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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July 28 2014



Pull the plug and “Clean, Drain and Dry” your boat


Obey the law and stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species, or get a citation


The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reminds boaters to do their part in preventing the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in Arizona waters and preventing damage to their own watercraft. To protect Arizona lakes, rivers and streams from the devastating effects of invasive species, Arizona laws require boaters and anglers to clean, drain and dry their boats and pull the boat’s plug when leaving an AIS-affected lake.

While AZGFD Boating Education personnel continue to remind and educate boaters, Game and Fish officers and other law enforcement agencies will be on Arizona boat ramps this summer. They are making sure all boats leaving the water have removed standing bilge water, emptied live wells, cleaned off mud and vegetation and pulled their plugs to reduce the risk of invasive species contaminating other bodies of water.

“Pulling your plug and cleaning, draining and drying your boat are easy steps to prevent the spread of AIS,” said Tom McMahon, AIS program manager for AZGFD. “Do this every time you pull your boat out of the water, and you’ll be preventing these mussels from attaching and growing in your boat as well as protecting Arizona’s lakes and waterways.”

Invasive species have found their way into several Arizona lakes and rivers after being unwittingly transported from one body of water to another. Cleaning, draining and drying boats, trailers, waders and fishing equipment helps contain these invaders and minimizes damage to boats, canals, pipes, dams and aquatic habitats, not to mention native and sport fish populations.

“Boaters shouldn’t be surprised that we’re enforcing Arizona’s invasive species laws. They’ve been on the books since 2009, and pulling your plug when you leave an AIS-infested lake has been the law since 2012,” said Gene Elms, Law Enforcement Branch Chief for the AZGFD. “If you are observed leaving a lake without cleaning your boat, pulling your boat’s plug and keeping it out during transport, you will be cited. Ensuring the health and sustainability of Arizona’s rivers, lakes and stream for future generations is all of our responsibility.”

To view the Department’s watercraft decontamination protocols, visit:



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July 26 2014

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area


Boat Propeller Injures Twelve-Year Old Girl


National Park Service Dispatch received a call on July 23, 2014 reporting that a twelve-year old female from Israel was struck by a boat propeller and sustained a severe lower leg injury. The injury occurred on Lake Powell when she was ejected from the back of a moving powerboat while holding an inflatable inner tube. National Park Service medical personnel, Coconino County Sheriffs Deputies and Classic Aviation responded to the Wahweap main launch ramp and she was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center for additional care. The incident is currently under investigation by the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

The National Park Service and Coconino County would like to remind all boaters to be aware of rising temperatures, changing weather and lake conditions, and fatigue which can all contribute to accidents and injuries in on Lake Powell.



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July 23 2014

Coconino National Fores


Blue Ridge boat ramp temporarily closed today


Flagstaff, Ariz. – The boat ramp at Blue Ridge Reservoir is closed today as firefighters use it as a shuttle point to transport personnel to mop up a fire that began yesterday morning near the Bear Canyon fork of the reservoir.

            The human-caused Battle Fire began yesterday morning and was fully contained by yesterday evening at 9 acres.  A heli-tanker was used to douse the fire yesterday and firefighters are mopping up remnants of the fire today.

            The boat ramp will likely be open tomorrow.



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July 22 2014

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office


Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Conducts OUI Checkpoint at Lake Powell




Page, AZ – On Saturday, August 9th 2014 law enforcement agencies in Northern Coconino County will be conducting an Operating Under the Influence (OUI) and boating safety checkpoint at Lake Powell from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  In an effort to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and drug involved boat collisions, OUI checkpoints are conducted to identify offenders and get them off the waterways as well as to inform and educate the public of the dangers of impaired boating.

OUI checkpoints are a proven-effective method for achieving this goal.  By publicizing these enforcement and education efforts, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office believes boaters can be deterred from operating watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  In addition, members of the boating community are encouraged to ensure their vessels are properly outfitted with required safety equipment to ensure a safe voyage. 

