Weekly Fishing Report: Nov. 10

By GEORGE MORSE
Sports and Outdoors

Los Alamos Daily Post

Now that the weather has turned cooler and the days shorter, the State Game and Fish Department has begun stocking catchable-size rainbow trout in the lakes and streams of Southern New Mexico as part of their “Winter Trout Program”.

Trout are stocked in these waters when water temperatures are cool enough to allow the trout to survive. During the summer, water temperatures become too warm for trout to survive in these waters.

Most of the stocking is with triploid rainbow trout of catchable-size between 9-12 inches in length. Occasionally, larger trout will be stocked to give anglers the opportunity to catch trophy-sized trout they might otherwise not have.

Triploid rainbow trout are sterile and cannot reproduce. This is done so the rainbow trout cannot interbreed with our state’s native trout. New Mexico’s two native trout species, the Rio Grande cutthroat trout and the Gila trout, will readily crossbreed with fertile rainbow trout. Triploid rainbow trout are known for their fast growth because they do not have to go through the stress of breeding. Only triploid rainbow trout are now stocked in New Mexico.

Stockings of rainbow trout will continue in Northern New Mexico in lakes and streams where this is possible. Last winter, the Department stocked Fenton Lake in the Jemez Mountains all winter long by breaking the ice and creating an area of open water where the trout could be stocked.

The recent storms have raised the streamflow levels in Northern New Mexico, improving conditions for fish and anglers. Laguna del Campo, the Charette Lakes and Clayton Lake are now closed to anglers.

Fenton Lake State Park is open daily. It was stocked Nov. 3 with 1,008 rainbow trout. Fenton Lake was stocked Sept. 14 with 639 Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging 11 inches in size. Remember that only two cutthroat trout per-day may be kept as part of the five-fish-per-day daily limit for trout. Fenton Lake also contains some big, wild brown trout, so you might catch three species of trout here. This lake receives very heavy fishing pressure. Please practice angling etiquette and give each other plenty of room to prevent tangled lines. Fishing pressure will be a little lighter now as much of the attention has switched to big-game hunting. Non-electric camping sites are now closed.

The nearby Seven Springs Brood Pond, also known as the Kids Pond, is closed

The fishing is improving in the streams and rivers of the Jemez Mountains. Most are running low, but the cooler weather has allowed them to be stocked again. The Jemez River is flowing at 19.2 cubic-feet-per-second. The Jemez River was stocked Oct. 22 with 1,094 rainbow trout. The Rio Cebolla near Fenton Lake was stocked Oct. 22 with 401 rainbow trout. The Rio San Antonio near La Cueva was stocked Sept. 23 with 750 rainbow trout. They all contain wild brown trout.

San Gregorio Lake is open but has not been stocked in several months. There may be some rainbow trout left from earlier stockings. This lake is subject to winter kills. This shallow  lake will soon start to freeze over.

Abiquiu Lake is open for fishing 24/7. The lake level is low and four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for the launching of boats as the ramp does not reach the water. Fishing has been fair for smallmouth bass and walleye. Night fishing for catfish should be worth a try.  You may hook a nice rainbow or brown trout. The campground opened Oct. 1 for overnight camping by reservation only. Reservations should be made three days in advance. Abiquiu Lake was stocked Oct. 22 with 5,180 channel catfish.

The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is running at 50.1 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a low flow and makes for good fishing conditions. The water here is murky. There are stocked rainbow trout here and some big, wild brown trout. The limit here is two fish per-day. It was stocked Oct. 19 with 2,052 rainbow trout.

Streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam is 99.5 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a low flow and makes for good fishing conditions for the stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout found here. It was stocked Oct. 5 with 724 rainbow trout. The state-record brown trout was caught here.

The State Game and Fish Department stocked 4,085 Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging 4.7 inches in size July 15 in the Chama River below El Vado Dam. It was stocked again July 21 with another 6,061 small Rio Grande cutthroat trout. These were “put-and-grow” stockings to try to establish a fishery for cutthroats here. These fish should grow to catchable-size by next year.

