May 2023

April showers bring May Flowers! Here in Arizona the wildflowers are spectacular; get out and enjoy this special display from our very wet winter and spring showers. During May we also honor mothers on Mother’s Day, and honor our veterans on Memorial Day.

We had a busy late March and April with the Arizona Game & Fish Department (AZGFD) Outdoor Expo March 24 & 25, the Native and Wild Trout Conference April 6, and some internal meetings with Arizona Council. There were great crowds at all of these events, and some lucky AZGFD Expo participants won a free Trout Unlimited membership. Chances are great if you are receiving this newsletter for the first time, you were one of the lucky winners!

Among the other events we had during April was a special Salt River Saturday, April 15, 2023. See separate article with pictures and more detail further in newsletter.

Also, more about the Native and Wild Trout Conference can be found here and later in the newsletter.

Have a teenage kid or grandkid you want to teach to fish? You can send them to camp by clicking here. 2023 Fish Camp has three sessions: June 4 – 10, June 11 – 16; & June 18 – 23. Also, if you know of someone that may be interested in Fish Camp, please let us know. There are a number of camperships (scholarships) available.

New editor: Long time Zane Grey Chapter newsletter editor, Wayne Miiller is stepping down. Taking Wayne’s place is our new editor: Woody Willson. Woody has actual newspaper experience. Wayne continues as a member of Zane Grey chapter and will continue helping with the newsletter and other ZGTU volunteer areas as time permits for the father of two teenage boys.

Please help me welcome Woody Willson and send congratulations to Wayne Miiller for a job well done. Woody may be reached at

Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited News:
AZTU Council is adding additional Trout Unlimited (TU) paid staff. AZTU recently appointed Josh Crist, as the Arizona Native Trout Project Manager. Josh joins Trout Unlimited from the Nature Conservancy in Wyoming. Look for a more formal announcement later this month.

Volunteer Opportunities. Click here and visit our webpage to see the various events we have scheduled. We’ll continue to update these events, so check back frequently.
Additional Volunteer opportunities include:
  • Staffing for AZTU – GCC Fish Camp, See details here. There are three sessions: June 4-9; June 11-16; and June 18-23. Please contact Arthur Greenway 602-399-7777(M) or myself, Alan Davis, 925-785-5583(M). Alternatively, you may complete our survey and express your interest here.

Watch for upcoming conservation, youth opportunities, and community outreach announcements with the specific times, dates and contact info later in the newsletter.

Until then, 
Tight Lines. 
Alan Davis
Thank you for attending Salt River Saturdays!
A big thank you to all who attended our Salt River Saturdays. Salt River Saturdays began in November and continued through April. Although this April we had to cancel due to high-water. While we were disappointed Tonto National Forest cancelled the April SRS; however, we are thankful the closure was due to high water, and not fire.

During our Salt River Saturdays, we co-hosted with Desert Fly Casters Club, Arizona Flycasters Club, Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Zane Grey Chapter conservation committee, and the Boys and Girls Club of Scottsdale. The results of these events are extraordinary. Among the statistics are:

  • Gathered and removed over 300 lbs. of trash;
  • Drank at least a dozen gallons of coffee;
  • Consumed nearly 150-doughnuts; and,
  • hosted approximately 200 people at these events.

We hope to see you this fall, when we will once again co-host Salt River Saturdays with our conservation and recreation partners.

Here are some pictures from our April 15 event with the Scottsdale Boys and Girls Club.
Learn About Priority Waters and Join Us In Taos, NM!
Last month the NLC hosted it’s second Town Hall of the year focusing on Trout Unlimited’s efforts in protecting priority waters. The presentation discussed the identification, mapping, leveraging, and communicating of TU’s conservation initiatives for priority waters and action plans for future preservation opportunities.
Hosted by Rob Masonis and Keith Curley, Vice Presidents of Conservation for Trout Unlimited, this video showcases strategic plans, policies, and management. Questions are answered about what TU is doing to use priority waters to advocate for our mission of coldwater conservation.
If this Town Hall spurred your interest, consider joining fellow supporters from across the west at the Trout Unlimited Western Regional Rendezvous in Taos, New Mexico from May 18 – 21. Workshops and presentations and networking will be combined with some great spring fishing! 

