With the completion of the New Waddell Dam in 1995, Lake Pleasant, already a popular recreation spot for boaters and fishermen for many years, quickly tripled in size to its present maximum of about 10,000 acres. Located less than an hour northwest of downtown Phoenix, Arizona, the new lake fast became even more of a favorite for all sorts of water oriented activity. With prevailing westerly winds, Lake Pleasant is a sailor’s dream. Although the lake was formed by damming both Castle Creek and the Agua Fria River, most of the water is pumped into the lake from the Colorado River near Lake Havasu via the Central Arizona Project, the largest irrigation project in modern times and unlikely to be repeated, given current environmental constraints.
During periods of relatively abundant water and inexpensive electricity during the winter, water is pumped into the lake. Although the lake is drawn down seasonally to allow for downstream uses such as irrigation and potable water supplies, this yo-yo effect allows shallow areas to dry up in late summer and fall and creates a richer environment for the fish.
The fishing- bass fishing, in particular- is usually great, since this is the primary reservoir on a river system, full of nutrients and flooded mesquite trees, giving the bass plenty of shallows in which to hide. The lake also contains an abundance of other warm water species, including crappie, white and striped bass, bluegill, catfish, and of course carp.
With a large marina at the southeast corner of the lake and another marina planned for the west shore, Lake Pleasant will provide plenty of recreation for many years to come. For a map of the lake and more information about Lake Pleasant Regional Park, please go to http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/lake_pleasant/maps.aspx. Pleasant Harbor Marina can be found at http://www.azmarinas.com/PleasantHarbor/. Joe is a fisherman and has tracked the development of the lake and the park since 1985 when he learned it was to become a reality.
While there is almost no available private property contiguous to the park or providing lake access , several parcels in the area could soon be developed into great resort/residential communities.