Arizona Lakes


arizona lakes


Arizona lakes, more specifically warm water desert lakes are the focus of this page. Follow this link to a page for Arizona's cold water, high country lakes and streams... they are My Favorite Arizona Fishing Waters.

Arizona lakes are important to the people and wildlife of our state. Water storage, flood control, and recreation are primary purposes of these scenic bodies of water.

Alamo Lake is located in west-central Arizona. The Big Sandy Wash and the Santa Maria River join to form the Bill Williams River. Alamo Dam is located a few miles below the confluence and forms the lake. Alamo Lake is usually the first desert lake to offer late winter bass and crappie fishing.




Arizona Lakes News and Information

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April 21, 2014

SoFA Staff


Bundy Ranch Coverage


The Bundy Ranch grazing range that is the subject of dispute is located west of Lake Mead. Access to some roads in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area had been closed as part of the actions surrounding the BLM actions in the area.

Representative news stories about the Bundy Ranch dispute are linked below...



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April 21, 2014

National Review Online


Military-Style Units From Government Agencies Are Wreaking Havoc On Non-Violent Citizens



Regardless of how people feel about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management over his cattle’s grazing rights, a lot of Americans were surprised to see TV images of an armed-to-the-teeth paramilitary wing of the BLM deployed around Bundy’s ranch.

They shouldn’t have been. Dozens of federal agencies now have Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams to further an expanding definition of their missions. It’s not controversial that the Secret Service and the Bureau of Prisons have them. But what about the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? All of these have their own SWAT units and are part of a worrying trend towards the militarization of federal agencies — not to mention local police forces.

Read more



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April 18, 2014

Roll Call


Heller Calls Bundy Ranch Supporters ‘Patriots;’ Reid Sticks With ‘Domestic Terrorists’ (Video)


Nevada’s senators sparred Friday on live TV in Las Vegas over the standoff between the federal government and rancher Cliven Bundy.

“What Sen. Reid may call domestic terrorists, I call patriots,” GOP Sen. Dean Heller said during the rare joint appearance on KSNV-TV. “We have a very different view on this.”

Sitting next to his senior colleague, Heller was referring to comments made Thursday by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., about the militia-type groups that came to the defense of rancher Cliven Bundy, who has upwards of a million dollars in unpaid grazing fees that led the Bureau of Land Management to round up cattle on federal land.

Read more



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April 17, 2014



Harry Reid Labels Supporters of Rancher Cliven Bundy ‘Domestic Terrorists’, Reveals Federal Task Force Being Assembled


Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed on Thursday that armed supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy are “domestic terrorists” and reckless individuals who put their families in danger.

Speaking at a Las Vegas Review-Journal event, Reid was clear: “They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists. I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism.”

The rhetoric certainly will do nothing to ease already-high tensions after the Bureau of Land Management prematurely shut down its operation to round up Bundy’s “trespass cattle” on Saturday. The federal agency cited fears of public safety after having run-ins with armed militia members who traveled to Bunkerville, Nev., to support the rancher.

Read more



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April 17, 2014

Freedom Outpost


BLM Alleges to Save Tortoises - But Look at What They Did to Bundy’s Cows


These photos are NOT for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

Forget all of the talk by the BLM about how they are “saving” animals. During the tense stand-off between Cliven Bundy, backed by his fellow patriots, and the federal government, the rancher’s cattle were massacred by the BLM. These photos were just released and they show what those federal employees did to a bunch of cows who had the misfortune to be grazing on some grass that was in dispute. The next time you hear some bleeding heart environmentalist talking about the federal government “protecting” the land and “saving” the animals, kindly direct them to this article.

Read more



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April 16, 2014

Fox News


Feds accused of leaving trail of wreckage after Nevada ranch standoff


The federal agency that backed down over the weekend in a tense standoff with a Nevada rancher is being accused of leaving a trail of wreckage behind.

Fox News toured the damage -- allegedly caused by the Bureau of Land Management -- which included holes in water tanks and destroyed water lines and fences. According to family friends, the bureau's hired "cowboys" also killed two prize bulls.

"They had total control of this land for one week, and look at the destruction they did in one week," said Corey Houston, friend of rancher Cliven Bundy and his family. "So why would you trust somebody like that? And how does that show that they're a better steward?"

