The Arizona Game and Fish Commission recently approved 12 amendments to Commission Order 40 (fish regulations) that are expected to conserve sport fish populations and simplify and streamline regulations.
The amendments will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
One amendment of particular benefit to anglers is a change in the statewide possession limit to twice the daily bag limit, applying to all statewide and special regulation seasons. The regulation will now give the angler the ability to continue fishing on subsequent days when bag limits are met.
In addition, special regulations have been established for daily bag limits at newly designated Community Fishing Program waters, formally known as Urban Fishing Program waters. Tempe Town Lake will now be included in the Community Fishing Program.
Finally, the amendment that received the most public support was the reduction of the crappie daily bag limit from unlimited to 15 daily at Bartlett and Roosevelt lakes.
Other approved amendments are:
- All catch-and-release trout waters have been designated as artificial fly and lure only, single barbless hooks.
- Artificial fly and lure regulations have been simplified at waters with limited trout harvest to “artificial fly and lure only, two trout daily bag limit.”
- Statewide daily bag limit for white amur decreased from unlimited to one with a 30-inch minimum.
- A year-round bow-fishing season was approved for Salt River-chain lakes Saguaro, Apache, Canyon and Roosevelt with a special regulation bag limit of five catfish in any combination. This season will end Dec. 31 of 2016, but can be continued upon commission approval. Department data showed catfish populations in these fisheries are robust in sizes and populations.
- A special regulation was designated at Goldwater Lake reducing the daily bag limit to one bass with a minimum length of 13 inches.
- Statewide regulation for roundtail chub will be catch-and-release only.
- Fishing regulations on the Colorado River from the I-40 Bridge to the southern international boundary with Mexico were consolidated to simplify and make regulations easier to understand.
Special regulations were removed from Home and Wildcat creeks, allowing these fisheries to have general statewide regulations.
Logo courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department