Heron Lake State Park is open daily. The fishing has been fair for rainbow trout at Heron Lake. No reports on the fishing for kokanee salmon and for lake trout. The State Game and Fish Department will be gathering eggs from Kokanee salmon at Heron Lake. Possession of kokanee salmon at Heron Lake is prohibited until Friday (Nov. 13) when the kokanee salmon snagging season opens at Heron Lake.

El Vado Lake State Park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The snagging here has been sporadic in recent years and success has been limited. The fishing for smallmouth bass has been fair.

The streamflow in the Chama River above El Vado Lake has risen. The streamflow at La Puente was 71.8 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing should be good. The river was stocked Oct. 5 with 1,440 rainbow trout. Most of the stockings take place close to the town of Chama.

Streamflow in the Chama River below Heron Dam has increased by several hundred cubic-feet-per-second as they are releasing water from Heron Lake. This water is very cold and the trout will be more active here.

The Department stocked the Chama River above El Vado Lake Oct. 20 with 35,501 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The goal is to create a self-sustaining population of cutthroat trout. It will be a couple of years before these fish reach catchable size.

The streamflow in the nearby Brazos River was not measured due to ice and snow. The fishing should be at least fair for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. It was stocked Oct. 13 with 632 rainbow trout.

The Canjilon Lakes are fishing well thanks to recent stockings of rainbow trout and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The lakes were stocked Sept. 23 with 1,225 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 115 rainbow trout averaging 17.4 inches in size. These little lakes receive heavy fishing pressure. Ice may be starting to form on these lakes.

The fishing at the Trout Lakes near Cebolla has been good thanks to recent stockings. They were stocked Sept. 22 with 495 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 100 rainbow trout averaging 18.3 inches in size.

The Lagunitas Lakes were stocked Sept. 1 with 1,500 rainbow trout, greatly improving the fishing there. The campground is open. Anglers might try fishing the small streams in the Cruces Basin Wilderness Area.

Hopewell Lake between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla had been fishing well.  In addition to recent stockings of rainbow trout, there was an earlier stocking of Rio Grande cutthroat trout and it also contains wild brook trout. Water quality has improved here and stocking has resumed. It was stocked Sept. 23 with 1,715 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 385 rainbow trout averaging 17.6 inches in size. This area may have snow on the ground. Ice may be starting to form at this lake, especially in the morning.

The Rio de los Pinos Wildlife Management Area near the Colorado border is open. It is currently running low. The fishing has been just fair for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. It is open for day-use only. It was stocked Oct. 19 with 1,800 rainbow trout.

Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area near Chimayo is open for day use Thursday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is no overnight camping. The Overlook parking area is closed. The cool weather has allowed stocking to resume. It was stocked Oct. 6 with 3,000 rainbow trout. The streamflow in the Santa Cruz River above the lake was 10.2 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing should improve here as the water temperatures cool down.

The streamflow in the Rio Grande has risen but is still low at 247 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. Flows near Cerro at the Colorado border are at 93.1 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good for rainbow trout and brown trout. Smallmouth bass are also being caught. Remember that there is a 12-inch size limit on smallmouths, as many of them are small. The Rio Grande at Pilar was stocked Oct. 28 with 605 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 875 rainbow trout averaging 15.0 inches in size.

The State Game and Fish Department stocked 96,341 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout Sept. 18 in the Rio Grande Gorge above Pilar. The goal is to establish a self-sustaining population of cutthroats here. Rio Grande cutthroats were the only trout native to the Rio Grande before rainbow trout and brown trout were introduced in the early 20th century.

The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is a little better at 7.36 cubic-feet-per-second. The fish are concentrated in the deeper pools. The fishing had been slowed by the low water level. It was stocked Sept. 23 with 1,199 rainbow trout. The wild brown trout here should be more active soon.

The Trampas Lakes in the Pecos Wilderness area near El Valle were stocked Oct.5 with Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Lower Trampas Lake and Upper Trampas Lake each received 1,000 fingerling cutthroat trout. Hidden Lake, also in the Pecos Wilderness, was stocked with 1,000 fingerling cutthroat trout.

