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When conditions are right, usually in June, July and early August, the fishing action at Crescent Lake can rival that of its mighty neighbor to the south, Big Lake.
Crescent Lake is located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Big Lake, at the junction of State Highway 261 and Forest Road 113 (Highway 273). It is less than 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Springerville and Eagar by paved road, or less than an hour’s drive from Pinetop using Highways 260 and 273 and Forest Road 113. The lake sits at just over 9,000 feet (2,700 m) elevation on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, as such the facilities located here are managed by that authority. Access is restricted in the winter when roads are closed due to snow, generally December to early April.
Crescent Lake has 100 acres (40 ha), with an average depth of 10 feet (3.0 m). It's a highly productive lake, which allows trout to gain size quickly. However, the lake is shallow, which encourages weed growth and algae blooms, and makes it subject to late summer and winter fish kills. To manage the problem of winter kills, the Arizona Game and Fish stocks the lake with large numbers of catchable rainbow trout and brook trout each spring. In addition, the Arizona Game and Fish removes weeds annually with a floating weed mower.
Boat anglers consistently do better at Crescent than shore fishermen. Boaters can try trolling with flies, such as wooly buggers, prince nymphs or peacock ladies, or use spinners like Panther Martins, small Mepps or Rooster Tails.
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