Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Community Fishing Program turned Green Valley Lake into fishing haven for folks who don’t have the time or means to visit bigger bodies of water.
“Especially in a small community, a gathering place like Green Valley Lake is a golden opportunity for older people or younger people who maybe can’t go to Roosevelt Lake or to the White Mountains to experience fishing,” said Jim Goughnour, owner of Rim Country Custom Rods in Payson.
The AGFD Commission voted in 2014 to renew the program for four more years. The program, formerly called the Urban Fishing Program, began in 1985. It stocks trout into the lake every two weeks from October through May.
Goughnour said having a place to fish right in town is an invaluable asset for Payson.
“I’ve been involved in donating rods for several programs for kids at the lake and it’s a great way to introduce young children to fishing right here in town,” he said.
Green Valley Lake is the center of many community events, in part because of the excellent fishing resulting from the program.
“Just having a fishery in our community where we can gather and have events, all that goes into making Payson an attractive place for people from the surrounding communities and the Valley to come to,” Goughnour said.
Green Valley Lake is one of 23 bodies of water in 12 communities across the state benefiting from the Community Fishing Program.