Weekly Fishing Report: Aug. 11, 2020

By GEORGE MORSE
Sports & Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post

Still no changes when it comes to camping. There is still no overnight camping allowed at any of New Mexico’s State Parks.

Fenton Lake State Park in the Jemez Mountains and Bluewater Lake State Park near Grants remain closed to all activities.

Most developed campgrounds on Santa Fe National Forest lands and Carson National Forest Lands are open. Stage Two Fire Restrictions have been lifted. Campfires and charcoal grills are now permitted. When leaving camp, make sure campfires are completely out and cool to the touch.

Morphy Lake, Monastery lake and the Rio Costilla Open Gate properties remain closed to anglers. All Fish Hatcheries are closed to the public at this time.

The purpose of this fishing report is to provide information to outdoorsmen and anglers in one spot so they don’t have to visit multiple websites to find out what is open, how the fishing is and when it was recently stocked with rainbow trout or other fish.

Most of the stocking of rainbow trout is with catchable-size fish between 9-to-12 inches long. Except where otherwise specified, that is the size of fish anglers can expect to catch in recently-stocked waters. These are what are called “put-and-take” stockings with the intention of the fish being harvested by anglers right away. Some of these fish do manage to avoid being hooked and can grow larger. These fish are referred to as “holdover” trout.

Some stockings are of the “put-and-grow” category. These involve smaller fish stocked with the intention of the fish adapting to a natural habitat and then growing to catchable-size. These stockings are made in fertile waters capable of sustaining trout the year-around.

The State Game and Fish Department also occasionally stocks larger-than-average trout to give anglers a chance to catch bigger fish. These stockings have proven to be very popular with anglers. Most of these stockings would fall into the “put-and-take” category.

The best fishing currently in the Jemez Mountains is in the area’s streams and rivers. Most are running very low and have not been stocked. The Jemez River is flowing at just 9.20 cubic-feet-per-second. They all contain wild brown trout.

The only recent stocking has been in the Rio Cebolla near Fenton Lake. The fishing should be fair-to-good here. It was last stocked July 29 with 302 rainbow trout.

San Gregorio Lake is open but has not been stocked recently. It may still be fair for any remaining rainbow trout from earlier stockings.

Abiquiu Lake is open for fishing 24/7. There is no overnight camping. The lake level is low and four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for the launching of boats as the ramp does not reach the water. Fishing has been fair for smallmouth bass and walleye. Night fishing for catfish should be worth a try.

The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is running at 598 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a medium flow and fishing could be fair. The water here is usually murky. There are stocked rainbow trout here and some big, wild brown trout. The limit here is two fish per-day

Streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam is 454 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a medium flow and makes for good fishing conditions for the stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout found here. The state-record brown trout was caught here. It was stocked Aug. 4 with 1,164 rainbow trout.

The State Game and Fish Department stocked 4,085 Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging 4.7 inches in size July 15 in the Chama River below El Vado Dam. It was stocked again July 21 with another 6,061 small Rio Grande cutthroat trout.

These were “put-and-grow” stockings to try to establish a fishery for cutthroats here. These fish should grow to catchable-size by next year. Please release them if caught and give them a chance to grow.

El Vado Lake State Park and Heron Lake State Park are open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fishing from the bank has been fair for smallmouth bass, brown trout and carp at El Vado Lake. The fishing has been good for rainbow trout at Heron Lake. No reports on the fishing for kokanee salmon and for lake trout. Heron Lake was stocked Aug. 5 with 4,590 rainbow trout.

The Chama River above El Vado Lake is starting to drop again after recent rainfall .Stream temperatures are warm at 66 degrees. The best fishing will be found below Heron Lake where cold water from beneath Heron Dam enters the Chama River. The water here can quickly get muddy during thunderstorms

The streamflow in the nearby Brazos River was 16.1 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing should be at least fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout.

El Rito Creek, a small stream that flows through the town of El Rito, was stocked July 28 with 1,960 small Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging 4.7 inches in size. Please release these trout and give them a chance to grow.

Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos was stocked Aug. 7 with 50 rainbow trout averaging 16.8 inches in size. Weed growth is probably getting heavy in this little lake. It is limited to anglers 14 years old and younger and anglers 65 years old or older. The limit is three fish per-day and the lake is open sunrise to sunset.

The Canjilon Lakes are fishing well thanks to recent stockings of rainbow trout and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The lakes were stocked Aug. 3 with 1,001 catchable-size rainbow trout and stocked Aug. 4 with 257 rainbow trout averaging 17.3 inches in size. These little lakes are likely getting very weedy.

The fishing has been slow-to-fair at the Trout Lakes near Cebolla. They have not been stocked in several weeks.