Traffic volume and weather permitting, all vessels may be checked for safety equipment and operators who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will be arrested.  Our objective is to send a clear message to those who are considering operating a watercraft after consuming alcohol or drugs-Boat Safe, Boat Smart, Boat Sober!  Deputies of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will partner with Officers of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, National Park Service, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the Page Police Department.  It is our desire that this two pronged approach of public awareness/education and strict enforcement will allow boating enthusiasts to have an enjoyable and safe recreational experience in Coconino County.

Safe boating recreation is a must, and everyone should take a minute and remember to check your boats, personal watercraft and all equipment before launching at your favorite lake or waterway.  Make sure you have all required safety equipment, such as proper fitting life jackets and working fire extinguishers.



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July 21 2014

Bureau of Reclamation


Spillway Testing This Week for Parker and Davis Dams


BOULDER CITY, Nev. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region is conducting a test of Parker Dam’s spillway structure on July 22, 2014 at approximately 10:00 a.m. (PT). The spillway test for Davis Dam is scheduled for Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. (PT). The water being released through the testing of the spillway gates is part of the water normally released to fulfill downstream water orders.

At each dam, one spillway gate will be opened for about seven minutes releasing approximately 26 acre-feet (af) at 1,500 to 1,700 cubic feet per second (cfs). During the seven minute controlled test, the water will be released from the face of the Parker Dam and the forebay of Davis Dam through a one-foot opening in the spillway gate and be visible to visitors and residents in the area.

This spillway gate testing is part of Reclamation's maintenance process that involves periodic and mandatory testing of critical portions of each facility to ensure that they will operate normally if needed. Spillways are used to safely pass water that cannot be accommodated through other means such as penstocks and turbine-generators during a flooding event.



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July 19 2014



Life jacket saves man’s life in Fourth of July crash


Personal watercraft rider knocked unconscious, kept afloat by life jacket


Arizona Game and Fish officers stopped a personal watercraft rider on Lake Pleasant on Independence Day weekend for not wearing his life jacket, and that may have saved his father’s life.

On the morning of July 4th, Game and Fish Officers Bryan Marshall and David Mayer saw 19-year-old Hoy Lam on a red Sea Doo personal watercraft (PWC) leaving the Lake Pleasant boat launch area without a life jacket and heading towards the main lake at a high rate of speed. The officers stopped the driver and cited him for not wearing his life jacket and for exceeding “wakeless speed” in the boat launch area.

“After citing him, we watched the PWC driver return to his camp on shore where he put on his life jacket and went back out on the lake,” said Officer Bryan Marshall of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). “But, as it turned out, that wasn’t the end of the story.”

About two hours later, Officers Marshall and Mayer got a call on their radio about a multiple PWC crash in the open water of the main lake. A red Sea Doo had “t-boned” another PWC at a high rate of speed. At the scene of the crash, other AZGFD officers and Maricopa County Sheriff deputies found the driver of the red Sea Doo thrown from his PWC but conscious.

“We quickly recognized him as Hoy Lam, the same man we had stopped earlier in the day for not wearing his life jacket,” said Officer Marshall.

The driver of the second PWC, Hoy’s father Phong Lam, was floating face-down and unconscious. “Witnesses on a nearby pontoon boat saw him floating in the water and jumped in to right him,” said Officer Marshall. “Officer Mayer also jumped into the water to assist in transitioning the injured operator to a back board.”

The injured boaters and passengers were taken to the boat ramp and transported to the hospital by helicopter. Phong Lam suffered a broken leg, and passengers on both PWCs had minor injuries, but they all survived the crash because everyone was wearing their life jackets.

“It was our first time riding jet skis, and we didn’t know that life jackets were required,” said Phong Lam. “I’m glad now that I was wearing a life jacket because it saved my life.”

“Had we not stopped this PWC rider and made him wear a life jacket, the other people in his party might not have known to wear their life jackets. There could have been one or more fatalities on the Fourth,” said Officer Marshall. “Instead, life jackets bought them time enough to be rescued. It’s why we say ‘Life jackets save lives.’”

Arizona law requires that all PWC operators wear a life jacket and that they attach the PWC’s lanyard-type ignition safety switch to their person. Game and Fish recommends wearing a life jacket anytime you’re on the water.