April Meeting Summary

The AZTU-PPC meeting held in April 2023 included a presentation from Jeffrey Lovich with the USGS on studies performed on the effects on wildlife as a result of the implementation of Green Energy projects, as well as discussions on legislative matters, Grand Canyon National Monument, RAWA, Lee's Ferry small mouth bass issue, the 14th Annual Native & Wild Trout Conference, New Zealand mud snails, and rural ground water.

Legislative Update

The AZTU staff are actively working at the State Capitol. We are monitoring a few bills of interest like the Arizona Trail Fund, Heritage Fund, and a resolution on the heritage of hunting and fishing in Arizona. One bill did pass the House and Senate that we were advocating against, HCM2002. HCM2002 implies that the solution to the housing crisis in Arizona is to transfer federal land to the state so we can expand development. Unfortunately, the places where we need more housing do not match places where we have federal public lands. Instead, as many city and county planners across the state have concluded, the solution to housing shortages is solved by more intelligent strategic urban development. Perhaps it’s unintentional, but HCM2002 came across as more of an attack on public lands than a solution to a housing shortage. Being that this is a resolution, it does not physically change anything, just more of a messaging bill. But its a message of transferring federal public lands to the state, which we don't support. We agree that in some instances the federal government is not always the best stewards of the land, but they do guarantee access for hunting and fishing which is our group’s main priority.

At this time in the session no new bills can be introduced, but the state has still not passed a budget, so they are far from ending this session. 

More to come!

Here are a few important items.. in case you missed them..

Rural Groundwater Working Group

The Rural Groundwater Working Group is working on a strategy to get the Arizona Legislature to pass legislation to allow counties to manage their groundwater. AZTU is an active member of this group. We recognize that surface water and groundwater are inextricably connected. {Continue reading here}

SB1306 Proposes Local Groundwater Stewardship Areas

A milestone was reached on January 27th when SB1306 was proposed in the Senate by Sen. Sonny Borelli. The companion bill is expected to be proposed in the House by Rep Leo Biasiucci. {Continue reading here}

4FRI Stakeholder Group

4FRI, the Four Forests Restoration Initiative, has moved from the Planning Phase into the Implementation Phase! This is a major step forward, facilitated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act. {Continue reading here}

Upcoming Events

The May 2023 AZTU-PPC Meeting will be Thursday, May 11, 2023 at 7:00 PM. This meeting will have Michael Cravens from the Arizona Wildlife Federation to discuss the Grand Canyon National Monument status.
The AZTU-Public Policy Committee (PPC) hosts a virtual meeting on the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 until 8:00 PM. If you are interested, please contact Ron Stearns at .
Thanks For A Successful Jamboree!
A BIG thank you goes out to Trout Unlimited and Desert Fly Casters volunteers who came out last Saturday to help over 100 Girl Scout Jamboree participants learn to cast and tie some flies. Reports back to the team said this skill challenge was one of the highlights of the day. As you can see from the pictures below, fun was had by ALL!

Special thanks to Kay Cameron, Karen Gremminger, Vi Hillman, Mike Reis, Frank Schettino, Mark Sokol, Joe Staller and Doug Thompson.
Your Conservation License Plate Supports Our Programs
The Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation (AZSFWC) license plate fund is derived from the sale of wildlife conservation license plates and member organizations as well as non-member organizations are eligible to apply for those funds. 

The Arizona TU Council and Chapters have received funds over the past eight years in support of the Annual Native and Wild Trout Conferences, Fish Camp, Trout in the Classroom programs and conservation projects.
The next time your registration comes up for renewal, choose the conservation license plate option at registration to show your support for conservation and our projects. 
Precautions taken after invasive Mudsnails detected!
YOUNG, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has confirmed the presence of New Zealand mudsnails, an aquatic invasive species, in lower Canyon Creek approximately 3 miles downstream of Canyon Creek Hatchery.
New Zealand mudsnails are a concern because they compete with native invertebrates for food, posing potential harm to Arizona’s native and sportfish populations, as well as native mollusks.

Please take every precaution to prevent the spread of these snails by cleaning your boots after each creek you visit and Learn more by reading the story here.

14th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference
a Success
Once again a successful day-long in-person Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference (NWTC) returned on April 6th at the Arizona Game and Fish headquarters in Phoenix. 

