Free Fishing Day At Cragin Reservoir

Saturday's event will be part of ‘National Get Outdoors Day'


C.C. Cragin Reservoir, formerly Blue Ridge Reservoir, will be one of the Arizona waterways that will host a Free Fishing Day on Saturday.

This is part of a "National Get Outdoors Day" event in which anglers can fish Arizona waters without a valid fishing license.

In addition to free fishing, representatives from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Salt River Project, the Town of Payson and the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council will be near the lake from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to offer information about boating, fishing, reservoir operation, water conservation and awareness, watersheds, riparian areas and quagga mussels.

Posters, brochures, sunscreen and key chains are among the items that will be given away.

Cragin Reservoir is located in Coconino County, about 25 miles north of Payson atop the Mogollon Rim in the Coconino National Forest. The reservoir is located along Forest Road 751, five miles north of Clint's Well on Highway 87, with turnoff signs marked "Blue Ridge Reservoir."

As SRP's newest lake, Cragin Reservoir will continue to serve as a storage reservoir that collects runoff from public lands. The lake will be raised and lowered each year, fluctuating between 80 and 160 feet deep as snowmelt is captured.

Cragin Reservoir will play a major role in Payson's current and future water needs. SRP and Payson last month formalized an agreement that will allow Payson to gain access to a portion of the water supply from the reservoir.

By order of Congress, Blue Ridge Reservoir was renamed C.C. Cragin Reservoir when it officially became part of the Salt River Federal Reclamation Project on Sept. 30, 2005, when title to the facility was transferred from SRP to the United States and the Bureau of Reclamation. The dam and reservoir were then renamed in recognition of Charles Calhoun Cragin, SRP's second general superintendent and a visionary leader of the Salt River Valley Water Users' Association from 1920 to 1933.

SRP and Phelps Dodge Corp. signed a historic water agreement in February 2005 as part of the Gila River Indian Water Rights Settlement that settled water-rights issues and allowed for the transfer of Blue Ridge Reservoir from Phelps Dodge to SRP. The agreement was part of a long history of water agreements between Phelps Dodge and SRP that helped manage Arizona's water supplies.

The C.C. Cragin project consists of a number of facilities, including a dam and reservoir, diversion tunnel and pump shaft, pumping plant, priming reservoir, pipeline, electrical transmission line and a generating plant.

SRP is the largest provider of water and power to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, delivering about 1 million acre-feet of water to a 248,000-acre area.

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