Arizona Fishing Outlook Is Best In 25 Years

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It is shaping up to be the best fishing year in Arizona in 25 years.

According to Salt River Project, the projected runoff from the current snowpack is more than enough to fill Roosevelt Lake -- for the first time since the dam was raised in 1996. The tremendous runoff in 2005 almost filled the lake, but was three feet shy at 96-percent full. "Our most recent runoff forecast is for inflow to exceed the amount necessary to bring Roosevelt Lake to 100 percent capacity," predicted Mark Hubble, SRP senior hydrologist.

Most of the state's popular high elevation trout lakes should fill-and-spill this year, or have high water levels. Even some ephemeral waters, such as Lower Lake Mary near Flagstaff, should have enough water to be stocked with trout this year.

Fisheries biologists with the Arizona Game and Fish Department see great things happening this year, not just at Roosevelt, but most of the other fishing lakes as well.

"This looks like an historic year in our fisheries, in large part because of the tremendous runoff in 2005 and resulting spawns, but also because of the widespread deep snowpack in the high country we haven't experienced since at least 1993," said Fisheries Branch Chief Kirk Young. "The Arizona fishing outlook is the best we've seen in 25 years or so."

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