Lees Ferry Draft Environment Impact Statement (DEIS)

ltemp-email-joe-millerConservation Alert
Lees Ferry Draft Environment Impact Statement (DEIS)
Comment Period January 8 – April 7, 2016


The National Park Service, both Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park, and the Bureau of Reclamation have released on January 8, 2016 the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Long Term Experimentation and Management Plan (LTEMP) for the Glen Canyon Dam which will have control over the flows and conditions of Arizona’s Colorado River Lees Ferry Blue Ribbon Rainbow Trout Fishery for effectively the next 20 years.

A PUBLIC Comment Period is now open on that DEIS. That comment period will continue now through April 7, 2016. There will be Public Meetings in both Flagstaff and Tempe in February in which the NPS / BOR will present the contents of the DEIS, with charts, Graphs, maps, and the rationale behind the Draft contents. Comments can be submitted at those February meetings, or in writing, or via the internet.

Lees Ferry Recreational Trout Fishery Management Recommendations

A number of member organizations of AZSFWC such as members the Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited (AZ-TU), the Arizona Fly Casters, and several other fly fishing clubs especially the Desert Fly Casters have worked long and hard with the formal sponsorship of the Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited and the International Federation of Fly Fishers and with the strong support of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), to influence the direction and content of this long expected document. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has provided invaluable assistance. Many other organizations, ranging from many members of the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation, to the guides and guiding businesses around Lees Ferry, to the Orvis Company, have also endorsed this effort.

That working group, with its many contributors, has developed and distributed a Lees Ferry Recreational Trout Fishery Management Recommendations Report (See at www.az-tu.org). That report has been used as a basis for the new and formally issued AZGFD Fisheries Management Plan for Lees Ferry, and has been vetted by the USGS Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center in Flagstaff (GCMRC). The working group continues to advocate for and support the use of those Recommendations in the Adaptive Management Plan (GCDAMP) Work Group (AMWG) for the Operation of Glen Canyon Dam, an on-going Department of the Interior effort that is related to but separate from the LTEMP DEIS.

We recognize this is all somewhat confusing to a sportsperson who just wants to enjoy fishing in Lees Ferry, BUT IT’S NOT OVER YET!!!!! Many of the concerns and issues addressed in the Recommendations report are subject to restrictions and findings in the Draft EIS, BUT that DEIS is still just a draft, and WE can get it CHANGED, if weGO TO those meetings and / or SEND IN well thought out comments, based on the Recommendations Plan.

The Working Group is continuing to work with AZGFD, GCMRC, the NPS, BOR, USFWS, the Western Area Power Authority (WAPA) and the several states’ Water Boards and other organizations to hopefully

make the final EIS more Rainbow Trout Fishery Friendly. We’ve made progress, but there’s more to do. We will be providing guidelines on key issues and problems we’ve identified in the DEIS (The DEIS and attachments totals about 2,000 pages). We’ll have those “Talking Points” out shortly, with a “How to Comment” guide, in plenty of time to submit comments BEFORE the April 7th Deadline.

The DEIS is available for reviewing on the internet at: http://ltempeis.anl.gov/.

In the Meantime, Anybody interested in The Lees Ferry Fishery should go to one of those Public Meetings, and express their desires and concerns with what they see and hear.

Public meetings and webinars to provide information and receive written comments will be held as follows:

• Webinar – Tuesday, February 16, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. MST;

Public Meeting – Monday, February 22, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. MST, Flagstaff, Arizona;

Public Meeting – Thursday, February 25, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. MST, Phoenix, Arizona; and

• Webinar – Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. MST.

Staff will be available to take written comments and answer questions during this time.

For specific information about the web-based meetings, please refer to the LTEMP EIS website at:http://ltempeis.anl.gov/.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by the following methods:

• Website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/LTEMPEIS.

• Mail: Glen Canyon Dam LTEMP Draft EIS, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass

Avenue – EVS/240, Argonne, Illinois 60439.

Public meetings will be held at the following locations:

• Flagstaff – USGS Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, 2255 N. Gemini Road, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001.

• Phoenix – Embassy Suites Phoenix-Tempe, 4400 S. Rural Road, Tempe, Arizona 85282.

We’ll have more information available for the March AZSFWC Newsletter, with suggested comments guidelines and a simplified process to submit comments to help protect and improve this valuable Blue Ribbon Trout Fishery. For information in the meantime, contact AZ-TU Council Member Joe Miller,jam@prairietriz.com, or 928-978-1315 (m).

Cast N’ Blast

Jorge Canaca of AZGFD is finalizing details for a “Cast & Blast” event for Monday February 29th from 4:00 – 7:0p.m.

Jorge has indicated that he and Tony Guiles (Legislative Director) expect the Biscuit Tank to be arrival location and the BBQ dinner facility.   Also, he has the logos of the four organizations which will be added to his draft 2016 flyer (see attachment) as was done in 2015 (see attachment).

A total of 12 volunteers (collectively from Arizona Flycasters, Desert Fly Casters, Trout Unlimited and White Mountain Lakes Foundation)is being organized to conduct the “Cast” portion of the event.    Since many of the volunteers wear the hat of each of these organizations it is expected to not be a problem to have each organization represented.   As done at prior events, AFC has provided the fishing rods for the attendees and the volunteers bring their selection of flies for the event.   In addition to getting a free BBQ dinner and to meet some of the elected officials, IF there is a low turnout (as has been in the past) the volunteers can personally fish at Biscuit Tank.

