WMLF 2012 Spring Update

It seems like it was just iceup a couple months ago and already there’s fishable waters up in the White Mountains. Arizona didn’t get much winter in the high country this year. There is good and bad with that. The lack of snowpack on our lakes means a much better chance of no/little winterkill and means we may be looking at some of the best early season trout fishing in years. The rainbows and brookies in Crescent were already some of the largest and healthiest we’ve seen in awhile. Let’s hope they made it and will continue to grow. We have been catching nice rainbows out of Becker for sometime now and that will just continue to get better. This will be the third year of growth for the Triploids. With any luck they will live up to their expectations. The downside of a mild winter is the lack of new water to replenish the lakes. This late winter storm we just had dumped some, but not sure how much. There is still time for more snow and usually we’ll get at least one more late winter dump, even on into April and May. So, lets’ hope there’s more coming.

White Mountain Lakes Foundation (WMLF) was busy over the winter months, adding new members and getting the word out about our organization. Glen Knight and I (John Rohmer) were busy hitting the state making presentations to the Prescott Flyfishing Club and representing WMLF at Bass Pro Shop for one of their Spring events. Brandon McDermott signed up several members at Bass Pro and we made some new friends and opened some new doors. We also met with Pioneer Irrigation up in Springerville. They are the water management group that handles the irrigation water for much of the Springerville, Eager area. We discussed dredging White Mountain Reservoir to a depth that would sustain trout throughout the summer and how they could use that lake as their first source of water drawdown when the irrigation season arrives. Currently they draw from the Greer lakes first. This in turn puts a strain on the fish in Tunnel and Bunch that often results in a fish kill. Unfortunately for us anglers, most of the Arizona lakes were formed for the purpose of storing water for agricultural purposes. They are in the process of trying to pipe the 25-mile long ditch, so they can conserve some of the water they are taking from the Greer lakes. The open ditch design allows for water loss through seepage and evaporation. Pioneer is all for dredging the White Mountain Reservoir at some point, however they have other more pressing issues right now. If you know of anyone with access to 36” plastic pipe, please inform us. The more water they save is more water we can fish.

We still have work to finish at the Becker Lake site as well. Concrete pads have to be poured and Internet service made available for the lake host. A permanent bench is to be installed, along with some landscaping and signage.

WMLF membership is up around 120 now. We are considering a WMLF event, possibly at Becker, were we would provide some food and have raffle prizes such as a rod or two and several full fly boxes that you could win. We are still in the thought process, so I will post more on this when the event is confirmed.

Hope to see you on the water,

John Rohmer
WMLF President

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