Lake Havasu

Discussion in 'ARIZONA LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by AZrivercat, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. AZrivercat

    AZrivercat New Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    Arizona
    Hey Catchaser, I hope you made it here. This post is to answer your question and a shout out for any other Havasu info and fishermen out there.

    Oh yeah! its very underfished for flats too. My avatar is from Havasu its 12lbs and I caught a 10 lber the same night. I've only fished from shore there but the lake is large and there is so much prime looking area at the south end of the lake and by the damn. There are many fishing docks specifically built for fishing. In warm months its common to see 5-8lb flats pulled in by people that are striper fishing.

    Last year I didnt get to fish it that much, but I'll be living there this spring into the summer and I plan on hitting up the flats pretty hard. I think the biggest flat from Havasu is maybe a little over 50lbs, Not for long!:wink:
     
  2. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    Hey Catchaser, I hope you made it here. This post is to answer your question and a shout out for any other Havasu info and fishermen out there.

    Listen Man Ive fish every inch of Havasu from the top near topock gorge, all the way down to the dam area. Near the dam is and to the east is where the williams river runs into the lake... the water is rather shallow as it comes out from under the bridge that crosses the river, and eventually gets deeper at you go west and then to the dam area. Like they mentioned, there are plenty of cats and flatheads here. The old river channel is 60 to 70 feet deep, and there is some deep submerged wood along the old channel. My personal best was actually by buddies fish at my fishing hole... which is a massive rock point that you go around as you are comming by boat out of Havasu city.... There are many stripers of the small variety in the lake, as well as LM bass that all compete for the preyfish. You can actually go up river some 100 miles to the base of Davis dam which has some good cat spots in the outflow area, and there is trout there as well. As far as camping out, and fishing, Arizona has many imporved campsites that you can boat into and stay at for a nominal price. I usually stay at Black Meadows landing on the west shore north of the dam some 6 miles. When I first went to Havasu, I just lauched the boat and camped anywhere that I wanted on the ariz side, and did lots of catfishing at night. Having a boat surley makes for better fishing..... One day at Havasu Springs marina, I was in for liguid refreshment of the hard kind, and I saw a 30 inch striper swimming shoulder to shoulder with a flathead of the same length.... They were just crusing in the dock area like no one could catch them.....

    bayrunner ray
     

  3. thunderchicken

    thunderchicken New Member

    Messages:
    769
    State:
    Yuma Az
    Ray,
    You absolutely have it right. My family and I have been fishing Lake Havasu since 1952 and it is exactly as you have described. A lot of people don't know unless they do very much drift fishing that the lake has a lot of trees in it. Back in the old days they were plainly visible above the water line until McCoullough Corp cut them below the water line. They are still there however which contributes to the great fish habitat. Havasu is my all time favorite place to fish, and if the wind doesn't keep you off the water I can usually bring home dinner.
    Best of luck.
    :cool2:
     
  4. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    Thanks for the reply Mike... Just getting off the tube and thought I'd check the posts one more time and saw yours on the top of list..... going down to Topock March week after next... never been there in February mid week, and I have a new week off this time of the year, and want to show plumbertom1 some big crappie that hide in there and some nice cats while we are looking.... Have you ever been to topock? lots of shallows, and a few hidden 9-12 foot holes...

    bayrunner ray
     
  5. troyedm

    troyedm New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    edmond oklahoma
    wished i would of seen this when i lived in las vegas. we never went to havasu cause we figgered it was a play lake for skiers. there are no flatheads in mohave or mead. (as per ndow, it might be a problem with other fish) if i would of known havasu had them, then they would of had them in mohave. i did a lot of work for mohave electric coop, if i'd of known about havasu i would have brought my boat and fished below davis damn. oh well i'm back in ok now, plenty of catfish here.
     
  6. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Wow. I never realized that flathead fishing was that good up there. I always figured that the lake had too much pressure on it from from the jet skiers and speed boaters? I gotta try it out some time.
     
  7. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Troy, Unless i misread your post I think you should rethink your attitude. One of the worst things you can do to our fisheries is to be a Bucket Biologist. Today we know that introducing foreign species into new water can disrupt the entire system that they are placed in. No species of fish should be introduced into non-native waters with out thorough study of the impact.
    You should be ashamed of your self for even suggesting such a thing. If I misunderstood you I apologise But I feel very strongly about this.
     
  8. rcneman

    rcneman New Member

    Messages:
    482
    State:
    TN

    I'll second the bucket biology thang. Introducing non-native species of fish can completely destroy the balance of a body of water, especially if it's a king-of-the-hill predator.
    I've lived in some states where people thought a certain lake should have xxx fish in it, so they did not have to drive so far to catch them. What usually happens is the new fish outcompetes the established fish and other species disappear. While that may sound good at first...it's horrible. Eventually what happens is the forage base is destroyed...meaning all the young of the year type of fish, minnows....disappear, because there aren't older fish spawning enough to replenish.

