Fishing Program FAQ's
to your questions"
| Q: "What
lakes are included in the Urban Fishing Program?"
A: The current list of lakes that are designated
Urban Fishing Program lakes includes: Desert
Breeze and Veterans Oasis Lakes in Chandler; Water Ranch Lake
in Gilbert; Red Mountain and Riverview Lakes
in Mesa; Green Valley Lakes in Payson; Rio
Vista Pond in Peoria; Alvord (at Cesar Chavez
Park), Cortez, Desert West, Encanto Lakes,
Steele Indian School Pond and Papago Ponds in Phoenix; Sahuarita Lake in Sahuarita;
Chaparral Lake in Scottsdale; Surprise Lake
in Surprise; Evelyn Hallman Pond and Kiwanis Lake in Tempe;
and Kennedy, Lakeside (at Chuck Ford-Lakeside
Park) and Silverbell (at Christopher Columbus
Park) Lakes in Tucson.
"What kind of license do I need to fish these
designated Urban Fishing Program waters and
where can I purchase one?"
A: If you are 14 years of age or older, you
must buy an $18.50 Class U Urban Fishing license
(rates are the same whether a resident or
non-resident). The Class U license covers
all fish species found in the designated
Urban Fishing Program lakes including trout.
Juveniles under the
age of 14 do not need a license. The new Class L Super Fishing License is valid for all statewide and Urban Fishing Program waters. Other licenses
that are valid at designated Urban Fishing
Program lakes are: Class D resident or non-resident
one-day fishing licenses; Class N Super Combination Hunt and Fish License; resident youth-group
two-day fishing licenses (sold to groups
of up to 20 juveniles age 14-17); and Pioneer
and disabled veteran complimentary licenses.
Urban and one day fishing licenses can be
purchased from any of 340 dealers statewide
that sells state fishing and hunting licenses, any Game and Fish office, or online through the Game and Fish website. A regular Arizona fishing license (Class A, B, C, F or I)
not needed nor valid at the designated Urban
Fishing Program waters.
types of fish are in the Urban lakes?"
A: Catchable rainbow trout are
stocked during the winter months (November thru March) and channel
catfish are stocked in the spring/summer/fall months (March to June
and September to November). Additionally, sunfish and largemouth bass are
stocked each year. Largemouth bass, bluegill and other sunfish species are common.
Other species of fish (not regularly stocked) that may occur in these lakes
include carp, white amur, tilapia,
the fish safe to eat?"
A: Yes. Overseeing the quality and health of the lakes and the fish involves
a partnership between the cities, the Game and Fish Department and the
Department of Environmental Quality. Lake water quality is monitored regularly
to ensure compliance with state standards. The trout, catfish and sunfish
stocked into our designated Urban Fishing Program lakes come from reputable
fish farms with strict fish health standards and quality control practices.
Most of the stocked fish don't stay in the lakes for long (80% of the stocked
fish are caught within 30 days). Finally, remember that proper care and
cooking of your catch will ensure a healthy and delicious meal!
are designated Urban Fishing Program lakes
A: Lakes are stocked every two weeks
from September to June. Due to extremely high
lake temperatures, there are no catfish stockings
from July 1 to September 15. Specific stocking
days are not publicized, however the week
of stocking is shared with the public. This
gives everyone an equal opportunity to take
advantage of the stocked fish and emphasizes
the sporting aspects of fishing. It also assists
in reducing crowding and other associated
impacts on stocking days. On stocking weeks,
fish stockings may occur from Monday through
Saturday with days randomly determined.
many fish does each lake get?"
A: Designated Urban Fishing Program lakes are stocked on a surface-acre basis. For each surface acre, a lake receives from 65-150 pounds of catfish or 25-45 pounds of trout per stocking. On average, that equates to approximately 50 catfish or 75 trout per acre. The four waters under the Urban Pond management concept are also stocked every two weeks, but at rates of 30 catfish or 45 trout stocked per acre. With stockings occurring every two weeks at Urban Lakes and Urban Ponds, most lakes get over 20 stockings per year.
"What is the limit at these Urban Lakes and
A: For Urban Lakes, the daily bag and possession
limit is 4 trout and 4 catfish, 2 largemouth
bass of 13 inches or more, 10 sunfish, and
one white amur of 30 inches or more. Statewide
limits apply to all other fish species. For
waters managed under the Urban Pond concept,
the limits are 2 trout, 2 catfish, 1 largemouth
bass of 13 inches or more, 5 sunfish, and
one white amur of 30 inches or more. For unlicensed
juveniles under the age of 14, they may take
the same limits of fish as a licensed angler
with the exception of trout, where the daily
limit is 1/2 the established limit.
"Can I fish with two poles at Urban Program
A: Urban anglers may fish with two poles providing they have a valid Two
Pole Stamp in their possession and it is affixed to either their current
Urban Fishing License or state fishing license. Two Pole Stamps cost $6
and can be obtained from any license dealer or Department office.
any big fish stocked in these Urban lakes?"
A: Yes! The ratio is about one big fish for every 20 stocked, so several
lucky anglers may take home bragging-sized fish from each stocking, which
could mean a 3-6 pound catfish or a 2-3 pound trout. However, remember
that these fish are bought by the pound (catfish average 1.8 pounds each,
trout average over 1/2 pound each). This means that as more lunkers are
stocked, the total number of fish stocked drops. So by stocking more "keepersized" fish,
everyone has a better chance of catching fish.
"Who pays for the Urban Fishing Program?"
A: The Urban Fishing Program is a cooperative
effort between the cities of Chandler, Gilbert,
Mesa, Payson, Peoria, Phoenix, Sahuarita,
Scottsdale, Surprise, Tempe and Tucson. The
program is supported by the sale of Urban
Fishing Licenses and from fees from the city
parks and recreation departments. During 2011,
over $650,000 was spent on stocking keeper-size
channel catfish, rainbow trout, and sunfish.
"Why are some lakes in urban areas not in
the Urban Fishing Program and not a designated
Urban Fishing Program lake?"
A: There are several reasons, including, but
not limited to: 1) these lakes are either
smaller than 2 acres and/or have poor water
quality to support stocked fish; 2) they have
inadequate facilities or are not open to the
public or; 3) their managing entity or the
city chooses not to enter into a cooperative
agreement with the Department. The Department
is committed to growth of the Urban Fishing
Program and is always looking for new fishery
opportunities and partnerships. Watch for
growth in the future.