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.
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
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
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Mead NRA Visitors Spent $252 Million In Local Communities In 2012
A new National Park Service report shows that, in 2012, more than six
million Lake Mead National Recreation Area visitors spent $252 million
in communities within 60 miles of the park, which supported 2,840 local
"Lake Mead National Recreation Area continues to positively
impact travel and tourism in our gateway communities," said Bill
Dickinson, park superintendent. "We appreciate the partnership and
support of our neighbors and are glad that our visitors help sustain
local and regional economies."
The recreation area ranked among the top 10 in visitor spending
compared to the National Park Service's 401 units.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Adult Quagga Mussels Found in Lake Powell
The National Park Service and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR)
have recently detected additional adult quagga mussels in Lake Powell.
Since this time last year, the water levels at Lake Powell have dropped
which has exposed shorelines that were previously underwater.
Thousands of adult quagga mussels have been found in various
locations, such as canyon walls, Glen Canyon Dam, boats, and other
underwater structures. The majority of mussels found are isolated
adults, with additional groupings of small clusters. One adult mussel
was found on the south canyon wall of Bullfrog Bay.
Boat inspections and decontamination of high risk boats are still
required for incoming vessels at Glen Canyon. Continued mussel education
and prevention activities, including boat inspections, will minimize the
chances that mussels will colonize other areas of the lake. It may also
prevent the introduction of other aquatic invasive species.
It is crucial to keep the mussels from moving from Lake Powell to
other lakes and rivers. When leaving Lake Powell, all watercraft are
required by Utah and Arizona state law to be decontaminated (Clean,
Drain, and Dry) before being moved to another water body. Regulations
vary depending on the state, so all boaters should review the
regulations of any states they will enter with their watercraft after
being at Lake Powell, including Arizona and Utah.
To help stop the spread of mussels:
You must clean and drain your boat before you leave the vicinity of
You must dry your boat the required amount of time before moving it
to another body of water.
OR you can have your boat professionally decontaminated.
"Park staff, partners, and the public have worked hard to keep
Lake Powell mussel free for the last ten years," said
Superintendent Todd Brindle. "It's very disappointing that mussels
are in the lake, but most visitors will not notice them. The important
thing now is to keep them from being transported to other lakes and
A planning effort is currently underway to develop a Quagga/Zebra
Mussel Management Plan (QZMP) to help the National Park Service decide
what tools are appropriate to support the ongoing management of invasive
mussels in Glen Canyon now that quagga mussels are present in Lake
Powell. The QZMP will consider changes to the existing prevention and
monitoring efforts, and will include analysis of potential control,
containment, and other park management actions. Additional information
on the plan as well as the opportunity to comment or make suggestions
are provided at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/qzmp.
February 17, 2014
Western Outdoor Times
Do blondes have more fun? Or, brunettes? Or,redheads?
Actually, the answer is all of the above plus anyone else who knows
that "boats are in"!
Arizona's boating season is off to a fantastic start with the
plethora of craft at the Arizona
Game & Fish Expo, March 29 and 30, and at the Lake
Havasu boat Show, April 11-13.
Arizona State Parks
Annual Geo-Cache Desert Bash at Cattail Cove
State Park on March 8
On Saturday, March 8, 2014, Cattail Cove State Park hosts the 8th
Annual "Geo Cache Desert Bash" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The "Geo-Cache Desert Bash" begins at 10 a.m. with a brief
history about Global Positioning System (GPS). How GPS was conceived and
the etiquette that goes along with the sport will be discussed. To
participate, attendees should bring their GPS unit with them and have a
basic understanding of how their GPS unit works.
Afterward, attendees are invited to treasure hunt to find more than
20 geo-cache sites. There will be hidden caches on various trails for
hikers, along with several sites along the shoreline, and even a couple
of sites dedicated to those who may be wheelchair bound. The Park
encourages responsible geo-caching practices in all natural settings,
including limiting graffiti, digging, trash, illegal off-road vehicle
use, vandalism, or caches near archeological sites or commercial use.
Geo-caching began in 2000 after the Defense Department stopped
scrambling the signals beamed to GPS receivers from military satellites,
making it easier for recreational users to find specific locations. It
has since grown in popularity for both families and corporate groups.
"Geo" for geography and "cache" for hidden stash
provides a fun opportunity to enjoy and explore the outdoors using a
The regular park entrance fee will not be charged for this event. For
more information call Cattail Cove State Park at (928) 855-1223 or visit
AZStateParks.com. Cattail Cove State Park is located on State Route 95,
15 miles south of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Campsites with electricity
are available for $26 a night. The beach, boat ramp and campsites offer
a broad spectrum of activities including swimming, fishing, or just
lounging around and relaxing.
For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and
Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call
(602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800)
285-3703). Campsite or cave tour reservations can be made online at
AZStateParks.com or by calling the Reservation Call Center at (520)
586-2283. Open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Follow
AZStateParks on Twitter and Facebook.
Cove Now Offers 24/7 Online Campground Reservations!
Topock Gorge: a beginner paddler’s nirvana
WHEN MOST PADDLERS think of the Colorado River in Arizona,
visions of Grand Canyon-esque rapids and mile-deep chasms come to mind.
