By GEORGE MORSE
Sports & Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
The temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-50’s in the Espanola Valley and should be mild all across the state this weekend.
An excellent time to get out and enjoy some mid-winter fishing. Even ice-fishing can be pleasant if there’s not too much wind and a warm sun. The surface of the ice can get wet and slushy, while streambanks can get slippery and muddy. Be sure to have on some good, waterproof footwear.
The ice fishing continues to be good at a number of lakes here in Northern New Mexico.
Eagle Nest Lake has been good for rainbow trout and yellow perch, with some northern pike also being caught through the ice. An angler from Colorado took home $1,074 for catching the biggest rainbow trout-a 20.75 incher- in the Eagle Nest Ice-Fishing Tournament Jan. 25 at Eagle Nest Lake. Call (575).377.1594 for conditions.
Fenton Lake in the Jemez Mountains has had good ice fishing for rainbow trout. Anglers are still catching some Rio
Grande cutthroat trout which were stocked last fall. Only two cutthroat trout may be kept as part of the five-fish-per-day daily bag limit. Fenton Lake was stocked Jan. 22 with 500 rainbow trout. Call (575).829.3630 for conditions.
Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton has had good ice fishing for trout. There were no reports from Lake Alice, which is also in Sugarite State Park. Call (575).445.5607 for conditions.
In what must be some of the southernmost ice fishing in the United States, the fishing for trout is reportedly good through the ice at Quemado Lake.
The streamflow on the Chama River was 74.4 cubic-feet-per-second. It was stocked Jan. 21 with 552 rainbow trout.
There are closures here due to a fish habitat improvement project by the State Game and Fish Department. There were no reports. The project is scheduled to be completed in March. Call (505).685.4371 for information on access.
The streamflow on the Chama River below El Vado Dam was 102 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair-to-good for rainbow trout and brown trout.
The Jemez River was stocked Jan. 22 with 1,018 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good below Battleship Rock.
The streamflow on the Rio Grande at Taos Junction Bridge was 459 cubic-feet-per-second. There are some reports of anglers catching fish, although none reported to the Department. It has been stocked with rainbow trout in the Pilar area.
Some anglers like to fish big streamers during the winter for northern pike on the Rio Grande.
The Red River below Questa near the Red River Fish Hatchery was stocked Jan. 22 with 701 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good with salmon eggs and nymph flies.
No reports from El Vado Lake or Heron Lake. There may soon be some open water bank fishing at Heron Lake, which can be good for holdover rainbow trout and small lake trout. Call (575) 588-7470 for conditions.
For open water trout fishing, the fishing has been fair-to-good at Storrie Lake near Las Vegas.
The Pecos River at Villanueva State Park was stocked Jan.22 with 501 rainbow trout. There were no reports, but fishing here is normally at least fair following stockings. The upper Pecos is likely iced over and hard to fish.
Monastery Lake near Pecos is iced over. Ice fishing is not allowed here.
Manzano Lake at Manzano Mountains State Park near Mountainair was stocked Jan. 23 with 600 rainbow trout. The fishing should be at least fair in this little out-of-the-way lake following stockings.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 491 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair-to-good in the Quality Waters using a variety of fly patterns including midge nymphs, egg patterns, bunny leech streamers and midge dry flies. The fishing in the Bait Water has been fair-to-good with flies and bait.
Navajo Lake was stocked three times last week with a total of 42,840 small rainbow trout. No reports from anglers. The best fishing is likely for trout.
No reports from Lake Farmington. This lake has been heavily-stocked and anglers should give it a try.
Bluewater Lake near Grants is receiving heavy stockings of rainbow trout this winter. The trout fishing has been fair-to-good. Bluewater is better-known for its tiger muskie fishing Tingley Beach in Albuquerque is heavily-stocked with rainbow trout on a weekly basis and the fishing continues to be good at this urban fishing spot with many limits of trout taken. It was stocked Jan. 22 with 2,402 rainbow trout.
The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are also being stocked weekly. The fishing has been fair-to-good. The Albuquerque, Albuquerque South, Belen Riverside, Corrales Riverside and Peralta drains were all stocked last week.
Escondida Lake just north of Socorro was stocked Jan. 23 with 800 rainbow trout. The fishing is normally very good at this little lake following a stocking.
No reports from Elephant Butte Lake. This time of year, fish like to school up in deeper water. Find the fish and they can usually be caught vertical jigging with slab spoons and other lures.
No reports from the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam. It has been stocked. There is practically no flow from beneath Elephant Butte Dam and the trout should be confined to deeper pools near where they were stocked.
The fishing at Alto Lake near Ruidoso has been good with limits of trout being caught. It was stocked Jan. 21 with 1,000 rainbow trout.
Grindstone Reservoir near Ruidoso was stocked Jan. 22 with 1,499 rainbow trout. No reports from anglers. It should be at least fair if not better for stocked rainbow trout.
The Ruidoso River was stocked Jan. 21 with 499 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair-to-good with flies.
In the Silver City area, Bill Evans Lake was stocked Jan. 23 with 1,250 rainbow trout. There were no reportsfrom anglers.
The fishing should be fair-to-good for these stocked trout. Bill Evans Lake is where the state-record largemouth bass was caught. It’s a little too early in the year for the bass to be active, but by March they should be starting to move around.
This is a designate trophy bass water. The limit on bass is two-fish-per-day 18 inches in size or longer.
The trout fishing at Lake Roberts has been fair-to-good. You could possibly hook a Gila trout here, as they have been stocked in Lake Roberts. It is also a designated trophy bass lake with the same regulations as Bill Evans Lake.
Now is a good time to take a trip to Southern New Mexico before the weather gets hot. If you take a trip to see Carlsbad Caverns National Park, lakes in this area receive heavy stockings of trout during the winter. Lake Van and Bataan Lake each received a stocking of 1,500 rainbow trout last week.