Fall greetings: new waters to welcome return of Community catfish

He’s the line-ripping, whisker-faced fish with a helmet of steel. Just in time for the return of football season, fall weather, and dove hunting, channel catfish make their return to Community Fishing Program waters.

Mark the week of Sept. 18 for the return of Mr. Whiskers. Be sure to check out the latest Community stocking schedule.

Along with the first catfish stocking of the fall season, we’ll be unveiling a pair of additions to the Community Fishing Program:

Show Low Creek

Located just downstream of Show Low Lake, we’re scheduled to stock this scenic, high country creek with trout in September. (And there’s even a disc golf course nearby.)

The new addition to the Community Fishing Program is the meadow portion of the creek, downstream of Show Low Lake approximately 3 miles, starting near the Hampton Inn & Suites, and running downstream through the large open meadow to the foot bridge at Show Low Bluff Trail.

Trout will be the primary species and stocking is scheduled to occur during September, October, November, March, and April.  Catfish and sunfish will be stocked at least once during the summer months when the temperatures are too warm for trout.

Note that catfish aren’t planned to be stocked into Show Low Creek until next summer.

Greenfield Pond (Mesa)

Located just north of Water Ranch Lake in Gilbert, Greenfield will be stocked with catfish for the first time in November.

Until then we’ll just be stocking forage fish into the pond to serve as a food base for the catfish. Basically, the pond is open to fishing in November.


How to catch Community Fishing Program catfish

First of all, all fishing and combo licenses allow the angler to fish with two poles or lines simultaneously (more than two poles may not be used at the same time). So try a couple different baits and stick to what works.

Worms, stink baits, hot dogs, liver and shrimp (anglers can get uncooked saltwater shrimp from some discount stores) all have been known to catch cats.

Try these baits on a hook and sinker setup. Find deeper holes, or fish after dark at parks that are open late.

Pick up a Community Fishing Program guidebook at all AZGFD offices, and grab a license online (Community licenses are $24, valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and conserve wildlife for future generations).

See more details on the Community Fishing Program.

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