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July 15 2014

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Service Awards $16.6 Million in Grants to Support Recreational Boating and Clean Water in 21 States


A total of $16.6 million in grants will be awarded to 21 states under the Clean Vessel Act program. Funds for the program are provided annually from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which is maintained through the collection of fishing tackle manufacturer excise taxes and boat and fishing import duties, as well as motorboat and small engine fuel taxes. "Clean water is a fundamental need for both people and wildlife, and a perfect example of how the fates of both are intertwined," said Service Director Dan Ashe.

Read more



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July 9, 2014

Bureau of Reclamation


Lake Mead Levels to Drop to Historic Lows


BOULDER CITY, Nev. – Lake Mead, the reservoir created by Hoover Dam, is anticipated this week to reach its lowest water level since the lake’s initial filling in the 1930s. The Bureau of Reclamation’s Boulder Canyon Operations Office is projecting the elevation to drop to 1,081.75 feet above sea level during the week of July 7 and to continue to drop, reaching approximately 1,080 feet in November of this year.

Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region annually delivers about 9 million acre-feet (MAF) to homes, businesses, farms, Native American tribes and communities, and Mexico.

“We will meet our water orders this year and we are not projecting a shortage condition in 2015,” said Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp. “We continue to closely monitor the projections of declining lake levels and are working with stakeholders throughout the Lower Basin to keep as much water in Lake Mead as we can through various storage and conservation efforts.”

Annual releases from Lake Powell and Lake Mead are determined in accordance with the 2007 Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead (Guidelines). Only if Lake Mead is projected to reach elevation 1,075 feet on January 1 of each year would the Secretary of the Interior determine a shortage condition and reduce water deliveries in the Lower Basin.

Lake Mead’s elevation is currently projected to be at approximately 1,083 feet on January 1, 2015.

In Water Year 2014 (ending on September 30, 2014), Lake Powell will have released a record low amount of water, 7.48 MAF into Lake Mead in accordance with the Guidelines. As of July 1, 2014, the forecasted inflow into Lake Powell is 95 percent of average for the water year. In Water Year 2015, Lake Powell’s release to Lake Mead is currently projected to be between 8.23 MAF and 9.0 MAF.



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July 6, 2014

SoFA Staff


Glen Canyon History



Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell, and the surrounding backcountry are major recreation attractions. Leisurely houseboating, water skiing, fishing, hiking, roch climbing, and other activities bring many visitors to the area.

Glen Canyon has a pioneer history that few modern visiters know. The website of Lake Powell Resorts features an interesting narrative of Glen Canyon histort...

Lake Powell was created in 1963 when the Glen Canyon Dam held back the waters of the Colorado River, forming a vast blue lake surrounded by beautiful sandstone walls. Remarkably, it took 17 years for the lake to fill the canyon to the high water mark (3700' above sea level), giving America its second largest man-made lake - and a playground like no place else on earth. Here are some highlights of our lake's history:

May 24, 1869: Major John Wesley Powell, an intrepid one-armed civil war veteran, left Green River, Wyoming, leading an expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers. The expedition ended on August 29, 1869, near Grand Wash Cliffs. His expedition of the Colorado River filled in the last blank spot on the map of the United States.

Read more


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June 24, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Interior Designates Southwest’s First National Water Trail



BOULDER CITY, Nevada – Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell has designated a portion of the Lower Colorado River that flows through Lake Mead National Recreation Area as a National Water Trail.

“This recognition places the Black Canyon Water Trail in a distinctive national network of exemplary water trails and commends the efforts of the local community and partners in promoting active involvement in the conservation of our water resources,” Jewell wrote in a congratulatory letter to members of the Lower Colorado River Water Trail Alliance.

The alliance submitted the Black Canyon Water Trail application in 2012. Through this designation, it is now one of 16 nationally recognized water trails nationwide. It is the first water trail in America’s Southwest and the first that traverses through a desert.

Visitors can access the Black Canyon Water Trail through a guided tour at the base of the Hoover Dam or from Willow Beach, Arizona, or near an old mining town in Eldorado Canyon, Nevada.

