Arizona Game & Fish Department received a question about the trout situation at Becker Lake

Becker Lake - Springerville, AZ (Apache County)

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

I was at Becker Lake yesterday morning walking the bank, and was surprised to see so many trout frames as well as a few big rainbows dying in shallow water. The onsite volunteer told me they have lost 50 big rainbows to the water temp/lack of oxygen. I think that number is much higher. I have fished this wonderful lake many times and applaud AZGFD for making it such a well-managed rainbow trout fishery. Is there any talk/initiative to shut the lake down for 4-6 weeks during the heat of summer? As much as taking care to play/release the fish in a proper manner should be followed at all times, in this case, the damage is done as soon as any of these fish are hooked. I believe closing the lake would be beneficial to all. I know now that when I go to fish there in October, there are going to be less fish there. (And I have a hard enough time as it is!)

Answer: Thanks for your comment. We're asking anglers to release these fish quickly and not even take them out of the water if possible. Anglers are still catching fish, and releasing them quickly should help this situation.