mountains of northeast Arizona, will become the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s newest Community Fishing Program (CFP) water. The ponds are scheduled to receive their first stocking of rainbow trout during the week of March 21-26.
The site, located approximately 1.1 miles south of Highway 180 (West Cleveland St.) and 24th St. W., is comprised of an upper and a lower pond that total approximately 8.2 acres.
The plan is to stock the ponds at least two times per year with trout, three times per year with catfish, and once with sunfish. This represents an incredible opportunity for the kids and families of this community to enjoy a heritage-rich activity together – fishing and being in the outdoors.
“We’re just excited that we’re able to provide an opportunity for our youth to have a wholesome activity that gets them outdoors,” said Paul Ramsey, St. Johns interim city manager. “We’re just appreciative of Arizona Game and Fish and the cooperative effort with the community of St. Johns to make this happen.”
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Patterson Ponds will become the 38th water added to the program, and the first CFP water east of Payson. The city of St. John’s has been seeking to establish a nearby location where kids and families can easily ride their bicycles after school or on the weekends.
Joel Weiss, an AZGFD wildlife manager in St. Johns, had been working with community leaders in St. Johns to get something established. The ponds were a perfect fit for the program – the city had the land, two established ponds, a reliable source of water, and a desire to make it an improvement for the community.
“Whatever fish are in the ponds happened to come through canals from Lyman Reservoir – and Lyman’s 13 miles away from the ponds,” Weiss said. “So that was too far for them to bike. This will give the kids an opportunity to actually catch fish right here in town.”
Recent additions to the CFP in Avondale and Casa Grande also have ponds, and local residents are elated to have somewhere close to home that they can go fishing. The CFP is dedicated to continually growing and partnering with new communities.