By GEORGE MORSE
Sports And Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
The new license season begins Saturday. If you fish before then this coming week you will still need your 2022-2023 license.
This will be the final Fishing Report for the 2022-2023 season. The new season will reap the benefits of a wet winter that saw ample precipitation throughout the state and deep snowpacks in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.
The Bureau of Land Management manages Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area near Chimayo. It will be open from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The fishing should be good for stocked rainbow trout and some wild brown trout.
It was stocked March 15 with 3,444 rainbow trout. Overlook Campground will reopen April 15. If access road to Santa Cruz is snowpacked and icy, it will be closed. For updated conditions, check the Bureau of Land Management website or call (505).351.1438.
The Bureau also manages the Orilla Verde Recreation Area along the Rio Grande at Pilar. Camping is on a first-come basis. No reservations. The Rio Grande streamflow was 550 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. This is lower than last week and just below normal. The Rio Grande at Pilar was stocked March 22 with 2,361 rainbow trout. There are some big, wild brown trout. Northern pike are caught on big streamers in the Pilar and Taos Junction Bridge areas during the winter.
From the Colorado state line downstream to the Taos Junction Bridge, the limit is two-trout-per-day in the Rio Grande.
The Rio Grande Gorge above Pilar was stocked March 22 with 500 rainbow trout.
Fenton Lake State Park is open for camping. Lake is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Camping by reservation only. It is now closed to ice fishing due to deteriorating ice conditions. It is heavily-stocked with rainbow trout. It also has some wild brown trout and some Rio Grande cutthroat trout from earlier stockings. It was stocked March 24 with 2,136 rainbow trout.
Only two cutthroat trout may be kept as part of the five fish daily limit at Fenton. For more information and current ice conditions call (575).829.3630.
The Rio Cebolla, which flows into and below Fenton Lake, was stocked March 10 with 248 rainbow trout.
The fishing has been good in the Jemez River. The streamflow is 75.7 cubic-feet-per-second. This is lower than last week and just below normal. It has wild brown trout. It was stocked March 10 with 1,521 rainbow trout.
The smaller tributaries are frozen over, as is San Gregorio Lake.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond, also known as the Kid’s Pond, is open. The fishing is for anglers 11-years of age or younger. It was stocked March 10 with 448 rainbow trout. It also has some wild brown trout and some Rio Grande cutthroat trout from an earlier stocking. The limit is three trout-per-day.
Eagle Nest Lake at Eagle Nest State Park is now closed to ice fishing.
Fishing should be good for rainbow trout, yellow perch, northern pike and an occasional kokanee salmon once the ice melts enough to permit bank fishing in open water. The state-record kokanee was caught at Eagle Nest. For more information and current ice conditions, call (575).377.1594.
The Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park is likely frozen over and fishing difficult. The streamflow below Eagle Nest Dam was 1.74 cubic-feet-per-second. This is the same as last week. The Cimarron River near the town of Cimarron is losing its ice and streamflow was measured at 4.26 cubic-feet-per second. Check the Carson National Forest website to see if campgrounds are open.
The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground are likely frozen over now.
Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton is now closed to ice fishing. Lake Alice, also at Sugarite State Park is closed due to thin ice. Call (575).445.5607 for current conditions.
Clayton Lake closed Oct. 31 for the season. It reopened March 1. The state-record walleye was caught here and it is heavily-stocked with rainbow trout. It was stocked March 1 with 3,001 rainbow trout. Call (575).374.8808 for conditions.
Heron Lake State Park is now closed to ice fishing due to deteriorating ice conditions. The boat ramps are closed. The lake level is still low.
Call (575).588.7470 for conditions at both Heron Lake and El Vado Lake.
El Vado Lake State Park has rainbow trout, brown trout, perch and small smallmouth bass. Lake surface is closed due to poor ice conditions. Boating is closed. The Dam Day Use Area is closed for construction. Water level is low. The banks are very muddy. Try fishing at the north end of the lake where the Chama River comes in.
Bluewater Lake State Park is open. Camping is allowed by reservation only. Lake water level is but it is rising. Currently, the lake is mostly open water. The lake surface is closed and going on to the ice is strictly prohibited. Tiger muskies were being caught and the fishing for them was fair using big crank baits, spinners and hot dogs. The limit on tiger muskies is one-per-day at least 40 inches in length. It was stocked March 15 with 6,000 rainbow trout. The trout fishing should be good until the stockers are caught by anglers or eaten by tiger muskies. Call (505).876.2391 for current conditions.
Morphy Lake State Park near Mora has reopened. This lake was heavily-impacted by the Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire.
No reports on how the fishing has been. A 21-inch rainbow trout was caught last week.
Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas is open for bank fishing. Boating is closed. It received two very heavy stockings two weeks ago totaling 7,520 rainbow trout. It also has some big catfish.