There is still a decent streamflow in the Red River at 43.7 cubic-feet-per-second below Red River Fish Hatchery. Streamflow above Questa is 22.2 cubic-feet-per-second.   The Red River above Questa was stocked Nov. 5 with 1,201 rainbow trout. The Red River below Questa was stocked Oct. 29 with 1,201 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good. This stream also contains wild brown trout.

The Red River Hatchery Pond is now open. It was stocked Oct. 6 with 871 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 148 rainbow trout averaging 14.9 inches in size.

The Red River below Questa was stocked Oct. 9 with 4,999 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The goal is to establish a population of wild cutthroats here. Please release them if caught to give them a chance to grow.

Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is a small lake right off the highway and receives heavy fishing pressure. It was stocked Oct. 14 with 500 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 117 rainbow trout averaging 15.3 inches in size. The fishing is fair-to-good as long as the stockers last.

Eagle Rock Lake was stocked Oct. 9 with 4,999 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout. It will be a couple of years for these fish to reach catchable size if they survive. Please release them and give them a chance to grow.

The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal near Costilla were stocked Aug. 19 with 500 rainbow trout averaging 15.2 inches in length. The fishing is limited to artificial flies and lures having a single, barbless hook. The limit is two-fish-per-day. The fishing should be good. Try to check on road conditions before planning a trip here.

The State Department of Game and Fish stocked Horseshoe Lake, Lost Lake and Middle Fork Lake in the Pecos Wilderness Oct. 15 with 1,004 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout each.

Fishing has been good on the Rio Costilla for brown trout, rainbow trout and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. It was stocked Oct.14 with 399 rainbow trout. The streamflow near Costilla was 7.67 cubic-feet-per-second.

The State Game and Fish Department is working on a project to expand the range of Rio Grande cutthroat trout in the Rio Costilla drainage. Portions of the Rio Costilla and Comanche Creek will have the non-native species of trout removed and restocked with Rio Grande cutthroat trout.

Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open daily. The campground and water system will close Nov. 2 for the winter season. Trout fishing has been good. Northern pike fishing has been good. Anglers should try crank baits and swim baits resembling small rainbow trout. Eagle Nest was stocked Nov. 5 with 15,512 small rainbow trout. Perch fishing should be fair with worms. The snagging for kokanee salmon was slow. Last year, the snagging was also slow to start, but picked up later in the season. Some salmon are still being caught trolling. There are some big kokanee in Eagle Nest.

Cimarron Canyon State Park is open daily. The Cimarron River was stocked Oct. 13 with 2,425 rainbow trout. It also contains wild brown trout. The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground were stocked Oct.13 with 400 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 50 rainbow trout averaging 15.6 inches in length. Streamflow in the Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam is at 10.7 cubic-feet-per-second.

Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton is open daily. The fishing for rainbow trout has been good at Lake Maloya and fair at Lake Alice. Lake Maloya was stocked Oct. 13 with 2,999 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 100 rainbow trout averaging 15.6 inches in size. Lake Alice was stocked with 500 rainbow trout.

Springer Lake has been slow-to-fair for northern pike and catfish. It was stocked Oct. 8 with a total of 7,270 channel catfish.

Coyote Creek State Park near Guadalupita is open daily. It was stocked Sept. 8 with 800 rainbow trout. The Coyote Creek Pond was stocked Sept. 8 with 599 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair-to-good.

Storrie Lake State Park is open daily. It was stocked Sept. 29 with 3,035 rainbow trout, so the fishing should pick up. There are also catfish here.

The Gallinas River near Las Vegas is running at 3.67 cubic-feet-per-second. The trout are concentrated in the deeper pools. The fishing is fair. It was stocked Sept. 1 with 1,000 rainbow trout. The Gallinas Ice Pond was stocked Sept.1 with 201 rainbow trout. There are also wild brown trout here.

Conchas Lake State Park is open daily. The fishing has been fair-to-good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, white bass, bluegill and crappie.

