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Canyons Dock

1091 Views 17 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  d a
Why is it that Canyon has such a nice 6 Lane ramp and new dock not missing boards or bumpers and better lights. Seems like some one important must like to go to canyon. All i have to do is figure out how to catch more fish at canyon?
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This question came up last year at one of the Game & Fish roundtable meetings. Who prioritizes which lake and what improvements? At the meeting last year, there was mention of a new ramada being built at Canyon. I asked who decides on these things? I said Canyon already had all the best stuff... primo campgrounds, ramps, docks, etc., and that Saguaro had broken docks, dock bumpers, etc.
Last year was a tough year for AGFD. If you remember, our gov was thinking about taking money from the Heritage Fund. AGFD at one time had a little surplus left over from the year before. It wasn't really a surplus, it was monies allocated already to projects that had been in the works for a couple years. If the gov took the Heritage Fund $$$, that'd also wipe out the surplus. At that point, the only other cutbacks AGFD would face would be cutting people. Thankfully, that didn't happen.
If I have this straight, AGFD allocates funds to the Forest Service to maintain the docks, ramps and create improvements. The improvements are based on lake usage. When asked who is the biggest contributor of the monies allocated (boaters, picnickers, campers, etc.), there was no definite answer. I don't think they know who uses the lakes most. As a result of that meeting, AGFD put the pressure on the Forest Service to get the broken docks fixed at Saguaro and gave them a reasonable deadline to have the repair done. Unfortunately, it took a kid stepping into a broken board at ramp 2 and hurting his ankle to step up the pressure on the Forest Service to do the work.
In reality, how would you put a 6 lane ramp at Saguaro? I don't think it could happen. Number one: where would they put it without cutting into a mountain or parking (which is already lacking)? Number two: where would the funds come from? That would be a very expensive project. Number three: to extend the ramps, water has to be released. Saguaro is the last lake on the chain, so that water would basically be flushed down the toilet into the river system and eventually the canals (unless SRP pumped the water back into Canyon and Apache during the construction). There was mention about putting synthetic boards on the docks at some point to eliminate the rotting wood boards. I don't know if that's still a thought or not.
I totally agree with you though! Maybe this would make an awesome agenda item at the next roundtable meeting in December. In the meantime, if you have issues, contact any AGFD office and ask for the person to contact regarding your concerns.
By the way, did you happen to launch yesterday morning about 5:30 and have a black & silver bass boat? If so, we launched around the same time.
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Saguaro Docks

Thanks for your input. I had no idea it was so complex. If they alocate funds based on how many people use the area is seems like canyon has less boat traffic but more day non-boaters. It just gets old waiting for the guy on the ramp parked side-ways laoding and reloading and reloading his pontoon boat at least you can work around that at canyon. I had no idea a kid got hurt on the dock that kind of thing normally sets things in to motion. We did launch at 5:30 but in a white w/blue skeeter it was a great morning on the lake.
new dock 2 at Saguaro

Rippinlips asked where the dock expansion could be done.


Just to the left of the dock there is a small cove where some folks beach their boats and jetskis.

That could easily be filled in and ramps expanded in that direction.

It would probably require reworking the road etc. etc. but would be feasible. Money to pay for it might be another story.
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I don't think think that there is room for 3 new lanes, but even 1 or 2 would help. The cove may be wide enough, but with the tie down area by the rest rooms, there may not be enough turn around area to back the boats in for 3 more lanes.
As for paying for improvements, we need to stop the Legislature from raiding the State Lake Improvement Funds.
Would a 4 lane ramp at the Butcher Jones area be an option? It would not be too popular with picnic people and swimmers, etc., but it could be an option. What do you think?
Be careful what you wish for. Making it easier to launch will increase use of Saguaro and bring on another whole new set of issues. JMO, fix what's there already, new boards on the docks, new bumpers on the docks, and a light bulb in the ramp light. Let's increase sheriff's patrols on the water, and protect the big fish in Saguaro before they disappear, first.
BINGO, Denny!

