What Can You Expect When Fishing At Roosevelt Lake

By fishaz.azgfd.com

Fishing for all species of fish in Roosevelt Lake is reported as excellent. Bass anglers are reporting excellent topwater and crank-bait results. Jigs, crawdad imitation baits as well as artificial worms were also reported successful. Reports of more than 20 bass being caught and released are not uncommon.

Crappie anglers are also reporting catching limits of crappie within a few hours of fishing early in the morning. Crappie schools are being located very close to natural cover in the lake or the artificial habitat structures deployed by the AZGFD. In addition, catfish anglers reported catching some nice sized catfish during the night and especially during the full moon phase. Another factor anglers consider significant is that the water temperature dropped by a few degrees for the first time this summer. During most of August, the peak water temperature during the day was in the mid 80s. Recently, temperatures have fallen to the low 80s. The water is very clear in the middle portions of the lake and slightly stained in areas where water is flowing into the lake.

The fishaz.azgfd.com website contains an article showing photographs of the different types of habitat that have been deployed into Roosevelt lake. More importantly, they show what the habitat actually looks like on the graph screen. Many anglers are reporting that the habitat may not be exactly on the coordinate listed, but they will be within several feet of the location. It is recommended to drive your boat in circles around the coordinate position, expanding away from location. You will find the structures in the general areas listed. AZGFD personnel recently dove underwater onto a few of the habitat sites to inspect them and to analyze the performance. They confirmed what anglers have been saying for several months: the habitat are loaded with several species of fish. A very positive sign was the number of bluegill fish observed on the structures. 

The lake level dropped 1% to 41% full recently after holding steady at 42% full for the past couple of weeks. The monsoon rains are adding much needed water and nutrients to the lake. The Salt River is flowing at 50% of its normal rate and the Tonto Creek is flowing again at 20 CFPS. The 2018 monsoon rain totals are above average with about a month remaining in the official monsoon season. The monsoon rains resulted in the lake level dropping by slightly over 2.5 vertical feet during August after falling over 4 vertical feet for the past two previous months.

Trout fishing on the Rim lakes and streams has been reported as excellent. The Summer Trout Stocking Program has ended for the East Verde River and Haigler Creek. Tonto Creek will be stocked through September. Tiger trout were recently stocked into Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes. Included in these most recent stocking were about 40 “incentive sized” Tiger Trout ranging from 14” to 19”. 

The AZGFD is planning a Roosevelt Lake habitat building work project for Sept. 28-29 at the Amphitheater parking lot near Windy Hill. The work will begin at 7 a.m. each morning and continue until mid-afternoon. These habitat structures are vital to the successful recovery of Roosevelt Lake. These events are great fun and an excellent opportunity to practice conservation. To sign up, contact Bryant Dickens at bdickens@azgfd.gov.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.