By GEORGE MORSE
Sports & Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
The weather forecast this week is for cooler temperatures with a good chance of significant precipitation. It couldn’t come at a better time with the Fourth of July weekend coming up.
We all know the Fourth of July and fireworks go hand-in hand. Despite being prohibited in many areas and on all federal lands; there is always going to be someone somewhere setting off fireworks.
The weather for most of June had been hot and dry, so there was justified concern over the possibility of a wildfire being ignited. Although the recent moisture will have people breathing a little easier, now is not the time to let your guard down. Please observe the Fire Restrictions that are in place on our National Forest and at New Mexico State Parks. Make sure your campfires are dead out before you leave. Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest lands, so resist the temptation to light one.
Many campsites require advance reservations. Don’t be surprised if many of the popular destinations are already booked up for this weekend. Dispersed camping is available, but these sites will likely be filled up quickly too.
Reservations at New Mexico State Parks may be made by calling 877.667.7787 for reservations. Some remote campsites may be open on a first come, first served basis. It is beneficial to check the state parks website for conditions at individual state parks if you are planning a trip to one of them.
For reservations at National Forest campgrounds and on other federal lands, call 877.444.6777 or visit the website.
The State Game and Fish Department will be doing some heavy stocking in preparation for the busy weekend. To find out if the place you plan to fish was stocked this week, check the Weekly Fishing and Stocking Report Friday (7/2) on the Department’s website.
Fenton Lake State Park in the Jemez Mountains is open. The fishing has been good. This lake can get very crowded. It is heavily-stocked. It was stocked June 8 with 1,508 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 200 rainbow trout averaging 16.5 inches in size. Camping is allowed by reservation only. Fenton also has wild brown trout and you might catch a Rio Grande cutthroat trout from an earlier stocking. Only two cutthroat trout may be kept per-day as part of the five-trout-per-day bag limit. Call (575).829.3630 for current conditions at Fenton.
Fishing the Rio Cebolla below Fenton Lake might be worthwhile. It was stocked June 24 with 1,225 rainbow trout.
San Gregorio Lake is open It appears a few fish may have survived the winter here despite its tendency to winterkill. The fishing is reported as fair using midge fly patterns. It has not yet been stocked this year.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond is now open. It is also known as the Kid’s Pond. It was stocked June 9 with 464 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 200 rainbow trout averaging 16.5 inches in size. There are a few big brown trout in this pond. A 30-inch brown trout was caught here recently. The fishing is for anglers under 12 years old.
The trout fishing has been fair in the Jemez River. The streamflow has risen a little and is now just 10.8 cubic-feet-per-second. This is low. The fishing has likely slowed down and the fish concentrated in deeper pools. The Jemez River was stocked May 12 with 998 rainbow trout. The fishing may be good once you find where the fish are.
The smaller streams in the Jemez Mountains are also low and fishing is getting difficult. The Rio de las Vacas was stocked May 12 with 499 rainbow trout. The San Antonio River was stocked May 18 with 750 rainbow trout. All the streams in the Jemez Mountains have wild brown trout.
The East Fork of the Jemez River was stocked April 23 with 3,500 small Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging 3.7 inches in size. The Guadelupe River was stocked April 23 with 3,500 small Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging 3.7 inches in size. Please practice catch and release to give them a chance to grow.
Eagle Nest Lake State Park has good fishing when the wind isn’t blowing hard. Boating conditions are listed as good. The boat docks were installed May 6 at Eagle Nest. Overnight camping is by reservation only. Rainbow trout, yellow perch and northern pike are the species that can be caught, with an occasional kokanee salmon. The fishing for trout and perch has been good. It was stocked twice June 17 with 18,724 sub-catchable rainbow trout. Some big pike are being landed. Some good-sized kokanee salmon are being caught. Remember you must keep any northern pike you catch and can’t return them to the lake. As the summer progresses, bank fishing may be difficult due to weed growth. For more information and current conditions, call (575).377.1594.
Heron Lake State Park is open. Camping is available by reservation with some remote camping available. Boating conditions are described as fair. Bank fishing should be at least fair for rainbow trout. Lake trout have likely retreated to very deep water and catching one will be difficult. It was stocked May 19 with 6,055 catchable-size rainbow trout. It was stocked May 24 with 56,986 fingerling rainbow trout. The lake level is rising. The primitive boat ramp is open and four-wheel drive is recommended. Sierra Vista and La Laja boat ramps are open.
El Vado has rainbow trout, brown trout, perch and small smallmouth bass. Call (575).588.7470 for conditions at both Heron Lake and El Vado Lake. The main park is now open at El Vado Lake. Boating conditions are described as poor. The main boat ramp is open. Water level is low.
