Arizona is a desert state, it is blessed
with abundant opportunities for anglers.
Of the 27 or so species commonly sought by
Arizona anglers, eight are cool or coldwater
fish, and 19 are warmwater species. There
are more than 160 stream management reaches
comprising 1,500 miles and around 80 lakes
that are managed for trout. The Arizona Game
and Fish Department also manages warmwater
fishing opportunities in about 355,000 acres
of impounded water (lakes, reservoirs, ponds,
and tanks) and 35,840 acres of flowing water
(about 1,400 linear miles). Further, the
department manages 21 Urban Lakes in partnership
with municipal parks in Arizona. These lakes
are intensively stocked to provide recreational
opportunities to people near their homes.
In taking advantage of these opportunities,
anglers spent $830
million, and contributed $1.1 billion
to the state's economy in pursuit of their
finned friend in 2001.
Today, fish management involves many activities including monitoring, research,
stocking, habitat improvement, evaluation, information and education, investigation,
providing access, outreach, nongame species conservation, to name a few.
At the same time the department is providing angler opportunities, Arizona's
natural heritage represented by our native fishes is in danger being lost.
Out of 35 native fish, one is extinct, and almost 75 percent are federally
listed, candidates for listing or listed as a wildlife species of special
concern. The future of sportfish management is inseparably intertwined
with that of management of native fishes. To be successful at sportfish
management the department must be successful at conserving native fishes.
The strategy for achieving success is that of moving away from individual
sportfish management and native fish management and towards integration
of fisheries management, using a watershed approach, to encompass both.