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Arizona Community Fishing Program

Arizona's Community Fishing Program is recognized nationally as one of the best in the country. The Program is a partnership with the Game and Urban Fishing ArizonaFish Department and local Parks and Recreation Departments to intensively stock and manage park lakes for fishing recreation. Simply put, the Program operates on the premise that "if people can't get out of town to fish, we will bring fish into town for the people." The Program provides convenient, affordable, accessible and fun fishing for anglers of all ages and abilities.

There are currently 36 designated Community Fishing Program lakes in 15 cities. Most of these lakes are intensively stocked from 20 to 24 times per year with trout, catfish and sunfish. The cost of bringing these keeper-sized fish into city park lakes means that anglers age 10 and over must purchase a Fishing license to fish Community Program lakes. Participating lakes are identified by signs posted at each park. Check for lake locations, park hours and regulations, fish species lists, and all kinds of fishing information in the 2014 Community Fishing Guidebook [PDF, 11mb] available at your nearest license dealer, Game and Fish office, or as a download (PDF) from this site.

Most of these specially designated Program lakes are stocked with healthy, catchable fish on an every-other week basis throughout most of the year. Farm-raised channel catfish (15-20 inch average) are stocked from mid March through late June and from late September through mid November. Rainbow trout (10-12 inch average) are stocked from mid November to March. Sunfish are stocked once during the year in the spring. There are no fish stockings scheduled between July 1 and September 15 due to high lake temperature conditions and the high risk of transporting fish this time of year.

Many fishing clinics and educational programs are held each year at park lakes. Youth participation is a high priority and they represent 25% of the Program participants. In addition to catching healthy and delicious 11-inch trout and 1.8 pound catfish, anglers benefit socially and psychologically by spending time with friends and family and relaxing along the shores of a sparkling lake in a comfortable and safe park setting-making a positive quality-of-life impact for our communities.

          Why fish Community Program lakes?

Most lakes are intensively stocked

Lakes and parks are well maintained

Fishing is a fun and rewarding sport

Anyone can fish

Fishing is relaxing and peaceful

Parks are pleasant and safe environments

Fish are safe to eat and good for you    

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