Recent Storms Bring Needed Moisture

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The fishing season for most weekend warriors is still about three months away. We have focused our attention to the fall and early winter hunting seasons of various big game, waterfowl and upland game birds.

As these hunts close for the year, the avid outdoorsman will begin to take their favorite rods, reels and other fishing equipment from the corner of the garage in anticipation of that first trip to Roosevelt Lake.

Prior to Thanksgiving there was a great deal of concern among anglers about the falling water levels at Roosevelt Lake and the bleak outlook for moisture in the long-range forecast.

In the last 30 days, two major fall storms, producing more than eight inches of rain on the watershed, have brightened the future for springtime bass and crappie enthusiasts.

On Nov. 24, Roosevelt Lake was at 45 percent capacity with literally no runoff coming into the reservoir from Tonto Creek or the Salt River.

Today, Roosevelt Lake is at 55 percent and still rising, which is a great improvement for the lake level and both major streams are almost triple their cubic-foot-per-second inflow.

All of this is good news as the acre-feet of storage increases, which should have a very positive effect on the spring spawn for bass and crappies. If these fingerlings are produced this year, they will be the fish to be caught in the future on one of our favorite lakes in Arizona.

The next part of the puzzle to make the fishing even more productive is a healthy winter snowpack along the Mogollon Rim and in the White Mountains.

These winter storms dumping this long-needed snow upon the already wet ground only makes everything in the outdoors healthier for Arizona.

That famous quote, "Water is the Lifeblood of Arizona" is so true.

As we enter the winter season, let's hope and pray for those cold Pacific storms to dip south along the jet stream so that the Southwest can have a decent snowpack to complement the late fall rains that we have enjoyed over the last month.

Have a Happy New Year and enjoy the Arizona outdoors -- God's creation.

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