Registrations totaled 121 with attendees coming from numerous government agencies and representatives from a variety of conservation organizations.  As in prior years, the conference was co-sponsored by the Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited and AZGFD. Financial support was again provided by the Arizona Sportsmen For Wildlife Conservation. 
Arizona has been recognized nationally due to the success the event has had in bringing anglers, conservation organizations and government agencies together for the benefit of water and wildlife. Chris Wood, Trout Unlimited's CEO, commented on the proposed delisting of the Apache trout as an endangered and threatened species and how it would be beneficial to replicate the NWTC in other states. Don't miss comments by Chris at CEO comments.
Information on all the conference topics and presentations can be found at 14th Annual NWTC.
Lee's Ferry fishery after spring Glen Canyon release

This time last year federal and state water managers were actively discussing worst case scenarios for water rationing with major municipalities in Arizona and Nevada. Lake Mead and Lake Powell were at historic lows, and unless there was a miracle, water levels in both lakes could drop below the turbine intakes at Hoover and Glen Canyon Dams. This talk of water shortages had everyone concerned, including Lee’s Ferry anglers and outfitters. 

Well, there has been miracle, albeit temporary. Our lake systems are replenishing with the runoff from a record snow pack in the high country drainages, and there’s much more to come in the weeks ahead.

On Monday, April 24, Glen Canyon Dam began a 72 hour release at 40,000 cfs that wound down to 19,500 cfs by May 1. This level of flow will remain consistent through the summer. This is a much higher flow than normal from Glen Canyon (normally around 9,000 cfs), but Lake Mead is steadily and slowly rising from the increased flow. It is projected to rise more than 33 feet, which is a long way from what is needed to fill. 

So, what does this spring flood and consistently high summer flow mean for the our Blue Ribbon fishery above Lee’s Ferry? 

With the sustained release so high, wading will be difficult after May 1, especially in the popular places above Lee’s Ferry and the wade-in areas below the boat ramp, according to veteran Lee’s Ferry guide, Jeff English. 

“Four Mile will remain nearly underwater due to the increased flow,” says English, “So, fishing will be mainly from boats. But the trout will be fat and healthy from all the bugs stirred up by the release. I’ve seen a lot of these releases over the years and I predict fishing will be very good after May 1 and through the summer.” 

And there will be less grass in the water to foul your nymph rig! 

“The grass will definitely get a haircut,” adds English

With the spring release, the immediate future of the Lee’s Ferry fishery below the dam looks bright. The river will be cold, clean and the trout will be fat and feisty. Time to book your trip before things get toasty. 

By Woody Wilson. Photo by Skip Dixon.
Social Media: 
Check out the Instagram page for
Arizona of Trout Unlimited: @Trout_Unlimited_Arizona
If you're more traditional, try signing up for the private Facebook group: Arizona Women of Trout Unlimited.
Looking for a Fishing Opportunity?
Below is a list of fishing organizations in Arizona. Feel free to join, explore, visit their websites or attend a meeting to find out more information:
Arizona Flycasters Club
@ The Arizona American Italian Club
7509 N 12th St
Phoenix, AZ 85020
Link To Website

Fly-Fishing Social Event night - 2nd Tuesday of each month. Great speaker and awesome raffle. Donations support our Community outreach partners from Veterans to Youth activities.
Desert Fly Casters Club
@ Chandler Elks Club
General meeting 2nd Wednesday of each month. Social Event 6-7 Meeting @ 7PM Great speakers; check website for details.
Sun City Grand Fishing Club
Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club
Payson Fly Casters
White Mountains Fly Fishing Club
White Mountains Lake Foundation
AZFISHBOOK offers a variety of social activities. Listed below are some of the activities available.

Check out the AZFISHBOOK Groups at:

Looking for buddy to fish with?

Signup for AZFishBook Newsletter:
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Committed to 
Protecting, Connecting and Restoring Arizona's watersheds and fisheries.
Combined Calendar 
AZ Trout Unlimited & Chapters, Arizona Flycasters Club and several other area fishing and conservation calendars
You may access our calendar here
Zane Grey Trout Unlimited
Protect. Reconnect. Restore. Sustain. Conserving coldwater habitat in the desert southwest.