Pecos Canyon State Park is open. In the Canyon, the river has thawed and streamflow was measured 27.7 cubic-feet per second. This is low compared to normal. There is lot of open water. The streamflow at Anton Chico is 186 cubic-feet-per-second which is well above average. The fishing has been fair-to-good for rainbow trout and brown trout. The Pecos River at Villanueva State Park was stocked March 15 with 500 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos reopened March 9 after the ice melted. It was stocked March 15 with 250 rainbow trout. Fishing should be good.
Over in the Four Corners, Navajo Lake State Park is open. Camping is by reservation only. Trolling minnow-imitating lures like Rapalas could produce a trophy brown trout. Fishing for northern pike has been fair. It was stocked twice two weeks ago with a total of 19,680 sub-catchable rainbow trout. Boating conditions are good. Call (505).632.2278 for conditions. Navajo Lake does not freeze.
Aztec Pond #1 in Aztec was stocked March 15 with 99 rainbow trout. Tiger Park Pond in Aztec was stocked March 21 with 1,326 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 150 rainbow trout averaging 14.2 inches in size.
Lake Farmington was stocked March 8 with 2,496 rainbow trout.
Popular fishing locations on Carson National Forest include the Canjilon Lakes, the Trout Lakes near Cebolla and Hopewell Lake between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla. These are high-elevation lakes that are now frozen.
The Forest Service roads to the Trout Lakes and Canjilon Lakes are likely snowpacked and difficult to travel. Hopewell Lake is close to Highway 64 and may be accessed by hiking in or by snowmobile.
The campground at Hopewell Lake is now closed. The ice fishing has been good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brook trout. US Highway 64 has been reopened. Please be aware that this road may close during hazardous winter driving conditions. The ice is starting to deteriorate here and caution should be used. Check nmroads.com for road conditions.
The Rio de los Pinos is near the border with Colorado. It is frozen and is hard to fish.
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 284 cubic-feet-per-second. This is lower than last week and way below normal. The San Juan offers world-class fly fishing for big trout.
The fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns in the four miles of Quality Water below the Dam. The fishing here is catch-and-release with flies and lures having a single, barbless hook. There are big, wild brown trout in the Quality Water. Some of these fish would likely shatter the state record if they could be kept and weighed. The Quality Water was stocked Feb. 21 with 33,090 sub-catchable rainbow trout.
The fishing in the Bait Water of the San Juan below the Quality Water has been fair-to-good with flies, bait and lures. A regular daily limit of five trout may be kept here. There are some big brown trout here too. It was stocked March 15 with 2,338 rainbow trout.
The following locations are also open for fishing.
Abiquiu Lake is open, including the boat ramp and picnic areas. Camping is open. It is managed by the Corps of Engineers. Reservations may be made at www.recreation.gov. The water level is low, but higher than last year at Abiquiu. Mostly open water and no ice fishing. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for launching boats. The fishing has been slow for walleye, catfish and smallmouth bass. There are some good-sized trout in Abiquiu. They may have moved into shallow water. Call (505).685.4371 for more information.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is flowing at 491 cubic-feet-per-second. This is much higher than last week and above normal. It was stocked March 16 with 574 catchable-size rainbow trout. The fishing is likely fair for stocked and holdover rainbow trout. There are a few big, wild brown trout here. The limit here is two-fish-per-day.
Streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam was 213 cubic-feet-per-second. This is lower than last week. The state-record brown trout was caught here.
Above El Vado Lake, the Chama River at La Puente has thawed and streamflow was measured 84.1 cubic-feet-per-second. This is below normal.
The Chama River above the town of Chama is losing its ice and streamflow was measured at 30.7 cubic-feet-per-second.
Cochiti Lake has reopened. The fishing has been fair-to-good for northern pike. Fishing for catfish could be worthwhile.
Tetilla Peak Recreation Area is open, but the campground is closed.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque is now being stocked with rainbow trout. It was stocked twice las week with a total of 2,279 rainbow trout. The stockings will continue throughout the winter.
The winter stocking of trout has begun in the drainage canals of the Albuquerque area, The Albuquerque, Albuquerque (South), Belen, Corrales and Peralta drains were stocked last week.
The Red River below the Fish Hatchery is flowing at 40 cubic-feet-per-second. This is slightly lower than last week and a little below normal. It was stocked March 23 with 701 rainbow trout. The Red River above Questa is losing its ice and streamflow was measured at 20.1 cubic-feet-per-second
The Red River Hatchery Pond is likely frozen but the ice is melting rapidly. Fishing is for anglers 11 years of age or younger and 65 years old or older. The limit is three-fish-per day.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is open. The ice is rapidly deteriorating and use extreme caution. Best to wait and fish open water. It was stocked March 23 with 499 rainbow trout.
Cabresto Lake, a small, high-elevation lake accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle near Questa, has good ice fishing for wild brook trout and wild cutthroat trout.