As Valley temperatures slowly begin to dip back into double digits, urban anglers restock their tackle box and prepare for the local fishing season.
There are 12 urban lakes and four urban ponds scattered around the Valley, and on September 17, the Arizona Game and Fish Department restocked the local fishing spots with channel catfish, which range between 15 and 18 inches long.
Throughout the year, the ponds and lakes are stocked bi-weekly with farm-raised Arkansas channel catfish, Arkansas sunfish and Colorado rainbow trout.
Channel catfish are stocked from late September to mid-November, and rainbow trout are deposited mid-November to March. Sunfish are stocked once in the fall and spring.
Last year, more than 62,000 anglers fished for more than 230,000 pounds of fish, according to the Arizona Game and Fish website. Yearly, it costs more than $650,000 to stock the ponds and lakes.
Because the ponds don’t have a current, urban fishing can be a bit trickier than fishing in rivers or large lakes. To counteract this, Arizona Game and Fish offer 162 fishing clinics throughout the year, teaching more than 17,000 anglers, according to its website.
An urban fishing license is required for anyone older than 14, which costs $18.50 and is available at sporting goods stores around the Valley.