Anglers who love to fish Roosevelt Lake, the most popular fishing destination in the state, have something to look forward to – a future full of trophy bass.
On Thursday, April 23, the Arizona Game and Fish Department continued its effort to provide great fishing to anglers who frequent this 13,000-acre lake by stocking 40,000 fingerling-sized Florida-strain largemouth bass (3-6 inches).
Since April, 2014, about 1 million fry (recently hatched) of the Florida-strain bass, which can grow up to 20 pounds, have been stocked into Roosevelt Lake.
Survival rate of Thursday’s fingerling bass stocking is expected to be 15-20 percent. It will likely take at least 18 months for the fingerlings to attain catchable size.
“We hope that within the next 5-10 years anglers can enjoy higher numbers of trophy bass and memories that come out of Roosevelt Lake,” said AZGFD Fisheries Branch Chief Chris Cantrell. “This effort should also have a positive economic impact on local communities.”
The department has not stocked Roosevelt Lake with Florida-strain largemouth bass since the 1980s. Since 2011 surveys, there has been an 80-percent reduction in largemouth bass catch rates.
Still, in 2013, Roosevelt Lake was the most fished water in the state with 453,525 angler-use days – 7.55-percent of the state’s total use. The direct economic impact of fishing at Roosevelt Lake that year was $72,284,250.
For the previous three Florida-strain stockings, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission donated the fry, and AZGFD paid only shipping fees.
The Queen Creek Independent is delivered weekly