Ute Lake State Park near Logan reopened Aug. 26 after being closed Aug. 12 due to an employee having tested positive for COVID-19. The Marina and two boat ramps are open. It is open daily. The fishing for smallmouth bass has been fair-to-good. The fishing for largemouth bass, walleye and white bass has been fair.

At Pecos Canyon State Park, roadside day-use fishing areas are open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mora, Burt Clancy, Terrero and Willow Creek areas open Thursday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open to New Mexico residents only. This area receives very heavy fishing pressure. The Pecos River was stocked twice two weeks ago with a total of 2,501 rainbow trout. There are also wild brown trout here. The streamflow is at 24.5 cubic-feet-per-second, which is low.

The Mora Fork of the Pecos River was stocked Oct. 20 with 201 rainbow trout. Holy Ghost Creek in the Pecos drainage was stocked Sept. 15 with 200 rainbow trout.

The Cowles Ponds are open and were last stocked Aug. 19 with 181 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 20 rainbow trout averaging 16.0 inches in size.

Monastery Lake remains closed to the public.

The Pecos River at Villanueva State Park is now being stocked with rainbow trout. It was stocked Nov. 4 with 499 rainbow trout. It was stocked Sept. 3 with 102 channel catfish. Villanueva State Park is open daily.

Santa Rosa Lake State Park is open daily. The lake is very low and muddy. The boat ramp does not reach the water. Fishing is slow-to-fair for walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and catfish.

Sumner Lake was stocked Oct. 22 with a total of 12,770 channel catfish. The fishing has been fair for walleye and white bass. The Pecos River below Sumner Dam will soon be stocked with rainbow trout.

Over in the Four Corners, Navajo Lake State Park is open daily. The fishing should be good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and northern pike. Fishing for catfish should be fair. Trout fishing should be slow-to-fair with the trout hanging out in deeper water. Navajo Lake was stocked three times last week with a total of 110,440 small rainbow trout.

Navajo Lake has the best kokanee salmon fishing in the state. Snagging season for kokanee salmon opened Oct. 1 at Navajo Lake. In recent years this has been the best location for snagging kokanee in the state, especially early in the season. The season ends Dec. 31. During this time, the daily limit for kokanee salmon is increased to 12 salmon per-day. The best snagging is usually around Navajo Dam. Results have been good with some anglers snagging their limit.

The streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was below normal at 357 cubic-feet-per-second.  The trout fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns in the Quality Water. They have been catching some big brown trout in the Quality Water, which may be feeding on small rainbow trout. The Quality Water was stocked Sept. 23 with 18,885 small rainbow trout. The fishing has been good in the Bait Water below the Quality Water with flies, lures and bait. The Bait Water was stocked Nov. 5 with 1,449 rainbow trout.

Several lakes in the Four Corners area were recently stocked that previously had not been. Lake Farmington was stocked Oct. 19 with 3,762 rainbow trout. Tiger Park Pond in Aztec was stocked Oct. 8 with 1,024 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 155 rainbow trout averaging 18.5 inches in size. Aztec Pond #1 was stocked with 146 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 35 rainbow trout averaging 18. 5 inches in size.

Jackson Lake in the Four Corners area was stocked Oct. 15 with 3,002 rainbow trout.

Bluewater Lake State Park near Grants opened Sept.11 and the fishing has been good for tiger musky. It is open daily.  It was stocked Nov. 5 with 5,384 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair for catfish. It was stocked two weeks ago with a total of 10,680 channel catfish.

Cochiti Lake remains closed to anglers and camping

Tingley Beach in Albuquerque is now open. The stocking of rainbow trout at Tingley Beach has resumed. It was stocked Nov. 3 with 2,400 rainbow trout. It was stocked Sept. 3 with 504 channel catfish. It has been fair for catfish and bluegill. It was stocked Oct. 14 with 210 largemouth bass averaging about six inches in size.

The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are now being stocked with rainbow trout.  The Albuquerque, Albuquerque South, Belen Riverside, Corrales Riverside and Peralta drains were stocked last week. The Rio Grande in Albuquerque is running well below normal. Fishing has been fair for catfish and carp.

