AZGFD biologists recently stocked Florida-strain largemouth bass into Apache, Canyon and Saguaro lakes in central Arizona. All three have experienced some degree of fish die-offs in recent years due to golden algae blooms. Apache Lake had experienced the most significant decline in bass numbers, but spring surveys in 2021 also noted that the 2020 year class of bass was missing at both Canyon and Saguaro lakes.
On the morning of June 9, biologists met AZGFD’s warmwater fish vendor, Mr. Fish, to offload some of the bass into two other stocking trucks so that all fish could be stocked into the lakes as early as possible. Mr. Fish took 21,500 of the bass to Saguaro Lake where AZGFD staff were waiting with volunteer anglers from the Midweek Bass Club to distribute the fish around the lake into suitable habitat.
Other AZGFD personnel transported 21,600 bass to Canyon Lake where they were met by two other boats from the club waiting to distribute the fish. Meanwhile, roughly half the bass (42,300) were transported to Apache Lake where three additional boats from the club were waiting. In total, more than 85,000 bass were stocked to help boost the bass populations in these lakes.
This was a complex effort that required a great deal of planning and coordination. Nonetheless, the stocking went off without a hitch. The anglers reported that the bass looked great when they went in the water and all fish were stocked out by 11 a.m. This effort will help ensure continued recreational opportunities for anglers into the future.