The crazy weather continues here in the Southwest. The temperature dipped perilously close to freezing last week and some people complained about losing some tomato plants.
Fortunately, it didn’t appear to damage the fruit crop. It looks like a great year. Cherries should be the first fruit to appear at the Farmers Market.
The wind at times was terrible last week and makes for difficult fishing conditions. Mornings are usually calmer than afternoons and evenings.
The fishing is pretty good in the larger lakes and reservoirs. It is much better in the smaller lakes in the North
Although rivers and streams remain high, flows have dropped a bit and are close to normal for this time of year. The runoff should continue well into June.
The State Game and Fish Department continues to stock a lot of catchable-size trout and occasionally some much larger trout. The bulk of New Mexico’s trout fishing is provided by hatchery-raised fish. Most anglers are perfectly-content catching and eating stocked trout, especially if it’s a big one. I prefer wild or holdover trout. Holdover trout began life in a hatchery but managed to avoid being caught right away and have adapted to eating natural foods. After a while they closely-resemble wild fish in color, fighting ability and taste.
If you’re wondering if the big trout you just caught is a wild or stocked fish, the dead giveaway that it was raised in a hatchery to that size is ragged and worn-down tail fins from being raised so long in concrete runways.
Saturday, June 1 is a free-fishing day. Anglers will not need a fishing license to fish. All other rules, regulations and bag limits still apply.
The Chama River drainage is where the fishing report usually begins.
Abiquiu Lake has been fair for smallmouth bass with no reports on trout or walleye. I would call ahead to check on boat-launching conditions. Although the lake has been rising and the boat ramp was reopened, they are currently letting more water out than is coming in. Call 505.685.4371 for conditions.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam and El Vado Dam is still running high. The streamflow below Abiquiu is 1,770 cubic-feet-per second and below El Vado it is 816 cubic-feet-per-second. No reports from either location and the fishing is likely pretty slow due to the heavy flows.
El Vado Lake has been fair for largemouth bass and a few brown trout are being caught.
The fishing from the bank for rainbow trout has been fair at Heron Lake. The fishing is reported as slow for lake trout and kokanee salmon. Some salmon have been caught trolling spinners and a few lakers have been hooked jigging in deeper water.
Streamflow in the upper Chama River above El Vado Lake is still high
Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos has been good, and some bigger fish are being caught. Be sure to read the Special Regulations posted at the parking area by the dam.
Still no reports from the Canjilon Lakes or Trout Lakes. They have not been stocked yet.
The fishing is supposed to be good for 15-to-17-inch trout at Hopewell Lake. I’m not sure I trust this report so I’m planning a trip to Hopewell this week. I also had a report that you still couldn’t reach the lake.
The Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border was stocked May 20 with 1,799 rainbow trout. Flows here are still pretty heavy. The fishing should be good near where these trout were stocked. There are also wild brown trout here that should be biting.
The Game and Fish Department did a lot of stocking last week in the Jemez Mountains area. The Jemez River was stocked May 22 with 1,000 rainbow trout. The fishing here is still slow due to a heavy streamflow. The best fishing is found in the smaller tributaries. The Cebolla River near Fenton Lake was stocked twice last week with a total of 798 rainbow trout. The Rio San Antonio was stocked May 24 with 750 rainbow trout. The Rio de las Vacas was stocked May 24 with 1,000 rainbow trout. All these steams also contain wild brown trout.
Fenton Lake was stocked May 22 with 1,200 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond was stocked May 22 with 773 rainbow trout. This Pond is located at the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery north of Fenton Lake. The fishing has been good here.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo has been good, and anglers are catching some nice-sized fish thanks to recent stockings of bigger-than-average trout. There are also wild brown trout here and some holdover rainbow trout.
The Rio Grande is running high at about 1,900 cubic-feet-per-second, which is about normal for this time of year. The fishing is still pretty slow because of the high streamflow. The Rio Grande was stocked May 22 with 249 rainbow trout in the gorge above Pilar. At Pilar, it was stocked May 22 with 2,000 rainbow trout.
