“If people can’t get to the fish, we’ll bring fish to the people” is the motto of this program. Beginning Jan. 1, even more fish will be brought to the people -- the Arizona Game and Fish Department will introduce 15 waters to the newly renamed Community Fishing Program (CFP). These waters are in addition to the current 21 waters. This means these new waters will begin receiving their first catchable stockings under the CFP name.

New signage will also be posted at the new locations over the next few months. The new waters are:

Tempe Town Lake. Monthly trout stockings from November through March will continue.

Eight existing park ponds of 2-6 acres in the greater Phoenix area. They are: Bonsall Pond in Glendale, Granada Ponds and Roadrunner Pond in Phoenix, Eldorado Pond and McKellips Pond in Scottsdale, Discovery Ponds and McQueen Pond in Gilbert, and Pacana Pond in Maricopa. These waters will all be stocked in mid-February.

Pioneer Lake in Peoria, and Copper Sky Lake in Maricopa. Two newly built lakes. Don’t miss the fishing clinic with loaner rods and bait on Jan. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon at Pioneer Lake in Peoria. The lake will be stocked in advance with trout. The grand opening for Copper Sky Lake in Maricopa is set for March 15.

Riverview Lake in Mesa. After two years off, the newly rebuilt and enlarged Riverview Lake rejoins the CFP and will again be stocked every two weeks. On Jan. 25 from 2-6 p.m., there will be a grand opening for the park and Cubs Park spring training site called “Double Play at the Park – Cubs Park and Riverview Park.” The event will include kids and family activities, shuttle rides around the complex, entertainment, tours of the stadium and more. Arizona Game and Fish will provide loaner rods and bait to fish for stocked trout in the lake.

Four Yuma-area waters. West Wetlands Pond, Council Avenue Pond (in Somerton), Fortuna Lake and Redondo Lake. These ponds will continue to receive winter trout stockings, but will now receive catfish stockings in April, June (including bluegill), and October.

The 20 original urban fishing waters will continue to be managed and stocked annually with fish in the same amounts, every two weeks from September to June. For more information on the CFP, including maps, fish stocking schedules, regulations and fishing tips, pick up a new and expanded 2014 Community Fishing Guidebook that will be available at more than 300 license dealer locations and Game and Fish offices by Friday, Dec. 20. The guidebooks are free.

The new simplified license structure goes into effect on Jan. 1. Any of the following licenses will work for CFP lakes and ponds, in Community Fishing, General Fishing, Youth Combination Hunt and Fish (ages 10-17 and is only $5) and Combination Hunt and Fish (18 and over). To fish any of the 36 Community Fishing waters, kids under age 10 fish for free. Youth ages 10-17 may fish with the $5 Youth Combo Hunt/Fish license. For adults 18 and over, choices include the Community Fishing license for $24 (good at the 36 CFP locations), the General Fishing license ($37 for residents, $55 for nonresidents, and good for state waters or CFP locations), or the Combo Hunt/Fish license ($57 for residents, $160 for nonresidents, and good for state waters or CFP locations).

The opening of the CFP is just part of some big changes beginning Jan. 1, including the new hunting and fishing license and fee structure. See more information at http://www.azgfd.gov/licensesimplification.   back...
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