Urban Fishing

Through a cooperative program between Arizona Game and Fish and the City of Mesa, urban fishing lakes are stocked throughout the year for fishing recreation.

Cold Kills Tilapia.  Read more.


Did you know...

The Arizona Game and Fish Department makes 48 fish stockings per year?

The 18,800 fish delivered in Mesa are worth $49,100?

Mesa anglers generate $750,000 in direct expenditures per year to the local economy?


Frequently Asked Questions

Who pays for the Urban Fishing Program?
The Urban Fishing Program is a cooperative effort between the City of Mesa and Arizona Game and Fish.  The program is fully funded by the sale of Urban Fishing Licenses and from fees from the city parks and recreation departments.  Mesa contributes $10,600 annually to partially support the Urban Fishing Program.

What is the limit at Urban Lakes?
Daily bag and possession limits:

Class U (Urban Fishing), Class D, Pioneer, and Disabled Veteran Licenses 4 trout and 4 catfish daily
Unlicensed juveniles under age 14 and blind Arizona residents 2 trout and 4 catfish daily
Largemouth bass 4 fish daily, a minimum of 13 inches
White amur 1 fish daily, a minimum of 30 inches
Sunfish 10 fish daily


Are the fish safe to eat?
Yes, the fish are safe to eat.

Overseeing the quality and health of the lakes and the fish involves a partnership between the cities, the Game and Fish Department and the Department of Environmental Quality.  Lake water quality is monitored to ensure compliance with state standards.  The trout, catfish, bass and sunfish stocked into the lakes come from reputable fish farms with strict fish health standards and quality control practices.  Most of the stocked fish don't stay in the lakes for long, as 80% of the stocked fish are caught within 30 days.  Finally, remember that proper handling and cooking of your catch will ensure a healthy and delicious meal!  

What types of fish are in Urban Lakes?
Catchable rainbow trout are stocked during the winter (November to March)
Channel catfish are stocked in the summer (March to November)
Hybrid sunfish are stocked three times per year 
Bluegill and other sunfish species are common, and occasional catches of largemouth bass are reported.

Red Mountain Park Lake contains:  channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, carp, and white amur.

Riverview Park Lake contains:  channel catfish, rainbow trout (in season), bluegill, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, tilapia and carp.


What kind of license do I need to fish the designated Urban Lakes and where can I purchase one?
If you are 14 or over you must buy a $16 Class U Urban Fishing License (rates are the same whether a resident or non resident).  The Class U license covers all fish species found in urban lakes.  Juveniles under age 14 and blind Arizona residents do not need a license.  A regular Arizona fishing license (Class A or F) is not needed nor valid at Urban Lakes. 

Other licenses that are valid at Urban Lakes are: Class D resident or non-resident one-day fishing licenses; resident youth-group two-day fishing licenses (sold to groups of 20 juveniles age 14-17); and Pioneer and disabled veteran complimentary licenses.

Urban and one-day fishing licenses can be purchased from any of 300 dealers statewide that sells state fishing and hunting licenses or any Game and Fish office.


Additional License Information

An Urban Fishing License is required for any person age 14 and older.  Children 13 and younger can fish without a license.

Fishing without a license or the proper license is the #1 Game & Fish violation.

When fishing, Game and Fish laws require you to attend your line, that is, stay near your fishing pole at all times.

When fishing, the hook, fly or lure must be used in such a manner that the fish voluntarily attempt to take it in their mouths.

It is a violation to fail to keep all edible portions of fish in an edible condition or to leave fish to die.  This is wasting game meat.

Arizona's fish and wildlife belong to all of us, so when someone takes an over-limit, it's like taking a fish off your stringer and putting it on theirs.  Bag and possession limits are designed to give everyone an equal chance and protect the fishery.  If you see someone breaking the law, call Operation Game Thief immediately, 24 hours a day.

To make the best case against the violators, Game and Fish need to know exactly what they did, when and where they did it, a description of the person or persons, and a description of their vehicle and license plate number (very helpful).

To report violators, call Operation Game Thief  24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-352-0700.



Parks & Recreation home


Fishing Lakes can be found at the following parks:

Red Mountain Park
Sunrise to 10pm
8 acres
Maximum depth 17 feet, average depth 12 feet.

Riverview Park
Sunrise to 10pm

Swimming and wading are prohibited. No boating is allowed.

2014 Hunting and Fishing License Information

Community Fishing Bulletin

For current stocking updates and fishing reports visit www.azgfd.gov

Spring 2014 Stocking Schedule

Information includes weekly stocking schedules, the current Urban Fishing Program Bulletin, and Big Fish-of-the-Year records.