The month of December has been a very wet 31 days with almost 6 inches of rain in the bucket.
The ground is saturated and any snowpack above the 6,000-foot elevation can only improve the watershed for the year 2009.
With most of the winter ahead of us and hopefully some cold winter storms, the future could be very bright for anglers.
The warm-water fishery of Roosevelt Lake is currently at 96 percent of capacity and the two major drainages of the Salt River and Tonto Creek are flowing over three times their natural production.
The lake has risen over 6 feet in the last couple of weeks, which puts the parking lot at the Cholla boat ramp within a foot of the lake level.
This should dictate another excellent spring spawn for bass and crappies after last year’s record runoff.
The future of Roosevelt Lake and fishing is getting brighter with each additional winter storm.
This runoff and early winter snow also has a very positive impact for the upper drainages of Tonto, Christopher, Canyon, Haigler, and the East Verde River.
These are the major trout streams in the Rim Country that receive weekly stockings of fish from the local hatcheries on Tonto and Canyon Creek.
If the springs under the Mogollon Rim produce a good supply of water, then these creeks will have a better flow, which means oxygenated and cooler water during the summer months. Any available moisture in the form of rain or snow can recharge these springs and produce better trout waters during the heat of the summer.
In Arizona, water is the critical natural resource for a healthy outdoor environment. It appears that the future for anglers is improving after the extended dry spell of a few years ago.
The new year is here, so it’s time to get that fishing license and enjoy one of the many lakes and streams of Arizona — God’s creation.