The work by the Arizona Game & Fish Department and several volunteer groups that has taken place over the past few years to improve fishing conditions at Roosevelt Lake, has been recognized by the National Fish Habitat Partnership as one of the “2017 Waters To Watch” projects. This group highlights successful partnership priorities on waterways across the United States. Many conservation-minded individuals and groups have volunteered thousands of hours to various meetings, Florida Strain bass stockings, Crappie stockings and habitat projects to address issues related to Roosevelt Lake. Also, the many cash contributions donations were made to support the efforts. This national recognition serves as a huge thanks to all of those dedicated to ensuring Roosevelt Lake remains one of the top fishing lakes in the country. You can read more about this recognition at www.azgfd.gov or http://www.fishhabitat.org/waters-to-watch/detail/roosevelt-lake-arizona.
Trout fishing on Rim Country lakes and streams continues to be excellent. Rim Country lakes and streams are not stocked during the winter months, however, there are many previously stocked and native trout available in many streams. The Community Fishing Program provides trout stockings to Green Valley Lakes every-other week during the cooler months. These stocked trout provide great learning experiences for novice anglers. Anglers are reporting Powerbait, nymph flies, salmon eggs and small spinner baits as successful options. To view the stocking dates visit www.azgfd.gov.
The water temperature at Roosevelt Lake is in the mid to high 50’s on sunny days. The colder water impacts the habits of cold-blooded fish including bass. During colder periods, bass will move to deeper water and become less active. The metabolism of cold-blooded fish slows, resulting in shorter feeding activities and shorter chases for food. In addition, the cold fronts moving through Rim Country cause the lake conditions to change almost daily. With bass activity slowing, anglers are reporting slow presentation techniques or a casting spoon which imitates a dying bait fish falling to the bottom. A slow-moving bait on the bottom allows the bass to consume it without expending much energy. That is the key to winter fishing our lakes.
Crappie fishing on Roosevelt and Apache Lakes was called sporadic recently by experienced anglers. Crappie are staging in deeper water where a trolling fishing technique will be more effective than a vertical technique. A small grub-tail bait in a motor-oil and chartreuse color was reported successful.
The lake remains at 57% full. The amount of water coming into the lake from the Salt River slowed slightly and is now at 50% of the normal flow rate for this time of year. The Tonto Creek is flowing at about 35% of its normal flow rate. The lake water is clear throughout the lake.
The Tonto National Forest has extended the comment period on its Preliminary Proposal Plan to a new deadline of Jan. 12, 2018. After receiving several requests, the public and interested parties now have an additional 22 days to submit comments about the plan, which is the first step toward revising the current Tonto National Forest land and resource management plan. If you camp, hunt, fish, OHV, hike etc. in the Tonto National Forest, you need to understand the impact of this new management plan. Comments on the Preliminary Proposed Plan can be submitted by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.