By GEORGE MORSE
Los Alamos Daily Post
The streamflows throughout New Mexico remain well-below normal despite the monsoon rains. The streamflow in the Rio Grande Tuesday (8/7) at Cerro, where it crosses the border between New Mexico and Colorado, was a paltry 43.3 cubic-feet-per-second.
With streamflows this low and warm water temperatures, the trout are stressed close to their limit. Trout stop growing and water temperatures 0f 78 degrees can be fatal. I know it’s asking a lot, but give the trout a break during the summer under the current conditions.
Lakes are better choices, although many of our lakes are seeing falling water levels. The smaller lakes at higher elevations hold up well in the summer. Trout in the larger lakes tend to move to deep water and fishing from a boat is often better than from the bank this time of year.
Also a good option is fishing a stretch of river where there are releases from beneath a dam. This water is usually very cold and trout will be more active here. The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam and El Vado Dam , as well as the well-known Quality Waters of the San Juan River below Navajo Dam, are good examples of this fishing.
The fishing for warmwater species such as bass, walleye, perch, bluegill and catfish is the way to go this time of year. The fishing for these species is good at a number of lakes. Sharpen up your filet knife if you like to keep some fish to eat. All these species are good eating when properly cleaned.
Later this week, the weather forecast is for an extended period of cooler temperatures and better chances for rainfall, especially in Northeast New Mexico because of a series of backdoor cold fronts. This could improve the fishing conditions.
The State Game and Fish Department stocked trout in just four lakes in Northern New Mexico last week. This is possibly due to the low streamflows and warm water temperatures throughout Northern New Mexico.
The fishing at Fenton Lake was slow last week. The weed growth here is probably getting heavy and making fishing a little difficult. The Cebolla River which flows into and out of Fenton Lake has been good for stocked trout.
The fishing at San Gregorio Lake has been slow, but a few fish were caught there last week.
Los Alamos anglers might give Los Alamos Reservoir a try. It was stocked during the spring and the fishing could be pretty good here early and late in the day.
So far it seems like the trout are surviving the summer okay.
The fishing for smallmouth bass at Abiquiu Lake continues to be good using worms and a variety of lures. The fishing for walleye has been fair-to-good in 15-to-25 feet of water. Try fishing early in the morning and in the evening for walleye, as they may move into shallower water during these low-light conditions.
The fishing for catfish has been slow-to-fair, although a 12-pound catfish was caught last week.
The water level at Abiquiu is dropping and caution must be used when launching boats. Call 505.685.4371 for current conditions.
The streamflow below Abiquiu Dam is still too high for good fishing conditions. Check the streamflow in this location to see if it will possibly be lowered and fishing conditions improve.
The streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam Tuesday was 295 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a good level for fishing and it was good for brown and rainbow trout. Surprisingly, there were reports of perch and smallmouth bass being caught here.
El Vado Lake is very low and boats cannot be launched here. The fishing has been fair for smallmouth bass.
The Chama River above El Vado Lake is running very low. If they are releasing water from beneath Heron Dam into the Chama River, this might be a good spot to try because this water is very cold and trout should be attracted to it.
The fishing for rainbow trout and kokanee salmon at Heron Lake was reportedly fair from the bank and from boats.
There was a report of over 35 kokanee salmon caught from the bank on Power Bait. Kokanee are a cold water species preferring water temperatures of about 60 degrees. They are plankton feeders. Catching them from the bank on Power Bait seems unusual. I wonder if they weren’t actually rainbow trout.
The fishing at Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos was slow.
Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras was stocked July 30 with 1,907 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
The fishing has been fair-to-good in the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border. Try fly-fishing the Special Waters if you’d like to catch some wild brown trout.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is very low. Boats can no longer be launched and the fishing is slow.
The Rio Grande is running very low. The fishing has been good for brown and rainbow trout.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is running low, but if you can find where they’ve been stocking rainbow trout you should catch some fish.
The fishing in the Red River has been good. This river is heavily-stocked.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa was stocked Aug. 2 with 100 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches in size. The fishing has been good.
The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal have been fair-to-good. These Ponds are stocked with good-sized rainbow trout.
Eagle Nest Lake continues to be an excellent spot to catch large numbers of perch, which are very good eating when fileted. Several limits have been reported. The trout fishing has been fair-to-good from boats and from the bank. Eagle Nest was stocked on four different days last week with a grand total of 23,259 catchable-size rainbow trout.
In addition, 800 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches in size were also stocked. Anglers are catching some kokanee salmon trolling in deeper water.
The fishing in the Cimarron River should be good because it was heavily-stocked last week, but there were no reports.
The fishing in the Gravel Pit Lakes has been fair-to-good.
There are usually no reports from Stubblefield Lake, which for some reason anglers seem to ignore. Some anglers gave it a try last week and were rewarded with fair-to-good fishing for 3-to-5 lb. largemouth bass. There are also walleye, bluegill and catfish here. The state-record channel catfish was caught at Stubblefield.
There were no reports from Maxwell Lake 13, but there are largemouth bass and catfish here. Most anglers fish the Maxwell Lakes for trout, but that fishing is likely slow right now. The fishing for bass and catfish could be similar to that at Stubblefield Lake.
Lake Maloya in Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton has been fishing well all summer for rainbow trout. The best fishing times are early in the morning and in the evening. It was stocked Aug. 1 with 1,480 rainbow trout. The fishing at Lake Maloya has been so good that there are no reports from Lake Alice, also in Sugarite canyon State Park. I suspect everyone is going to Lake Maloya since the fishing has been so good there.
The fishing at the Charette Lakes has been fair for rainbow trout. Still no reports on the perch fishing.
Morphy Lake State park near Mora remains closed due to repairs being made to the dam.
The fishing at Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas has been slow.
The Gallinas River near Las Vegas has been heavily-stocked and the fishing has been good.
The Pecos River near the town of Pecos is running low. The fishing has been good for brown and rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near the town of Pecos has been good for rainbow trout. This little lake is heavily-stocked. The Cowles Ponds north of the town of Pecos are also heavily-stocked and the fishing has been good.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam Monday was 856 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good in the Quality Waters with a variety of fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Waters has been good with, flies, lures, night crawlers and Power Bait for brown and rainbow trout.
The water level in Navajo Lake is dropping, but the fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and perch has been good. The fishing for northern pike has been fair-to-good.
The fishing at Cochiti Lake has been fair for catfish. The fishing for crappie, perch, white bass, northern pike, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass has been slow-to-fair.
The fishing for stocked catfish has been slow-to-fair at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque.
The fishing at Elephant Butte Lake has been good despite the falling water level. The best fishing has been for wite bass and catfish. The fishing has been fair for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.