This past year saw better streamflows in our rivers and streams in Northern New Mexico thanks to a good snowpack and strong spring runoff. So far this winter, precipitation and snow levels are ahead of last year which is great news for our water supply.
Unfortunately, last year also saw a change in how water is managed at Abiquiu Lake, which is a popular fishing and boating destination for local anglers. They were no longer storing water at Abiquiu and the water level remained low all summer despite the good spring runoff. It remained difficult to launch boats and a four-wheel drive vehicle was needed to safely do so. Perhaps this coming year they can store enough water to make the boat ramp usable again at Abiquiu.
Because streamflows remained heavy well into the summer this past year there was likely a good holdover of stocked trout and good conditions for wild trout. Fishing should be good this coming year except during the heaviest times of spring runoff. Be sure to check streamflows when planning a trip. Water levels in lakes should rise this spring. Early spring trout fishing from the bank should be good and fishing for warmwater species like bass and walleye should be good a little bit later as the water warms up.
Currently, the streamflows in the Chama River are at good levels for wintertime fishing. The streamflow below Abiquiu Dam was 76.6 cubic-feet-per-second Tuesday. Although there were no reports from here, the fishing should be good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. The limit here is two-fish-per-day. That may be limiting the amount of fishing pressure here.
The streamflow below El Vado Dam was 108 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good for rainbow trout and brown trout. The limit here is the regular five-fish-per-day downstream to the measuring gauge below Cooper’s. From there downstream to the Rio Nutrias the fishing is catch-and-release with lures and flies having a single, barbless hook.
Some good news for ice-fishing anglers. Eagle Nest Lake is now open for ice fishing. Expect good fishing for rainbow trout and yellow perch. You might also hook a northern pike or a kokanee salmon. Call 575.377.1594 for updated conditions
Other lakes remain closed to ice-fishing due to unsafe ice conditions. Fenton Lake is closed to ice fishing. Call 575.829.3630 to see when the lake will be opened to ice fishing. The fishing has been good in the Jemez River near Battleship Rock.
Lake Maloya and Lake Alice at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton are closed to ice fishing due to unsafe conditions. Lake Maloya was stocked Dec. 23 with 1,751 rainbow trout. Call 575.445.5607 for updated conditions.
No reports from Heron Lake. There is often open water for bank fishing here. It could be worth a try for rainbow trout. It was stocked Dec. 23 with 25,005 small rainbow trout. Call 575.588.7470 for conditions.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo was starting to ice over and there were no reports from here.
Monastery Lake near Pecos may still have some open water. It was stocked Dec.24 with 251 rainbow trout. Ice fishing is never allowed at Monastery Lake. If it is frozen, try fishing the Pecos River at Villanueva State Park. It is stocked with rainbow trout in the winter. The upper Pecos River above the town of Pecos to Cowles may be getting icy. The fishing has been fair.
The streamflows are about normal on the Rio Grande at 429 cubic-feet-per second. Fishing in the Pilar area should be worth a try. It was stocked Dec. 26 with 2,250 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair-to-good. Floating ice can be a problem on the Rio Grande in the winter.
No reports from the Red River below Questa. The fishing has been fair-to-good here. Other tributaries to the Rio Grande are icy.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 564 cubic-feet-per-second. The dry fly fishing has been fair and the nymph fly fishing has been good in the Quality Water. No reports on the Bait Water. Fly fishing and bait could effective in the Bait Water.
No reports on Navajo Lake. Trout fishing is probably your best bet here. In years past some anglers would catch some big trout trolling lures like Rapalas during the winter.
No reports from Lake Farmington. The fishing should be fair-to- good here as it has been heavily-stocked.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque was stocked twice last week with a total of 2.399 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are being stocked weekly. The fishing in the Albuquerque, Albuquerque South, Belen Riverside, Corrales Riverside and Peralta drains has been fair-to-good.
There were no reports from Elephant Butte Lake or from the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam.
The fishing at Alto Lake near Ruidoso was very good for stocked rainbow trout.. There were no reports from Grindstone Reservoir. It should be worth a try for rainbow trout.
Bill Evans Lake near Silver City has been good for stocked rainbow trout. Trout fishing at Bear Canyon Lake has been good. No reports from Lake Roberts.