Q: The Arizona Department of Game and Fish has stocked all the other 16 urban lakes in the state with hybrid sunfish. Why was Green Valley Lake excluded?
A: "Because sunfish are not native to the Verde system and (Green Valley Lake) is in the Verde watershed, it has been excluded," Bill Schwind, Payson parks and recreation director, said.
He said the system is designed so that the lake will overflow the dam into the Verde River in the event of a 100-year storm.
"They don't want to introduce non-species fish into the Verde, so we're limited to trout," Schwind said.
Eric Swanson, urban fishing program manager for Game and Fish, provided additional insight.
"Even though we are the agency that manages the state's wildlife, we still have to seek approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for new species' introductions into new bodies of water which is really what we're talking about in Green Valley Park," Swanson said.
"And it might not take a 100-year storm. Actually a two-inch monsoon storm can cause an overflow that runs down the American Gulch and ultimately into the Verde River, which has threatened and endangered fish species in it.
Q: Not long ago, an article appeared in the Roundup stating we have no water problem in Payson. It sounds like some developers are lining their pockets with no concern to what happens to the rest of us. What gives?
A: "I don't know how to answer that," Public Works Director Buzz Walker said. "That's not really a question."
But, he added, projects that use more than 150,000 gallons of water a month are required by the town to bring in a new water supply.
"That's like anything over a 44-room hotel," Walker said. "We haven't relaxed the guidelines, and nobody is able to find a new water supply. That's why the town is turning down all these bigger subdivisions and commercial projects. 'What gives' is that our growth management tools are working."
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