Dead Horse Ranch State Park starts work on new lagoons

Staff photos by Angela De Welles

Professionals from the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Dead Horse Ranch State Park along with about 60 volunteers attempted to move fish from one lagoon to another Monday afternoon. According to Verde River Greenway Coordinator, Max Castillo, Catfish, Carp, Bass, Bluegill and some native fish are abundant in the Dead Horse Ranch State Park lagoon. The lagoon shown here is leaking about 300 gallons a minute because of a cracked liner, making the move necessary. To move the fish, an electrical current was placed in the water to shock the fish. They aren't hurt, but they are stunned. The process makes it easier to catch the fish. They are then loaded into a fish stocking truck and moved to the park's new lagoon.

The park’s existing lagoon is leaking water. In order to repair the leak, the lagoon must be emptied, which will be accomplished by relocating the existing water into the two new lagoons. During this time, all three lagoons will be unavailable for public use. Once construction is completed (the projected completion is around mid-December) the park will boast 20.4 surface acres compared to its current 3.7 surface acres.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park provides campsites with electricity, water, picnic tables, and grills as well as a 22-site group campground by reservation with two ramadas available for group reservations in the River Day Use Area. Each ramada has a large family-size grill and picnic tables. Individual grills and picnic tables are located throughout the area as well as two public picnic areas.

Many visitors vacation at Dead Horse Ranch State Park because they enjoy amenities such as modern restroom facilities with hot water showers, horse corrals (available for overnight use with advance arrangements), trails for hiking, biking and equestrian use that connect to both miles of developed trails and multiple use trails with some that access the Verde River. Many also visit just to enjoy the year round beauty of the Verde River Greenway Natural Area.

To visit Dead Horse Ranch State Park take I-17 to (exit 287) Arizona 260 to Cottonwood. Arizona 260 intersects with 89A/Main Street, where you will turn left (on Main Street) and proceed to North 10th Street where you will turn right (north) on North 10th Street then continue across the Verde River Bridge to the park entrance.

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