Abiquiu Lake is open, including the boat ramp and picnic areas. The campground is open. Camping is by reservation only. It is managed by the Corps of Engineers. Reservations may be made at www.reservation.gov.
The water level is low at Abiquiu. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for launching boats. The fishing has been fair-to-good for walleye. The fishing is slow-to-fair for smallmouth bass. Trout have likely moved to deeper water. Night fishing for catfish may be worth a try. Call 505.685.4371 for more information.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is flowing at 568 cubic-feet-per-second. The water here is usually murky. The fishing could be at least fair for stocked and holdover rainbow trout. There are some big, wild brown trout here. Fly Fishermen should use flies with a little flash to them. The limit here is two-fish-per-day. It was stocked June 1 with 1,032 rainbow trout.
The Chama River below El Vado Dam is flowing at 513 cubic-feet-per-second. The flow has been lower. The fishing has been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. It was stocked June 22 with 825 rainbow trout. Some big brown trout were caught recently by anglers using Rapalas. The state-record brown trout was caught here.
You may catch some small Rio Grande cutthroat trout below El Vado. It was stocked April 26 with 5,998 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Please release them carefully and give them a chance to grow.
The streamflow in the Chama River above El Vado Lake is dropping and fishing conditions improving. The streamflow at La Puente has fallen to 65.2 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing conditions are much better and some big trout will be caught now. It was stocked June 15 with 1,010 rainbow trout.
The nearby Brazos River is experiencing falling streamflow conditions and is flowing at 49.4 cubic-feet-per-second. It has not been stocked but fishing should be fair-to-good for holdover rainbow trout and wild brown trout.
Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos is open. Fishing is for anglers under 14 years of age or 65 years old and older. It was stocked June 2 with 462 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 90 rainbow trout averaging 16.4 inches in size. It is open sunrise to sunset and the limit is three fish-per-day.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is open 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The Overlook campground is open. The North Shore campground is closed. The fishing has been good here in the early spring. The lake is nearly full and the boat ramp is open. It was stocked May 6 with 3,290 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 300 rainbow trout averaging 17.1 inches in length. The fishing has slowed down here and the trout are likely moving to deeper water. The water level here will steadily drop during the summer. For updated conditions, check the Bureau of Land Management website.
The Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park is open. Fishing has been fair for rainbow and brown trout. It was stocked June 21 with 2,424 rainbow trout. Streamflow below Eagle Nest Dam is 21.6cubic-feet-per-second.The flow picks up downstream and is at 42.3 cubic-feet-per-second near the town of Cimarron.
The Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick campground are open. They were stocked June 21 with 355 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 45 rainbow trout averaging 14.6 inches in size.
Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton is open daily. Lake Alice and Lake Maloya are now open for fishing. Camping is available by reservation only. Lake Alice is a small lake and the fishing is primarily for recently-stocked rainbow trout. It was stocked May 26 with 499 rainbow trout. Lake Maloya is larger and is capable of producing larger, holdover trout. It is well-stocked. It was stocked May 26 with 2,001 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 347 rainbow trout averaging 15.8 inches in size. Call (575).445.5607 for current conditions.
Morphy Lake State Park near Mora was opened for day use March 1 after being closed for more than a year. There is no overnight camping here and it is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. It has been heavily-stocked since reopening. It was stocked June 1 with 2,700 catchable-size rainbow trout and 299 rainbow trout averaging 14.7 inches in size.
Clayton Lake and the Charette Lakes are now open for fishing after being closed over the winter. The fishing has been pretty good for some nice-sized holdover rainbow trout at Lower Charette Lake. Lower Charette Lake was stocked May 10 with 2,250 catchable-size rainbow trout an with 250 rainbow trout averaging 16.7 inches in size. The Charette Lakes are located between Wagon Mound and Springer.
Clayton Lake State Park is now open daily with camping by reservation only. It was stocked May 4 with 3,604 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 250 rainbow trout averaging 16.5 inches in size. It also has some big walleye and a few trophy-size largemouth bass. There are also catfish here. Due to warming temperatures, it is unlikely that Clayton Lake will be stocked with trout again until later this fall. This is a trophy bass lake where the daily limit is two bass-per-day 14 inches in size or longer. The state-record walleye was caught at Clayton Lake. The boat ramp is closed. At Clayton Lake, be sure to check out the Dinosaur Tracks.
Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge opened up March 1 for fishing. Save yourself a trip. This lake practically dried up last fall and will need to be restocked.
