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Fishery Improvements and Activities on Cibola National Wildlife Refuge
Southwest Region, May 20, 2007
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Flathead catfish sampled during electrofishing survey on Cibola Lake
Flathead catfish sampled during electrofishing survey on Cibola Lake - Photo Credit: n/a
Desert pupfish refugium at Cibola NWR headquarters
Desert pupfish refugium at Cibola NWR headquarters - Photo Credit: n/a

In May, project leaders from Cibola National Wildlife Refuge and Arizona Fisheries Resource Office (AZFRO) met to discuss new ideas and changes to create and improve native and sport fisheries on Cibola National Wildlife Refuge.  These ideas included creating a native fish sanctuary on 3 Fingers Lake, improving the sport fishery on Cibola Lake, and improving the native fish sanctuary on High Levee Pond.

Cibola National Wildlife Refuge is approximately an 18,000 acres refuge that contains over 1800 acres of lakes, river, and backwater marshes.  Currently, the native and sport fisheries on the Cibola NWR consists of a desert pupfish refugium located at the visitor center, bonytail chub/razorback sucker sanctuary on High Levee Pond (the only sanctuary reported on the Colorado River to have natural spawning of Bonytail Chub), and flathead catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and black crappie fishery on Cibola Lake, Prettywater Lake, Colorado River, and Hartmine Marsh.

Ideas and changes expressed included cooperating with US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Geological Survey, California Fish and Game Department, and Arizona Department of Game and Fish (AZDGF) to enhancing High Levee Pond to prevent contamination of sport fish into the system, enhancing the sport fishery on Cibola Lake to improve the condition of largemouth and flathead catfish, and to look at creating a native fish sanctuary for razorback suckers and enhancing the sport fishery on Three Fingers Lake.

Following the meeting, an annual flathead catfish electrofishing survey was conducted on Cibola Lake by AZDGF.  The survey concluded no significant change in the flathead catfish population but fish biologists from AZDGF noted a decrease in sampling efforts of the large size class (609mm=).


Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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