Arizona's Trophy Bass Program
AZGFD staff photographer took some great pictures of the habitat construction and installation at Roosevelt Lake in October of 2017. Around 20 people per day, over three days, volunteered to help with the project. Three different types of structures were make; georgia cubes, fish trees, and moss back structures. This is the first of what will be many future projects intended to add much needed habitat to our desert lakes. For this project, with the abovementioned volunteers, we assembled and installed around 400 units. More to come.
Service life of a trailer tire
Why is it that a trailer tire never goes flat in the garage? Why is it that a trailer flat almost always means a complete tire separation while traveling down the highway, in the heat of summer, at 65MPH? Regardless of which brand of trailer tire I am using, it seems I can't get more than two years out of a tire. I hear of guys who get 4 years out of tires, so I wondered if I was doing something wrong when I only get 2. After doing little research, thanks to Discount tires, I have discovered the following.
1. Trailer tires are limited by time and use, and not tread life.
2. The mileage expectancy of a trailer tire is from 5000 to 12000 miles.
I consider myself an avid fisherman. Being in a club like Midweek, the lakes that I fish tend to follow the schedule of our club. When we have tournaments at the close lakes like Bartlett, Saguaro, Pleasant, and Canyon, I will usually prefish a couple of times, returning home each day. The further lakes like Havasu, Alamo, Roosevelt and Apache I usually only make one trip, but I stay at the lake for my pre-fishing, and therefore these trips are longer, maybe 3-4 days. In addition, I normally tow my rig to Mexico a couple of times a year for some of the best bass fishing on the planet. It was rather easy therefore to estimate my annual mileage, which in my case was 6000 miles. So after 2 years, I am right at the top of the life expectancy of my tires. So I guess getting 2 years out of my trailer tires based upon my fishing trips puts me towards the top of the scale regarding service life of the tires. So I guess I shouldn't complain too much. I just wish they would go flat in my garage.
They are manmade homes for fish, some made of concrete, others of PVC, and like building a neighborhood, provide the architecture for sustainable life. The first step in placing fish habitat into the central Arizona reservoirs took place on Thursday, April 20 at Roosevelt Lake with Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists dropping High-rise structures made of environmentally-safe PVC to the bottom of Roosevelt Lake. These recycled items, 8 feet tall and excellent habitat for crappie, became the first fish homes. AZGFD plans to expand them into fish cities. For anglers, this Tonto National Forest Lakes Habitat Improvement Project will result in better fishing for generations to come in the region’s most popular fishing lakes.
Also in April, Roosevelt Lake was stocked with 12,000 crappie fingerlings, as well as 25,000 5-inch Florida-strain largemouth bass for the third consecutive year. Roosevelt Lake also is above 70-percent full for the first time since October of 2011. The higher water level has flooded shoreline brush that provides more cover and habitat for spawning fish. The fish habitat improvement project includes placing multiple types of fish habitat around the lake at varied depths to ensure there is plenty of fish habitat available for when water level fluctuates. Similar work is planned for other lakes along the Salt River chain and Bartlett Lake. The next planned step involves AZGFD biologists using a 36-foot pontoon boat to transport and lower heavier concrete fish habitat structures — critical to anglers’ fishing opportunities — into Roosevelt Lake.
This fish habitat project is a cooperative effort with numerous anglers, as well as volunteers from organizations such as Gila Basin Angler Roundtable and Midweek Bass Anglers. Supporting agency partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration Program, Tonto National Forest, and the National Fish Habitat Partnership-Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership. Volunteers have been helping build concrete fish balls and Georgia cubes for two years and have donated hundreds of hours to the project.
Fishiding HighRise structures are made of environmentally-safe PVC and are excellent habitat for crappie. Natural and artificial habitat are critical for fish spawning, recruitment, and growth. The reservoirs of central Arizona lack sufficient hiding and ambush cover and habitat for growth and survival of young fish. The artificial structures provide a surface for microscopic animals to grow, which attracts bait fish and in turn the predatory fish for anglers to target.
Fishing is one of Arizona’s most popular outdoor activities. Providing good places for anglers to fish is one of AZGFD’s primary goals. Five of the biggest and most popular lakes to fish are located in central Arizona and are managed by Salt River Project for the valley’s water supply: Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, and Bartlett Lake.
In 2014 the Department embarked on a program to improve fisheries habitat in the reservoirs of central Arizona and restore the fisheries to their former glory days. All five of these lakes are more than 70 years old, and Roosevelt Lake is more than 100 years old. Over time, reservoirs lose quality fish habitat through decomposition of the natural vegetation that was flooded, particularly where water levels fluctuate wildly, such as at Roosevelt.
Similarly, one of the largest and most successful fish habitat projects in the nation, the Lake Havasu Fishery Improvement Program, has been ongoing since 1993 and is credited with improving sport fish habitat in this Colorado River reservoir.
The Tonto National Forest is the land management agency for five of the biggest and busiest fishing lakes in Arizona. In 2013, the economic value to the state of Arizona associated with these five lakes was estimated to be more than $318 million.
Here is a quick peek at the latest Florida strain Largemouth Bass being held at Bubbling Ponds Hatchery. These fish arrived from Florida several months ago and are averaging about 5-inches. They are trained to eat commercial feeds which will be critical in moving forward with our brood stock development. The goal is to have millions of Florida strain bass available for stocking from Arizona hatcheries in the near future.
I recently read an article about casting reels that are very noisy during the cast, here is an interesting summary of what I found. This noise is one of the most common reasons for repairs. The cause, we ask? Bearings, of course, we say. But I was surprised to find the real culprit is likely the plastic centrifugal braking system. When a dry plastic tab rubs a dry brake ring, the friction is a lot more than when it's oiled, so much more in fact that the ends of the tabs will often melt and have fringe hanging off of them. Most new reels come with a thin to thick layer of grease on the brake ring. Grease will lube the brake ring and keep it from making noise, but it also cause inconsistent braking. Therefore, after a reel has been serviced, the brake ring and tabs will be oiled, but not greased. The braking is much more consistent with oiled brake parts, but oil doesn't last as long as grease. If you have a reel with centrifugal brakes, you need to wipe a drop or two of reel oil around the inside of the brake ring at least once a month. A few drops on a Q-tip makes it easy to do. It's also just a heck of a good practice to get into of opening the side cover to oil your brakes frequently as this will give you the chance to wipe a little grease on the side cover locking tabs or threads. You would be amazed at how many people spend $200 on a pro-quality reel, and then never service it. If you don't know how to open your side cover to access the brakes or to oil the parts, either review the owner’s manual that came with your reel, search for the instructions on google, or ask another club member. It's a good idea to keep a small bottle of reel oil and a tube of grease along with some Q-tips as an emergency service kit. So remember, a little oil on the brake ring so the plastic brakes can function properly, and a little grease on the locking tab to keep corrosion from occurring.
Fishing Wednesdays, not weekends.