Longtime friend Rory Aikens, a former editor of the Pinetop-Lakeside News turned Arizona Game and Fish officer, e-mailed to say Lower Lake Mary is the trout fishing hot spot in Arizona.
Fish taken from there are averaging about 1.5 pounds.
Angler Maurice Hesseler caught an 8.4-pound, 27.75-inch albino trout in the lake using a gold spinner bait.
The Sixth Annual Payson Area Habitat for Humanity 5K Run/Walk will be held May 13 at Rumsey Park. Registration on the day of the race is from 6:30 to 7:45 a.m. The race begins at 8 a.m. A young athletes fun race begins at 9 a.m.
The 5K-entry fee is $15 until May 6 and then $20 afterward. The fee includes breakfast and a T-shirt.
The entry fee for the youngsters' fun run is $10 and also includes breakfast and a T-shirt.
The T-shirts will feature a drawing done by Julia Randall Elementary School fourth grader Eber Valenzuela who won a contest sponsored by PAHH.
The race distance in the fun run for children up to 6 years of age is a quarter mile. For 7- and 8-year-olds, it's a half mile and for 9- and 10-year-olds, the distance is one mile.
Entry forms are available at the Payson Athletic Club, 400 E. Highway 260 or at the PAHH office located at 1013 S. Goodfellow Road.
Trolling for trout
The 2006 Willow Springs Trout Tournament to benefit Payson Christian School will be held from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 6 at the lake, located 32 miles east of Payson and north of Highway 260.
The entry fee is $20 per person if preregistered before May 1. On the day of the tournament, the fee is $25.
Tournament day registration at the lake store opens at 5 a.m. and closes at 7 a.m. Those who preregister must also check in before beginning to fish.
Due to the size of the lake, the tournament is open only to the first 100 anglers to register.
All entrants must be in possession of an Arizona fishing license and a trout stamp. Arizona Game and Fish Laws limit an angler to six trout per day.
Participants must fish Willow Springs Lake only and there can be no prefishing from April 28 to the day of the tournament. The minimum size trout that should be kept is 8 inches. The benefit will take place regardless of weather conditions.
The post tournament weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. and closes at 4 p.m. Since the weigh-in will be held at the dock house, fishermen can opt to catch and release. Awards and prizes will be given out at a ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the lake parking lot.
Look for a motor home with Payson Community Christian School sign, tournament director Tracy Purtee said.
Registration forms are available at the Payson Roundup, 708 N. Beeline Highway.