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  Wildlife News - Sept. 12

Wildlife News
Sep 12, 2008

In this issue:

  • Commission selects 2008 award recipients at September meeting
  • Spring hunting regulations printed and in stores now
  • Bald eagles in Arizona follow their own flight plan
  • Last weekend to go dove hunting
  • Dove hunters can extend their wingshooting by heading to the mountains
  • Endangered fish return to native waters in Arizona
  • District Court ruling lets stand wildlife water development on Kofa Wildlife Refuge
  • Arizona Game and Fish Commission opposes Proposition 105
  • Arizona Wildlife Views TV show nominated for Emmy
  • Arizona Game and Fish Commissioners recognize volunteers for OHV work
  • 5-stand now available at Ben Avery Clay Target Center
  • Javelina hunting clinics offered by Game and Fish
  • Angling workshop offered to refine trout-fishing skills


Commission selects 2008 award recipients at September meeting
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission selected its 2008 Commission Award recipients at its monthly public meeting in Pinetop on Sept. 5-6. The award winners, who will be formally recognized at the annual Meet the Commission banquet in January, are:

  • Award of Excellence – Senator Linda Gray, Clyde Halstead, John Wintersteen, Chandler Rod and Gun Club, Off-Highway Vehicle Legislative Work Group, United Arizona Anglers Foundation
  • Youth Environmentalist of the Year – Arizona Envirothon State Champions (Clint Hales, Zach Hare, Natalie Lucas, Michelle Scmoker and Rachel Stringer, all at Sinagua High School)
  • Outdoor Writer of the Year – J.C. Amberlyn
  • Media of the Year – Arizona Boating and Watersports
  • Conservation Organization of the Year – Phoenix Zoo
  • Conservationist of the Year – Marty Underwood
  • Environmentalist of the Year – Warner Glenn
  • Volunteers of the Year – Steve Hopkins, Dave Hoyle
  • Educator of the Year – Debi Molina-Walters
  • License Dealer of the Year – Sportsman’s Warehouse
  • Outdoor Woman of the Year – Betty Mason
  • Wildlife Habitat Stewardship Award – Peggy Ingham

The Commission Awards Banquet will be held the evening of January 17, 2009 at the Four Points Sheraton, 10220 N. Metro Parkway East, Phoenix. More information on the banquet and the award winners will be posted at www.azgfd.gov/commission (click on the “commission awards” link).

In other matters at its September meeting, the commission:

  • Unanimously voted to oppose Proposition 105, a ballot initiative that would require any future ballot initiative that imposes additional taxes or state spending to be approved by a majority of all registered voters – not just a majority of those casting votes. See the article in this issue of Wildlife News for more information.
  • Approved the department’s land exchange of the 3-acre Commission-owned Bow and Arrow Park property with the City of Flagstaff in exchange for a 20-year water commitment that would help maintain water sites in important wildlife watching areas.
  • Approved the department’s acquisition of 122 acres near the headwaters of the San Pedro River from The Nature Conservancy.
  • Heard an informational presentation from the Arizona Department of Transportation and the department on the current status of funding needs for future transportation projects that may affect wildlife.
  • Directed the department to continue to work on plans to relocate the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, and specifically to explore the costs associated with doing either a temporary or permanent move to the department’s Deer Valley South property.

The next Arizona Game and Fish Commission meeting will be held on Oct. 10-11 in Phoenix. An agenda will be posted soon at www.azgfd.gov/commission.

 

Spring hunting regulations printed and in stores now
Applications being accepted by mail only; deadline is Oct. 14
Sportsmen in pursuit of turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear can now find printed copies of the 2009 spring hunting regulations at Arizona Game and Fish Department offices and license dealers statewide. The deadline to apply for hunt permit-tags is Tuesday, Oct. 14 by 7 p.m. (MST).

“There are some exciting changes to next year’s spring hunting regulations, including three new over-the-counter nonpermit-tags,” said Brian Wakeling, Arizona Game and Fish Department’s big game management supervisor. “These should help get more folks out hunting that might be struggling with fuel costs, time away from work, and other economy-related burdens.”

