The 2013-14 fishing regulations will be considered at the Saturday, Sept. 8 portion of the upcoming (Sept. 7-8) meeting of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at the Game and Fish Department headquarters at 5000 W. Carefree Highway in Phoenix.

The commission will consider amending Commission Order 40 (fish), which establishes open seasons, open areas, bag and possession limits, special regulations, and specific closures.

“Anglers and other members of the public should note that consideration of the fishing regulations is occurring in September this year rather than October, as has typically happened in the past,” said Acting Fisheries Chief Eric Swanson. “There is no commission meeting in October this year.”

Five proposed amendments include:

  1. Remove the Special Regulation (slot limit) for bass at Alamo Lake. The regulation for bass at Alamo Lake will revert to the statewide limit of six bass.
  2. Extend the “catch-and-release only” Special Regulation for bass at Pena Blanca Lake through 2016.
  3. Create Special Regulations for bass, catfish and trout at Cataract Lake and Kaibab Lake that include: a 13-inch minimum size limit for bass and a reduced two bass limit; a reduced four catfish limit; and a reduced four trout limit.
  4. Establish gizzard shad as a legal live baitfish from the following legal areas only: (1) The Colorado River south of Separation Canyon downstream to the southern international boundary with Mexico, including impounded reservoirs (e.g., Lake Mead, Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu) and directly connected backwaters (e.g., Topock Marsh and Mittry Lake), (2) the Gila and Salt rivers, including impounded reservoirs (e.g., Roosevelt Lake and Apache Lake), (3) urban waters in Maricopa County, and (4) Lake Pleasant.
  5. Create Special Regulations for channel catfish at Parker Canyon Lake that include a reduced four channel catfish limit.

The proposed changes and the rationale behind them can be found atwww.azgfd.gov/fishregs.

The department incorporated an extensive public input component into this process. Five public meetings were held in June (Flagstaff, Kingman, Yuma, Tucson and Mesa), the public comment opportunity was promoted via a website posting and e-news blast, and a printed survey was mailed out to 1,500 licensed anglers statewide asking their opinion on their support or opposition to the proposed regulations changes.

The public is welcome to attend the commission meeting, or view it over the web at Game and Fish regional offices or from any computer at www.azgfd.gov/commissioncam. Members of the public may submit Speaker Cards (Blue Cards) if they wish to speak to the commission at the Phoenix meeting or from any regional Game and Fish office. Public comment is not available for those viewing the webcast online.

Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish

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