By GEORGE MORSE
Sports And Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
For most of this fall season, the water released from below Abiquiu Dam has been much higher than normal. Consequently, streamflow in the Chama River below the Dam has been much higher than normal.
Water released from Abiquiu was recently cut back. Streamflows have likewise dropped dramatically in the Chama River. This should improve the fishing conditions. This section of River is well-stocked. It should provide good fishing as long as the streamflow remains low. There are some big , wild brown trout here.
Special regulations in this section call for a two-fish-per-day limit. Be sure and check the streamflow report online at the USGS streamflow report for New Mexico.
Bluewater Lake near Grants was recently stocked with over 4,000 rainbow trout. Better known as a destination for anglers seeking to add catching a tiger musky off their bucket list, Bluewater was once known as a trout lake. It was overrun by suckers and illegally-introduced goldfish.
Tiger muskies were stocked to eat the suckers and goldfish. They did that, but would just as soon eat a trout. The trout fishing at Bluewater will be good until the stocked fish or either caught by anglers or eaten by tiger muskies. Very few trout will survive longer than a few months.
The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are now being stocked with rainbow trout. The Albuquerque, Albuquerque South, Belen Riverside, Bernalillo, Corrales and Placitas drains were stocked last week.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque is now being stocked again with rainbow trout. It was stocked three times last week with a total of 2,400 rainbow trout.
Fenton Lake State Park is open for camping. Lake is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Camping by reservation only. It is heavily-stocked with rainbow trout. It also has some wild brown trout and some Rio Grande cutthroat trout from earlier stockings. It was stocked Nov. 7 with 1,034 rainbow trout. For more information and current lake conditions call (575).829.3630.
The Rio Cebolla, which flows into and below Fenton Lake, was stocked Oct. 26 with 501 rainbow trout. It also has wild brown trout.
The Jemez River streamflow Monday was 14.0 cubic-feet-per-second. This is higher than last week and below normal. The Jemez River was stocked Nov. 7 with 999 rainbow trout.
The Rio San Antonio, a Jemez River tributary, was stocked Sept. 28 with 12,424 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout. It was stocked Oct. 4 with 751 rainbow trout.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond, also known as the Kid’s Pond, is open. It is located at the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery. The fishing is for anglers 11-years of age or younger. It was stocked Oct. 26 with 661 rainbow trout. It also has some wild brown trout and some Rio Grande cutthroat trout from an earlier stocking. The limit is three trout-per-day.
The Bureau of Land Management manages Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area near Chimayo. It will be open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Thursday through Sunday. The fishing should be good for stocked rainbow trout and some wild brown trout. It was stocked Nov. 2 with 3,804 rainbow trout. The water level is low, but the boat ramp is still open. The cooler weather may have trout moving into shallow water.
For updated conditions, check the Bureau of Land Management website or call 505.351.1438.
The Bureau also manages the Orilla Verde Recreation Area along the Rio Grande at Pilar. Camping is on a first-come basis. No reservations. The Rio Grande streamflow was 262 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. This is a little higher than last week and below normal. The Rio Grande at Pilar was stocked Nov. 13 with 2,001 rainbow trout. Fishing conditions are very good on the Rio Grande now. The wild brown trout are active prior to spawning.
From the Colorado state line downstream to the Taos Junction Bridge, the limit is two-trout-per-day in the Rio Grande. The Rio Grande Gorge above Pilar was stocked Nov. 13 with 248 catchable-size rainbow trout.
Eagle Nest Lake at Eagle Nest State Park is open. Boating is open and docks are in.
Fishing should be good for rainbow trout, yellow perch, northern pike and an occasional kokanee salmon. Eagle Nest has been receiving heavy stockings of near catchable-size and larger hatchery fish, which is unusual. It was stocked twice last week with a total of 21,148 rainbow trout seven inches in size. Larger trout are being stocked in hopes of mitigating the losses to predation by northern pike. Remember, if you catch a pike at Eagle Nest, you cannot put it back in the lake. You have to kill it. For more information and current conditions, call 575.377.1594.
The Cimarron River streamflow below Eagle Nest Dam was 1.74 cubic-feet-per-second. This is the same as last week. The Cimarron River near the town of Cimarron streamflow was measured at 4.26 cubic-feet-per second. It was stocked Oct. 11 with 2,426 rainbow trout. Check the Carson National Forest website to see if campgrounds are open.
The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground are open now. They were stocked Oct. 11 with 397 rainbow trout.
Lake Maloya and Lake Alice at Sugarite State Park near Raton are open. Lake Maloya was stocked Nov 15 with 1,498 catchable-size rainbow trout. Lake Alice was stocked Nov. 15 with 251 rainbow trout. Call 575.445.5607 for current conditions.
Heron Lake State Park is open now. There is open water for bank fishing, which has been fair for rainbow trout. The boat marina and boat ramp are now open. The lake level is higher than in previous years. Kokanee salmon snagging season started Nov. 11 and was reported as very slow.
