Angling for fun

Young anglers wait for the fish to bite at the ponds at Graham County Fairgrounds during the 2015 American Legion Fishing Derby.

SAFFORD — Fishing at the fairgrounds might yield more if the county decides to enact a Community Fishing Program.

On Dec. 16, the Graham County Board of Supervisors held a work session that included a presentation by Scott Gurton, the Community Fishing Program supervisor at the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

“Graham County Fairgrounds pond has been on my radar since I’ve come into the program. It just is a perfect fit in my opinion for a community fishing program,” Gurton said.

If the county chooses to participate in the Community Fishing Program, Arizona Game and Fish will stock the Graham County Fairgrounds with multiple species of fish over the course of five years, with a total cost to the county of $13,820. Fish species that would be placed within the pond would include catfish, trout and bluegill.

Occasionally, the county pays for the Fairgrounds ponds to be stocked with fish. However, if the county enters the agreement with Arizona Game and Fish, the fish would be stocked roughly 19 times from September to June.

Gurton told the board that the fairgrounds were a prime location was because there was already established fishing, truck ramps to the ponds and trash collection bins already in place.

“From a partner perspective, you’re already doing these things. You’re taking care of the water in the pond, establishing park rules (and) providing access for anglers,” Gurton said.

The presentation was made to the board during a work session, so the board was unable to take action on the proposal. A vote on whether to enter into an intergovernmental agreement between Arizona Game and Fish Commission and the county will take place at a future regular board meeting.

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