I have noticed that these ponds have not been stocked in years. I know catfish is a growing target species in the valley as over the years spots have become increasingly crowded. I have caught many catfish but am not finding any in certain ponds that had been stocked in the past. While the Snake is a good choice access can be an issue and pond fishing is a preferred day to day for many of us.
The lack of channel catfish stocking in the database is not real. We have been stocking them consistently; however, they have yet to be uploaded to the database. This will be corrected shortly.
We still stock the same ponds, but we did have to reduce numbers as we think channel catfish were impacting bluegill populations negatively in some of the smaller ponds. We are not sure of this notion yet, but will be investigating during 2014. We plan to continue to stock channel catfish during summer to provide diversity and to provide fishing opportunity during the warm summer months when water temperatures are lethal to trout. On the other hand, we need to ensure that we maintain bluegill populations in these ponds as they provide very high catch rates for young anglers and provide forage for many species.
There are two other tremendous channel catfish fisheries nearby that get little attention. Lake Lowell is stocked with 5,000 to 10,000 fingerling catfish annually. These fish are surviving well and some have grown to HAWG statu. We have sampled several fish over 15 lbs over the last three years. Secondly, Crane Creek Reservoir near Midvale contains an underutilized, but very abundant, channel catfish population.