Call 575.588.7470 for conditions at both Heron Lake and El Vado Lake.
El Vado Lake State Park is closed. Try fishing at the north end of the lake where the Chama River
Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas is open. It was stocked Oct. 3 with 4,008 rainbow trout.
The streamflow at Pecos Canyon State Park was measured at 25.2 cubic-feet-per-seond which is below normal. The fishing has been fair-to-good for rainbow trout and wild brown trout. Pecos Canyon was stocked Oct. 25 with 1,498 rainbow trout. The Pecos River at Villanueva was stocked Nov. 7 with 499 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos has been fair. It was stocked Nov. 16 with 252 ainbow trout.
Over in the Four Corners, Navajo Lake State Park is open. Camping is by reservation only. Trolling minnow-imitating lures like Rapalas could produce a trophy brown trout. Fishing for northern pike has been fair-to-good. Bass fishing has been fair. The kokanee salmon have begun to school up near the dam at 50-60 feet in depth. Kokanee salmon snagging season began Oct. 1. Early reports described the snagging as slow. Fishing has improved and is now fair-to-good. Boating conditions are good. Call 505.632.2278 for conditions.
Other lakes in the Four Corners area are now being stocked. Lake Farmington was stocked Nov. 8 with 1,881 rainbow trout. Aztec Pond Number 1 was stocked Nov. 7 with 100 rainbow trout. Tiger Park Pond in Aztec was stocked Nov. 7 with 1,200 rainbow trout.
Popular fishing locations on Carson National Forest include the Canjilon Lakes, the Trout Lakes near Cebolla and Hopewell Lake between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla. They will soon start freezing over.
Canjilon was stocked Sept. 25 with 1,184 rainbow trout and has small brook trout. The Trout Lakes were stocked Sept. 25 with 740 rainbow trout.
The campground at Hopewell Lake is open. The fishing has been good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brook trout. It was stocked Oct. 5 with 2,520 rainbow trout.
The Rio de los Pinos is near the border with Colorado north of Tres Piedras. II was stocked Oct. 3 with 1,799 rainbow trout. It has wild brown trout.
The best river in the state and well-known throughout the angling world is the San Juan River below Navajo Dam. The streamflow here is now 338 cubic-feet-per-second, which is the same as last week. The San Juan offers world-class fly fishing for big trout.
The fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns in the four miles of Quality Water below the Dam. The fishing here is catch-and-release with flies and lures having a single, barbless hook. It is heavily-stocked with small rainbow trout that grow quickly in the fertile waters. It was stocked three times three weeks ago with over 110,000 fingerling rainbow trout. It was stocked Oct. 30 with another 11,618 fingerling rainbow trout. There are big, wild brown trout in the Quality Water. Some of these fish would likely shatter the state record if they could be kept and weighed.
The fishing in the Bait Water of the San Juan below the Quality Water has been fair-to-good with flies, bait and lures. A regular daily limit of five trout may be kept here. There are some big brown trout here too. It was stocked Nov. 3 with 1,910 rainbow trout.
Abiquiu Lake is open, including the boat ramp and picnic areas. Camping is open. It is managed by the Corps of Engineers. Reservations may be made at www.recreation.gov. Water levels are dropping as a lot of water is being released. The fishing has been fair for walleye, catfish and smallmouth bass. There are some good-sized trout in Abiquiu. Call (505).685.4371 for more information.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is flowing at 76.4 cubic-feet-per-second. This is much lower than last week and well-below normal. The water is murky. The fishing is likely fair for stocked and holdover rainbow trout. There are a few big, wild brown trout here. It was stocked Nov. 16 with 525 rainbow trout. The limit here is two-fish-per-day.
Streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam was 108 cubic-feet-per-second. This is lower than last week and below normal. It has wild brown trout. It was stocked Oct. 25 with 36,990 one-inch Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
Above El Vado Lake, the Chama River at La Puente is clearing and streamflow was 39.6 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a little higher than last week and below normal. It was stocked Sept. 18 with 1,043 rainbow.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco streamflow was measured at 6.99 cubic-feet-per-second. This is higher than last week and just below normal. It was stocked Sept. 26 with 2,001 rainbow trout. It has wild brown trout.
The Red River below the Fish Hatchery is flowing at 46.3 cubic-feet-per-second. This is higher than last week and above normal. It was stocked Nov. 8 with 699 rainbow trout.
The Red River Hatchery Pond is open. Fishing is for anglers 11 years of age or younger and 65 years old or older. The limit is now five-fish-per day. It was stocked Oct. 16 with 400 catchable-size rainbow trout.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is open. It was stocked Nov. 8 with 500 rainbow trout.
The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal were stocked July 24 with 105 rainbow trout averaging 15.2 inches in size.
Cabresto Lake, a small, high-elevation lake accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle near Questa, has good fishing for wild brook trout and wild cutthroat trout. It may soon start to freeze over.