Read more



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April 16, 2014

Western Outdoor Times


Boaters: Have a Hassle-Free Summer By Doing Seven Projects Now


Boaters can get frustrated when a repair or upgrade takes a long time, but delays are often a simple result of supply and demand. "Spring and summer can be the most challenging times to get work done on a boat because everyone else wants their work at the same time," said boatus Director of Consumer Affairs Charles Fort.

But, with a little foresight boaters can get the services they need - sometimes at a better price - now. And, some things on a "to do now" list don't require outside help. Here are some common projects boaters should be looking at doing now, before the spring rush:

Read more



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April 13, 2014

Las Vegas Review-Journal


Bundy Ranch Dispute with Federal Land Agency Draws Variety of Foot Soldiers


BUNKERVILLE — Cliven Bundy’s fight with the Bureau of Land Management over the federal agency’s roundup of his cattle attracted a diverse group of foot soldiers: fellow ranchers, Las Vegans and militia and patriot groups were among them.

Their battle cry is the U.S. Constitution and liberty. They fear the federal government overstepping its bounds at every turn. This concern, in their view, applies to those from all walks of life, be it a rural Southern Nevada rancher or a militia member from northern Montana.

Ultimately, the Bundy protest — which was defused Saturday when federal land officials agreed to end the weeklong roundup that culminated in a 20-minute standoff between armed protesters and law enforcement officers — became an outlet for those wanting to voice their opinions about government overreach and any perceived infringement of constitutional rights.

Read more



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April 13, 2014

Washington Times


Nevada Ranch Standoff Could Leave Dirt On Harry Reid’s Reputation


Longtime aide of senator is new at helm of Bureau of Land Management


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said little as federal agents seized and then released cattle last week from the Bundy ranch, but there is little doubt that the highly charged episode was threatening to become a political headache for the Nevada Democrat.

The Bureau of Land Management is headed by former longtime Reid aide Neil Kornze, who was confirmed by the Senate as BLM director on Tuesday, just as federal authorities descended on the cattle ranch outside Mesquite, Nev.

Read more



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April 12, 2014


Breaking: Sen. Harry Reid Behind BLM Land Grab of Bundy Ranch



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April 12, 2014

Western Journalism


Amid Mounting Pressure, BLM Backs Down In Ranch Standoff


Just one day after Western Journalism began circulating a petition for the Bureau of Land Management to back down from its authoritarian position against the Clark County, Nev., family, the agency announced Saturday that its targeted attack will not continue. This is a huge departure from the action of federal agents over the past week, which included arrests, physical assaults, and threats against protesters and the Bundy family.

Since the standoff began, however, law enforcement officers, legislators, state militia members, and the general public have increasingly voiced their opposition to the use of excessive force in removing cattle from the ranch.

Read more



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April 12, 2014

Center for Biological Diversity


Federal Agencies Capitulate to Armed Militia, Allow Rancher to Run Trespass attle on Public Land for Free Despite $1 Million in Unpaid Fees and Two Court Orders to Remove Cattle



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April 12, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Lake Mead Closure Lifted In Time For Clark County Fair


BOULDER CITY, Nev. – The temporary closure on the west side of the Overton Arm at Lake Mead National Recreation Area has been lifted. Lands near St. Thomas and Stewarts Point are now open in time for the Clark County Fair and Rodeo.

The Overton Arm is an area in the park where people escape the crowds and enjoy miles of shorelines and wide open waters known for fishing, water skiing or cruising in solitude.

Largemouth bass, stripers and bluegill are just some of the sport fish found in the Overton Arm. Visitors can fish from the shore or launch from Echo Bay and explore the many secluded coves up and down the this portion of the lake.

Echo Bay launch ramp is just south of the town of Overton off of I-15. The area has campgrounds, RV sites and a convenience store.

For those interested in hiking, the most colorful scenery at Lake Mead National Recreation Area can be seen in the northern portion of the park.

Redstone, which is located along Northshore Road, has ample parking, restrooms and picnic areas. Visitors can hike Redstone Trail and climb vibrant red ancient sand dunes that were formed millions of years ago.

