TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Since 1982, Tucson and the Arizona Game and Fish Department have teamed up to provide fishing opportunities to thousands of city dwellers.
Now, it appears the city will approve a five year extension of its agreement with Game and Fish to stock its three lakes with thousands of fish per month, including trout in the cooler months and catfish in the warmer months.
Under the agreement, and the reason for a limited extension, is the city agrees to maintain the lakes, including keeping them free from algae, weeds and debris, and in turn, Game and Fish provides the fish.
Last year, that amounted to 49,800 fish at a cost of $149,400 according to the city website.
Game and Fish will stock every two weeks but does not announce when the stocking will take place.
“We don’t because if they knew exactly when we were going to stock, they be along the side of the truck with their poles in the water,” said Mark Hart, a spokesman for Game and Fish.
The city says it sells 5,000 fishing licenses every year which pays for most of the maintenance. Under ten is free, over 18, $24.
The city estimates the cost is $38,110 annually.
It also says about 12,000 people fish in the lakes every year.
Those caught without a license are subject to a small fine. The idea is not to be punitive but to let people know they need to license up if they want to fish in the city’s lakes.
“We want people to enjoy the experience,” Hart said. “To enjoy the beauty and be in a serene environment like Silverbell Lake.”
The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department has asked city leaders to extend the program, which also carried a day pass recommendation from the city manager’s office.
The three lakes are Silverbell, Charles Ford Lakeside and Kennedy Park.