Recent fish surveys at Roosevelt Lake on the Salt arm show that the fish are in good shape, which should translate into exceptional fishing this year, advised Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists.
Mesa Regional Fisheries Program Manager Jim Warnecke said 1999 is shaping up to be a low-water year with little runoff expected in the next couple of months.
"The angling public has expressed concern over the low water conditions at Roosevelt Lake and its effect on fish populations," he said.
"Although the lake is at 40 percent capacity, the recent fish sampling effort indicates fish populations are doing well and anglers should expect an exceptional fishing season this year."
Game and Fish biologists used gill nets to look for native razorback suckers that had been stocked upstream in the Salt River three years ago. Although no suckers were found, 407 fish were collected, including largemouth bass, black crappie, channel and flathead catfish and carp.
A majority of the 52 crappies sampled were in two size groups averaging 9 to 13 inches.
A total of 85 largemouth bass were sampled representing two dominant age classes: the young of the year at 9 inches and the fish in the protected slot at 15 inches (weighing close to 2 pounds).
The largest bass sampled were two females weighing 4 pounds each. The big fish of the survey were flathead catfish. The top three weighed 34, 26.5 and 20 pounds respectively.