Volunteers will meet at 4:00pm at the Biscuit Tank which is located near the AZGFD headquarters at 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix and the Ben Avery Target Center (see attached map).  The fly casting and fishing session is expected to last until 6:00p.m.   Additional volunteer information will be sent over the coming weekend.  Any materials for the legislator’s packets promoting each organization or programs are being provided and coordinated by John Doss (AFC), Joe Miller (DFC), Glen Knight (WMLF), and Jim Walker (TU).

All volunteers are invited to stay and attend the BBQ with the legislators and AZGFD staff. This is a great opportunity to spend quality time to talk with the legislators and the AZGFD staff about our organizations, water, fishing and conservation issues.

Please let Ben Alteneder and I know by Tuesday at 5p.m. if you would be able to volunteer.

This will be the third year that conservation organizations are involved in this annual event with the AZGFD Community & Congressional Relations staff for legislative friends at the State Capitol.  The “Arizona Legislators for Wildlife” caucus will be in attendance and will be recruiting legislators to join the caucus.  This bi-partisan caucus serves as a medium for sportsmen and conservation groups to engage legislators who have an interest in fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and outdoor recreation.  Attendance at the event will include about 30+ legislators and their staff.  It is expected 15 legislative guests will want to experience an opportunity to be taught fly casting and a chance to fish with representatives of Arizona Flycasters, Desert Fly Casters, Trout Unlimited and White Mountain Lakes Foundation.

We will provide volunteers updated details as they are received.

Don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions.


Jim Walker

International Fly Fishing Fair

ifff-188x150August 2-6
Livingston, MT

The International Federation of Fly Fishers will hold the 2016 Fly Fishing Fair in Livingston, Montana from August 2 though 6. Classes, both paid and free, will be held on those days, and the Exhibit Hall will be open August 4 through 6. Classes include all types and levels of casting and fly tying, and some not so related to fly fishing. The Exhibit Hall features fly tiers and vendors, all very willing to share their time and knowledge. Check the website atwww.fedflyfishers.org for more details.
A note from last year’s trip: Lodging in Livingston sold out in the weeks leading up to the event. Norm Johnson and I stayed in Bozeman, about 30 minutes away.
Greg Stock, IFFF Chair 

Flash from the Past

The club has been around for over 50 years now and there are lots of great memories.  If you have any memories you would like to share drop an email and some photos so we can share them with others.

Youth Camp Gallery

2009 Net Building Class

You probably recognize a few faces.  Hard to see but Ron Robinson is hiding in the back, I see Ron Rosenlof and our current President Jim Rondoni kneeling in the front row.  Hey there is Connie Sullivan and Paulette Roth.

How many folks can you name?

Net Building

Courtesy of Jon Wallace
This was held at Apollo High School with Ron Rosenlof as our host.  It may have been one of the first classes.  We had 12 members at a time for 3 nights.  We had a good group of volunteers to help with each task and also assigned to members to walk them through the process.
  • Night 1, the members laminated 5 strips of thin wood, ( already cut to size by Ron Ronselof ) to jigs using rubber bands to clamp the strips together to form the hoop.
  • Night 2, removed and cleaned up the hoop, cut the handles to shape and size, then glued the 2 parts together.
  • Night 3, the handles were sanded and then routed with a round over bit.  A “v” groove is cut in the outside of the hoop, then measurements made to drill holes to attached the net.  At the end of the third night, members had a finished raw net.  They had to lacquer the wood, and then were provided net material to sew in.
There were many variations on handles, some brought wood from trees in their yards, others used exotic materials such as Cocobolo and Purple Heart.
Great time for all involved.

Griffith’s Gnat – Fly of the Month

  • Hook: Standard dry fly Mustad 94840 or equivalent
  • Sizes: 12 to 22
  • Thread: Black 8/0 or 6/0
  • Ribbing: Gold wire
  • Body: Peacock herl
  • Hackle: Grizzly
1. This is a very simple and quick fly to tie. First start the thread about mid-shank and wrap back to the bend of the hook. Tie in a strand of gold wire.

2. Next tie in 3 to 5 strands of peacock herl (depending on hook size). Wrap thread around this, forming a “rope.” Wrap forward to just behind the eye of the hook and tie off, leaving room for the grizzly hackle in the next step.

3. Tie in the grizzly hackle at the point where the peacock herl ended. Wrap the hackle to the back of the hook palmer style. At this point secure the hackle with the gold wire. Counter-wrap the gold wire forward through the hackle to help secure it, tie it off, make a few securing wraps, and whip finish. That’s all there is.

Fly Tying Classes Begin January 28th

Our basic fly tying classes begin on January 28 and continue eight more nights in February. Please check the schedule on page 2 of the newsletter or the website for specific dates.

Brian Mazoyer has selected nine bass fly patterns that are educational, fun to tie, and highly effective here in Arizona. The club will supply all materials, equipment, and instruction needed. If you have it, please bring your own equipment.
All classes are held at the Sunnyslope Community Center from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Please come a little early as we always start on time.
If you have questions, give Ron Robinson a call at 602.867.8820.