- Bayou
I agree 100%. And I also believe Saguaro should get major attention at the next roundtable. Saguaro always gets skirted and never gets on the agenda. Since it seems like 90% of the posters fish Pleasant and Saguaro, and all the issues (and the focus of AGFD surveys) at the meetings deal with Pleasant, it's time Saguaro's issues get addressed. I'm not for upgrading and extending the ramps either. Let's just fix what's broken. Just my opinion.
other than big bass days and the stripers pleasant gets very little attention at game and fish round table meetings.
Scott does mention the new dam surveys they are working on due to the dams enlargement.
In which sag. doesnt have due to the lake is stable.

One thing that is constantly brought up about sag is the use of other watercraft(other than bass boats) on this lake. this is more of an enforcment issue and not a fisheries issue. Most bass fishermen cant grasp the fact that they are not the only people allow on a body of water here in AZ.

I have heard a few things brought up about sag due to slow fishing. but if we think about it, it has alot to do with the amount of fishing pressure that lake gets.
Look at the fishing reports most of the guys fishing it hit the same spots over and over and over. some guys go there every other day and fish the exact same spot. the fish will figure this out pretty quick. its happpening on lake pleasant as well. but there is nothing the G&F can do about this. this is more of a try different tactics situation.

what are the issues with sag ? other than PWC's , a broken board on the Docks , people water skiing at dusk, guys not useing lights, people makeing to much of a wake for someone else blah blah blah. these are all enforcement issues.

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How about these for issues G&F can address at Saguaro:

1. They have no idea of the status of the Saguaro LMB fishery because they haven't done a survey in who knows? 5 years?

2. Its their opinion that Saguaro and Canyon ARE trophy bass lakes. Yet they manage those two lakes with the same regs as Bartlett, Pleasant, and Apache. Why is that?

3. In the brief time I've been fishing Saguaro, about 3 years, I've noticed a decline in the numbers of big fish (8+) being caught. Others share my view. Its fishing pressure.

In the last 10 years the population of the East Valley, Scottsdale, and most recently Fountain Hills has exploded. That puts more fishermen (and PWCs and wakeboarders) on Saguaro than ever before.

The decline of big bass ,( how should I say this so Delw and I don't argue if the big bass even exist), AVAILABILITY at Lake Pleasant has sent fishermen to Sag and Canyon for their trophie bass.

We do it to ourselves too. Internet fishing sites like this one increase the pressure on Saguaro and Canyon. Particulary when people learn there's big bass in these lakes.

In the last three or four years trout baits have come on the market. Big fish lures that target Lunker LM. Particularly on lakes that stock rainbow trout in the winter

Way too many times proud fishermen have lifted an 8 or 9 pound bass out of the water on a stringer to show me what they caught. They were after catfish with waterdogs And then there's a group of fish-for-food fisherman on Saguaro who fish live bait, mainly shad, for bass, yellows, and walleye, And they throw them in a basket, even the 8's. They're not breaking any law, just my heart when I see an 8lb bass in a basket.

4. What is a trophy bass fishery now, might not be 5 or 10 years down the road. I don't know. All I know is what I've seen in the last 3 years. Lets push Game & Fish to manage Saguaro as a trophy bass lake and implement regulations where no fish over 20 inches can be kept.