The new over-the-counter (OTC) nonpermit-tags are:

  • Juniors-only (17 and under) spring turkey hunts, shotgun shooting shot
  • Archery-only spring javelina hunts in metro Units 11M, 25M, 26M, 38M, and 47M
  • General spring bear in all Units, except 6B and Fort Huachuca, and early archery hunts in Units 3B/3C and 33 (annual and hunt unit harvest limits still apply)

“For those new to hunting, javelina are an excellent quarry to learn how to hunt. Javelina often live in herds of 7-10 animals, and these animals are not as difficult to hunt when compared with deer or elk. As table fare, they make very good breakfast sausage, like chorizo, as well as Italian and bratwurst sausages,” adds Wakeling.

While the spring of 2009 may seem far away, applicants are encouraged to apply early. The grace period ends Sept. 25 by 5 p.m. If your application has been received by the department by that date (postmarks don’t count), and you’ve made a mistake on your hunt-permit application, the department will attempt to call you three times in a 24-hour period and give you the opportunity to correct the mistake. After that date, mistakes can cause your application to be rejected.

The deadline to submit an application for the spring hunts is Tuesday, Oct. 14, by 7 p.m. (MST) – postmarks do not count. There is no online application process available for the fall hunts – it is a manual paper-permit process only.

Also new this year is an editable PDF application. Just type out your information on the computer, then print it out, sign, include your payment and then mail it in. Applicants are encouraged to use the form to prevent some of the common mistakes (including using the unit numbers instead of four-digit hunt number) and for improved legibility. The new form is available at www.azgfd.gov/rules by clicking on “Hunt Permit/Tag Application Form.”

 

Bald eagles in Arizona follow their own flight plan
Real-life population trends contradict model
As is often the case, real life does not always follow a predetermined plan, and such is the case with bald eagles in Arizona.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s real-life data shows that the bald eagle population in the state has been growing four percent annually. Paradoxically, a demographic model recently developed by the department predicted that the population at best would remain stable or would have declined at a rate of 3.6 to 5.5 percent (depending on the data input) during the same period.

In reality, bald eagle numbers over the past 30 years have grown more than 400 percent in Arizona, with the number of breeding pairs increasing in that time from only 11 pairs to 56 in 2008. The state also welcomed a record 53 fledglings to the skies this year, a 26 percent increase over 2007.   

A test of the initial data has been completed, and the model, “Demographic Analysis of the Bald Eagle in Arizona,” is now available through the department.

 “Modeling is a basic tool of science that is used to determine how different variables affect a population. In this case, the model does not fit our real data and it has no value as a management tool,” says Eric Gardner, nongame branch chief for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “We were disappointed that the model produced results that were contrary to our real data, but models aren’t perfect and real data remains the best indicator of the health of a species’ population.”

The model uses data collected from 1991 through 2003. Since data was first entered into the model, additional data collected from 2004 through 2008 on the bald eagle population further demonstrates the upward trend of the species in the state.

“Bald eagles in Arizona are one of the most studied populations, and we have one of the most comprehensive data collections on bald eagles in the country,” says Gardner. “The effort to develop this model wasn’t wasted because it showed us where the current data set is lacking.” 

To obtain a copy of the demographic analysis, contact the department at (623) 236-7575.

 

Last weekend to go dove hunting
The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds dove hunters this is the last weekend to challenge their wingshooting skills on the darting gray acrobats. The early dove season ends for adults at noon on Monday, Sept. 15.

Kids get longer shooting hours. Youth hunters 17 and under, are permitted to hunt through sunset each day. Youth 13 and under do not need a hunting license when accompanied by a licensed adult. Young hunters 14 and older are required to have a general hunting license. However, young hunters 16 and older are required to have a migratory bird stamp in addition to their general hunting license. Licenses and stamps are available at any department office or license dealer.

Speaking of young hunters, the department is hosting a free dove hunt Saturday, Sept. 13 in the East Valley near Queen Creek. Mentors will be on hand to help teach the basics of dove hunting and firearm safety. Loaner shotguns and ammunition are available on a limited basis, but participants who have their own are encouraged to bring them. Those interested will meet at 5 a.m. at the northeast corner of E. Germann Road and S. Meridian Drive north of Queen Creek.