But just downstream of the Grand is another remarkable canyon within
easy driving distance of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson.
Straddling the border between Needles, Calif., and Lake Havasu City,
Ariz., Topock Gorge is the crown jewel of the 37,515-acre Havasu
National Wildlife Refuge, the last remaining untouched natural portion
of the lower Colorado River before it reaches the Gulf of Calrnia.
Affectionately known as the “Baby Grand,” this 17-mile redrock
cleft of sheer volcanic walls, secluded sand beaches and wildlife-filled
marshes is a beginner paddler’s nirvana, one of the best T-shirt-and-Tevas
escapes you’ll find in the dead of winter
Canyon National Recreation Area
Powell's Castle Rock Cut Deepened
Work began Tuesday, January 21, 2014, to deepen the Castle Rock Cut.
The excavation project will increase the number of usable days of the
cut during lower lake levels. National Park Service (NPS) staff has
placed "Closed Area" buoys around the work area.
The contractor is Brown Brothers Construction of Loa, Utah. Based on
current and anticipated water levels this spring, excavation will lower
the bottom elevation of the cut to approximately 3580 feet, removing
over 70,000 cubic yards of material.
The Castle Rock Cut is a popular short-cut for boaters on Lake
Powell. Travel through the cut saves approximately 10 miles of boating.
"This not only saves time and gas for boaters," stated NPS
Project Manager, Carl Elleard, "but it also provides for a safer
Scheduled completion for the project is late April. However the
Castle Rock Cut will not reopen until lake levels allow. The park will
notify the public when this occurs.
Game and Fish: boaters and anglers must be ‘good
Boaters who “Clean, Drain and Dry” can stop the
spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
Preventing the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in Arizona
waters starts with Arizona boat owners and anglers. To protect Arizona
lakes, rivers and streams from the devastating effects of invasive
species, state laws require boaters and anglers to be good stewards by
cleaning, draining and drying their boats and pulling the boat plug when
leaving an AIS-affected lake. Failure to do so may result in a citation
for the boat owner and possible fines.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is stepping up enforcement because
invasive species have found their way into several Arizona lakes and
rivers after being 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.
In 2009, the Arizona Legislature passed the Aquatic Invasive Species
Interdiction Act (A.R.S. §17-255), authorizing regulatory measures
known as “Director’s Orders” and making the Game and Fish
Department responsible for establishing mandatory protocols to stop the
spread and transport of these invasive organisms, and enforcing public
compliance with these protocols. The Director’s Orders have 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 the spread of aquatic invasive species, it is vital that
boaters and anglers 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. According to Chris Cantrell, Chief of Fisheries for Arizona
Game and Fish, being a good steward means boaters and anglers should
clean, drain and dry their watercraft and equipment each and every time
they come out of an AIS affected water, as listed above.
“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
Cantrell. “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 help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, boaters and anglers
1. Pull out your boat plug at the ramp or parking lot
2. Drain any water from boats, bilge, bait buckets, and live-wells
before leaving the launch area.
3. Dispose of all unused bait in the trash, never in the water.
4. Never transfer live fish or fish body parts (i.e., head, skin,
entrails) from one body of water to another.
5. Rinse any mud and/or debris from equipment and wading gear.
6. Use vinegar to disinfect your equipment. Vinegar can be reused
several times, if needed.
7. Allow everything to air dry before moving to another body of water.
8. Educate others to follow these steps.
Don’t let a citation ruin your next boat outing. Be sure to plug your
boat’s plug and clean, drain and dry your boat before leaving any AIS-affected
water. To view the Department’s watercraft decontamination protocols,
July 8, 2013
bass virus among additions to Aquatic Invasive
Species Director’s Orders list
PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish
Department has added largemouth bass virus (LMB
virus), whirling disease and all snakehead fish
to the Director’s Orders aquatic invasive
species (AIS) list.
LMB virus, which primarily affects adult
largemouth and smallmouth bass during the
summertime, has been discovered at Lake Pleasant
(Maricopa County Parks) and Bartlett, Saguaro,
and Roosevelt lakes on the Tonto National
Forest. All watercraft users leaving those lakes
will now be required by law to clean, drain and
dry their boats, which includes pulling the boat
plug when exiting (A.R.S. §17-255). This
already was a requirement by law at Lake
Central Arizona lakes
were created by placing one or
more dams along four rivers:
Agua Fria 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 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.
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.
east of Mesa, then northwest on State Route 188 near Miami, Arizona, to the
Salt River arm of the lake.
(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.
sits below Roosevelt Lake and above
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
out for rattlesnakes in the vicinity of water... especially on warm
lakes also include some cool high country trout lakes South of Flagstaff.
Come on up.
map below shows the relative locations of the major (warm water) river
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.
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.
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 lakes offer variety, fishing, water skiing, swimming, and other
recreational activities. Come on in!
to the Arizona Fishing Page from this Arizona Lakes Pagee
Fishing How I did on my last fishing trip.
Favorite Arizona Fishing Waters
the Latest News Here
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