The big news for local anglers in Northern New Mexico is the re-opening today of the Canjilon Lakes for fishing.
The Lakes have been closed to fishing for several years as the Forest Service cleared out dead trees that posed a hazard for campers and anglers. The lakes were also dredged to make them deeper and capable of carrying over trout through the winter.
In preparation for the re-opening, the State Game and Fish Department has stocked the Lakes heavily with rainbow trout. The Lakes were stocked Aug. 14 and Aug. 16 with a total of 1,849 catchable-size rainbow trout. In addition, the Lakes were stocked Aug. 16 with 110 rainbow trout averaging over 18 inches in size, so there will be some big fish waiting to be caught. The re-opening should draw a crowd of anglers, so expect to share the water with plenty of other fishermen.
Elsewhere, streamflows continue to be well-below normal and the boat ramps at several reservoirs are closed due to low water levels. The low streamflows and warm water temperatures are stressing the trout. If possible, limit your fishing activities to early in the morning when temperatures are cooler and the trout can better handle the stress of being caught and released. If you are keeping some to eat, be sure to get them cooled down right away. Kill them quickly and put them on ice. Don’t let them struggle and slowly die at the end of a stringer that’s sitting in warm water.
The water level at Abiquiu Lake continues to fall. Boaters are urged to use extreme caution when launching boats and four wheel-drive vehicles are strongly recommended. There were no reports last week on the fishing. It should be okay from the bank, with some shore-fishing locations being better than others.
The streamflow in the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam continues to be too high for good fishing conditions.
The streamflow below El Vado Dam is a little better and lower. The fishing has been fair for brown trout and rainbow trout. It was stocked Aug. 13 with 516 rainbow trout El Vado Lake is very low and the boat ramp is closed. There were no reports on the fishing, which is likely pretty slow.
The Chama River above El Vado Lake is running low, but it is still being heavily-stocked by the Department. It was stocked Aug. 13 with 1,032 rainbow trout. This is a stream where the trout are likely being stressed.
Heron Lake is low, but boats can still be launched and the fishing has been fair for rainbow trout and a few kokanee salmon.
Laguna del Campo has been slow for trout. The water here is likely getting warm, so fishing early in the morning might be your best bet.
The Trout Lakes near Cebolla were stocked with Aug. 15 with 602 rainbow trout, so the fishing has been good.
Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras has been good for trout since it was heavily-stocked two weeks ago.
The Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border has been fair for trout. Try fly-fishing the Special Waters.
The best fishing in the Jemez Mountains continues to be in the Rio Cebolla, which flows into and out of Fenton Lake. It was stocked Aug. 17 with 774 rainbow trout.
Fenton Lake has been slow recently. I suspect the water is getting warm and the weed growth heavy here. Try early morning fishing or use a boat to reach deeper water.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond at the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery has been good. It was stocked Aug. 17 with 374 rainbow trout.
San Gregorio Lake has been slow and there are no reports from other streams in the Jemez Mountains.
Santa Cruz Lake is very low and the fishing is slow. The boat ramp is closed here.
The streamflow in the Rio Grande is well-below normal. The fishing has been fair-to-good for brown and rainbow trout with flies, lures and bait. The low flows are likely stressing trout here, particularly in the lower river between Pilar and Velarde.
The streamflow in the Rio Pueblo near Penasco is very low, but it is still being heavily-stocked by the Department. It was stocked Aug. 14 with 1,200 rainbow trout. Find a pool near where these trout were stocked and they are likely there and easy to catch.
The Red River near the town of Questa is low but has a decent flow. It is heavily-stocked and the fishing has been good.
It was stocked Aug. 15 with 2,701 rainbow trout above the town of Questa.
The Red River Hatchery Pond was stocked Aug. 14 with 399 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 80 rainbow trout averaging over 14 inches in size. The fishing has been good.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa was heavily-stocked two weeks ago and the fishing is still very good for trout.
The fishing in the Fawn Lakes at the Fawn Lakes Campground eat of the town of Red River has been very good for stocked rainbow trout. They were stocked Aug. 15 wit 633 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 68 rainbow trout averaging over 14 inches in size.
The fishing for perch remains very good at Eagle Nest Lake. Trolling wedding ring spinners and Platte River Specials tipped with Power Bait is producing a mixed bag of rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. A few trout are being caught on Power Bait. The fishing is slow-to-fair for northern pike.
The Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park was stocked Aug. 13 with 2,425 rainbow trout. The fishing in the river has been good. The Gravel Pit Lakes near Maverick Campground were stocked Aug. 13 with 353 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 45 rainbow trout averaging over 14 inches in size.
Maxwell Lake 13 has been slow and the best fishing here is probably for catfish. Stubblefield Lake has been slow-to-fair for largemouth bass.
The fishing at Lake Maloya in Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton continues to be good. It is being heavily-stocked. It was stocked Aug. 16 with 3,108 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 650 rainbow trout averaging over 14 inches in size.
The fishing for rainbow trout at the Charette Lakes has been very good Power Bait. No reports on the perch fishing.
Morphy Lake State Park is closed due to repairs being made on the dam.
The fishing at Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas has been slow.
The fishing has been good in the Gallinas River near Las Vegas thanks to heavy stockings of rainbow trout. It was stocked Aug. 15 with 1,000 rainbow trout.
The Gallinas River Ice Pond was stocked with 201 rainbow trout.
The streamflow in the Pecos River is low but it has been heavily-stocked and the fishing has been good using flies and bait. It was stocked Aug. 14 with 3,001 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos has been fishing well for stocked rainbow trout. It was stocked Aug. 16 with 900 rainbow trout.
The fishing at the Cowles Ponds north of the town of Pecos has been very good for stocked rainbow trout.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 895 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing in the Quality Waters has been fair-to-good with a variety of fly patterns. The Quality Waters were stocked three times last week with a total of 33,957 rainbow trout. These were small fish 6-7 inches in size that will grow quickly in these fertile, catch-and-release waters. The fishing in the Bait Waters below the Quality Waters was good using bait, lures and flies.
The fishing at Navajo Lake has been good for northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and perch. The good news at Navajo Lake is the fishing for kokanee salmon has been picking up and is good trolling spinners tipped with corn in 65-to-85 feet of water near the Dam.
Cochiti Lake has been slow-to-fair for crappie, catfish, white bass, perch and northern pike. Anglers are picking up a few largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
The fishing at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque was slow. It will pick up after another stocking of catfish.
The low water is even affecting big Elephant Butte Lake near Truth or Consequences. The main boat ramp is down to two lanes. The fishing has been good for white bass and fair-to-good for largemouth and smallmouth bass. It has been fair-to-good for catfish.