    I have personally witnessed this occur at some lakes that were GREAT for xxx and yyy fish....then someone introduces a fish they personally like and a few years later...the lake crashes and a once great lake to fish is now only good for waterskiers and bikinis.

    just something to think about.

    cyas
    robert
     
  9. troyedm

    troyedm New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    edmond oklahoma
    yea i know, not the right idea. but, for a little more education on disrupting the other fish breeds, how did the flatheads get into all the other lakes and colorada river south of davis dam? are they saltwater flats? how does the fish habitat change from davis dam north to the grand canyon? are all the other fish gone in lake havasu? just questions that make you huh.
     
  10. rcneman

    rcneman New Member

    Messages:
    482
    State:
    TN
    EDIT: If you want to read a bit more about how bucket biologists can destroy a good fishing hole, do a internet search on Fish Lake, Yuba Lake or Strawberry resoirvoir in Utah. There's some good history (decades) regarding these lakes. Yuba is the one that has quite a bit of history of bucket biology...crashing, the State restocks the lake, bucket biologists strike again and the cycle continues.



    tried to edit the other post but it wouldn't let me

    cyas
    robert
     
  11. troyedm

    troyedm New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    edmond oklahoma
    i do not disagree with you. maybe i didn't spell it right. what species of fish has been endangered by the flatheads in lake havasu? it is a moot point now, as i am in oklahoma again. i won't make a trip to las vegas to bucket the mohave lake. had i of known about havasu, i would have enjoyed fishing it for the cats. seems there wasn't anything over 2 pounds in mead or mohave, be it blue or channel.
     
  12. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Flatheads were planted in the river in the late 50s or early 60s to improve the fishery by the Az. DGF.
    As we've seen by watching the expansion of tilapia in the southwestern area they didn't always do the studies that they should have.
    Fortunately FH catfish have not shown to have a negative impact on other fish in the Colorado river system. Although they are an apex predator it seems as though they have managed to share the niche with native Channel catfish without crowding them out.
    That's not to say that the final report is in on introduced FHs. It may just take longer for the effects to show up.
     
  13. troyedm

    troyedm New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    edmond oklahoma
    thanks plumbertom, thats what i was currios about. by the way i have never played bucket bioligist as i actually feel the same way you do. but now i still wonder what ndow knows that leads them not to put flathead in mead or mohave. i asked them in an email about 3 years ago. never got a reason other than they didn't think it would be a good idea. mead and mohave supposedly have crappie,bass,blue gill, and strippers in them. is that any different than havasu? well if i ever get out that way again i'll have to buy a nonresident license, so i'll just get a az one, then i can fish havasu.
     
  14. thunderchicken

    thunderchicken New Member

    Messages:
    769
    State:
    Yuma Az
    Hey Ray,
    No sorry to say Topock is one area I haven't fished. Have been by there but thats about it. I understand they do have good shore fishing along the north dike in a few places that are very accessable. The habitat is excellent there. Let us know how the trip went and how your luck was. Take care.
    Mike
    :cool2:
     
  15. riverbud55

    riverbud55 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,953
    State:
    AZ Topock-/CA Riverside
    Name:
    Dale Miller
    Man I use to love havasu until the all pepole ended up there kinda reminds me of OC in the desert these days, grew up going to havasu (about 50 years now)and fishn with my grandpa, man even went to parker high 4 a year

    the river (anyways havasu)is nothing like it used to be, use to be able to get a boat load of crappie back in the 50s and 60s but no more, to me the the striped bass destroyed the lake, back in the early 70s you could catch large stripped bass (in 72 grandpa got a 34lb)with out much of a problem, ya wouldn't catch alot but they would be big and full of crappie and gills now theres tons of small ones and no crappie (got to wounder if thats why there are no big strippers), read a report from the dfg that said the lake was over fished and i think thats a bunch of bs, its the striped bass that is the problem in my opinion when i catch a striper on the river it never goes back in alive (ok now the bass guys are going to kill me lol) wish dfg would make it aginst the law to put a striper back and they would put no limit on them

    as far a native fish on the lower colorado there would be no native game fish if it weren't for the stocking of all the sunfishes and catfishes in the past 150 years.

