This fall, the Arizona Game and Fish Department plans to use a crane on a 36-foot pontoon boat to sink fish habitat — critical to anglers’ fishing opportunities — into lakes along the Salt River chain in central Arizona.
For anglers, this ongoing project will result in better fishing for generations to come.
Roosevelt Lake is planned to be the first to receive habitat. These artificial structures and concrete reef balls attract bait fish, which then attract predatory fish for sport-fishing anglers to target. Habitat is important for fish spawning, recruitment, growth, health and populations.
The Fish Habitat Restoration Program requires numerous steps to get to the point of being able to put fish habitat in the lakes. In May, the Tonto National Forest (TNF) got the Department one step closer to putting fish habitat in central Arizona’s busiest and most popular fishing lakes and increasing catchability of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, and catfish.