By GEORGE MORSE
Los Alamos Daily Post
Sports and Outdoors
Now that we have finally received rain, the fishing should get even better in Northern New Mexico.
The State Game and Fish Department continues to stock thousands of rainbow trout, including some over 15 inches in size. Streamflows did not rise much, but with the Memorial Day weekend coming up, any moisture that could help ease the extremely dry conditions in our forests was most welcome.
Please be careful with fire if you are going camping or just spending time in the outdoors. Temperatures are expected to start climbing again by the weekend.
The smallmouth bass fishing at Abiquiu Lake is good and the bass are entering their spawning stage. The smaller male bass will keep you busy and the bigger female bass are heavy with eggs. They will soon be making their spawning beds.
The walleye fishing has been fair-to-good. Fishing for walleye is usually better in the evening or early morning, when they will move into shallower water. During the day, walleye will be in a little deeper water. The trout fishing will likely start to slow down as the water warms up, but the catfishing is picking up. Catfish are also more active early and late in the day. Fishing at night for catfish can be productive.
The Chama River below Abiquiu was stocked May 17 with 818 rainbow trout, but the heavy releases of water from Abiquiu Dam keep the fishing here slow.
Below El Vado Dam, the fishing has been fair. This area was stocked May 17 with 654 rainbow trout and a big brown trout was caught and released last week.
El Vado Lake continues to be very good for smallmouth bass. Anglers are catching brown trout and perch as well. El Vado Lake is loaded with carp and there will be a carp-fishing derby Saturday at here and at nearby Heron Lake. Call Rob Smith at (575).588.7470 for more information.
The bank fishing for rainbow trout at Heron Lake has slowed down and is just slow-to-fair.
The Chama River above El Vado Lake is flowing very low for this time of year and the fishing should be very good here, especially for fly fishermen. The stretch of the Chama from Heron Dam down to El Vado Lake requires a hike in but there are big brown and rainbow trout here.
The Brazos River was stocked May 16 with just over 1,000 rainbow trout and the fishing has been good. Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos should be good as it was stocked May 15 with 90 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches in size, along with 373 rainbow trout averaging around 10 inches in size.
This little lake is open to anglers 15 years-old and younger and anglers 65-years-old and older.
The Nutrias Lakes, better known to locals as the Trout Lakes, were stocked May 16 with 622 rainbow trout. The turnoff to Trout Lakes is just before you get to the town of Cebolla.
In the Jemez Mountains area, the fishing at Fenton Lake was fair for brown and rainbow trout. Fenton Lake was stocked May 15 of 140 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches in size. This area will likely be crowded this weekend for Memorial Day.
The fishing has been very good at the nearby Seven Springs Brood Pond, also known as the Kids Pond. It was stocked with 82 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches. The streams in the Jemez Mountains were not stocked last week, but will likely be stocked this week in anticipation of Memorial Day. The fishing has been good for stocked rainbows in these little streams and they also hold wild brown trout.
San Gregorio Lake, which requires a short hike in, received a heavy stocking of almost 6,000 rainbow trout May 18 from both Los Ojos and Red River Fish Hatcheries.
The fishing has been good at Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo for brown and rainbow trout. The water level in Santa Cruz continues to drop as the streamflow in the Santa Cruz River that feeds into the lake is very low and water is being released for irrigation.
There were no reports from Hopewell Lake near Tres Piedras. I expect this lake will attract a lot of anglers this weekend.
The fishing should be good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brook trout. I expect this lake may be stocked this week.
The Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border was stocked May 14 with 1,800 rainbow trout. There are also wild brown trout here. The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad will begin operating this weekend and you can often hear the train’s whistle while fishing at Los Pinos.
The Rio Grande is still running very low for this time of year. The fishing has been good uaing flies, bait and spinners for trout, as well as some smallmouth bass and a few northern pike. With the low flows, now would be a good time to hike into the Rio Grande Gorge near Questa and try for a big brown trout.
The Red River near Questa is running low and was stocked May 17 with 700 rainbow trout. The Red River Hatchery Pond at the Fish Hatchery was stocked May 17 with 80 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches, as well as 320 rainbow trout averaging about 10 inches.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa should be good for stocked rainbow trout. Nearby Cabresto Lake has wild brook trout and some cutthroat trout.
Eagle Nest Lake has been good for rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. The perch are starting to bite on worms and a big northern pike was caught last week.
The Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Lake has been good for stocked rainbow trout and some wild brown trout. The stretch of the Cimarron from Tolby Campground downstream to the first bridge over the river on Highway 64 is Quality Water limited to flies and lures with a single, barbless hook. The limit is two fish 16 inches or longer. Below the bridge, you can use any method you prefer.
The fishing in the Cimarron River Gravel Pit Lakes has been good and they stocked some big rainbow trout here.
Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is still good for trout and the fishing for largemouth bass has been picking up here. On the way to Maxwell Lakes you’ll pass by Stubblefield Lake, where the fishing is fair-to-good for walleye and largemouth bass.
Lake Maloya and Lake Alice at Sugarite Canyon State Park have been very good at Lake Maloya and good at Lake Alice. The Sugarite Canyon Fishing Derby starts May 26 and runs until June 3. Call (575).445.5607 for more information.
Morphy Lake State park near Las Vegas was stocked with 300 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches in size, along with 2,700 catchable rainbow trout averaging 10 inches. Only hand-launched boats and kayaks are allowed as the water level is low and the boat ramp closed.
The fishing at the Charette Lakes has been good for nice-sized rainbow trout. There are yellow perch here but no reports on how the fishing is for them.
If you are up for a long drive, the trout fishing at Clayton Lake State Park has been very good with many trout between 15 and 20 inches being caught. Another long drive that may be worthwhile is to Ute Lake near Logan, where the fishing for big crappie has been very good, as well as the fishing for walleye.
Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas has been good for rainbow trout. They’ve been catching some very big catfish at Storrie Lake over 30 inches in size.
The Gallinas River near Las Vegas was stocked May 15 with 1,000 rainbow trout.
The Pecos River is running very low and the deeper pools are where the fish are stacking up. The fishing has been fair.
Monastery Lake near Pecos as stocked with 1,076 rainbow trout May 14 and there are some big fish here from earlier stockings. The fishing has been good.
Over in the Four Corners, they’ve been catching some big, beautiful rainbow trout and brown trout in the Quality Waters of the San Juan River below Navajo Dam.The fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Waters has been fair-to-good. The Bait Waters were stocked with 2,480 rainbow trout.
Navajo Lake has been good for smallmouth and largemouth bass. The crappie fishing has been fair and should get better. The pike fishing has been fair and they’re also catching some perch.
Lake Farmington has been producing some big catfish. The trout fishing here will likely slow down as the temperatures here rise and the trout seek deeper water.
Cochiti Lake has been good for crappie. The fishing for catfish has been good. Fishing for white bass, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass has been fair-to-good.
The fishing at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque has been slow.
Elephannt Butte Lake draws big crowds over the Memorial Day weekend. The fishing for white bass has been very good here. Elephant Butte was recently stocked with striped bass. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s when water levels were higher, Elephant Butte had some monster striped bass, including a state record of 54 pounds.