Rogers Spring and Blue Point Spring are other popular locations in the Overton arm. Along with picnic tables and restrooms, visitors can take a dip in the natural springs.

For history buffs, the town of St. Thomas, which was settled in 1865 and later covered by the waters of Lake Mead, is now exposed. Visitors can explore the area that was home to pioneers for more than 60 years.

Northshore Road, which stretches from Overton to Henderson, is a scenic drive popular to bicyclists and motorcyclists because it includes miles of geologic scenery, wildlife and seclusion.

View a map of the Overton Arm at this link



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April 11, 2014

East Valley News Net


Action to Help Ranchers at the Bundy Ranch Incident


4-10-14 Arizona Freedom Alliance

Resolution by Arizona Legislature:

Approximately 11:00 a.m. this date, the Arizona Legislature passed a Resolution of Support to the Bundy family and against the heavy-handed tactics of the U.S. Government, especially the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the seizure of grazing land used by the Bundy’s since the late 1880’s in Clark County, Nevada. The resolution is signed by members of the Arizona House of Representatives standing against any and all violations of State sovereignty and violations of the U.S. Constitution by the Federal Government. This resolution is to be hand carried this weekend and delivered to members of the Nevada State Legislature in support of their right to protect State and local sovereignty.

Furthermore, an official delegation from the State of Arizona comprised of Arizona State Senators and members of the Arizona House of Representatives will be traveling to stand with legislators from other western states, citizens of various states, Oath Keepers and Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association at the Bunker Ranch in Clark County, Nevada. The President of the Arizona State Senate, the Hon. Andy Biggs, and the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, the Hon. Andy Tobin, both have endorsed the Arizona Delegation of Legislators and their journey to the Bundy Ranch to stand in support of all who choose to protect individual and personal property rights, and the inalienable rights granted to WE THE PEOPLE by our Forefathers and authors of the Constitution of the United States of America, as well as State sovereignty granted by the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Arizona Delegation of Legislators further recognizes the Constitutional authority and rights of the Sheriff in preserving the sovereignty of his county and the people under his jurisdiction, and stands with those Sheriffs who stand to enforce the Constitution against all assaults; including political.

Read more



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April 10, 2014



Impound Update


Grazing cattle and sheep is not only part of the economic fabric of the West, but when properly managed it also helps keep rangelands healthy and in balance.

Ranching is an important part of our nation’s heritage and continues throughout Southern Nevada on public and private lands. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) currently has active grazing allotments on more than 100,000 acres of public lands in Southern Nevada. Nationally, BLM administers approximately 18,000 grazing permits and leases on 157 million acres of public lands.

Allowing individuals to continue illegal trespass grazing on federal lands is a matter of fairness to thousands of ranchers whose livestock graze in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations throughout the west.

Impoundments of livestock are done only as a last resort. In this case, the BLM and the National Park Service (NPS) have made repeated attempts to resolve the matter with Mr. Bundy administratively and judicially for over 20 years. Mr. Bundy has also failed to comply with multiple court orders to remove his cattle from the federal lands and to end the illegal trespass.

The BLM and NPS are working closely with local, state and federal officials to ensure the impoundment occurs safely and in a transparent and orderly manner, and with limited disruption to other users and visitors who enjoy our nation’s public lands.

Total Cattle Count - April 9, 2014


Total Number of Cattle Impounded

Cumulative Total


operations still ongoing, update in the morning

















National Park Service Closure Maps and Updates



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April 6, 2014



Armed Fed Agents and Snipers? Nevada Rancher Is Taking on the Gov’t in a Battle That’s Reaching a Breaking Point


Armed federal agents deployed last week to northeast Clark County, Nev., for what can only be described as a major escalation in a decades-long standoff between a local cattle rancher and the U.S. government.

Cliven Bundy, right, and Clance Cox, left, stand at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville, Nev., Saturday, April 5, 2014. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management started taking cattle on Saturday from rancher Bundy, who it says has been trespassing on U.S. land without required grazing permits for over 25 years. Bundy doesn’t recognize federal authority on land he insists belongs to Nevada. (AP)

Cliven Bundy, the last remaining rancher in the southern Nevada county, stands in defiance of a 2013 court order demanding that he remove his cattle from public land managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Read more



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April 6, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Cattle Removal Begins Today in Southern Nevada


Las Vegas – As provided in two Federal District Court orders, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Southern Nevada District Office and National Park Service (NPS) Lake Mead National Recreation Area today will begin removing cattle that have been grazing illegally on public land in Clark County for more than 20 years.

