Revitalization of Roosevelt Lake continues with Florida-strain bass stockings

An example of the fingerling-sized Florida-strain largemouth bass. (Photo courtesy of Arizona Game and Fish Department)

An example of the fingerling-sized Florida-strain largemouth bass. (Photo courtesy of Arizona Game and Fish Department)

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 mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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