Storm Waters Raise Alamo Lake 37 Feet

November 05, 2004

The fishing future of Alamo Lake west of Wickenburg is looking brighter: a series of October storms raised the lake level an astounding 37 feet.

“For those of us who fish Alamo Lake, our prayers over the last few years have finally been answered. During these last three storms Alamo Lake has risen 37 feet,” says Stewart Kohnke, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s wildlife manager at Alamo.

The current elevation is 1,119 feet. “This means that the old-cement ramp at the main launch can be used. I have only seen that ramp used a couple of times in my 15 years at Alamo Lake. Many people were thinking that we might have only a puddle to fish or play in by this summer. Prior to these storms, the lake was at 1,082 feet, which is its lowest level since about 1978,” Kohnke says.

Not only does the influx of water mean good launching, but also the water brings with it valuable nutrients that will grow bigger fish. “During the last few years of low water, the shoreline vegetation has matured, and now all vegetation is submerged fish habitat. Currently the water is murky, but with several weeks of calm weather that should settle out, and fishermen should have good fishing,” Kohnke predicts.

Kohnke explains that any time there is a drastic change in the lake level, the fish will have to move around a lot before they find new homes. “This means the fish are not only hungry and moving, but they also usually end up being more catchable. If we get a couple of weeks of calm 80-degree weather, there could be outstanding fishing before the water cools off for the winter.”

Over the last year and a half, Kohnke says, Alamo Lake and the surrounding state park could be described as a ghost town. “Park visitation records show more than a 50-percent drop in yearly visitation. This rain could not have come at a better time. Of course, lately, any time is a good time to get water at Alamo. This increased lake level before the winter should improve the crappie fishing this winter and the bass fishing in the spring. So get your poles ready; pack up your camper, and come to Alamo Lake,” Kohnke says.

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