While the damming of the Colorado reduced the flow of water at Yuma’s doorstep, it created a nearly limitless landscape of backwater channels and hidden lakes upstream. These cool waters are home to world-class fishing for largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass, as well as flathead and channel catfish, tilapia, crappie, mullet and bluegill.

Popular spots include the Imperial Dam area, with Senator Wash Reservoir and Squaw Lake; the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge with Martinez Lake, Ferguson Lake and the meandering channel of the Colorado River; the Picacho State Recreation Area along the California side of the Colorado north of Yuma; and Mittry Lake, just north of Laguna Dam.

For more info, call Bureau of Land Management at 928-317-3200 or Arizona Game and Fish at 928-342-0091. Fishing licenses can be purchased at more than 300 dealer locations across the state.

Local fishing clubs conduct tournaments throughout the year. A good source for current fishing news is Jean Wilson’s outdoors column in The Yuma Sun.

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