Despite a cold snap over the weekend in Eastern New Mexico, ice conditions at several lakes have deteriorated and they have been closed to ice fishing.
Eagle Nest Lake has been closed to fishing as the ice is breaking up. Call 575.377.1594 for an update on conditons.
Lake Maloya and Lake Alice at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton have been closed to ice fishing due to unsafe conditions. Call 575.445.5607 for conditions.
Heron Lake and El Vado Lake are both closed to ice fishing due to unsafe ice conditions. El Vado Lake was stocked last week with 58,924 small rainbow trout. For updated conditions at both lakes, call 575.588.7470.
Monastery Lake near Pecos has open water and was stocked March 1 with 250 rainbow trout. No reports from here but the fishing should be good.
There is still ice fishing at Fenton Lake near Los Alamos in the Jemez Mountains. Right now the fishing is very good. The ice may break up soon at this little lake. It was stocked Feb.26 with 1,000 rainbow trout. Call 575.829.3630 for updates on conditions.
If you prefer stream fishing and are in the Jemez area, the Jemez River was stocked Feb.26 with 1,000 rainbow trout and the fishing has been good.
There is plenty of open water for bank fishing at Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo. It is about 25-percent free of ice.
Several lakes in Northeast New Mexico opened for fishing March 1 after being closed over the winter. The best report came from the Charette Lakes. Lower Charette Lake was very good for good-sized trout. These lakes are located between Springer and Wagon Mound.
Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge had no reports, but any trout that survived over the winter from last year’s stockings will be good-sized in this very fertile lake.
Clayton Lake was stocked Feb. 26 with 3,999 rainbow trout. The fishing was just slow-to-fair. It was bitterly cold in Clayton over the weekend and the fishing should pick up with warmer weather. No reports on other species but there are some very big walleye here. The boat ramp is closed due to low water.
Speaking of low water, the water level at Abiquiu Lake remains very low and the boat ramp is out of the water. Bank fishing at Abiquiu can be difficult thanks to all the rocks and drowned juniper trees there. Try using a bobber rather than fishing on the bottom. Also, the fish will be close to the bank. No need for long casts.
The water level at Abiquiu should rise dramatically this spring once the runoff starts because we have a healthy snowpack this year. It shouldn’t be long before the walleye and trout start to bite at Abiquiu.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam has been fair-to-good for trout. The streamflow was 147 cubic-feet-per-second.
The time to fish this area is now before they start to release heavy volumes of water for the upcoming irrigation season.
There were no reports again from the Chama River below El Vado Dam. The streamflow here is a very low 27.6 cubic-feet-per-second. This area should be worth a try. The trout should be concentrated in the deeper pools.
With the warmer weather and snow starting to melt, the streamflow in the Rio Grande is beginning to rise. It was at 493 cubic-feet-per-second and that has made the fishing slow. A good place to try would be the Pilar area, which was stocked Feb. 25 with 1,999 rainbow trout.
Last week, the Rio Grande was flowing at 362 cubic-feet-per-second. The streamflow will continue to rise and by April and May should be running in the thousands of cubic-feet-per-second. This will make for tough fishing conditions. It should, however, be a banner year for rafting companies and kayakers who love whitewater thrills.
The Red River below Questa has been good for trout. There are always fish here because it is heavily-stocked with trout from the nearby Red River Fish Hatchery.
Over in the Four Corners area, a place to try is the Tiger Park Pond in Aztec. It was stocked Feb. 25 with 1,936 rainbow trout.
Lake Farmington was stocked Feb. 26 with 2,295 rainbow trout averaging over a foot in length. There were no reports from here but the fishing should be good in this heavily-stocked lake.
The streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 289 cubic-feet-per-second and the water was a bit murky.
The fishing was fair in the Quality Waters with a variety of fly patterns. In the Bait Waters below the Quality Waters, the fishing was fair. The Bait Waters were stocked Feb. 25 with 1,936 rainbow trout.
There were no reports from Cochiti Lake. The fishing here should get better as the water warms up. The northern pike should be moving into the shallows in preparation for spawning season.
The fishing continues to be very good at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque thanks to heavy stockings by the State Game and Fish Department. It was stocked twice last week with a total of 2,280 rainbow trout.
The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are still being stocked and the fishing remains good. As the weather warms up, anglers are starting to catch a few largemouth bass.
The winter stockings of rainbow trout in southern New Mexico continue, but will soon end.
Elephant Butte Lake is starting to turn on and the fishing has been good for largemouth bass, white bass and a few walleye. The fishing for catfish using cut bait at night has been fair. They are still not releasing any water into the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam.
The fishing for stocked rainbow trout continues to be good in Carlsbad area lakes. This fishing will slow down and the bass fishing will pick up as the weather warms.
The spring runoff looks like it has already begun in the Gila area. The Gila River was flowing at a healthy 419 cubic-feet-per-second. Lake Roberts and Bill Evans Lake near Silver City have been good for trout and the bass fishing should start to get better soon. Both these lakes have some big bass. The catfishing at Lake Roberts has been good.