PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has announced it will no longer offer Community Fishing licenses for sale beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
Over roughly the last eight years, the hugely popular Community Fishing Program (CFP) has expanded from 21 waters to 49 waters, which are located in 23 communities throughout the state. All CFP waters are stocked by AZGFD with trout, catfish, or a few other species, depending on time of year.
Anglers who want to fish CFP waters in 2022 will either need to have a General Fishing license or Combination Hunt/Fish license, or purchase one once their Community Fishing license expires in 2022.
“General Fishing and Combination Hunt/Fish licenses offer greater value than the Community Fishing license alone,” said Aquatic Wildlife Branch Chief Julie Carter. “Anglers not only get the increased opportunities of the expanded CFP, but also the opportunity to fish nearly 80 other public waters in Arizona that are regularly stocked by AZGFD as well as the other streams and lakes throughout the state with self-sustaining sport fish populations.”
Community Fishing licenses can still be purchased through Dec. 31, 2021 and are valid for one year from date of purchase at designated CFP waters.
Anglers who had typically purchased Community Fishing licenses have been moving over to General or Combo licenses in recent years. Since 2014, Community Fishing license sales have declined by over 80%.
Residents pay only $37 for a General Fishing license ($55 for nonresidents) as opposed to $24 for the Community Fishing license, and have fishing privileges at all public waters in Arizona, including CFP waters. Combination Hunt/Fish licenses are $57 for residents and $160 for nonresidents.
Fishing is a great way to spend time outdoors with family and friends and can also help reduce a family’s food costs, especially now that the prices for food and other goods have increased. A $37 fishing license that is valid for 365 days costs roughly the same as 5 pounds of store-bought catfish fillets ($7.49/lb), or 3.5 pounds of trout fillets ($10.99/lb). It could easily pay for itself with a single day of fishing.
For more information about the Community Fishing Program, visit https://www.azgfd.com/fishing/community/.