The Lagunitas Lakes were stocked several weeks ago and the fishing is slow-to-fair. The campground is open. Anglers might try fishing the small streams in the Cruces Basin Wilderness Area.

Hopewell Lake between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla has been fishing well. In addition to recent stockings of rainbow trout, there was a stocking of Rio Grande cutthroat trout and it also contains wild brook trout. Anglers have the possibility of catching three different species of trout here. Weed growth is likely getting heavy here, especially near the inlet.

The Rio de los Pinos Wildlife Management Area near the Colorado border is open. The fishing has been just fair for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. It is open for day-use only. Fly fishing might be your best option. Recent rains have improved streamflow here, but it is still low.

Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area near Chimayo is open for day use Thursday-Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. There is no overnight camping. It has not been recently stocked and the fishing could be slow as the trout have likely retreated to deeper water. The streamflow in the Santa Cruz River above the lake was 13.4 cubic-feet-per-second.

The streamflow in the Rio Grande is very low at just 178 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. The fishing has been fair-to-good for rainbow trout and brown trout. Fly-fishing conditions have been good. Fishing with spinners has also been productive. Smallmouth bass are also being caught. Remember that there is a 12-inch size limit on smallmouths.

The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is low again at 5.41 cubic-feet-per-second. The fish are concentrated in the deeper pools. The fishing has been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and some wild brown trout. There may be a few trout left in the Sipapu Pond from an earlier stocking.

There is still a good flow in the Red River at 41.2 cubic-feet-per-second below Red River Fish Hatchery. Flows have dropped above Questa. It is being heavily-stocked. It was stocked Aug. 3 above Questa with 2,433 rainbow trout and stocked Aug. 4 with 1,102 rainbow trout below Questa. The fishing has been good.

Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is a small lake right off the highway and receives heavy fishing pressure. It was stocked Aug. 4 with 499 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 54 rainbow trout averaging 15.1 inches in size. The fishing is fair-to-good as long as the stockers last.

The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal near Costilla were stocked June 18 with 500 rainbow trout averaging 15.2 inches in size and stocked again July 16 with 500 rainbow trout averaging 14.7 inches in size. They received a third stocking July 28 of 500 rainbow trout averaging 15.0 inches in length. The Shuree Ponds opened for fishing July 1 and the fishing is limited to artificial flies and lures having a single, barbless hook. The limit is two-fish-per-day. The fishing should be good Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fishing has been good for rainbow trout.

The fishing for northern pike has been fair-to-good. The fishing for perch should be fair-to-good with worms. Anglers trolling for trout should pick up a few kokanee salmon. Weed growth may be starting to get heavy here. Eagle Nest was stocked Aug. 5 with 18,769 small rainbow trout.

Cimarron Canyon State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Cimarron River was stocked July 30 with 2,425 rainbow trout and also contains wild brown trout. The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground were stocked July 30 with 352 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 45 rainbow trout averaging 15.0 inches in size.

Streamflow in the Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam has been increased and it is now flowing at 35.0 cubic-feet-per-second.

The fishing should be fair at Stubblefield Lake for largemouth bass, walleye and catfish. Water levels here may be getting low. The state-record channel catfish was caught at Stubblefield Lake.

Trout fishing at Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will be slow due to warm water temperatures. The trout here are mostly good-sized holdovers and they have moved to deeper water. There are also largemouth bass and catfish here. The state-record yellow perch was caught at Maxwell Lakes.

Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The fishing for rainbow trout has been good at Lake Maloya and fair at Lake Alice. Lake Alice is a smaller lake and has not been stocked recently.

Clayton Lake State Park is open Friday-Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The trout fishing here has been slow and it has not been stocked recently. There are also some big walleye, catfish and some largemouth bass here.

The Charette Lakes between Wagon Mound and Springer have been fair for stocked rainbow trout with some holdover trout. There are also yellow perch here.

Springer Lake has been slow-to-fair for northern pike and catfish.

Coyote Creek State Park near Guadalupita is open Friday-Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Coyote Creek was stocked July 23 with 801 rainbow trout. The Coyote Creek Pond was stocked with 598 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair-to-good.

Storrie Lake State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It has not been stocked recently and the trout fishing is very slow. There are also catfish here.

The Gallinas River near Las Vegas is running a little lower at 2.78 cubic-feet-per-second. The trout are concentrated in the deeper pools. The fishing is fair. It was stocked July 29 with 1,000 rainbow trout. The Gallinas Ice Pond was stocked July 29 with 200 rainbow trout.

Conchas Lake State Park is open Friday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fishing has been fair-to-good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, white bass, bluegill and crappie.

