The deadline for submitting comments on the draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) for Arizona’s sport fish stocking program is 5 p.m. (Arizona time) on June 11, 2021.
The dEA is part of a process to continue to allow federal Sport Fish Restoration funding to support the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s (AZGFD) long-standing program of stocking fish for public recreational opportunities, and for hatchery operations and maintenance.
Each year, thousands of anglers in Arizona take advantage of the fish stocking program, which is funded in part by federal dollars from the Sport Fish Restoration Program and augmented by state dollars from fishing license sales.
Every 10 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and AZGFD evaluate the social, economic and environmental effects of Arizona’s stocking program, and pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), prepare a dEA that analyzes possible actions or alternatives. The preferred alternative for the agencies, also known as the Proposed Action, would allow AZGFD to continue its stocking program for the next 10 years and also includes conservation measures to reduce potential impacts on federally listed or sensitive native aquatic or semi-aquatic species.
Two Facebook Live sessions were held June 1 and June 2.
View the June 1 session - covers AZGFD northern regions (1, 2, 3).
View the June 2 session.- covers AZGFD southern regions (4, 5, 6).
Written comments on the dEA, which was made available for public review beginning on May 11, can still be submitted through 5 p.m. (Arizona time) June 11, 2021. Comments can be either:
Emailed to [email protected], or sent by U.S. Mail to Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attention: Dave Weedman, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086 (must be postmarked no later than June 11, 2021).
Your written comments including personal identifying information, such as name, address, phone number, and email address may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask that personal identifying information be withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
Recreational angling in Arizona created a statewide economic impact of more than $1.4 billion in 2013, according to the 2013 Economic Impact of Fishing in Arizona by Responsive Management (the last year such a survey was done). In fiscal year 2020, AZGFD sold 273,902 fishing licenses, generating revenue of nearly $14 million. During the last six years, AZGFD has stocked approximately 3 million fish per year. The majority of stockings were cold water species, such as rainbow, Apache, brook, cutthroat, and brown trout. AZGFD also stocked warm water species including channel catfish, largemouth bass, black crappie, redear sunfish, and bluegill.