Tip of the week
With more cold fronts ahead (according to most forecasting pros) it is looking like typical March spring fishing conditions could come later than usual. Keep an eye on water temperatures. Largemouth bass typically spawn once water temperatures are 65-75 degrees. A black crappie’s ideal “living conditions” is around 70 degrees. Water temperatures at most desert impoundments have been in the mid-50s and low-60s. Make that 52 degrees Wednesday at Goldwater Lake in Prescott and 57 degrees Tuesday at Dead Horse Lake in Cottonwood.
Depending on the region, fishing waters statewide are frozen, stained, spilling, partially iced-over (like Tunnel Reservoir in Greer, above) or just right for some great fishing. In Community Fishing Program waters, there is only one stocking of winter trout remaining, and it’s happening this week. Catfish stockings are scheduled to begin the week of March 18-22.
Also, see what’s been stocked this week (below) for some better bets.
The Arizona Department of Water Resources reported that as of mid-February, snowpack in Arizona’s Salt and Verde rivers watershed stood at 118 percent of normal. See the report.
Salt River Project water levels
Bartlett Lake on Thursday was 97-percent full, having risen about 10 feet during the past week. SRP on Thursday afternoon was releasing 4,200 cfs out of Horseshoe Dam.
Roosevelt Lake was up to 56-percent full and has risen 17 feet during the past month. See the water levels report.
Anglers are reminded to be careful when crossing low-lying areas and washes.
High country update
In the high country, many waters are full and spilling or frozen. As such, fishing opportunities can be tough to predict. See a full White Mountains and Mogollon Rim fishing report.
In the Flagstaff/Williams (North Central) region, Lower Lake Mary went from being dry during the fall to about half-full with run-off still coming in. There are no fish there, but we plan to stock it by mid-March. Kaibab Lake also is full and spilling and trout will be stocked once the lake stops spilling. At Dogtown Reservoir, access can be difficult in March until snow drifts on the road melt. At Dogtown and Ashurst Lake, fishing is good during the spring for large holdover trout.
This week’s scheduled stockings
Dead Horse Lake
Tempe Town Lake
Community “core” waters
Upcoming Family Fishing Events
Youth and Community Fishing Day
Saturday, April 6, 2019, 8 a.m-noon
Cortez Park, 3434 W. Dunlap Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85051
The Arizona Game and Fish will be working with Phoenix Mayor, Thelda Williams, along with partners City of Phoenix, Phoenix Police Department to provide a morning of free, family and community fishing and fun. Game and Fish staff from the Sport Fishing Education Program and volunteer instructors will be on hand to provide tips on fishing and answer your angling questions. Bring your own equipment or there will be loaner rods available. Participants, who register at the Game and Fish booth, will be provided bait and will not need a fishing license during the hours of the event.
For more information please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240.