Ute Lake State Park near Logan is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The fishing has been fair for walleye, white bass, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.

Pecos River Canyon State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This area receives very heavy fishing pressure. The Pecos River was stocked Aug. 6 with 1500 rainbow trout. There are also wild brown trout here. The streamflow has fallen and is now 25.5 cubic-feet-per-second.

The Mora Fork of the Pecos River was stocked Aug. 6 with 201 rainbow trout. Holy Ghost Creek in the Pecos drainage was stocked Aug. 6 with 201 rainbow trout.

The Pecos River at Villanueva State Park was stocked July 30 with 129 channel catfish. Villanueva State Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Cowles Ponds are open again and were stocked Aug. 4 with 161 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 40 rainbow trout averaging 16.0 inches in size.

Santa Rosa Lake State Park is open Friday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The lake is very low and muddy. The boat ramp does not reach the water. Fishing is slow-to-fair for walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and catfish.

Over in the Four Corners, Navajo Lake State Park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fishing should be good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and northern pike. Fishing for catfish should be fair. Trout fishing should be slow-to-fair with the trout hanging out in deeper water. This lake has the best kokanee salmon fishing in the state. They are usually caught by trolling at the proper depth. Fishing is usually best in deep water near the dam. Check with the marina to see if they have information as to what depth the kokanee are being caught at.

The streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam has increased a little and is at 678 cubic-feet-per-second. The trout fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns in the Quality Water. They have been catching some big brown trout in the Quality Water. The fishing has been good in the Bait Water below the Quality Water with flies, lures and bait. The Bait Water was stocked Aug. 4 with 3,422 rainbow trout.

Tingley Beach in Albuquerque is now open. It was stocked July 30 with a total of 573 channel catfish, so the fishing should be picking up here. It has been fair for catfish and bluegill. It was stocked July 14 with 50 largemouth bass averaging 15 inches in size.

The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are not being stocked with rainbow trout. Fishing for catfish, carp and a few largemouth bass has been fair. The Rio Grande in Albuquerque is running well below normal. Fishing has been fair for catfish and carp.

Escondida Lake near Socorro was stocked July 30 with 270 channel catfish averaging 18 inches in size. It was stocked July 14 with 40 largemouth bass averaging 15 inches in size. The fishing has been fair-to-good.

Elephant Butte Lake State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The fishing has been very good for white bass. The fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye has been slow-to-fair. The fishing for catfish is good.

Lake water levels are dropping significantly as they are letting a lot more water out than is coming in.

The Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam is flowing at a heavy 1,560 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair for catfish and white bass.

Caballo Lake State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fishing has been fair for white bass, walleye and catfish.

In the Ruidoso area, the trout fishing is slowing down a bit at Alto Lake. There are also catfish and largemouth bass here.

Alto Lake was stocked July 30 with 129 channel catfish.

The trout fishing is still holding up at Grindstone Reservoir. It was stocked Aug. 3 with 3,001 rainbow trout. There are also smallmouth bass here and the fishing for bluegill has been good.

These lakes are administered by the City of Ruidoso. They are limiting the number of cars that can be admitted each day.

Ruidoso residents are given preference.

The Ruidoso River is running low at 0.81 cubic-feet-per-second. Fishing should be okay in the deeper pools for stocked rainbow trout. It was stocked Aug. 4 with 850 rainbow trout.

The Timberon Ponds were stocked Aug. 4 with 251 rainbow trout. These little ponds are also stocked with catfish. They were stocked July 30 with 129 channel catfish. If you have a second-rod stamp, rig up one rod for catfish and the other rod for trout and you might be able to land fish of both species.

In the Silver City area, the trout fishing has been fair at Lake Roberts. This is a designated trophy-bass water with a daily limit of two largemouth bass 18 inches in size or longer. The fishing for catfish has been fair. The bluegill fishing has been good.

Bear Canyon Reservoir is open. The trout fishing is about over here. The best fishing is for catfish and crappie.

Bill Evans Lake is open. Trout fishing is likely over here too. This is a designated trophy-bass water with a daily limit of two largemouth bass per-day 18 inches in size or longer. The state-record largemouth bass was caught at Bill Evans Lake There are also catfish here.

The streamflow in the Gila River is dropping. Some big flathead catfish have been caught in the lower Gila River. There are also channel catfish and smallmouth bass here. In the upper reaches and in the forks of the Gila River, the fishing is for rainbow trout, brown trout and some Gila trout.

The fishing at Quemado Lake has been fair-to-good for rainbow trout. It was stocked Aug. 3 with 3,910 small, 8-inch rainbow trout. This is a ”put-and-grow” stocking so try to release these trout now to give them a chance to grow.

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