BULLHEAD CITY — Amid announcing his run for re-election, spending Christmas in Afghanistan, and between attending hearings on Capitol Hill dealing with the safety of the nation, Arizona Senator John McCain made time to visit Bullhead City to discuss a topic important to the health of Arizona’s economy.

Recently off the shores of the Colorado River in Bullhead City and among casinos and boating enthusiasts, a historic agreement was executed at the Bullhead City Chamber of Commerce to restock Lake Mohave with trout.

McCain and Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar have been the driving force to ensure the reconstitution of the trout fish stocking into Mohave County’s recreational fishing waters, which provide an important economic engine year-round to local businesses. Stocking operations were halted in 2013 when a pipeline broke, but through a partnership with Arizona Game and Fish, Mohave County, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, repairs are being made and stocking operations resumed.

“It is a great day for us,” Mohave County Supervisor Hildy Angius said.

The “us” Ms. Angius was referring to are Mohave County residents and businesses.

Senator John McCain expounded on Supervisor Angius’ statement saying: “… it’s a great day. We’re going to provide a facility for thousands and thousands of not only residents, but visitors, to be able to enjoy trout fishing.”

Rusty Braun, resident of Bullhead City and owner of Riviera Marina, echoed the importance of the agreement, saying: “People come from all over the country and world to fish for the trout here … this is a huge economic impact to this area.”

The angling community brings in $75 million per year and supports 1,700 jobs in Mohave and Clark counties.

Chris Cantrell, AZGFD Fisheries Branch Chief, said: “The (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) is hoping to begin construction on the damaged pipeline as early as September, with intermediate stockings occurring in the meantime. Fishing is considered a gateway to getting folks engaged in the outdoors and the conservation of aquatic resources. We are excited to continue this heritage throughout the communities of the Colorado River, the lifeline of the Southwest.”

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