Dove hunters are reminded to hunt outside of city limits, don’t shoot within a quarter mile of a building, don’t take low-flying shots, and be sure of your target and beyond.

The 2008-09 Dove and Band-tailed Pigeon Regulations can be found at www.azgfd.gov/rules.

Lastly, while the early season ends on Monday, there is a late season for dove hunters. Offering all day hunting for youth and adults, the season begins Nov.21, 2008 and runs through Jan. 4, 2009.

 

Dove hunters can extend their wingshooting by heading to the mountains
The early dove season closes Monday, Sept. 15, but dove hunters can extend their wingshooting opportunities by heading to the high country and pursuing band-tailed pigeons, blue grouse and chukar partridge beginning this Friday, Sept. 12

After hunting dove in unseasonably hot desert temperatures, a retreat up north, where the daytime temperatures typically only reach 80 degrees, may be just what the doctor ordered. Band-tailed pigeons, blue grouse and chukar offer wingshooters a challenging and rewarding experience as well as great eating.

“The forecast for all three species looks to be above average to good thanks to the excellent snow and rainfall we received this winter,” says Randy Babb, Game and Fish biologist and avid hunter. “That precipitation brings the plants, bugs, seeds and acorns that are needed for new recruitment and healthy populations.”

Band-tailed pigeon season is divided into two zones. The northern zone is open from Sept. 12 to Oct. 5, while the southern zone opens Sept. 19 and runs through the same closing date of Oct. 5 (see regulations for boundaries). Band-tails inhabit ponderosa pine forests or dense stands of evergreen oaks and pines between 4,500 and 9,100 feet elevation. They can be found in mid-morning visiting water holes and typically are in areas with high concentrations of oak acorns, elderberries, and pinion nuts . For more details, see the 2008-09 Arizona Dove and Band-tailed Pigeon Regulations at www.azgfd.gov/rules.

Blue grouse season runs from Sept. 12 to Nov. 16. Blue grouse are bluish-gray, chicken-sized birds restricted to subalpine elevations above 8,500 feet in mixed conifer and aspen forests. Birds can be found at the edges of the forest and meadow areas foraging for food (old logging roads are good places to hunt in appropriate habitat). Grouse hunters are reminded that Units 4A and 5A are closed, and to be certain of their target: baby turkey (poults) look similar to blue grouse. Turkey can only be hunted with a special hunt permit-tag. For more details see the 2008-09 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations at www.azgfd.gov/rules.

Chukar season is liberal and runs from Sept. 12, 2008 – Feb. 8, 2009. However, Arizona has an extremely limited population of chukar. Good starting points for attempting this hunt can be found in the rough canyon country of Snake Gulch and Kanab Creek north of the Grand Canyon. For more details see the 2008-09 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations at www.azgfd.gov/rules.

Any of these hunts can be combined with a family camping vacation and offer a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. Besides the hunting aspect, getting outdoors is a great way to teach youngsters about wildlife and nature.

For more information about small game hunting in Arizona, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Web site at www.azgfd.gov/hunting.

 

Endangered fish return to native waters in Arizona
It’s been a plan long in the making, but yesterday, the first Gila topminnow fish were re-established in their native Arizona waters as part of a new program aimed at enlisting the help of non-federal landowners to conserve this endangered species.

More than 200 fish were released into the TimBuckTwo pond near Amado, south of Tucson, on private land. The fish for this inaugural release came from Arizona State University (ASU), where breeding stock is maintained for the species. In addition to ASU, Desert Harbor Elementary School in Peoria also maintains a captive population of Gila topminnow.

“These fish were once common in southern Arizona below 5,200 feet, but populations declined due to habitat loss and competition from non-native species,” says Jeff Sorensen, native fish and invertebrate program manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “Today’s stocking is particularly important because these fish are of the rare Redrock lineage that only existed in captivity until today. This release will help us increase the numbers of this important lineage.”

While this is not the first re-establishment of Gila topminnow in Arizona, it is the first to occur as part of a new Safe Harbor Agreement. This program greatly increases the opportunities for private and non-federal landowners to participate in conservation and recovery efforts of endangered Gila topminnow, desert pupfish, Yaqui topminnow, and Quitobaquito pupfish by providing refuge sites. Most of the previous releases of Gila topminnow occurred on government or public-owned properties.

