First, some great news from Lees Ferry. This massive, clear-running tailwater fishery in northern Arizona could be back in a boom phase of good trout fishing according to a report from Lees Ferry anglers.
Also, check out our top-5 fishing spots for this winter (if you haven’t already). Spots like these are why it’s great to be an angler in Arizona.
Schooling winter crappie
The next month can be an excellent time for crappie fishing. Try Alamo and Roosevelt lakes. During this time, crappie are in large schools and the weather is stable most of the time. Fronts moving through the area will negatively impact a bite. Be sure to fish deep and on the right day. Look for a flotilla of boats as a sign that a school of crappie has been located.
Roosevelt Lake one of U.S. top “Waters to Watch”
The National Fish Habitat Partnership has unveiled its list of seven “Waters to Watch” for 2017, a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries, lakes and watershed systems that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition.
Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest was listed for its collaborative partnership that has been formed to address habitat issues.
Read more about our habitat improvement project.
High country freeze reports
Flagstaff region: On Tuesday, Ashurst Lake was about ¾ frozen at 10:30 a.m. with a big opening by the boat ramp. Lower Lake Mary was completely frozen and Upper Lake Mary was more than half frozen. Kaibab Lake was almost completely frozen.
White Mountain region: There are reports that Big Lake is icing over. The Big Lake Store is closed for the winter.
Above 5,000 feet in elevation, there continue to be below-zero morning temperatures and water temperatures in the 30s at the highest elevation lakes. We consider all ice in Arizona unsafe.
Bald eagle closure in effect at Lake Pleasant
The annual bald eagle closure of the Agua Fria arm (see a park map for details of the closure area) went into effect Friday, December 15, 2017, and will remain closed until June 15 2018, in an effort to ensure the conservation of bald eagles during nesting season. Obey all posted signage and buoy markers associated with the closure area.
Short-term combo license sale
We’re having our first year-end cast and blast sale! Save $5 on all Short-Term combo licenses NOW! The sale ends Jan. 1. Get yours.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.
Dave White Pond (Casa Grande)
This young angler caught a nice rainbow trout on a spinner on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9 along the shoreline of Dave White Pond in Casa Grande. Our Community Fishing Program reaches 41 waters in 20 communities like Casa Grande — and growing.
By Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):
Dead Horse Lakes, Fain Lake, Saguaro Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Somerton (Council Ave.) Pond, Yuma West Wetlands.
Thursday, Dec. 14 — Canyon Lake. Wednesday, Dec. 13 — Chaparral Lake, Riverview Lake, Kiwanis Park Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake, Patagonia Lake, Salt River.