Escondida Lake near Socorro was stocked Nov. 3 with 800 rainbow trout. It was stocked Sept. 3 with 204 channel catfish averaging 18 inches in size. It was stocked July 14 with 40 largemouth bass averaging 15 inches in size. The fishing has been fair.

Elephant Butte Lake State Park is open daily. The fishing has been very good for white bass. The fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye has been slow-to-fair. The fishing for catfish is good. The lake is extremely low and at just four-percent of capacity.

The streamflow in the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam has dropped to 0.52 cubic-feet-per-second as they are not releasing water from Elephant Butte Lake. This concentrates the fish into the deeper pools. The fishing has been good for catfish. The fishing for walleye, white bass and carp has been slow-to- fair. It was stocked Nov. 3 with 648 rainbow trout.

Caballo Lake State Park is open daily. The fishing has been fair for white bass, walleye and catfish.

Anglers in the Roswell area should be aware that Berrendo Creek, an Open Gate property formerly open for fishing, has been closed to the public.

In the Ruidoso area, the trout fishing should be picking up a bit at Alto Lake. It was stocked Oct. 20 with 1,001 rainbow trout. The fishing for catfish and largemouth bass has been good. It was stocked Sept. 3 with 102 channel catfish and stocked Oct. 5 with 846 largemouth bass averaging about six inches in size.

The trout fishing is still holding up at Grindstone Reservoir. It was stocked Oct. 20 with 1,499 rainbow trout. The trout should be moving into shallower water as it cools down. There are also smallmouth bass here and the fishing for bluegill has been good. It was stocked Oct. 15 with 750 channel catfish.

These lakes are administered by the City of Ruidoso. They are limiting the number of cars that can be admitted each day. They are now open only to Lincoln County residents and property owners.

 The Ruidoso River is running low at 0.47 cubic-feet-per-second. The flow picks up a bit downstream at Hollywood at 5.28 cubic-feet-per-second. It was stocked Oct 5 with 500 rainbow trout. The fish are likely in the remaining deeper pools and quite visible. The fishing should be good but it will likely get fished out quickly.

The Timberon Ponds were stocked Oct. 5 with 250 rainbow trout. These little ponds are also stocked with catfish. They were stocked Sept. 3 with 102 channel catfish.

In the Silver City area, the trout fishing has been fair at Lake Roberts. It was stocked Nov. 4 with 1,874 rainbow trout. This is a designated trophy-bass water with a daily limit of two largemouth bass 14 inches in size or longer. It was stocked Oct. 6 with 2,911 largemouth bass averaging about six inches in size. The fishing for catfish has been fair. It was stocked Oct. 22 with 2,050 channel catfish.

Bear Canyon Reservoir is open. . It was stocked Nov. 2 with 1,874 rainbow trout. There is also fishing for catfish, crappie and largemouth bass. It was stocked Oct. 15 with 500 channel catfish. There have been reports of a fish die-off at Bear Canyon.

Bill Evans Lake is open and now being stocked with trout. It was stocked Nov. 5 with 1,632 rainbow trout. This is a designated trophy-bass water with a daily limit of two largemouth bass per-day 14 inches in size or longer. The state-record largemouth bass was caught at Bill Evans Lake. It was stocked Oct. 6 with 3,137 largemouth bass averaging six inches in size. There are also catfish here. It was stocked Oct. 15 with 1,550 channel catfish.

The streamflow in the Gila River is now at 61.9 cubic-feet-per-second near Gila Hot Springs. Some big flathead catfish have been caught in the lower Gila River. There are also channel catfish and smallmouth bass here. In the upper reaches and in the forks of the Gila River, the fishing is for rainbow trout, brown trout and some Gila trout.

The fishing at Quemado Lake has been fair-to-good for rainbow trout. It was stocked Aug. 3 with 3,910 small, 8-inch rainbow trout. This is a “put-and-grow” stocking so try to release these trout now to give them a chance to grow. Quemado has plenty of catchable-size trout. It was stocked Oct. 21 with 2,400 rainbow trout.

 

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