Stubblefield Lake is also very low. The state-record channel catfish was caught here. There were largemouth bass and walleye here but they may not have made it through the winter due to low water. It appears the catfish did.
Cochiti Lake had been closed most of last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened Jan. 4 by reservation for day use. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass has been fair-to-good. Catfish and northern pike are being caught as well. The boat ramp is open. Tickets and reservations may be made at www.recreation.gov. They are not sold at the lake. The Tetilla Peak Recreation Area is open. This lake is managed by the Corps of Engineers.
The gate hours at Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It was stocked May 18 with 3,034 catchable-size rainbow trout. It was stocked May 13 with 450 rainbow trout averaging 15.4 inches in size. Camping is available by reservation only. It’s likely at least fair if not better for stocked trout. There are some big catfish in this lake too. Call (505).425.7278 for conditions.
Hopewell Lake between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla is open, as is the nearby campground. The fishing has been fair-to-good. It is stocked with rainbow trout and has wild brook trout. It was stocked June 16 with 1,760 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 185 rainbow trout averaging 16.6 inches in size.
The Canjilon Lakes and the Trout Lakes near Cebolla are open and accessible. Forest service roads may have some muddy conditions. The fishing is much better after they are stocked. The Canjilon Lakes were stocked June 22 with 1,035
catchable-size rainbow trout and with 115 rainbow trout averaging 16.7 inches in size. There are a few brook trout in the upper lake. The Trout Lakes were stocked June 7 with 464 catchable-size rainbow trout.
The Lagunitas Lakes have not been stocked yet and fishing is likely pretty slow.
Ute Lake State Park is open. The fishing should be fair for white bass, walleye and largemouth bass. The state-record smallmouth bass was caught at Ute Lake. Conchas Lake State Park is open, but the boat ramps are closed. The boat ramps on the south side are open. Some crappie, walleye, white bass and largemouth bass are being caught. Santa Rosa Lake State Park is open and anglers have been catching some crappie, smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish. This lake is extremely low and the boat ramp is closed. Sumner Lake State Park is open and fishing for walleye could be fair. Camping is allowed by reservation only at all these lakes.
Over in the Four Corners Navajo Lake State Park is open. Camping is by reservation only. The best fishing may be for trout and possibly northern pike. Bass fishing and crappie fishing should pick up as the water warms up. It was stocked May 19 with 42,629 fingerling rainbow trout. Now is a good time to troll lures like Rapalas for big brown trout. Check at the marina to see if the kokanee salmon have schooled up in deeper water and can be caught trolling. The trolling for kokanee has been good at about 30 feet. Be sure to tip the hooks of your lures with corn. The salmon will drop deeper as summer progresses. Boating conditions are good. Call (505).632.2278 for conditions.
Lake Farmington is open. This Lake is administered by the City of Farmington. It was stocked May 10 with 1,000 rainbow trout. The fishing was good for these stocked fish. Trout fishing here in the summer is usually poor due to warm water.
Tiger Park Pond in Aztec was stocked May 5 with 760 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 150 rainbow trout averaging 16.5 inches in size. Aztec Pond # 1 was stocked April 6 with 317 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 35 rainbow trout averaging 16 inches in size. Trout fishing slows down here in the summer.
The Animas River in Aztec was stocked June 3 with 125 rainbow trout. The streamflow in the Animas River at Aztec is at 568 cubic-feet-per-second.
Jackson Lake north of Farmington has had good fishing for stocked trout. It was stocked April 13 with 1,007 rainbow trout. It is part of the Jackson Lake Wildlife Management Area managed by the State Game and Fish Department
Bluewater Lake State Park is open. Boating conditions are listed as good. Camping is allowed by reservation only. It was stocked with rainbow trout during the winter, but not since March. The trout fishing is slow. Tiger muskies are being caught and the fishing for them should pick up. Fishing for catfish is fair. Call (505).876.2391 for current conditions.
McGaffey Lake was stocked April 21 with 899 rainbow trout. This was its first stocking this spring. It is also stocked with catfish. It was stocked May 27 with 92 channel catfish averaging 18 inches in size. The water is getting really low in this little lake. It will not be stocked until water conditions improve. Trout fishing is about done here, but catfish may still be caught.
Rivers and streams were swollen with runoff but are dropping. They are running below normal for this time of year.
The Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border was running high but is now dropping. It was stocked June 23 with 1,800 rainbow trout.