The BLM and the NPS have made repeated attempts to resolve this matter administratively and judicially. The agencies are now implementing two Federal District Court orders to remove the cattle. The BLM and NPS are working closely with local, state and federal officials to ensure that removal occurs in a safe and orderly manner.

As the BLM and NPS remove these unauthorized cattle from public lands, the agencies will put into effect temporary closures to some publicly accessible land to ensure the safety of the public, federal employees and contractor personnel. Every effort will be made to minimize the impacts on visitors and public land users while the gather operations are underway, and all temporary closures will be lifted once the removal is complete.

Areas temporarily closed to public access will be posted with signs, closure notices and the public can also find daily updates about the removal operation and closure areas on the BLM and NPS websites: and

For the convenience of the public, two areas have been designated for those wishing to express their first amendment rights. Permits are not needed to rally or protest in these locations: I-15 at Exit 112 for Riverside and State Route 170 and White Rock Road. Only one of these areas will be available at a time; Incident Command staff will determine daily location and it will be posted on BLM website



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March 31, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mohave Marina Contract Open For Bid

BOULDER CITY, Nev. – The National Park Service has issued a prospectus soliciting for proposals in response to a 15-year business opportunity to operate a full-service marina at Katherine Landing on Lake Mohave within Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

The key elements of the contract authorize the operation of the marina, including moorage, boat rental, food and beverage, retail, fuel and other services.

Katherine Landing is the second most popular area within Lake Mead National Recreation Area. In 2013, more than 1.3 million people visited the developed area, up 38 percent compared to 2012. For 2014, visitation is up another 18 percent.

To view the prospectus files and specifics for this business opportunity, visit

A one-day site visit is available April 15. Interested parties must RSVP to NPS Coordinator Kim Gagliolo at to reserve a spot. Questions about the prospectus must be submitted in writing to Gagliolo by April 21. Proposals must be received by 4 p.m. PST June 10.



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March 27, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Temporary Closure March 27-May 12 at Virgin River Basin

BOULDER CITY, Nev. – Virgin River Basin at Lake Mead National Recreation Area will be temporarily closed March 27 through May 12.

The area closed includes the northern tip of Lake Mead National Recreation Area where the Virgin River meets Lake Mead, as well as surrounding lands. For a map of the closure area, visit

The Bureau of Land Management Southern Nevada District Office and the National Park Service are taking steps to resolve a long-standing cattle trespass on federal lands in Southern Nevada.

The area will be closed to access, hiking and other recreational uses to ensure the safety of the public, federal employees and contractor personnel. The NPS regrets any inconvenience this temporary closure may cause.

Cattle have been grazing in trespass on public lands in Southern Nevada for more than two decades. The BLM and NPS have made repeated attempts to resolve this matter administratively and judicially. Impoundment of cattle illegally grazing on public lands is an option of last resort. The BLM and NPS are working closely with local, state and federal officials to ensure the gather of unauthorized cattle occurs in a safe and orderly manner.



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March 10, 2014

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area


Tourism to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument creates Economic Benefits


Report shows visitor spending supports 1488 jobs in local economy


A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2,136,542 visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument in 2012 spent $190 million in communities near the parks. That spending supported 1488 jobs in the local area.

"Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument are proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Todd Brindle. We are delighted to share the story of these places and the experiences they provide and to use the parks as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and it's a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."

Read more




Central Arizona lakes were created by placing one or more dams  along four rivers:

  • Salt River
  • Verde River
  • Agua Fria River
  • Gila River

Arizona lakes on the Salt River in central Arizona are convenient to most anglers in the Phoenix - Mesa area. These lakes are in the Tonto National Forest, east of Phoenix.