    I copeid this from http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g2000/assess/chapter3.htm

    The first fish "invader" was the common carp, Cyprinus carpio. Originally an Asiatic species, the carp reached California in August 1872, when a Mr. J.A. Poppe brought fish from Holstein, Germany, to Sonoma Valley. He raised them in ponds and sold the offspring in the western states, Hawaii, and Central America (Calhoun 1966). The species was stocked into Utah waters in 1881 (Sigler and Miller 1963), into Nevada waters in 1881 (Allan and Roden 1978), and into Arizona waters sometime prior to 1885 (Minckley 1973). The species was reported from the Colorado River basin before 1900 (Gilbert and Scofield 1898 in Minckley 1973). When and how the carp gained access to the Colorado River is not specifically known, but it most likely occurred in the 1880s. This was the period when the U.S. Fish Commission was championing carp as a table food. H.G. Parker, first Fish Commissioner for Nevada, stated in his 1881 biennial report, "One of my great aims has been to stock our waters with the best species of carp,..." (LaRivers 1962). Unfortunately, he attained his goal.

    Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is the next documented exotic fish introduction for the lower Colorado River. Unlike the carp, this species is native to North America, commonly occurring in the Mississippi River drainage. The species was introduced into California in 1874 (Calhoun 1966) and into Utah in 1888 (Sigler and Miller 1963). The species was stocked into the lower Colorado River by the Arizona Fish Commission 1892 when 722 adult and yearling fish were released (Worth 1895 in LaRivers 1962).

    Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) was the next exotic species to enter the Colorado River system. The species was stocked into California in 1874 (Calhoun 1966), into Utah in 1890 (Sigler and Miller 1963), and into Nevada waters by 1900 (LaRivers 1962), but it is unclear just when it was introduced into the lower Colorado River. Dill (1944) mentioned the uncertainty of its origin, but inferred it predated Hoover Dam in the following statements:

    "The species has been planted several times in waters of the Colorado, and the existing stock undoubtedly has a multiple origin. Although present for many years, according to "old-timers," it did not become plentiful until the water cleared."

    The "water cleared" with the closing of Hoover, Parker, and Imperial Dams in the late 1930s.

    The Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928 authorized two actions that forever altered the lower Colorado River. The first was the construction of Hoover Dam which occurred from 1931 to 1935. This was the first high dam on the river.

    The most obvious change brought to the lower Colorado River by Hoover Dam was the trapping of the sediment by Lake Mead. Estimated to be as much as 200,000,000 metric tons annually, the sediment load of the river quickly dropped behind the massive structure. Lake Mead was expected to trap 137,000 acre-feet of sediment annually. As the reservoir filled, it was predominantly clear water, as most of the sediment dropped out in the lower reaches of Grand Canyon and in the rapidly forming delta at the head of the lake.

    FWS (then the Bureau of Sport Fisheries) took advantage of these conditions by stocking game fishes including largemouth bass, bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), and black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) into Lake Mead (Allan and Roden 1978). Lake Mead quickly gained national recognition as a great sport fishery when a 13 lb. 14 oz. largemouth bass won first place in the 1939 Field and Stream nationwide fishing contest (Wallis 1951).

    At Hoover Dam the discharge was clear and cool. The river, freed from its sediment load because of the upstream reservoir, attacked the stream bed, removing sand and other fine sediments. This allowed for the introduction of another new sportfish, the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) FWS began stocking rainbow trout in 1935. Jonez and Sumner (1954) described the changing aquatic habitat and developing trout fishery in the Hoover Dam tailrace as follows:

    "Rainbow trout first were introduced below Hoover Dam in 1935. By 1937, the swift current below Hoover Dam had scoured the sand away from the gravel and rubble, leaving the water crystal-clear for a distance of about four miles below the dam. The first trout were being caught by 1940. By 1941, about 18 more miles of gravel and rubble had been scoured clean of sand. By 1947, the clear water extended about 42 miles below Hoover Dam....Between 1935 and 1951, a total of 3,714,054 rainbow trout was planted in the area which now is Lake Mohave

    Sometime between 1948 and 1953, red shiners (Cyprinella lutrensis) gained access to the lower Colorado River, probably as a baitfish release. It was being reared at that time as a bait fish at a private fish farm near the Colorado River in Ehrenberg, Arizona (McCall, 1980). NDOW and AGFD jointly stocked this species into Lake Mohave in 1955 (Allan and Roden 1978).

    Threadfin shad (Dorsoma petenense) was introduced into Lake Mead in 1953 (Allan and Roden 1978), and into Lake Havasu in 1954 (Calhoun 1966) and quickly spread throughout the lower river system. Calhoun (1966) describes just how quickly this species took hold in the lower Colorado River basin:

    "Only two plantings, totaling 1,020 fish, were made in Lake Havasu. These threadfin and their off-spring populated the entire Colorado River from Davis Dam southward to the Mexican border, the Salton Sea, and related irrigation canals within 18 months."