The Rio Grande streamflow is 423 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. This is well-below normal. The fishing has been fair-to-good for rainbow and brown trout. Bait is your best choice under these conditions. Spinners may work too. The Rio Grande in the Pilar area was stocked May 20 with 2,000 rainbow trout. In the Rio Grande Gorge above Pilar, it was stocked May 20 with 250 rainbow trout. Some of this stocking takes place near the John Dunn Bridge north of Taos near Arroyo Hondo. Caddis hatches are occurring on the Rio Grande. Anglers should start catching smallmouth bass in the Pilar area.
From the Colorado state line downstream to the Taos Junction Bridge, the limit is two-fish-per-day in the Rio Grande.
The Rio Grande Gorge above Pilar was stocked April 29 with 7,169 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The State Game and Fish Department is hoping to establish a naturally-reproducing population of cutthroats here.
The streamflow in the Rio Pueblo near Penasco is 16.2 cubic-feet-per-second. This is low. It was stocked June 24 with 1,198 rainbow trout. The fishing could be fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout.
The pond at Sipapu was stocked June 10 with 67 rainbow trout.
The Red River near the Red River Fish Hatchery is flowing at 84.5 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing is normally fair-to-good here. It was stocked June 15 with 700 rainbow trout. The Red River above Questa was stocked June 23 with 1,708 rainbow trout. It was flowing at 58.8 cubic-feet-per-second. The East Fork and the West Fork of the Red River were each stocked June 14 with 301 rainbow trout.
The Red River City Ponds were stocked June 23 with 632 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 68 rainbow trout averaging 14.2 inches in size.
The Red River Hatchery Pond is now open and was stocked June 22 with 350 catchable-size rainbow trout. The fishing here is for anglers under 14 years-of-age and over 65 years old.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is open. This little lake is right off the highway between Questa and Red River. It was stocked June 23 with 498 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 58 rainbow trout averaging 14.2 inches in size. It should be worth a try.
The Rio Costilla near Costilla was stocked April 15 with 2,065 Rio Grande cutthroat trout. From Latir Creek to the boundary of the Valle Vidal, fishing in the Rio Costilla is catch-and-release with flies and lures having a single, barbless hook. In the Valle Vidal, the State Game and Fish Department is conducting a project in the Rio Costilla from the Valle Vidal boundary upstream to Costilla Dam that includes the removal of fish and restocking in 2022 with Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The Rio Costilla below Latir Creek was stocked June 22 with 400 rainbow trout.
The best river in the state and well-known throughout the angling world is the San Juan River below Navajo Dam. The streamflow here is 497 cubic-feet-per-second This is higher than last week but still below-normal. It offers world-class fly fishing for big trout.
The fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns in the Quality Water. The fishing here is catch-and-release with flies and lures having a single, barbless hook. The Quality Water is stocked with small rainbow trout that grow quickly in the fertile waters. There are big, wild brown trout in the Quality Water that are not adverse to gobbling up their smaller rainbow brethren. Some of these fish would likely shatter the state record if they could be kept and weighed.
The fishing in the Bait Water of the San Juan below the Quality Water has been fair-to-good with flies, bait and lures. The Bait Water was stocked June 3 with 3,067 rainbow trout. A regular daily limit of five trout may be kept here.
Coyote Creek State Park near Guadalupita is open. It was stocked June 24 with 439 rainbow trout. The Coyote Creek Pond was stocked June 24 with 600 rainbow trout.
The Pecos River above the town of Pecos is starting to experience runoff conditions.. Camping is closed in Pecos Canyon State Park. The streamflow at Pecos was 77.7 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. The Pecos River between the town of Pecos and Cowles was stocked twice two weeks ago with a total of 2,991 rainbow trout. It will likely be stocked this coming week.
The Cowles Ponds were stocked June 17 with 180 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 20 rainbow trout averaging 15.3 inches in size.
Holy Ghost Creek in the Pecos drainage was stocked June 16 with 399 rainbow trout. The Mora fork of the Pecos River was stocked June 15 with 402 rainbow trout. It also has wild brown trout. Cow Creek in the Pecos River drainage was stocked June 23 with 502 rainbow trout.
The Gallinas River near Las Vegas is running a little higher.. The streamflow was 1.79 cubic-feet-per-second. Some good-sized holdover trout have been caught. It was stocked June 23 with 1,201 rainbow trout. The Gallinas Ice Pond was stocked June 10 with 200 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake is now open again to fishing. It was stocked June 17 with 900 catchable-size rainbow trout and 95 rainbow trout averaging 15.3 inches in size. Please pick up your trash here as this is private property and should be respected. Fishing here is possible through the State Game and Fish Department’s Open Gate program. This lake is very crowded on weekends.