As visitors travel down the 30-mile trail alongside wilderness and solitude, they can stop at sandy beaches, colorful caves, plentiful coves and active hot springs. Desert bighorn sheep and other wildlife are often seen on the cliffs along the river. There is also a great deal of history associated with the construction of and research connected to Hoover Dam including the sauna cave, gauging stations, catwalks, trails and building foundations.

“These trails provide an opportunity for families to get outside and explore some of our nation’s most beautiful waterways, and by highlighting them as part of the National Water Trails System, more visitors will have the opportunity to visit and add value to their local economies,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “The National Water Trails System highlights the best of our nation’s water trails that encourage recreation and stewardship.”

Hoover Dam

Launching at Hoover Dam is an exclusive experience provided by a limited number of vendors in Southern Nevada and Northern Arizona. Visitors are escorted to the launch site on a narrated bus ride into the Hoover Dam Security Zone. Before rafting or paddling down the water trail, guides describe the engineering marvel that is holding back up to 28.9 million acre feet of water in Lake Mead. Tours range from float trips near the dam to day trips to full exploration tours.

Willow Beach

Located 14 miles south of Hoover Dam off of U.S. 93 on the Arizona side of the water trail, Willow Beach offers a variety of amenities, including a launch ramp and full-service marina with watercraft, canoe and kayak rentals; a campground and RV park; and a store and restaurant. The beach and fishing pier are also popular destinations. Whether hiking, rafting, boating or fishing, visitors at this part of the Black Canyon Water Trail enjoy sheer cliffs of multicolored rocks, sandy beaches and secluded coves.

Nelson Landing
Eldorado Canyon

The Black Canyon Water Trail ends at Eldorado Canyon, an area known for its mining history, which was active when Nevada achieved statehood in 1864. Steamboats would transport the ore from Eldorado Canyon along the Colorado River down to the Gulf of California. Mine tours are offered daily outside of the park boundaries near the community of Nelson, and vendors offer kayak, paddleboard and hiking tours within the park.

The Lower Colorado River Water Trail Alliance was formed in 2012 to pursue the designation of a National Water Trail, promote the recreation experience, protect the water’s natural beauty and resources, and engage the public in its stewardship. The alliance includes representatives from the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Outside Las Vegas Foundation, outfitters/local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and outdoor enthusiasts.

For more information on the Black Canyon Water Trail
Black Canyon Water Trail:

National Water Trails System:



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June 12, 2014

SoFA Staff


Lake Powell's Wahweap Campground


Wahweap campground at Lake Powell is operated by the Park's Concessionaire. The development features...

112 dry campsites (no hook-ups), 90 full hook-ups, and 6 group camping sites.

Facilities include restrooms, laundry, showers, store, phones, dump station and potable water. The amphitheater, picnic area and swim beach are nearby.

To make reservations for full hook-ups, group or dry camping please call 800-528-6154.



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June 8, 2014

Coconino National Forest


Ashurst Lake Boat Ramp Is Closed


Ashurst Lake boat ramp is closed due to extremely low water that has produced hazards, ruts and objects that can cause damage to boat trailers.



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May 24, 2014



Boaters: Don’t forget to “Clean, Drain and Dry” your boat


Obey the law and stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species, or face a fine


Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of boating season in Arizona, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reminds boaters to do their part in preventing the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in Arizona waters. To protect Arizona lakes, rivers and streams from the devastating effects of invasive species, Arizona Game and Fish laws require boaters and anglers to clean, drain and dry their boats and pull the drain plug when leaving an AIS-affected lake.

“Law enforcement officers will be patrolling Arizona lakes and boat ramps this Memorial Day weekend making sure boaters follow the law,” said Arizona Boating Law Administrator Kevin Bergersen. “Failure to clean your boat and pull the plug when leaving an infested waterway can result in a citation for the boat owner and possible fines. We issued several citations last weekend, and holiday or not, we’ll be issuing citations this weekend, too.”

Invasive species have found their way into several Arizona lakes and rivers after being unwittingly transported from one body of water to another. Cleaning, draining and drying boats, trailers, waders and fishing equipment helps contain these invaders and minimizes damage to boats, water intakes, power plants, aquatic habitats, native and sport fish populations, and water conveyance infrastructure.

