By GEORGE MORSE
Los Alamos Daily Post
Sports and Outdoors
The weather continues to be hot and dry across New Mexico. Streamflows are running very low everywhere.
The same waters that were closed to fishing last week remain closed to fishing this week. Santa Fe National Forest remains closed to recreational activities. This includes all streams in the Jemez Mountains, Fenton Lake State Park, the Seven Springs Brood Pond and San Gregorio Lake.
Over on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Morphy Lake State Park is closed. The Pecos River north of the town of Pecos is closed. Monastery Lake near Pecos is closed, as are the Cowles Ponds.
US Highway 64 through the Cimarron Canyon opened Monday (6/10) after being closed because of the Ute Park Fire. The Highway is open but Cimarron Canyon State Park will remain closed until after July 4. This includes the Gravel Pit Lakes.
Eagle Nest Lake is now open again for boating and bank fishing. The fishing has been very good for perch. The fishing for rainbow trout has been fair-to-good.
Although not closed, Carson National Forest Lands are under Stage II Fire Restrictions, which bans open fires, limits smoking to certain areas and limits the use of certain power tools and machines. If the dry and hot conditions continue, the closure of Carson National Forest Lands is a distinct possibility. To check on Fire Restrictions on Carson National Forest lands, call (575).758.6200 or visit their website: fs.usda.gov/carson.
Across the border in Colorado, officials have closed San Juan National Forest to all recreational activities. The 416 Fire north of Durango has burned over 20,000 acres and the fire danger is extreme throughout Southwest Colorado.
With the Fourth of July holiday coming up, remember that fireworks are always banned on all National Forest lands.
With the low flow in our trout streams and warmer temperatures causing trout to seek deeper water in our lakes and reservoirs, this is a good time of year to fish for the warmwater species of gamefish in our bigger lakes and reservoirs.
The fishing for smallmouth bass, walleye and crappie has been good at Abiquiu Lake. Anglers are also catching some perch and fishing at night for catfish should be worth a try. The fishing in the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is slow due to heavy releases of water from beneath the Dam.
The fishing for smallmouth bass at El Vado Lake is fair. The trout fishing is slowing down and is just slow-to-fair for brown trout. The Chama River below El Vado Dam has been good. This area was stocked with 654 rainbow trout.
The streamflow in the Chama River above El Vado Lake iis very low. The fishing is good. This area was stocked June 5 with 1,020 rainbow trout. Most of this stocking occurs near the town of Chama.
The bank fishing for rainbow trout at Heron Lake is fair. This fishing will likely slow down as the water temperatures continue to rise.
Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos was fair for trout and was stocked June 5 with 392 rainbow trout.
The Trout Lakes, also known as the Nutrias Lakes, were stocked June 5 with 680 rainbow trout. The turnoff to these lakes is just before you get to the town of Cebolla.
Hopewell Lake off Highway 64 between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras will be heavily-stocked throughout the summer because of its high elevation and cooler water temperatures. It was stocked June 2 with 446 rainbow trout. It was stocked again June 5 with 95 rainbow trout that averaged nearly 17 inches in size. The fishing has been good for stocked rainbow trout and there are wild brook trout in this lake.
The Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border was stocked June 4 with 1,807 rainbow trout. This area also receives heavy stockings of trout. The fishing has been fair and there are some nice wild brown trout here. It has some really nice campsites but they fill up quickly on weekends.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo has been fair for rainbow trout. This lake heats up a lot during the day and the fishing is better early in the morning and in the evenings.
The streamflow in the Rio Grande remains low. The fishing for brown and rainbow trout has been good. There are smallmouth bass here, particularly in the stretch between Pilar and Rinconada. The fishing is likely better early and late in the day.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco was stocked June 8 with700 rainbow trout. The flow in this stream is really low and the fish will be concentrated in deep pools near where they were stocked. Find one of these pools and catching a limit of stocked trout should be easy.
The Red River near Questa is heavily stocked with rainbow trout both above and below the town. The section above Questa was stocked with 2,000 rainbow trout June 7 and the section below Questa was stocked June 5 with700 rainbow trout. The Pond at the Red River Fish Hatchery was stocked June 5 with 359 rainbow trout, including 38 trout that averaged over 15 inches in size.
There were no reports from Eagle Rock Lake near Questa. The fishing should be at least fair for stocked rainbow trout.
No reports from nearby Cabresto Lake, which is not stocked but has wild brook trout and some cutthroat trout.
Over on the east side of the Sangre de Cristos, the fishing has been very good at Lake Maloya in Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton. The fishing has been good at Lake Alice, a smaller lake also in Sugarite Canyon. The fishing is best early in the morning and late in the evenings
The trout fishing is still holding up at Maxwell Lake 13 for rainbow trout, some of them good-sized holdover fish. You might try for largemouth bass here at Maxwell and maybe even catfish as the water warms up. The fishing at Charette Lakes has been fair for rainbow trout.
The fishing has been fair-to-good at Storrie Lake near Las Vegas for rainbow trout. It was stocked June 7 with 3,036 rainbow trout. Anglers here should try fishing after dark for some big catfish.
In you’re up for a long drive and an overnight stay, the fishing for walleye and largemouth bass at Clayton Lake has been fair. There are some huge fish of both these species in this lake. The fishing for catfish and bluegill has been good. The trout fishing here will really slow down now as this part of New Mexico gets very hot in the summer.
Over in the Four Corners area, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam is 637 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing in the Quality Waters has been good with a variety of fly patterns The Bait Waters below the Quality Waters was stocked June 6 with 6,951 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
The fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass has been good at Navajo Lake. The fishing has been fair-to-good for northern pike. The trout fishing is fair and they’ve been catching perch on worms here too.
The fishing has been fair at Cochiti Lake for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish and small crappie. Anglers are also catching some white bass, northern pike and walleye.
The fishing for catfish at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque has been good. These lakes are stocked with 18-inch catfish during the warmer summer months.
Temperatures are climbing into the triple digits in Southern New Mexico. The fishing for white bass is still very good at Elephant Butte Lake. The bass fishing has been fair-to-good and the fishing for catfish has been rated as good. Similar fishing will be found at Caballo Lake immediately below Elephant Butte.
If you’d like to add catching a Gila trout to your angling bucket list, they’ve been catch some at Lake Roberts near Silver City. There are also rainbow trout, catfish and some big largemouth bass in this lake.