Weekly Fishing Report: July 14, 2020

By GEORGE MORSE
Sports and Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post

This past week saw record-breaking temperatures across New Mexico. There was some rainfall, mostly in the Northeastern corner of the state. The weather has been hot and dry.

Los Alamos residents need no reminding about the threat of wildfires here when conditions are like this.

There is one thankfully small fire that anglers need to know about. The San Gregorio Fire was reported July 11 in the Jemez Mountains and is currently at 7.8 acres. It was 50-percent contained as of July 13 and is one mile north of the San Gregorio Trailhead near San Gregorio Reservoir.

The public is asked to avoid the San Gregorio Trailhead and parking lot, as well as any trail within one mile of San Gregorio Reservoir.

San Gregorio Reservoir is a popular fishing destination, but should be avoided at this time.

For more information on wildfires and conditions in New Mexico, visit: nmfireinfo.com.

The weather conditions have led to Stage Two Fire Restrictions on all Santa Fe National Forest Lands and Carson National Forest Lands. Campfire and charcoal grills are prohibited.

Most developed campgrounds on Carson National Forest and Santa Fe National Forest lands are now open with trash pickup and restroom facilities unlocked. Dispersed camping on Forest lands is also allowed. Please pick up all your trash and leave your camping site clean for the next camper.

There is still no overnight camping on any of New Mexico’s State Parks. The hours and days that some parks are open has been changed.

Fenton Lake State Park in the Jemez Mountains and Bluewater Lake State Park near Grants remain closed.

Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area near Chimayo is open Thursday-Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. No overnight camping. Bureau of Land Management campgrounds are open for day use only. This lake has not been stocked recently. It sits at a lower elevation and the trout are likely hanging out in deeper water. Fishing may be slow. The streamflow in the Santa Cruz River is just 6.62 cubic-feet-per-second and the water level is likely dropping.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Wildlife Management Areas are open for day use only. No overnight camping. Morphy Lake near Las Vegas, Monastery Lake near Pecos and Rio Costilla Open Gate properties are closed. All Fish Hatcheries are closed to the public.

Anglers who would like to catch a Rio Grande cutthroat trout should head to either the Canjilon Lakes near Canjilon or Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras. Both were stocked July 7 with 586 Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging 11.2 inches in size. They also contain rainbow trout and brook trout. Rio Grande cutthroat trout are one of five species of trout anglers need the catch in order to complete the New Mexico Trout Challenge. The others are rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout and Gila trout. Fishing has been good at both locations.

The Rio Grande cutthroat trout is New Mexico’s state fish.

With Fenton Lake still closed and the public asked to avoid San Gregorio Lake, the only fishing in the Jemez Mountains is in the area’s streams and rivers. Most are running very low and have not been stocked. They all contain wild brown trout. The only recent stocking has been in the Rio Cebolla near Fenton Lake. It was stocked July 8 with 470 rainbow trout.

Abiquiu Lake is open for fishing 24/7. There is no overnight camping. The lake level is low and four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for the launching of boats as the ramp does not reach the water. Fishing has been fair for smallmouth bass and walleye. Night fishing for catfish should be worth a try.

The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is running at 1,000 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a heavy flow and fishing could be difficult. There are stocked rainbow trout here and some big, wild brown trout. The sate-record brown trout was caught here.

Streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam is low at 117 cubic-feet-per-second. This makes for good fishing conditions for the stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout found here.

El Vado Lake State Park and Heron Lake State Park are open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The fishing from the bank has been fair-to-good for smallmouth bass, brown trout and carp at El Vado Lake. The fishing has been good for rainbow trout at Heron Lake. No reports on the fishing for kokanee salmon and for lake trout.

The Chama River above El Vado is running very low. The best fishing will be found below Heron Dam above El Vado Lake  where cold water from beneath Heron Dam enters the Chama River. Streamflow in the Chama River at La Puente is a very low 10.8 cubic-feet-per-second. Unfortunately, this is likely killing some fish.

Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos was stocked recently, and the fishing has been fair. This lake is limited to anglers 14 years old and younger and anglers 65 years old or older. The limit is three fish per-day and the lake is open sunrise to sunset.

The fishing has been fair at the Trout Lakes near Cebolla.

The Lagunitas Lakes were recently stocked and the fishing is good. The campground is open.

The Rio de los Pinos Wildlife Management Area near the Colorado border is open. The fishing has been good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. It is open for day-use only. Streamflows are low here.

The streamflow in the Rio Grande is very low at just 192 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. The fishing has been fair for rainbow trout and brown trout. Fly-fishing conditions have been good. Fishing with spinners and nightcrawlers has also been productive. Smallmouth bass are also being caught. Remember that there is a 12-inch size limit on smallmouths.

The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is very low at just 3.59 cubic-feet-per-second. The fish are concentrated in the deeper pools. The fishing has been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and some wild brown trout.

There is still a good flow in the Red River and it is being heavily-stocked. The Red River above Questa was stocked July 7 with 2,430 rainbow trout. The Red River below Questa was stocked with 699 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.

Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is a small lake right off the highway and receives heavy fishing pressure. It was stocked July 8 with 501 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 54 rainbow trout averaging 14.9 inches in size. The fishing is fair-to-good as long as the stockers last.

The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal near Costilla were stocked June 18 with 500 rainbow trout averaging 15.2 inches in size. The Shuree Ponds opened for fishing July 1 and the fishing is limited to artificial flies and lures having a single, barbless hook. The limit is two-fish-per-day 15 inches in size or longer. The fishing should be good

Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fishing has been good for rainbow trout. The fishing for northern pike has been fair-to-good. The fishing for perch should be fair-to-good with worms. Anglers trolling for trout should pick up a few kokanee salmon. Weed growth may be starting to get heavy here.

