Urban Fishing Report
Fishing for catfish is expected to be good to excellent once the fall stocking program kicks off the week of Sept. 17-22. Lakes will be stocked at rates of 38-85 catfish per acre every two weeks through early November.
Catfish bite well on worms, stink baits, shrimp or hot dogs fished on the bottom. Mornings and evenings are the best times as catfish prefer to feed under dim or dark conditions.
Fishing for bluegill is good along the shorelines in 4-8 feet of water. Try mealworms under a small, thin bobber for great sunfish action.
Bass fishing is slow, but cooling temperatures mean action will be picking up in the weeks ahead. For bass try split shot rigs with 4 inch plastic worms, or use a shaky head jig to work your worm slowly and enticingly along the bottom.
At Green Valley Lakes (Payson) fishing for bass, bluegill and crappie is fair. Aquatic weed beds at Green Valley make shore fishing more difficult, but falling water temperatures will cause the plants to die back in October and open up more areas to fishing. The fall kick-off date for trout stockings to resume is Monday, Oct. 15.
All Urban Fishing Program waters in Phoenix and Tucson areas
June 13 catfish (Note: this was the final spring stocking before the summer break.)
Fall catfish stockings resume during the week of Sept. 17-22
Green Valley Lakes (Payson)
May 11 trout This lake is only stocked with trout—during cooler months
Fall trout stockings will resume Monday, October 15
The Cats Will Be Back the Week of Sept. 17-22
Fish stockings, featuring channel catfish, will resume during the week of Sept. 17-22 at 19 Urban Fishing Program waters in the greater Phoenix and Tucson areas.
The fall catfish stockings represent the “second half” of the spring/fall catfish delivery season that included a two month summer “halftime” break from stockings. Nearly 7 tons of catfish will be transported by our fish contractor from Arkansas in specially designed hauling trucks. The farm-raised catfish have had a good summer growing season and most fish should be in the 2-pound range.
Game and Fish biologists will accompany each lake delivery to ensure that all stocking operations run smoothly and successfully, and that all fish pass our high inspection standards for excellent condition and health.
All lakes were recently checked for compliance with our water quality stocking guidelines and all lakes (except Lakeside Lake in Tucson; see article below) passed inspection.
The fall catfish stocking season includes a total of four stockings at two week intervals through early November. Stockings will occur on random days during the designated stocking week (Mondays through Saturday). This alternating week schedule will only change if conditions at an individual lake are unsuitable for stocking (for example high pH levels, or low oxygen). Best baits for catfish are worms, stink/dough bait, shrimp or hot dogs. Catfish bag limits are 4 fish at the Urban Lakes or 2 fish at the Urban Ponds.
Lakeside Lake Oxygen Levels Too Low to Stock Fish
A series of high inflows from recent monsoon events have dropped oxygen levels at Tucson’s Lakeside Lake to a point the lake is unsuitable for fish stocking.
Oxygen levels over 5 parts per million are needed to ensure a successful fish stocking. Biologists tested the lake Sept. 12-13 and found oxygen levels below 3. Until oxygen levels rise again, there will be no fish stockings. Lake consultants have treated the lake and adjusted the aeration system to help bring oxygen levels back up over the next week or two. Game and Fish hopes to resume stockings in early October. Meanwhile, Tucson anglers are encouraged to fish at Kennedy Lake and Silverbell Lake where catfish stocking rates will be increased 20 percent.
Remember the Web… www.azgfd.gov for stocking schedules, the Fish&Boat Arizona webmap, outdoor events calendar, and other great fishing and outdoor information. Also check out the web for Weekly Fishing Reports, to submit your fishing photos or to send us your latest fishing report. We are also on Facebook.