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The Salt River is a tributary of the Gila River, approximately 322 km (200 mi) long, in central Arizona in the United States.
The river is formed in eastern Arizona in eastern Gila County, by the confluence of the White and Black rivers, in the valley between the Mogollon Rim and the Natanes Plateau. With the Black, it forms the boundary between the Fort Apache Indian Reservation to the north and the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation to the south. It flows northwest through Salt River Canyon, then southwest and west through the Tonto National Forest. It passes through the valley between the Mazatzal Mountains and Superstition Mountains, past Man Island, and supplies several consecutive reservoirs: Roosevelt Lake (formed by Roosevelt Dam), Apache Lake (Horse Mesa Dam), Canyon Lake (Mormon Flat Dam), and Saguaro Lake (Stewart Mountain Dam). Near Fountain Hills it is joined by the Verde River. About five miles downstream of this point, the Granite Reef Diversion Dam diverts all remaining water into the Arizona and South canals, which deliver drinking and irrigation water to much of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Below Granite Reef Dam, the riverbed leaves the mountains and runs past the cities of Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale, then south of downtown Phoenix, where it passes north of South Mountain Park. With the exception of Tempe Town Lake, the riverbed winding through the cities is often dry, except when heavy rains upstream force larger than normal releases from Stewart Mountain Dam. However, dangerous flash floods occasionally occur in the arroyo, especially during monsoon storms in late July and early August. Water washes out roads that cross the river in drier times of the year, and bridges have been damaged, most notably in 1980, 1993 and 2005. The natural flow of the Salt is 2570 cubic feet per second (cfs) at its mouth, almost three times that of the Rio Grande River. However, except after rainfall, the Salt is dry or a small stream below Granite Reef Dam. The river was formerly navigable throughout its course by small craft. The river is still navigable in the majority of the area where it still carries water.
The Salt River joins the Gila on the southwestern edge of Phoenix approximately 24 km (15 mi) from the center of the city. Monument Hill overlooks this confluence of rivers and is the site of the Initial Survey point for Arizona, the Gila and Salt River Meridian.
Cherry Creek to Roosevelt Lake (15 fishable miles): Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, carp
Below Saguaro Lake (11 fishable miles): Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow bass, crappie, sunfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, walleye, tilapia, carp, bullfrogs
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