Cimarron Canyon State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Cimarron River was stocked July 6 with 2,424 rainbow trout. The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground were stocked July 6 with 355 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 46 rainbow trout averaging 15.1 inches in size. Streamflow in the Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam was a heavy 64.1 cubic-feet-per-second.

The fishing should be fair at Stubblefield Lake for largemouth bass, walleye and catfish.

Trout fishing at Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge may be slowing down as the weather gets warmer. The trout here are mostly good-sized holdovers and they may have moved to deeper water. There are also largemouth bass and catfish here.

Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The fishing for rainbow trout has been good at Lake Maloya and at Lake Alice. Lake Maloya was stocked July 9 with 2,998 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 400 rainbow trout averaging 15.4 inches in size.

Clayton Lake State Park is open Friday-Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The trout fishing here has been slow and it has not been stocked recently. There are also some big walleye, catfish and some largemouth bass here.

The Charette Lakes between Wagon Mound and Springer have been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout with some holdover trout. There are also yellow perch here.

Springer Lake has been slow-to-fair for northern pike and catfish.

Coyote Creek State Park near Guadalupita is open Friday-Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Coyote Creek was stocked June 30 with 802 rainbow trout. The Coyote Creek Pond was stocked with 598 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair-to-good.

Storrie Lake State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It has not been stocked recently and the trout fishing is very slow. There are also catfish here.

The Gallinas River near Las Vegas is running very low at just 2.78 cubic-feet-per-second. The trout are concentrated in the deeper pools. The fishing is fair. The Gallinas Ice Pond was stocked July 2 with 201 rainbow trout.

Conchas Lake State Park is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. The fishing has been fair-to-good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, white bass, bluegill and crappie.

Ute Lake State Park near Logan is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The fishing has been fair for walleye, white bass, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.

Pecos River Canyon State Park is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. This area receives very heavy fishing pressure. The Pecos River was stocked July 8 with 1,498 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 48 rainbow trout averaging 16.8 inches in size. There are also wild brown trout here. The streamflow was 30.6 cubic-feet-per-second.

The Pecos  River at Villanueva State Park was stocked July 2 with 96 channel catfish.

The Mora Fork of the Pecos River was recently stocked and the fishing has been fair-to-good.

Santa Rosa Lake State Park is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. The lake is very low and muddy. The boat ramp does not reach the water. Fishing is slow-to-fair for walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and catfish.

Over in the Four Corners, Navajo Lake State Park is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The fishing should be good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and crappie. Trout fishing should be fair, and some big brown trout have been caught trolling. This lake has the best kokanee salmon fishing in the state. They are usually caught by trolling at the proper depth. Fishing is usually best in deep water near the dam. Check with the marina to see if they have information as to what depth the kokanee are schooling at.

The streamflow in the San Juan River has increased but is still low for this time of year at 827 cubic-feet-per-second.  The trout fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns in the Quality Water. They have been catching some big brown trout in the Quality Water. The fishing has been good in the Bait Water with flies, lures and bait. The Quality Water was stocked July 7 with a total of 18,525 small rainbow trout. The Bait Water was stocked with 3,088 rainbow trout.

Tingley Beach in Albuquerque is now open. It was stocked July 2 with a total of 492 channel catfish, so the fishing should be picking up here. It has been fair.

The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are not being stocked with rainbow trout. Fishing for catfish, carp and a few largemouth bass has been fair. The Rio Grande in Albuquerque is running well below normal. Fishing has been fair for catfish and carp.

Escondida Lake near Socorro was stocked July 2 with 198 channel catfish.

Elephant Butte Lake State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The fishing has been very good for white bass. The fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye has been fair. It was stocked last week with 24, 683 largemouth bass fry. The fishing for catfish is good. Lake water levels are likely dropping as they are letting a lot more water out than is coming in.

The Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam is flowing at a heavy 2,260 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair for catfish and white bass.

Caballo Lake State Park is open Thursday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fishing has been fair for white bass and walleye. It was stocked last week with a total of 31,678 largemouth bass fry.

In the Ruidoso area, the trout fishing is slowing down a bit at Alto Lake. There are also catfish and largemouth bass here. Alto Lake was stocked July 2 with 96 channel catfish.

The trout fishing is still holding up at Grindstone Reservoir. It was stocked July 9 with 2,836 rainbow trout. There are also smallmouth bass here and the fishing for bluegill has been good.

These lakes are administered by the City of Ruidoso. They are limiting the number of cars that can be admitted each day. Ruidoso residents are given preference.

The Ruidoso River is running low at .40 cubic-feet-per-second. Fishing should be okay in the deeper pools for stocked rainbow trout. It was stocked July 9 with 501 rainbow trout.

The Timberon Ponds were stocked July 9 with 250 rainbow trout. These little ponds are also stocked with catfish.

In the Silver City area, the trout fishing has been fair at Lake Roberts. This is a designated trophy-bass water with a daily limit of two largemouth bass 18 inches in size or longer. The fishing for catfish has been fair. The bluegill fishing has been good.

Bear Canyon Reservoir is open. The trout fishing is about over here. The best fishing is for catfish and crappie.

Bill Evans Lake is open. There may still be a few trout left here in deeper water., but not many. This is a designated trophy-bass water with a daily limit of two largemouth bass per-day 18 inches in size or longer. The state-record largemouth bass was caught at Bill Evans Lake.

The streamflow in the Gila River is dropping. Some big flathead catfish have been caught in the lower Gila River. There are also channel catfish and smallmouth bass here. In the upper reaches and in the forks of the Gila River, the fishing is for rainbow trout, brown trout and some Gila trout.

The fishing at Quemado Lake has been very good for rainbow trout.