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Maricopa County Parks and Recreation

Agua Fria Fishing Schedule

Permitted Use Days:

UPDATED 5/4/2021:  Boat launch access will be closed for the remainder of the season, due the recent early lifting of the bald eagle closure due to an unsuccessful breeding season and limited staffing.

Agua Fria Conservation Area: Welcome and thank you for your interest and continued support in Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department’s ongoing effort to restore the Agua Fria Conservation Area. The Department understands the area is considered by anglers to be a prime fishing spot during the springtime and has developed a plan to allow motorized vehicles (with higher clearances and 4-wheel drive capabilities) towing small trailers/watercraft access to the shoreline boat launch in the area. Access to the area is only permitted for a limited time while water levels are conducive for such use, the riverbed crossing is passable with roadway barriers to ensure traffic remains on roadway, weather conditions do not pose a threat to the area, and when staffing is available.

Vehicle Parking and Walk-In Access: Access for walk-in traffic is currently available on a daily basis and will be permitted from the upper or middle parking area (when available).  Please use the self-pay station at the upper parking location for entry and remain on designated trails or along the disturbed shoreline only.  Check fee schedule for current park entry fees. Please have cash, exact change is required, as an entry station is not yet available in this area. For folks interested in accessing the Agua Fria arm by boat from the main entrance side, the area will remain inaccessible until June 15, 2021, when the bald eagle closure is lifted, unless otherwise noted.

Access to Boat Launch and Lower Parking Area:  Access is projected to be available on the following dates from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. (check website for updates to this webpage or the alerts page the morning of your visit before heading out):

  • Friday, April 23
  • Saturday, April 24
  • Sunday, April 25
  • Friday, April 30

UPPER AND MIDDLE PARKING AREA VIEW:

AguaFriaMap

BOAT LAUNCH ACCESS ROAD AND LOWER PARKING AREA VIEW:

BoatLaunch

LOWER PARKING AREA AND BOAT LAUNCH VIEW:

BoatLaunchAccessRoad

Rules for Use:

To ensure a safe, enjoyable experience for all and responsible usage of the area, please observe the following rules:

  • No access will be permitted within the Bald Eagle Closure areas when in effect. The closure areas are marked with buoys, fencing and signage (see map for details). Illegal access within the closure areas may result in fines, citations, other penalties, and a closure of the Agua Fria Boat Ramp area.
  • The upper parking area is open for day-use activities (no camping) daily from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., unless otherwise posted.
  • The middle parking area is open for day-use activities daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seasonally, from January thru March.
  • The lower parking area and boat launch have limited availability due to water levels and staffing availability.  Typically, access is available in the Spring for a limited time to this area.  The lower parking area is primarily designed for motorized and non-motorized watercraft launching access.  Non-watercraft day-use visitors are encouraged to park at middle or upper parking area due to limited parking availability.
  • Non-motorized travel only permitted on designated trails or along riverbed outside of eagle closure areas – no shoreline access west from the boat launch area.
  • The accessible portion of the Lake within the Agua Fria Conservation Area is a no wake zone.
  • No shooting allowed in the area.
  • Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) will not be permitted access to the boat launch area, but will be able to park in the middle or upper parking lot areas (entry fee required).
  • Pack it in, pack it out. Do not litter or leave trash in the area.

Eagle Closures:

Seasonal Bald Eagle Closure: During certain breeding stages (courtship, mating, incubation, young nestlings and nestlings near fledging), human activity near a Bald Eagle nest can cause nest abandonment and/or failure. Established breeding area closures reduce loss by managing human activities near nest sites. Areas closed during breeding season have been highlighted on the maps below.

NOTE: The Bald Eagle Closure is typically in effect from December 15 - June 15*. Access to the lower arm of the Agua Fria is closed to all entry while the bald eagle closure is in effect.

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