The USFWS recently shot and killed a Mexican Wolf after the Apache White Mountain Tribe demanded it be removed from tribal land. This demand was prompted by three confirmed calf kills within days and two other suspected kills in the past month. It was also confirmed by the USFWS that two other members of this same wolf pack (Diamond Pack) were removed and placed in captivity earlier this year due to predation concerns. The AZGFD released a bulletin this week citing an article written earlier this year which determined that Mexican Wolves once roamed the southeast corner of Arizona and the southwest corner of New Mexico. The authors cite many findings indicating that about 10% of the Mexican Wolf population may have crossed into the United States and 90% of the Mexican Wolf historical range was in Mexico. The study also established a risk of relocating Mexican Wolves into the northern portions of Arizona and New Mexico could lead to breeding with the much larger Northern Gray Wolf which has been confirmed as far south as Utah. You can read the bulletin and get the link to the article at AZGFD.gov/news
Roosevelt Lake level remained at 60% full recently. The downstream demand will continue to use Salt River for another about another month, however, the amount of water in the lake is much better this year than the past several years. The Salt River is continuing to flow at 40% of the normal rate for this time of year while the Tonto Creek has stopped flowing. The water temperature is now in the mid to high 70’s and the water clarity remains clear for most areas of the lake.
It has been several months since I have received positive crappie fishing reports. Curt Rambo of Tonto Basin reported that crappie are finally starting to school and he caught about a dozen crappie on each of two recent trips. Curt stated that some structure, either rock or brush, must be present in about 20 foot depths for crappie to be present. He uses a vertical fishing technique using an ultra-light power rod and Power-Pro braided line. This combination of rod and line is extremely sensitive which is needed to detect the slight bite of a crappie.
Bass fishing conditions on Roosevelt Lake are excellent. The early fall reaction bite is reported to be extremely successful this year. Crank-baits, Spider-baits, spinner-baits, buzz-baits and frog-baits have all be reported successful recently. Depending on where bass are chasing shad, bass can be caught in 2 foot to 15 foot depths. Drop-shot and Texas-rig techniques are also catching good numbers of 12” to 14” bass in the 25 foot depth.
Many thanks to the volunteers who signed up to build the habitat at Roosevelt Lake on October 2, 3 & 4th. There will be a large group of workers there along with some media coverage. This is the first of several habitat builds that will be scheduled over the next year.
Trout fishing on the Rim streams and lakes continues to be excellent. Stream trout anglers are reporting success on wooly buggers and nymph style flies. Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes will be stocked with trout through the end of September. Powerbait with a garlic scent and spinner-baits were recently reported successful. The Winter Stocking Program and the Community Fishing Program will begin in October. For a full description of the Rim Country lakes and stream stockings visit www.azgfd.gov.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.