Chief Cantrell continues to partner with two of the nations premier bass states, Florida and Texas, to develop and implement a plan that will produce quality bass fisheries in Arizona. Texas’ efforts have transformed their state from 13 to 63 lakes where you can catch a 13-pound bass, and Chief Cantrell would like to see the same in Arizona.
The stocking efforts at Roosevelt Lake are ahead of schedule, but the results that fishermen are looking for will take a couple of years, as these bass need time to grow. The department has also been rigorously creating cement reef ball habitat, which will be placed in Roosevelt Lake within a year, once all the necessary approvals have been obtained. Chief Cantrell also mentioned the department’s recent hiring of a biologist solely dedicated to re-establishing habitat in the lakes throughout our state. A step, Chief Cantrell states, that will help stabilize the state’s fishery over the long term.
Bubbling Ponds, the state’s first warm-water hatchery for largemouth bass, located in the Cottonwood area, is up and running. The hatchery currently has 800 fingerling sized Florida strain bass in that in a couple of years will be of spawning age, and thereby allow the state to produce up to 2 million fingerling largemouth Florida strain bass per year, which will be a huge boost to our lakes.
Exciting news to be sure, and the Midweek Bass Anglers should be proud of their efforts, which have provided both funds and encouragement to the AZGFD to help in this effort.