    As the threadfin shad became abundant, state game and fish agencies decided to make use of the new forage base by stocking another predatory fish, the striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Between 1959 and 1964, CFG made 19 separate stockings of this species between Davis and Imperial Dams, totaling over 100,000 fish. Most of these fish came from the Tracy Fish Screen near Stockton, California, at the intake to the Central Valley Project canal (Guisti and Milliron 1987). The species was stocked into Lake Mead in 1969 (Allan and Roden 1978).

    The next nonnative fish introduction into the lower Colorado River was that of the African mouth brooder, the blue tilapia, Tilapia aureau. (A number of species of the genus Tilapia have been introduced and are not easily separated in the field. This group of fishes is herein referred to as "tilapia.") These fish were thought to feed on aquatic plants and were introduced for weed control in the irrigation systems. AGFD raised tilapia at its Bubbling Ponds facility near the Page Springs Hatchery and stocked these fish throughout the State between 1961 and 1980 (Grabowski et al. 1984). A breeding population of Tilapia mossambica was found in a smallpond near the Salton Sea in 1964 (St. Amant 1966 in Grabowski et al. 1984). CFG stocked Zilli’s tilapia or redbelly tilapia into irrigation canals around Blythe, California, during the 1970s (Grabowski et al. 1984). Tilapia are common in the lower reaches of the river. No confirmed collections have occurred upstream of Parker Dam, although the fish is abundant in Alamo Reservoir on the Bill Williams River, a tributary to Lake Havasu.

    Flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) was first reported in Arizona from the Gila River basin in the 1950s (Minckley 1973). It was stocked into the lower Colorado River by AGFD in 1962 (McGinnis 1984). The species had spread upstream to Parker, Arizona by 1976 (Minckley 1979), and it was observed in Lake Havasu in 1984 (USBR file data).
     
  16. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    Yobud... Thanks for the post........

    I answered a post some time back regarding flatheads in Havasu, and just last night I was thinking that I may have stated something that was not true...... been so long since I caught one there.... Have not been trying with live bait.. but I do believe my friend caught one 10-12 lber at the big rock across from, and north of Havasu palms as I was showing him one of my "honey holes"... Im pretty sure that I caught a 10 lb Flathead at Beal Lake at Topock March... some 10 to 15 years back. I wasn't to much into as to which kind I was catching back then..
    So it is good to see your post....

    Flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) was first reported in Arizona from the Gila River basin in the 1950s (Minckley 1973). It was stocked into the lower Colorado River by AGFD in 1962 (McGinnis 1984). The species had spread upstream to Parker, Arizona by 1976 (Minckley 1979), and it was observed in Lake Havasu in 1984 (USBR file data).

    Got your new boat ready to go.... "motor up or down?"

    bayrunner ray
     
  17. LEROYDOZOIS

    LEROYDOZOIS New Member

    Messages:
    1,542
    State:
    Arizona
    wat bait do people use in havasu ??? :confused2:
     
  18. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Welcome to the BOC Leroy.
    The answer to your question is another question.
    What species of fish do you plan on targeting?
    As a good overall bait I don't think you can go wrong with night crawlers.
    Even small flat heads will eat them.
    Another good bait for large and small fish are live shad when you can get them. Just match the size to the species you are trying to catch.
    Fresh frozen shad and anchovies are good baits for both channel catfish and striped bass. I have even caught flat head cat fish on fresh dead shad when it was fished in a current.
    Cut mackerel also works well for both species. I even caught a large-mouth bass on cut mack last week at Topock Marsh but that is unusual.
    Channel cats also respond well to chicken livers and stink baits sometimes a combination of both.
    Keep in mind that most fish will respond to different baits at different times so it's always a good idea to take along more than one type of bait.
    And finally there are some days at Havasu that you can't buy a bite no mater what you toss out.
     
  19. martinman

    martinman New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Clinton, Iowa
    Dale,

    The information that I have learned about the Lower Colorado is amazing. I find it interesting as to how many species of fish are now within the river basin and how many of them we see and catch. Thank you for posting it.

    One thing I find interesting is to learn that tilapia actually originated in Africa. Those tough little guys are awesome to use as bait.

    I think as many others do that stripers have become too populated in the Colorado River system. Lake Powell is way overloaded with them. Each year I have gone fishing for them mainly with the intent to help drop the count in the lake. Many people fish the lake pulling HUNDREDS out each trip. The shad population has suffered, but the largest impact has been seen in the bluegill and crappie population. The AZGFD asks people not to release stripers back into the lake in an attempt to lower population levels.

    Ryan
     
  20. Snake Charmer

    Snake Charmer New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Ca/Nv/Az
    58lbs is the biggest I've heard of!....Seen the pic!, and talk to him---just about daily! :lol: :big_smile: