Saw some notes from the AZGFD meeting posted by Tai Au to the AZ Anglers page. I felt some of the golden algae (GA) concerns may impact crappie fishing so am posting here although his info is primarily bass related. Near the end the notes mention a few folks from AZGFD who are leading up much of the effort for building habitats, stocking fish, etc. also helping crappie fishing. AZGFD is really doing a great job on the habitat building and stocking. FYI - I updated the Roosevelt Lake habitats link to have the new waypoints here: http://www.azcrappie.com/forum/index.php/topic,3905.0.html
Here are his notes:
-Golden Algae Mitigation Team/AZ Game and Fish Meeting- As many of you may already know, the AZ Game & Fish recently received a free shipment of 1 million Florida strain bass fry from Florida. 500K went into Apache, 250K went into Canyon and Saguaro. At a 2% expected survival rate, that's 20,000 bass!
As some of you may recall, back in 2016, the Game and Fish received bass from Florida that averaged 5 inches. They have reached maturity and are successfully spawning at Bubbling Ponds Hatchery! They are going to try again in the fall to to breed these fish. The goal is to have millions of Florida strain bass available to for stocking.
-Game and Fish as already allocated $100,000 to purchase fish in the fall for our Salt Chain lakes! So awesome!
-Golden Algae Issue-
-No GA found in Roosevelt or Apache.
-Small traces of GA are now found in Canyon and Saguaro.
-Electroshocking survey was done at Saguaro. However, the report wasn't available because Amberle is taking care of her newborn (congrats Amberle Jones!) However, we were told the results did not look good. They can't find a class of fish (certain age group) and might suspect that we lost them to the GA. However, they are hoping that those fish were just holding too deep for them to shock.
-The water conductivity levels at our lakes look good! (Higher conductivity usually means a bad GA year so the lower the better). However, as mentioned, they are still finding small traces of GA. (Found after the fry stocking). As they continue to monitor and test our waters, they are suspecting that the GA, like any other organism, may be adapting to their environment. If so, we're in this fight for the long haul.
-The GA itself doesn't kill the fish, it's the toxins they release when they're under stress. This usually happens in the last part of June. The results do look good this year. We'll just have to wait and see.
-500 Tiger Muskies have been stocked yesterday at Horse Thief Basin. The Game and Fish had attempted to manage trout unsuccessfully at this location. The temps were just a little too hot. The bass have been stunted there for years and aren't growing. They received these for free and figured this location would be the best option. They are sterile and do not breed.
We are looking for ways to help the Game and Fish. There are 3 goals: habitat, stocking fish, and money for infrastructure/facilities. For example, one of the bubbling ponds will need a block wall around it due to federal concerns that the bass might eat an endangered snake. Sure, it sounds like a pain in the butt. However, I love the fact that the AZGF is taking steps to help our warm water species. With that, I would like to thank Chris Cantrell, Andy Clark, Curtis Gill, Amberle Jones, and the whole team on behalf of AZ Anglers. We finally have a team that cares about warm water species. Let's help them all we can to ensure great fishing opportunities in the future.