By GEORGE MORSE
Sports And Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
The Labor Day holiday weekend is coming up Sept. 2-4. It is the last extended holiday weekend of the summer season.
The seasons will be transitioning from summer to fall. The days are getting shorter. The nights are getting cooler. Soon the bull elk will be bugling in the mountains, gathering their harems of cows and challenging any rivals for the leader of the herd. The leaves of the aspen trees will turn golden, highlighting our beautiful mountains with their rich colors.
Small-game hunting seasons will open Friday (Sept. 1) for blue grouse, dove, band-tailed pigeon and squirrel. Blue grouse will be found at 8,000 feet and higher elevations in mixed aspen and pine forest. Mourning, white-winged and collared dove can be found in New Mexico. Waterholes are good places to hunt them. Tassel-eared squirrels are typically found in ponderosa pine forests. Band-tailed pigeons are scattered across the state. They like acorns.
You will need either a New Mexico Game Hunting License or a New Mexico Game Hunting and Fishing License to hunt small game. Nonresidents will need a Small Game Hunting License.
Despite a mediocre monsoon season, streamflows were at good levels most of the summer. This bodes well for the fall-spawning brown trout that have wild populations in most New Mexico trout streams Fenton Lake State Park is open for camping. Lake is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Camping by reservation only. It is heavily-stocked with rainbow trout. It also has some wild brown trout and some Rio Grande cutthroat trout from earlier stockings. It was stocked Aug. 23 with 1,240 rainbow trout. For more information and current lake conditions call 575.829.3630.
The Rio Cebolla, which flows into and below Fenton Lake, was stocked Aug. 23 with 400 rainbow trout. It also has wild brown trout.
The Jemez River streamflow Monday was 14.0 cubic-feet-per-second. This is higher than last week and below normal.
The Jemez River was stocked June 21 with 323 rainbow trout.
The smaller tributaries of the Jemez River are running low. The Rio San Antonio was stocked Aug. 17 with 369 rainbow trout. All the streams in the Jemez drainage also have wild brown trout.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond, also known as the Kid’s Pond, is open. It is located at the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery.
The fishing is for anglers 11-years of age or younger. It was stocked Aug. 17 with 450 rainbow trout. It also has some wild brown trout and some Rio Grande cutthroat trout from an earlier stocking. The limit is three trout-per-day.
The Bureau of Land Management manages Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area near Chimayo. It will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The fishing should be good for stocked rainbow trout and some wild brown trout. Water at Santa Cruz may be too warm for stocking and the trout will be in deeper water. For updated conditions, check the Bureau of Land Management website or call 505.351.1438.
The Bureau also manages the Orilla Verde Recreation Area along the Rio Grande at Pilar. Camping is on a first-come basis. No reservations. The Rio Grande streamflow was 423 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. This is higher than last week and above normal. The Rio Grande at Pilar was stocked June 2 with 1601 rainbow trout.
From the Colorado state line downstream to the Taos Junction Bridge, the limit is two-trout-per-day in the Rio Grande.
Eagle Nest Lake at Eagle Nest State Park is open. Boating is open and docks are in.
Fishing should be good for rainbow trout, yellow perch, northern pike and an occasional kokanee salmon. Eagle Nest has been receiving heavy stockings of catchable-size and larger hatchery fish, which is unusual. Larger trout are being stocked in hopes of mitigating the losses to predation by northern pike. Remember, if you catch a pike at Eagle Nest, you cannot put it back in the lake. You have to kill it. For more information and current conditions, call 575.377.1594.
The Cimarron River streamflow below Eagle Nest Dam was 43.2 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a little higher than last week. The Cimarron River near the town of Cimarron streamflow was measured at 42.1 cubic-feet-per second. It was stocked Aug. 23 with 2,423 rainbow trout. Check the Carson National Forest website to see if campgrounds are open.
The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground are open now. They were stocked Aug. 23 with 354 rainbow trout.
Lake Maloya and Lake Alice at Sugarite State Park near Raton are open. Lake Maloya was stocked Aug. 17 with 2,156 catchable-size rainbow trout. Lake Alice was stocked Aug. 17 with 501 rainbow trout. Call 575.445.5607 for current conditions.
Heron Lake State Park is open now. There is open water for bank fishing, which has been fair for rainbow trout. The boat marina and boat ramp are now open.. The lake level is much higher than in previous years..
Call 575.588.7470 for conditions at both Heron Lake and El Vado Lake.
El Vado Lake State Park is closed. Try fishing at the north end of the lake where the Chama River comes in.
Laguna del Campo, a popular, small lake near Los Ojos, opened for fishing. It was stocked June 15 with 825 rainbow trout. Fishing is for anglers 11 years of age or younger and 65 years old or older. Limit is three-fish-per-day.
Morphy Lake State Park near Mora has reopened. It was stocked July 12 with 1,350 rainbow trout.
Coyote Creek State Park near Guadalupita was stocked Aug. 21 with 800 rainbow trout. The Coyote Creek Pond was stocked with 599 rainbow trout.
The Charette Lakes have good fishing for holdover rainbow trout. There are also yellow perch here. They were stocked June 27 with 2,497 rainbow trout.
Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas is open. It was stocked a month ago with a total of 7,327 rainbow trout. It also has some big catfish.
Pecos Canyon State Park is open. In the Canyon, streamflow was measured 69.2 cubic-feet per second. This is much higherthan last week and below normal. The fishing has been fair-to-good for rainbow trout and brown trout. Pecos Canyon was stocked Aug. 16 with 1,601 rainbow trout.
In the Pecos drainage, Holy Ghost Creek was stocked Aug. 16 with 151 rainbow trout. The Mora Fork was stocked Aug. 16 with 151 rainbow trout. Cow Creek was stocked Aug. 14 with 252 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos has been fair. It was stocked June 27 with 975 rainbow trout.
Over in the Four Corners, Navajo Lake State Park is open. Camping is by reservation only. Trolling minnow-imitating lures like Rapalas could produce a trophy brown trout. Fishing for northern pike has been fair-to-good. Bass fishing has been fair. Check at the Marina to see if the kokanee salmon have begun to school up near the dam and at what depth. Boating conditions are good. Call 505.632.2278 for conditions.
Popular fishing locations on Carson National Forest include the Canjilon Lakes, the Trout Lakes near Cebolla and Hopewell Lake between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla.
The Forest Service roads to the Trout Lakes and Canjilon Lakes are now open. Canjilon was stocked Aug. 8 with 1,568 rainbow trout and has small brook trout. The Trout Lakes were stocked July 10 with 781 rainbow trout.
The campground at Hopewell Lake is opening up. The fishing has been good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brook trout. It was stocked July 10 with 2,490 rainbow trout.
The Lagunitas Lakes have been stocked and the fishing for stockers has been very good.
The Rio de los Pinos is near the border with Colorado. II was stocked Aug. 15 with 1,800 rainbow trout. It has wild brown trout.
The best river in the state and well-known throughout the angling world is the San Juan River below Navajo Dam. The streamflow here is now 721 cubic-feet-per-second, which is higher than last week. The San Juan offers world-class fly fishing for big trout.
The fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns in the four miles of Quality Water below the Dam. The fishing here is catch-and-release with flies and lures having a single, barbless hook. It is heavily-stocked with small rainbow trout that grow quickly in the fertile waters.. There are big, wild brown trout in the Quality Water. Some of these fish would likely shatter the state record if they could be kept and weighed.
The fishing in the Bait Water of the San Juan below the Quality Water has been fair-to-good with flies, bait and lures. A regular daily limit of five trout may be kept here. There are some big brown trout here too. It was stocked Aug. 16 with 2,564 rainbow trout.
Abiquiu Lake is open, including the boat ramp and picnic areas. Camping is open. It is managed by the Corps of Engineers. Reservations may be made at www.recreation.gov. Water levels are much higher here than in previous years.
The fishing has been fair for walleye, catfish and smallmouth bass. There are some good-sized trout in Abiquiu. They have moved into deeper water. Call 505.685.4371 for more information.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is flowing at 647 cubic-feet-per-second. This is higher than last week and below normal. The water is murky. The fishing is likely fair for stocked and holdover rainbow trout. There are a few big, wild brown trout here. It was stocked Aug. 14 with 1,216 rainbow trout. The limit here is two-fish-per-day.
Streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam was 513 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a little higher than last week and above normal. It has wild brown trout. It was stocked Aug. 14 with 421 rainbow trout.
Above El Vado Lake, the Chama River at La Puente is clearing and streamflow was 52.7 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a little higher than last week and lower than normal. It was stocked Aug. 14 with 1,029 rainbow trout.
Brazos River was flowing at 33.6 cubic-feet-per-second. It was higher than last week. It was stocked June 12 with 585 rainbow trout.
Cochiti Lake has reopened. The lake water level has risen 11 feet. The lake level has since dropped and picnic areas are no longer flooded. The fishing has been fair-to-good for northern pike. Fishing for catfish could be worthwhile. Tetilla Peak Recreation Area is open, but the campground is closed.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque is now being stocked with channel catfish. It was stocked July 27 with 468 catfish averaging 18 inches in length.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco streamflow was measured at 20.6 cubic-feet-per-second. This is higher than last week and below normal. It was stocked Aug. 16 with 1,199 rainbow trout. It has wild brown trout.
The Red River below the Fish Hatchery is flowing at 52.9 cubic-feet-per-second. This is lower than last week and below normal. It was stocked Aug. 16 with 701 rainbow trout. The Red River above Questa was stocked Aug. 22 with 2,900 rainbow trout.
The Red River Hatchery Pond is open. Fishing is for anglers 11 years of age or younger and 65 years old or older. The limit is now five-fish-per day. It was stocked Aug. 25 with 399 catchable-size rainbow trout.
The East and West Forks of the Red River were each stocked Aug. 22 with 300 rainbow trout.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is open. It was stocked Aug. 14 with 633 rainbow trout.
The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal were stocked July 24 with 105 rainbow trout averaging 15.2 inches in size.
Cabresto Lake, a small, high-elevation lake accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle near Questa, has good fishing for wild brook trout and wild cutthroat trout.