Outdoors: Release shouldn’t hurt Lees Ferry - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Outdoors: Release shouldn’t hurt Lees Ferry

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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2008 3:33 am | Updated: 10:27 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Tonto National Forest officials have announced that Canyon Lake is re-opened to recreational users.

However, the announcement is tempered by strong safety warnings for boaters.

“Due to recent flooding, the lake has stirred-up sediment and there are many floating logs throughout the lake,” advised Art Wirtz, Mesa district ranger. “It’s pretty risky for boaters right now and we are discouraging boating use. Boaters risk motor burn-out due to the high sediment load. The Canyon Lake Marina has already burned up two of their motors due to this situation. We are hoping for some high winds to push the logs to shore where we can remove them.”

Temporary access restrictions to Canyon Lake were in effect during the SRP drawdown which began last September. Forest Service restrictions included the prohibition of all motorized boats and vehicles on the lake surface or on the exposed lakebed. All restriction are now lifted.

The scheduled SRP maintenance resulted in lower levels at Canyon Lake from the end of September until the end of January. Canyon Lake was gradually lowered to approximately 50 feet below the normal lake levels through normal water order during the four-month drawdown.

A Grand Reopening event is planned for March 1, to be held at the Canyon Lake Marina, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

For further information about conditions on Canyon Lake, call Mesa ranger district at 480-610-3300 or visit the Tonto National Forest Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto.


An experimental release of up to 40,000 cfs for 60 hours from Glen Canyon Dam is planned for early March.

However, it is not expected to negatively impact the world-renowned Lee’s Ferry trout fishery just downstream in picturesque Marble Canyon.

Arizona Game and Fish Department biologist Larry Riley said the proposed peak flow will mean a water level increase of about four feet at the Lee’s Ferry boat ramp.

The goal of the U.S. Department of the Interior experiment is to better understand whether higher flows can be used to rebuild eroded beaches downstream of Glen Canyon Dam by moving sand accumulated in the riverbed onto sandbars. Grand Canyon sandbars provide habitat for wildlife, serve as camping beaches for recreationists, and supply sand needed to protect archaeological sites. For more information, visit www.gcmrc.gov/research/high_flow/2008.


The Mesa Chapter of the Southwest Walleye Anglers will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21, in the Arizona Game and Fish regional office at 7200 E. University in Mesa.

Mike Bartley of Props Plus will talk about prop repair and maintenance, and the latest information about the fishing at Lee’s Ferry will be presented. Visit their Web site at http://swwalleye.com.

Fishing hot spot

Lake Pleasant: The bite for stripers has been one of the mainstays. Expect it to not only continue, but maybe even get better with more whites in the mix and possibly some largemouth bass as well. The best bite is typically in the afternoon and at sunset. One angler reported doing well for stripers with anchovies and shad. Humbug and Castle Creek areas have been the most productive areas. With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels Lake Pleasant, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. For more information, go to www.azgfd.gov.

CONTACT WRITER: P.O. Box 859, Mesa, AZ 85211 or aztriboutdoors@hotmail.com

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