By GEORGE MORSE
Sports And Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
The coronavirus pandemic has New Mexico anglers posting questions all over the Internet and on Facebook looking for a place to wet a line and catch some fish.
This Memorial Day weekend some of the most popular waters remain closed, while others have just been recently opened after being closed for over a month.
The Weekly Fish and Stocking Report published by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish no longer reports fishing conditions at specific waters throughout the state.
The last stocking report was on March 13 and none have been published since then. Anglers are seeking advice from other anglers about where to go.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham closed all state parks March 13 due to the pandemic. The parks remained closed through the rest of March and the entire month of April. The governor opened nine state parks to day-use only May 1 and May 15 opened an additional eight state parks to day-use only.
Some of the most popular State Parks with New Mexico anglers remain closed.
In Northern New Mexico, Fenton Lake State Park in the Jemez Mountains remains closed. Heron Lake State Park and El Vado Lake State Park near Tierra Amarilla are still closed. Eagle Nest Lake State Park remains closed. Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton which contains Lake Maloya and Lake Alice is closed. Navajo Lake State Park in the Four Corners is closed. Bluewater Lake State Park near Grants is closed. Santa Rosa Lake State Park near Santa Rosa is closed. Pecos Canyon State Park between the towns of Pecos and Cowles is closed.
State Parks that are open are for day-use only and there is no overnight camping allowed. Developed campgrounds on Santa Fe National Forest and Carson National Forest lands are also closed to overnight camping. Restrooms are locked and there is no trash pickup. Pack out all your trash. There is dispersed camping along National Forest roads that are open.
Those camping on National Forest lands in New Mexico need to know that there are Stage 2 fire restrictions statewide due to the dry conditions and high fire danger. Campfires are not allowed, nor wood or coal burning stoves. Fireworks are never allowed on National Forests.
Lakes, streams and rivers on National Forest lands are open for fishing. Some of these lakes and streams have not yet been stocked with rainbow trout.
San Gregorio Lake in the Jemez Mountains is open. It has not yet been stocked and the fishing reports from here are poor. Streams in the Jemez Mountains have not been stocked, but do have some wild brown trout with some wild cutthroats near the headwaters. This area is already seeing heavy fishing pressure and will likely be crowded this weekend.
Abiquiu Lake is open for fishing,. Anglers must park and walk to the lake. The boat ramps are not accessible by vehicle. The fishing has been fair for walleye, smallmouth bass and rainbow trout.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is open, but cannot be accessed from Abiquiu Dam. Call (505) 685-3741 for access information.The Chama River below El Vado Dam and above El Vado Lake is open. Streamflows are below normal for this time of year. The fishing has been fair-to-good.
Laguna del Campo (Burns Lake) near Los Ojos is closed.
The Canjilon Lakes are open but have not yet been stocked. The fishing is a little slow. The campground is closed
The Trout Lakes near Cebolla are open.
Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras is open for fishing but the road to the lake is closed. A phone call to Carson National Forest (575-758-6200) said anglers may park and then walk into the lake.
The Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border is closed.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is closed.
The streamflow in the Rio Grande is low for this time of year and the fishing has been good for rainbow trout and brown trout.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is flowing below normal for this time of year. The fishing should be good for wild brown trout and for rainbow trout. Tributaries to the Rio Grande all have good streamflows. The fishing should be good in the Red River near Questa.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is open. This lake has good fishing if it has been recently stocked.
Cimarron Canyon State Park is open for fishing. The Cimarron River flows through the park and has stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. In the same area, Stubblefield Lake offers fishing for walleye, largemouth bass and catfish. The state-record channel catfish was caught from Stubblefield Lake. Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge offers fishing for good-sized, holdover rainbow trout and catfish.
Clayton Lake and Dinosaur Tracks State Park near Clayton is open. This lake has stocked rainbow trout and some big walleyes.
The Charette Lakes between Wagon Mound and Springer offer good fishing for rainbow trout and yellow perch.
Coyote Creek State Park near Guadalupita is open. This stream is stocked with rainbow trout and has wild brown trout.
Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas is open. If this lake has been stocked the fishing should be good. If not it may be slow. There are also catfish here.
The Gallinas River near Las Vegas is open but has not been stocked. There are some wild brown trout.
Portions of the Pecos River and its tributaries that are not in Pecos Canyon State Park are open. Streamflows were high but are coming down. This area has been receiving heavy fishing pressure. Villanueva State Park is open. There maybe some rainbow trout left over from earlier winter stockings here and maybe some catfish.
Conchas Lake State Park is closed but areas not part of the State Park are open, as is a .private boat launch ramp. The fishing has been good for walleye, bass and crappie.
Ute Lake State Park is open and the fishing has been good for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Walleye fishinghhas been fair.
The portions of the San Juan River not part of Navajo Lake State Park are open. Streamflow is below normal at 490 cubic-feet-per-second.
In Albuquerque, Tingley Beach is still closed. The drainage ditches in the Albuquerque area are no longer being stocked with trout. The fishing for catfish, carp and some largemouth bass has been fair. The fishing for catfish in the Rio Grande has been fair-to-good and streamflows are low for this time of year.
In Southern New Mexico, Elephant Butte State Park is still closed. This area in previous years drew up to 100,000 people over Memorial Day weekend. Caballo Lake State Park below Elephant Butte is open. It has fair fishing for walleye and white bass. Streamflow in the Rio Grande between Elephant Butte and Caballo is heavy at 2,000 cubic-feet-per-second.
Sumner Lake State Park between Santa Rosa and Fort Sumner is open. It has fishing for walleye, white bass, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. The Pecos River below Sumner Dam has fishing for catfish.
Grindstone Reservoir and Alto Lake in the Ruidoso area have been good for rainbow trout.
Brantley Lake State Park near Carlsbad is open. The fishing here is for largemouth bass and white bass.
In the Silver City area, the fishing has been fair at Lake Roberts. The fishing here is for rainbow trout and Gila trout. There are also largemouth bass and catfish. Bear Canyon Lake and the Bill Evans Lake Wildlife Management area are closed. The fishing in the Gila River has been good and streamflows are good in the Gila River and its tributaries.
The fishing has been good for rainbow trout at Quemado Lake.
More State Parks may be opened up June 1 by Governor Grisham. Heavy fishing pressure and crowded conditions are reported from many of the areas open for fishing. Littering has been a problem. Please pick up after yourselves and practice social distancing. fair.