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Phoenix Urban Fishing

Arizona Fishing
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Fishing in the urban desert? Sounds odd but it is true. New residents who have migrated from different places throughout the country, quickly learn about fishing opportunities at the major lakes throughout the state. Locals know there are countless places to cast in a line within Phoenix ’s metropolitan area. Thanks to the Arizona Urban Fishing Program residents of Phoenix can find fishing opportunities practically in their own back yards.

Girl urban fishing with her father.The Arizona Urban Fishing Program was formed thanks to the cooperative efforts of the various cities in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). The program has created opportunities for quality fishing in 15 area lakes in eight Valley cities. Thanks to rapid development of rural areas, the number of lakes is increasing, with new ones becoming available every couple of years. To many visitors from other areas of the US , the lakes may resemble large ponds rather than lakes, but despite their size the fishing is exceptional. The cities maintain the lakes, parks, and facilities, while AZGFD handles the stocking of the lakes and the enforcement of regulations. The program itself is funded by the sale of licenses and fees. Children under the age of 14 are not required to have a license, all other must obtain a Class U (Urban) license at a cost of $16. The license is good for a year. Other short-term licenses are available as well for those anglers who are just passing through. Inquire with the AZGFD for daily catch limits.

The lakes are stocked with a variety of fish including rainbow trout, channel catfish, and sunfish to name a few. Every other week between March and November, channel catfish are stocked in area lakes, and from November to March rainbow trout are added. During the summer months the program takes a break because of the heat and the difficulty it creates in transporting the fish from cooler, out-of-state locations. Each of the 15 lakes carries similar varieties of fish with some slight exceptions. Below is a list of urban fishing lakes, their location, and the fish to be found within them. So get out your rod and reel, bait your hook, and wait for a nibble at any of these fine urban lakes.

  1. Alvord – Located in Cesar Chavez Park in southwest Phoenix , at southwest corner of 35th Avenue and Baseline Road. Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, yellow bass, tilapia, and carp.
  2. Chaparral – Located in Chaparral Park in west Scottsdale , northeast corner of Hayden and Chaparral Roads. Contains: channel catfish, flathead catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, crappie, largemouth bass, tilapia, and carp.
  3. Riverview – Riverview Park in west Mesa , northwest corner of Dobson Road and 8th Street . Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, tilapia, and carp.
  4. Cortez – Located in Cortez Park in northwest Phoenix , at northeast corner of 35th Avenue and Dunlap Avenue . Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, tilapia, carp, and white amur.
  5. Canal Pond – Located in Canal Park in northwest Tempe, southwest corner of College Avenue (68th Street) and McKellips Road. Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, tilapia, carp, and white amur.
  6. Water Ranch – Located in Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in north Gilbert, at southeast corner of Greenfield Road and Guadalupe Road. Lake is just east of the Southeast Regional Library. Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, crappie, largemouth bass, tilapia, and carp.
  7. Desert West – Located in Desert West Park in southwest Phoenix , at 63rd Avenue between Virginia Avenue and Encanto Boulevard. Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, carp, and white amur.
  8. Kiwanis – Located in Kiwanis Community Park in central Tempe, southwest of Baseline Road and Mill Avenue . Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, tilapia, largemouth bass, flathead catfish, carp, and white amur.
  9. Surprise – Located in City of Surprise . Surprise Recreation Campus in northwest Valley, between Bell Road and Greenway on the east side of Bullard Avenue . Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, and largemouth bass.
  10. Encanto – Located in Encanto Park in central Phoenix , northeast of 15th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard (between Thomas and McDowell Roads). Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, tilapia, carp, and white amur.
  11. Desert Breeze – Located in Desert Breeze Park in west Chandler , southwest of Ray Road and McClintock Drive on Desert Breeze Boulevard . Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, carp, and white amur.
  12. Rio Vista Pond – Located in Rio Vista Park in south central Peoria on Rio Vista Boulevard , just north of Thunderbird Road, 1/4 mile west of Loop 101 Freeway. Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (seasonal), hybrid sunfish, bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, tilapia, white amur, and carp.
  13. Papago Ponds – Located in Papago Park in east Phoenix , immediately north of the Phoenix Zoo on Galvin Parkway between McDowell Road and Van Buren Street. Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, crappie, tilapia, carp and white amur.
  14. Red Mountain – Located in Red Mountain Park in east Mesa , at southeast corner of Brown Road and Sunvalley Boulevard (3/4 mile east of Power Road ). Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, carp, and white amur.
  15. Steele I.S. Pond – Steele Indian School Park on the northeast corner of Indian School Road and Central in downtown Phoenix. Park entrances are from 3rd Street north of Indian School or from Farrington Street (1 block north of Indian School Road) east off of Central Avenue . Contains: channel catfish, rainbow trout (seasonal), hybrid sunfish, bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, tilapia, white amur, and carp.
This page was last modified on 13 November 2012 at 12:39

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