 “We are pleased to add a third population of the Redrock lineage of Gila topminnow. It’s even more pleasing to accomplish it with conservation-minded landowners using this important tool to recover native fish in Arizona,” says Doug Duncan, a fish biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The reintroduction was carried out through a cooperative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Game and Fish and the landowners.

"As professional biologists, we realize the importance of the Gila topminnow as part of the ecosystem and the state's wildlife resources. We are delighted to be able to participate, as private landowners, in the conservation efforts for this species and to do our part to ensure the continued presence of these fish in Arizona," say Kathy Groschupf and Frank Baucom, owners of TimBuckTwo. 

Gila topminnows provide natural vector control, effectively preying on mosquito larvae and helping to control mosquito-borne illnesses. As a native species, they pose fewer threats to other species sharing the same habitat than non-native species that have been introduced in the past. 

These fish grow to approximately 2 inches long and are the only native fish in Arizona to give birth to live young. They prefer shallow, slow-moving waters, and they were once the most common fish species in the Gila River basin.

 

District Court ruling lets stand wildlife water development on Kofa Wildlife Refuge
Thirsty bighorn sheep and other desert wildlife stand to benefit from a recent court ruling that says redevelopment of existing wildlife water sources on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge near Yuma did not violate federal environmental policy laws.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary H. Murguia ruled Sept. 5 that a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to allow redevelopment of two existing water catchments using motorized equipment did not violate the Wilderness Act and that the agency complied with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in allowing the work to occur.

These redevelopments provide more dependable sources of water for wildlife in areas of the refuge where access to water was limited.

The ruling is a significant win for federal and state wildlife management authorities in their ongoing efforts to improve habitat conditions that help support healthy wildlife populations on the refuge. The Arizona Game and Fish Department was granted intervener status by the court and is a partner with the FWS in restoring the desert bighorn sheep herd found on the Kofa.

“This decision supports the department’s long-held position that healthy wildlife populations are an important component of the wilderness experience and that wildlife management and wilderness values are not incompatible,” said Larry D. Voyles, director of the Game and Fish Department. “The ruling acknowledges that well-planned, active management activities critical to the recovery and sustainment of wildlife can be successfully balanced with wilderness requirements.”

Wilderness Watch and several other groups had filed a lawsuit in June 2007 in an attempt to prevent the continued operation of the wildlife water tanks. The groups argued that the FWS had followed an existing refuge management plan rather than the Wilderness Act in allowing the construction work. But the court ruled that the FWS considered both the plan and the act, and was correct in issuing a “categorical exclusion” as permitted by NEPA.

“We are pleased with the court's ruling," said Benjamin N. Tuggle, FWS Regional Director. “As we move forward, it is our intention to continue to work cooperatively with all entities interested in ensuring healthy wildlife populations and protection of sensitive lands.”

The Kofa National Wildlife Refuge consists of more than 665,000 acres, of which approximately 510,000 acres are designated as wilderness. It is home to a variety of wildlife including one of the most important desert bighorn sheep populations found in the Southwest. Since 1957, the Kofa herd has been a source of transplant animals for the recovery and sustainment of desert bighorn populations in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas as well as throughout historic range in Arizona. In 2006, a survey of the population found that numbers had dropped to an historic low. An investigation by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and FWS identified drought as one likely cause of the population decline.  The most recent survey, completed in November 2007, estimates a population of 460 sheep on the refuge.

For more information about the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s cooperative management efforts on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, please visit www.azgfd.gov/kofa.

To view a copy of the U.S. District Court order about water development, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/bhsheep/press.shtml.

 

Arizona Game and Fish Commission opposes Proposition 105
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has unanimously voted to oppose Proposition 105, an initiative that will be on November’s ballot for consideration by Arizona voters.

Proposition 105, also known as the “Majority Rules” initiative, would require any future ballot initiative that imposes additional taxes or state spending to be approved by a majority of all registered voters – not just a majority of those casting votes.

Currently, initiative measures pass or fail based on the actual votes cast by registered voters in the state. Proposition 105 seeks to amend that to include all registered voters, even those that do not cast a vote. If Proposition 105 passes, failure to cast a vote would equate to a ‘no’ vote.

