See desert bighorn sheep on a Canyon Lake boat tour with Arizona Game and Fish and the Dolly Steamboat! The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Dolly Steamboat and the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, is offering an educational workshop and guided Canyon Lake boat tour to see and learn about desert bighorn sheep, one of Arizona’s most charismatic native mammals.
Desert bighorn lambs are born in March and April or later, and June is the best time of year to get a chance to see and photograph young lambs and family groups of sheep in areas accessible by boat.
This special event is broken into two parts.
- Friday, June 13 classroom session. Held 7-9 p.m. at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Mesa office, 7200 E. University Drive. This fascinating presentation will give attendees the chance to learn about bighorn sheep and their significance, natural history, and conservation. The session, presented by Amy Burnett and Bill Burger from Arizona Game and Fish, is free but pre-registration is requested. Space is limited to 70 people. To register for the classroom session, please contact Amy Burnett at (480) 324-3548.
- Saturday, June 14 Canyon Lake bighorn sheep viewing tour on the Dolly Steamboat. The scenic three-hour tour leaves from Canyon Lake Marina at 7 a.m. and provides a great opportunity to see desert bighorn sheep in their natural environment. Canyon Lake Marina is located about 14 miles northeast of Apache Junction on Highway 88 (the Apache Trail). Cost is $32 per person, $29 for seniors. Space is limited to 139 people, the number of passengers the Dolly can hold. To register for the boat tour, call the Dolly Steamboat at (480) 827-9144.
Dickson advises participants to dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Much of the Dolly Steamboat is air conditioned, but the outside temperatures will be hot.
“June-July is the time of year the bighorns stay pretty close to water and come down for a drink,” he said. “The mating season is underway, and the hotter it is, the better the opportunity to see the sheep along the lake’s shore.”