Tag Archives: Arizona Game and Fish Department

Fish Restocked for Valley's Urban Fishing Program

Fish Restocked For Valley's Urban Fishing Program

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.

For more information about urban fishing, visit azgfd.gov.

Cacti 2

Boyce Thompson Arboretum: Desert Haven For Plants and Animals

Boyce Thompson Arboretum proves that the dessert is not deserted. The Arboretum features thousands of desert plants living in harmony with the original landscape and wildlife.

The arboretum’s mission is “to instill in people an appreciation of plants through the fostering of educational, recreational, research and conservation opportunities associated with arid-land plants,” according to the website.

This mission is achieved through your enjoyment of the collection of wildlife, variety of trails and by learning about and observing the thousands of plants that surround you.

The Arboretum offers various services from guided tours for children’s fieldtrips or any visitor that is interested to allowing the space to be used as the venue for a wedding.

It’s also a destination for all ages and breathes of familiarity. For the casual visitor it is an orientation to the vegetation of deserts around the world and for the plant enthusiast it is a rare opportunity to observe and closely examine a large variety of arid-adapted plants.

The Arboretum is composed of several gardens that focus on different types of plants including cacti, trees, legume (pea family) vegetation, and water-efficient residential plants that can be used in your own home gardens. A butterfly and children’s garden are also available for visitors to enjoy and explore.

The Arboretum hosts a collection of water-efficient plants from around the world and a lot of the landscape is radically different from our popular image of the southwest. The landscapes are a mosaic of colors, shapes and textures that differ according to the area’s specific environment.

The Arboretum’s gardens are irrigated by Ayer Lake, which is a man-made oasis that also provides a haven for local wildlife. Waterfowl, waders and shorebirds are a common sight along with two species of endangered desert fish introduced by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Animals are not hard to come by at the Arboretum. Over 300 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians inhabit the area for visitors to spot. The Arboretum’s protected lands and irrigated gardens provide a haven for local wildlife against the harsh elements of the desert.

The Arboretum gives the desert life and is a great chance to get connected to nature in an untraditional way.

For more information, visit ag.arizona.edu.