“Arizona citizens concerned with conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat should be vitally concerned about this proposition. Arizona's population is exploding and will continue to explode over future decades. Protecting critical wildlife habitat and wildlife funding will not keep pace if this initiative passes,” says Bill McLean, chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

McLean noted that, as we currently understand the proposition, passage of two ballot initiatives that have benefited wildlife and conservation in Arizona would have failed if Proposition 105 had been in place at the time. The Heritage Initiative, which passed by a nearly two-to-one margin in 1990, provides funds from Arizona Lottery revenues to support wildlife conservation activities, parks, trails, natural areas and historic preservation. Proposition 202, the Indian Gaming Preservation and Self-Reliance Act, passed in 2002 and provides wildlife conservation funds from tribal gaming revenues.

The commission also noted that if Proposition 105 had been in place prior to 1998, it would have prevented the passage of every ballot measure between 1998 and 2006. 

The commission took its action at its Sept. 5 meeting in Pinetop.

 

Arizona Wildlife Views TV show nominated for Emmy
The producers of Arizona Wildlife Views, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s television show, have been nominated for a Rocky Mountain Southwest Emmy award in the Environment Program category.

Producers Carol Lynde and Gary Schafer were nominated for “Wildlife on the Move,” an episode about a pronghorn capture and relocation, the release of new condors into the wild, and the translocation of a herd of bighorn sheep. Both Lynde and Shafer have previously won Emmy awards.

This year’s Emmy winners will be announced on Oct. 4.

The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences includes Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and parts of California.

Arizona Wildlife Views is produced by the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s audio-visual section and introduces viewers to wildlife, fishing, hunting, boating, off-roading and many other topics. The show typically runs 13 new episodes each fall on PBS stations in Phoenix and Tucson and is picked up by cable stations throughout the state. To learn more about the show or to view past episodes, visit www.azgfd.gov/tv.


Arizona Game and Fish Commissioners recognize volunteers for OHV work
Eastern Arizona leaders help facilitate OHV bill’s passage
Several volunteers who played key roles in the passage of the new off-highway vehicle legislation were recently recognized for their efforts by Arizona Game and Fish Commissioners Robert Woodhouse and Norm Freeman.

 

Graham County Supervisor Drew John, who worked for several years to facilitate collaboration on the bill, Hank Rogers the force behind the annual Outlaw ATV Jamboree, and other members of the Apache County ATV Roughriders were all recognized as consistent advocates for responsible OHV recreation across Arizona. John and Rogers were presented plaques during the Outlaw ATV Jamboree in Eagar, Ariz.

“The challenging but rewarding effort to pass this legislation was made possible by the diligent efforts of a broad coalition of supporters,” said Joe Sacco, Game and Fish OHV law enforcement program manager.

The passage in June of Arizona Senate Bill 1167 will provide much-needed resources to better manage the explosive growth in off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation, helping protect wildlife habitat and access to OHV recreational opportunities. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2009.

The new law establishes a “user play, user pay” program that requires all recreational OHVs (ATVs, sand buggies, dirt bikes and UTVs) operated in the state to display an annual OHV user sticker purchased through the Motor Vehicle Division. The fee has yet to be determined but is expected to be nominal. Revenues from the user fee will be used to fund OHV management and maintain OHV recreational opportunities through enforcement, education, trail and facility maintenance, and development programs to help ensure sustainable access.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department Off-highway Vehicle Program thanks all of the supporters for their efforts toward the passage of this legislation.

 

5-stand now available at Ben Avery Clay Target Center
Recreational clay target shooters can now enjoy the challenge of 5-stand at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility’s Clay Target Center in Phoenix. The center has added 5-stand to augment its current offerings of trap, skeet and sporting clays.

Likened to an abbreviated version of sporting clays, 5-stand offers shooters a variety of target presentations to simulate the random flight paths of upland and waterfowl hunting. For those that typically shoot trap or skeet, this game will prove to be challenging and exciting.