AZGFD has identified aquatic invasive species affecting these Arizona waters:

Lake Powell: quagga mussel
Lake Mead: quagga mussel, New Zealand mudsnail
Lake Mohave: quagga mussel, New Zealand mudsnail
Lake Havasu: quagga mussel, didymo
Lower Colorado River below Lake Havasu: quagga mussel, giant salvinia, apple snail
Lake Pleasant: quagga mussel, largemouth bass virus (LMBV)
Lees Ferry: New Zealand mudsnail, whirling disease
Lower Salt/Verde River: apple snail
Bartlett Lake: LMBV
Roosevelt Lake: LMBV
Saguaro Lake: LMBV

To help stop these invasive species from spreading, boaters and anglers must avoid transporting water, live fish or fish body parts from one body of water to another. Wipe down your boat, pull your plug, and drain all water from any places in your boat where it may accumulate each and every time they come out of an AIS-affected water.

“Going through the steps to prevent the spread of AIS is easy and should become as routine as securing your boat to its trailer,” said Bergersen. “Doing this every time you pull your boat out of the water is the best way to protect your boat, and your favorite places to boat and fish in Arizona.”

To view the Department’s watercraft decontamination protocols, visit:



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May 14, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Notice To Lake Mead Mariners


BOULDER CITY, Nevada – Two launch ramps have opened and changes have been made to Aids to Navigation on Lake Mead.

The Echo Bay and Callville Bay low-water launch ramps have opened. The main launch ramps also remain open.

Due to fluctuating lake levels Black Ridge Shore Light #19 in the Overton Arm previously located at:

North 36 degrees 23 minutes 13 seconds
West 114 degrees 22 minutes 34 seconds

Has been relocated as a buoy located at:

North 36 degrees 22 minutes 27 seconds
West 114 degrees 22 minutes 23 seconds

This green can shaped buoy #19 will show a “Flash” sequence. There will be a green light flashing on for .4 seconds and off for 3.6 seconds after which the sequence will repeat.

For current lake conditions, visit



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May 6, 2014

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area


Castle Rock Cut and Bullfrog Ramp Completed


Glen Canyon National Recreation Area staff in partnership with ARAMARK, completed the Castle Rock Cut excavation which lowered the bottom elevation to 3580'. Funds from project user fees were used to complete the project. Use of this shortcut to uplake areas will be dependent on lake levels and the draft of each vessel. As the lake rises, boaters are asked to exercise caution and use the cut at their own risk.

Construction on the Bullfrog main launch ramp has also been completed with funds from project user fees and assistance from ARAMARK. The concrete surface was extended to an elevation of 3570' and widened by an additional 40 feet. The ramp is fully operational and at current lake levels (3578') provides approximately 8 feet of water depth at the end of the ramp.

Antelope Point public ramp remains closed to launching due to water levels. Stateline ramp is scheduled to open May 22.



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April 30, 2014



Alamo Lake closed to water skiers and towing devices


Low lake level exposes hazards normally under water


Due to very low water levels, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is temporarily closing Alamo Lake to all water skiing and towable devices effective April 30, 2014. The lake’s diminishing water level has exposed many partially submerged trees, rock outcroppings and other hazards, making this closure necessary for public safety.

The upper portion of Alamo Lake is permanently closed to skiing for similar reasons. Arizona Game and Fish is temporarily expanding the existing closure area for water skiing and the use of towable devices to include the entire lake. All other watercraft use remains available to the public during this closure.

A sign alerting boaters to the closure is being placed at the main access road in Wenden (approximately 35 miles before the lake), as well as at each shoreline access road at the lake.

“The closure to water skiing and other towable devices on Alamo Lake is considered temporary,” said Ron Christofferson, boating facilities program manager for Arizona Game and Fish. “This temporary designation will be rescinded once the danger to the public is alleviated by higher water levels.”




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.





ATV Rental AZ
Need to rent a boat or a jet ski in Arizona? Bullhead City Jet Ski Rentals provides towable jet ski rentals and boat rentals in Arizona and Nevada.




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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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