The lakes are:

  • Roosevelt
  • Apache
  • Canyon
  • Saguaro

Roosevelt is the largest and most popular fishing lake on the Salt River. This lake yields a variety of warm water fish, including large crappie, bass, catfish.  




central arizona lakes


Roosevelt Lake can be accessed from three directions:

  • By way of the Beeline Highway (State Route 87, north of Mesa, Arizona) and then south on State Route 188 to the Tonto Creek arm of the lake.
  • State Route 60 east of Mesa, then northwest on State Route 188 near Miami, Arizona, to the Salt River arm of the lake.
  • State Route 88 (Apache Trail northeast from Apache Junction) to the dam. This route takes you past Canyon and Apache Lakes. This road is gravel and is steep, narrow and winding once you get several miles beyond Canyon Lake.


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arizona lakes apache


Apache Lake sits below Roosevelt Lake and above Canyon Lake. This lake gets the least fishing pressure. Maybe it's because of the winding dirt road and infamous Fish Creek Hill, or possibly because you must pass another lake to get to Apache.

To reach Apache Lake you must go past Canyon or Roosevelt Lake.

People towing larger boats often reach Apache Lake by going past Roosevelt Lake and turning southwest onto State Route 88 at the dam.


arizona lakes fish creek hill




Apache Lake is popular with small mouth bass anglers and Desert Bighorn Sheep..

Canyon Lake sits between Apache and Saguaro Lakes. Canyon Lake is accessed by way of the Apache Trail. The lake yields large and small mouth bass, catfish, and a few trout.

Saguaro Lake is accessed from two directions.

  • From the Beeline (State Route 87 north from Mesa), then south on the Bush Highway.
  • By way of the Bush Highway, north of Mesa, along the Salt River.

The Salt River above Roosevelt Lake provides some good cat fishing.

The Salt River below Saguaro Lake can be a good trout water during the winter months. During hot weather "tubers" float this stretch of river.

Among the Arizona Lakes near Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is probably the most popular fishing... and boating, lake in the area. Lake Pleasant is on the Agua Fria River, northwest of Phoenix, It can be a pretty good bass, striper and crappie lake.


arizona lakes near phoenix


Lake Pleasant is reached by going:

  • North from Phoenix on I-17 (Black Canyon Highway), and then west on Carefree Highway (State Route 74).
  • For those in the Peoria / Sun City area, take 99th Avenue north to the Carefree Highway.

Arizona lakes on the Verde River are Bartlett and Horseshoe Lakes, northeast of Carefree, Arizona. Bartlett can offer good catfish and bass fishing.




The Verde River above Horseshoe Lake and below Bartlett Lake produces small mouth bass and catfish.

Arizona lakes include another productive body of water... or (sometimes) two I should mention. San Carlos Lake is on the San Carlos Apache Indian reservation east of Globe. This lake is fed by the Gila River. When this lake has enough water, it can produce hot bass fishing.

The Gila River is unique among Arizona's rivers. It flows east to west across the entire state. The Gila originates along the western slope of the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico, and joins the Colorado River above Yuma.

The sometimes lake is formed behind Painted Rock Dam in unusually wet years. Painted Rock is a flood control dam. It only allows a controlled amount of water to flow through. In flood years, water backs up behind the dam and forms a lake over fields that are usually farmed. While this lake has a sporadic and short life cycle, it can be very productive.

Fishing the desert lakes in summer is usually done at night and first light. If you enjoy night fishing, here's an interesting article on glow in the dark fishing lures.

Look out for rattlesnakes in the vicinity of water... especially on warm nights. 

Arizona lakes also include some cool high country trout lakes South of Flagstaff. Come on up.

The map below shows the relative locations of the major (warm water) river lakes.


arizona river lakes


The map also illustrates the various river drainages, including the Little Colorado River system and the Verde / Salt / Gila River system.

Arizona lakes on the lower Colorado River are outside the scope of this page. Try a Google search using the keyword phrase Lake Havasu boating, Lake Mohave fishing, Lake Mead fishing, or Lake Powell fishing.

The Arizona Highways website offers several publications that anglers will find informative, interesting... and beautiful.





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My favorite Arizona lakes happen to be in the high country... where cold water, juniper and pine forests, and trout are the rule.

A quick Google search using a keyword phrase such as colorado river lakes or arizona desert lakes will give you some other good links. Be sure to notice the relevant ads... those are resources also.




 arizona high country lakes


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