 “5-stand is a very popular game. Our regular customers are happy to see us offering it again,” says Range Master Bill Kelsey. “The other day I pulled about 60 rounds non-stop. That’s 1,500 targets. They love it. I had to beg the shooters to give me a 5-minute water break.”

5-stand is set up on one of the center’s lighted trap/skeet fields and offers both daytime and nighttime shooting. Each station offers five targets chosen from seven different throwing positions and trajectories. At each station there is a menu of what targets will be presented. For example, station one might consist of the following: “single 7, report pair 1 and 5, true pair 3 and 4.” Each station is different, and the menus may change.

A round of 5-stand consists of 25 targets, five from each station, and the cost is only $6.50 per round. Hunters of dove and quail will find that 5-stand is a great way to get your shotgunning skills honed before going afield.

 Summer hours for the Ben Avery Clay Target Center continue until Oct. 15. For more information about hours, location and games offered, visit www.azgfd.gov/ctc.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department took over the operations of the Clay Target Center in 2006. Since that time the department has put in extensive repairs and improvements to bring the center to today’s standards. Improvements include lighting, shade awnings, all new throwers, voice-activated releases, new skeet houses, an updated sporting clays course with electronic play card readers, and - currently under construction - a new visitor’s center.

 

Javelina hunting clinics offered by Game and Fish
Getting started in something new is always hard, be it a new hobby, skilled trade or other interest. The same holds true for hunting, prompting the Arizona Game and Fish Department to host a two hunting workshops to teach the basics of hunting javelina.

These informative workshops are taught by knowledgeable wildlife biologists and fellow javelina hunters. Their goal is to teach new and youth hunters how to get started and increase their odds for success. Those interested are encouraged to attend one of the following free workshops:

  • Phoenix, Sept. 26 from 7-9 p.m., Arizona Game and Fish Department headquarters, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, (602) 942-3000.
  • Mesa, Sept. 26 from 7-9 p.m., Mesa Regional Game and Fish office, 7200 E. University Drive, (480) 981-9400.

Each workshop will include a PowerPoint presentation and discussions ranging from the biology and management of the animals, to the nuts and bolts about how to hunt them. Other key areas to be covered include identifying the signs of where they eat and sleep, and how to use binoculars to locate animals.

To hunt javelina, youth must be at least 10 years old and have passed a certified hunter education course. Youth over 14 are encouraged to take a hunter safety course, but it is not mandatory. Regardless of age, a general hunting license is required, as well as a javelina hunt permit-tag.

Currently, there are plenty of juniors-only fall javelina hunt permit-tags available on a first-come, first-serve basis by submitting an application via U.S. Mail. The majority of the hunts are in beautiful southern Arizona. The season dates are either Oct. 10-16 or Nov. 21-27, depending on choice of hunting area. For details on applying for a tag and a list of hunting area choices, visit www.azgfd.gov/draw.

Javelina resource links:

 

Angling workshop offered to refine trout-fishing skills
A unique fishing program for anglers wishing to refine their trout-fishing skills or who simply want to learn new fishing techniques is being offered by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in conjunction with the White Mountains Fly Fishing Club.

The public is invited to join fishing specialists at Becker Lake on Saturday, Oct. 4, for the inaugural Camp Trout workshop. The 3 ˝-hour program will feature one-on-one instruction on the use of lures and artificial flies to improve angling success.

“Participants will be able to choose from and rotate between a slate of learning activities, each led by an experienced instructor,” says Bruce Sitko, spokesman in the department’s Pinetop regional office. “There will be two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a 20-person limit per session. So don’t delay in signing up.”

Training will be offered in fly-fishing techniques, proper use of trout lures and presentation, use of casting bubbles with flies, and trolling techniques. There will be demonstrations on fly tying and methods of cooking and smoking fish. Resource materials and handouts will be provided, as well.

“Attendees are encouraged to bring their own equipment, but we’ll have plenty of specialized gear for folks to try out,” adds Sitko. “This program is about hands-on learning, asking questions and being with others who are also interested in fishing in Arizona.”

The program cost is $10, and interested parties must pre-register through the Pinetop office. Becker Lake is located adjacent to Springerville in the White Mountains, immediately south of U.S. Highway 60. For more information on the workshop, call the Pinetop office at (928) 367-4281.


 
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