Rippinlips: How about individual meetings to discuss only one lake.? Starting with Saguaro.
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I agree with you Denny (d a) and Jim (Rippinlips). We don't need new ramps at Saguaro. There's enough fishing pressure, water skiiers, and jet skiiers out there now without adding even more due to more ramps and parking. What was I thinking? Just replace the boards at the Saguaro ramps with longer lasting boards, new bumper rails, etc., not build new ramps.
Delw, I really could care less anymore about the skiiers and boarders. Some of the no-wake areas that were added last year worked wonders to keep the hostilities down. I've even found a couple great ways to use em to my fishing advantage.
Enforcement's still an issue, but that's separate from what I'm talking about. People will always push things because they know they can. I still won't drop the enforcement issues though. Somebody's going to get killed out there someday.
The things I'm talking about are what Denny mentioned. That fishery has been ignored by AGFD for years. They have no idea of the fish populations or size in that lake. And like Denny said, it's getting tougher by far to catch those big fish. Is it the fishing pressure the lake is getting or is it that people unknowingly take the big fish home for dinner and are taking the big genes out? I personally believe that within 2 to 3 years, there won't be many big fish left. Saguaro is a lot smaller than Pleasant, so yes, it's only because of the pressure and the lake size that everyone fishes the same spots. It almost can't be helped!
If there was to be a "trophy lake", Saguaro should be it. The big bass in Canyon have water a lot deeper with structure that's a lot harder to fish. The big fish there will survive. The bass in Saguaro won't. I've talked to a lot of people in the last few months that had no clue about big fish/big genes. What about the guy in the paper last year? He caught an 11 and two 10's in one morning. I saw the Polaroid he took to Liar's Korner holding them on a stringer in his backyard. When he went to Liar's, he asked how much Richard thought they'd cost to mount. When Richard told him about $500 apiece, he left. He'd killed 3 big fish. Unless some regs are put into place, or until AGFD starts conducting surveys on Saguaro and not just Pleasant, Saguaro is in danger of becoming another small fish lake where you'll be happy to catch a 2 pounder. I've never caught as many dinks in that lake as I've caught this year. And they're slamming big bass baits!

Denny, I'm all for those meetings. Just tell me when and where.
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now theres something to talk about.

#1. they can save lots of time and money by doing the survey off the lake report page's on the different web sites.

#2. Who's Opinion G&F? where does it say that. I have heard guys at meetings say they would like it to be a trophy lake(both canyon and sag) but not have heard a game and fish stance on it.

Da we cant blame the bait manufactures for the development of trout baits to get big fish. other wise we would have to blame all bait manufactures.
Thats the whole purpose of fishing is to target the biggest ones we can catch.

Now what are you going to do when I decide to take a 10+ out of sag. and put it on my wall maybe a few of them :cry: (just playing with DA.)

Sag. would be a great place for a trophy lake, heres a few reason.
little next to no tournys are held on sag. (so it would only effect fun fisherman) its close to the valley,fishing is hard to do etc.
I would vote for that one before any other lake in AZ. shore

Lets leave pleasant, canyon apache and rosy alone and make sag. the trophy lake. I can go for that.

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Oh yeah about the surveys, wasnt it 2 meetings ago that one of the game and fish guys said to email him your fishing reports, has anyone done this yet? If I remember correctly it was after Da brought up the no survey in 5 years deal.

Also if I remember they(g&f) were under the understanding that the fishing was good at Sag.(until Da brought it up). They said that they dont do surveys unless there is a problem or a problem exists and of cource the cost of such a thing. (Terry correct me if I am wrong)

I think if a trophy lake is going to be in AZ it should be sag , for reasons stated above. Not to mention the stable water level.

I know the fish are still being caught and some pretty big ones at sag, I have a few friends who fish it regularly that do very well at sag. even when most that post here were having problems these guys were pulling in lots of fish.

Theres a Roostertales tourny Nov. 15th at sag. I am sure there will be some big weights there. I know the top 2 teams at roostertales consitantly pull out toads.

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Yeah, G&F thinks Saguaro and Canyon are trophy LM Lakes.

And I wasn't blaming lure manufacturers for Saguaro's problem, But they are a contributing factor since trout baits weren't part of the equation 5 years ago. There's just more pressure on the big fish than ever. Most big fish caught on trout baits I'm sure are caught, photographed and released. Not all but the great majority. Heck if you fished Saguaro with a trout bait and caught a 10 you'd have it mounted I'm sure! (With a little plaque saying Del's 14lb LM :D )
Hey I had to throw you a bone :wink:

LMAO Da I would say on the Plaque Da would be proud of me and my 14 1/2 lber


OK, as long as you weren't bed fishing. :wink:
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