The Red River below Questa was stocked May 23 with 707 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair. The Red River Hatchery Pond was stocked May 24 with 398 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 80 rainbow trout averaging 16.7 inches in size. The fishing should be good here.
No reports on Eagle Rock Lake near Questa. The fishing for stocked trout is usually pretty good here.
The fishing at Eagle Nest Lake has been good for rainbow trout. The fishing for northern pike has been fair and a 44-inch northern pike was caught last week. Anglers fishing for trout with Power Bait are catching some big pike. The fishing for perch using worms has been fair.
The fishing in the Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park has been good. The first 1.6 miles below Eagle Nest dam is with artificial lures and flies with a single, barbless hook. Below the first bridge over the river on Highway 64, you may use any method of angling.
The fishing in the Gravel Pit Lakes has been good for stocked trout.
The first report on Stubblefield Lake east of the town of Cimarron came in and anglers are catching walleye and largemouth bass. You pass by this lake on your way to Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. At the Refuge, the fishing for trout at Maxwell Lake 13 has been fair.
The fishing has been good at Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton. Lake Maloya was stocked May 24 with 1,688 rainbow trout. The Sugarite Fishing Derby will be held all week and through the weekend. Call 575.445.5607 for more information.
The fishing at the Charette Lakes has been fair. There also are yellow perch here.
The fishing at Storrie Lake near Las Vegas has been good for trout. Anglers are starting to catch some big catfish here as well.
The Gallinas River near Las Vegas has been good for trout.
The Pecos River is running a little higher-than-average at 432 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair-to-good for brown trout and rainbow trout.
The fishing at Monastery Lake near the town of Pecos has been good. It was stocked May 23 with 900 rainbow trout.
The fishing at the Cowles Ponds north of Monastery Lake has been good for stocked trout.
The fishing at Conchas Lake on the Canadian River remains good for largemouth and smallmouth bass. The fishing has been fair-to-good for white bass and fair for crappie. The fishing for walleye is slow-to-fair.
The fishing at Santa Rosa Lake near Santa Rosa has been fair for crappie, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. The fishing is slow-to-fair for walleye.
Sumner Lake on the Pecos River between Santa Rosa and Fort Sumner has been fair-to-good for catfish. The fishing is fair for crappie, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. The fishing is slow-to-fair for walleye.
Over in the Four Corners, the fishing at Navajo Lake has been fair-to-good for crappie. The fishing has been fair for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and trout.
The San Juan River below Navajo Dam is running at 408 cubic-feet-per-second. The amount of water released from below Navajo Dam should significantly increase in June to simulate spring runoff and help to scour the riverbed of silt. The water is a bit murky and the fishing has been fair-to-good in the Quality Water with a variety of fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Water has been good.
The fishing was slow at Lake Farmington and there were no reports from Jackson Lake.
Cochiti Lake has been fair-to-good for carp. No reports on other species.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque was stocked May 24 with a total of 600 channel catfish that averaged 18 inches in size. The fishing for the stocked catfish has been very good. The fishing for trout at the Bob Gerding catch-and-release pond remains good.
The Game and Fish Department is now stocking the small municipal lakes and ponds in Southern New Mexico with 18-inch channel catfish. In addition, several lakes are being stocked with both trout and catfish. Alto Lake near Ruidoso and the Timberon Ponds near Cloudcroft received stockings of trout and catfish last week.
The water levels are rising rapidly at Elephant Butte Lake. There’s a lot of water coming down the Rio Grande into the lake and a lot less is being released from beneath the dam. The fishing remains good for crappie, white bass and walleye. The fishing is good for catfish. The fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass is fair-to-good.
The Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam has been good for white bass and catfish.
Lake Roberts near Silver City has had fair fishing for rainbow trout and Gila trout. The annual Aldo Leopold Youth Fishing Derby is 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 1. Some very big Gila trout, including a potential new world’s record, will be stocked prior to the event.