Tucson Oddity: No fishing or swimming? No problem: no water

2011-04-11T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T08:25:27Z Tucson Oddity: No fishing or swimming? No problem: no waterAlex Dalenberg Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 11, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Water sports are definitely off-limits in the 6200 block of South Calle Santa Cruz on Tucson's southwest side.

A metal sign from the Central Arizona Project hanging on a fence that borders the east side of the street makes it clear: "NO TRESPASSING, NO FISHING, NO SWIMMING."

And, to drive the point home, there are illustrations.

But even the most dedicated scofflaw would find it impossible to skirt the rules here. The dusty plot of fenced-in desert land north of Valencia Road just west of Interstate 19 doesn't have so much as a drop to drown in. It's totally dry.

So why the concern over would-be anglers and the like?

There isn't any, really. The Central Arizona Project, which owns the land, only has one type of "No Trespassing" sign for all of its properties, said spokesman Mitch Basefsky.

Most of the time the CAP is looking to keep people out of the 336-mile canal it administers, which stretches from Lake Havasu City to south of Tucson. The canal delivers Colorado River water to Central and Southern Arizona.

The fence is guarding a set of incomplete power lines from a nearby substation that the CAP is planning to eventually connect to its power grid, Basefsky said.

"That's kind of our standard sign because most of the time there is water to fish or swim in," Basefsky said. "It's kind of an oddity that there would be a no-fishing-or-swimming sign there, though."

Swimming and fishing in the canal are prohibited for safety reasons, Basefsky said.

"If you fall in the canal, it's difficult to get back out," he said.

The canal does have fish in it. CAP stocks the canal with grass carp to help control algae growth and insect populations, he said.

The entire length of the canal is fenced.

Contact reporter Alex Dalenberg at adalenberg@azstarnet.com or 807-8429.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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