By GEORGE MORSE
Los Alamos Daily Post
Sports and Outdoors
After the May 29 fishing report was compiled, several events happened that closed some of the fishing areas mentioned in the report to anglers. Santa Fe National Forest closed its lands May 30 to all recreational activities due to the extreme fire danger. The areas that this affected included all streams in the Jemez Mountain area, Fenton Lake State Park and San Gregorio Lake near Los Alamos. The closure remains in effect.
The Seven Springs Kids Pond was open last week and the fishing was very good. It will close for fishing Wednesday (6/6) due to the extreme fire danger.
Near Santa Fe, the Pecos River north of the town of Pecos was closed to fishing. The Cowles Ponds were closed to fishing. Morphy Lake State Park was closed to fishing.
Monastery Lake was open last week, but it will close for fishing Wednesday (6/6) due to the extreme fire danger.
The Ute Park wildfire started May 31 near Ute Park and has since burned over 36,000 acres. The fire forced the closure of US Highway 64 between Eagle Nest and Cimarron. The towns of Cimarron and Ute Park were evacuated. Cimarron residents have been allowed to return, but Ute Park remains evacuated. Highway 64 remains closed.
The fishing waters affected by the closure of Highway 64 are the Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam and the Cimarron River Gravel Pit Lakes.
Eagle Nest Lake is closed to boating, but is open for bank fishing. The fishing has been very good for yellow perch and fair for trout.
Anglers wishing to fish waters in Northeast New Mexico that would normally use Highway 64 will need to find other routes. Alternative routes include Interstate 25 to Las Vegas and Raton. Another option is to take State Highway 75 to Penasco and Mora. The town of Cimarron can be accessed by taking State Road 58 from Interstate 25.
Despite the closures, plenty of areas remain open to fishing. Be aware that despite the recent rain June 3, the fire danger remains extreme. Carson National Forest remains open for recreational activities under Class II fire restrictions, which bans open fires, allows smoking only in certain areas and limits the use of certain power tools and machines.
For more information on Fire restrictions on Carson National Forest, including the possible closure, call (575).758.6200 or visit the website: fs.usda.gov/carson.
The fishing in those areas open to anglers is still good at many locations.
The fishing for walleye, smallmouth bass and crappie has been good at Abiquiu Lake. The fishing is fair for catfish. There is a 14-inch size limit for walleye and a 12-inch size limit for smallmouth bass. Surprisingly, some catfish are being taken on crank baits being used for walleye and smallmouth bass.
El Vado Lake is good for smallmouth bass. The fishing for brown and rainbow trout was fair-to-good using the same lures used for bass like crank baits and Panther Martin spinners.
The trolling for rainbow trout and kokanee salmon was good at Heron Lake. It would be great if the kokanee salmon fishing at Heron can recover and return to its former glory days. The bank fishing was good with Power Bait.
The fishing at Laguna del Campo, also known as Burns Lake, was very good. On the Department of Game & Fish Northwest Area Facebook page is a picture of a 31-inch rainbow trout a youngster caught at Burns Lake.
The Trout Lakes near Cebolla have been good for stocked rainbow trout.
The fishing in the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is slow as the streamflow there is almost 1,000 cubic-feet=per-second. The fishing below El Vado Dam was good. Above El Vado Lake in the Chama River the fishing has been good. Several big rainbow trout were caught near and in the village of Chama.
The fishing at Hopewell Lake was very good. It has been stocked May 31 with 100 big rainbow trout averaging nearly 17 inches in size. Several of these big rainbows were caught last week.
The streamflow is low and clear in the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border. The conditions for fly fishermen are excellent and the fishing has been good.
The streamflow in the Rio Grande remains well-below normal. The low water conditions favor fly fishermen and the fishing has been good for brown and rainbow trout. The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is running low. The fishing has been good in the area near Sipapu Ski Area.
The fishing has been good at Eagle Rock Lake near Questa. Nearby Cabresto Lake still has no reports. The fishing should be good for wild brook trout and cutthroat trout.
The fishing at santa Cruz Reservoir near Chimayo was fair. The fishing at this lake can get uncomfortably hot during the middle of the day. The fishing conditions are better early and late in the day.
Although now harder to access due to the closing of Highway 64 because of the Ute Park wildfire, several lakes in Northeastern New Mexico have good fishing. Maxwell Lake 13 can be accessed off of Interstate 25. It’s been good for trout. Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton has been very good for trout. The Charette Lakes have been good for trout and there are yellow perch here too.
The fishing for trout has been good at Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas Try fishing at night here for some big catfish.
Over in the Four Corners Area, the San Juan River below Navajo Dam will see its flow gradually increased from 640 cubic-feet-per second until it peaks at a hefty 2,000 cubic-feet-per second Wednesday (6/6). It will the gradually be lowered until it reaches base flow Thursday (6/7). This will have an effect on the fishing, although the increased flow could trigger the trout into feeding. The fishing has been good in the Quality Waters with various fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Waters has also been good using flies, along with various baits.
The fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass has been good at Navajo Lake. The fishing has been fair-to-good for northern pike. Trolling crank baits for rainbow trout and brown trout has been fair.
The fishing at Cochiti Lake is fair-to-good for small crappie. The fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass has been fair. Anglers are picking up a few northern pike and walleye.
The fishing for catfish at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque has been picking up and has been good.
The weather is really starting to heat up in Southern New Mexico. The fishing still remains good at Elephant Butte Lake for white bass and catfish. The fishing has been fair to good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye.
Please be careful with fire and observe the closures now in force. Our forests are too valuable to burn down.