By GEORGE MORSE
Sports And Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Enjoy the company of family and friends.
A storm is forecast to arrive shortly before Thanksgiving that will hopefully bring much-needed snow to higher elevations. It may not be long before the lakes and streams at higher elevations are frozen over and inaccessible due to snow. Ice fishing is probably a month or two away.
Although temperatures have been falling into the teens and single digits in areas like the Moreno Valley, highs are still climbing into the 40’s and 50’s during the day.
Hopefully, the weather will not seriously impact the travel plans of those who are coming from other states to visit loved ones here in New Mexico.
Christmas is a time for giving and receiving. Anglers are no exception. Fishing lures are great stocking stuffers. Rods and reels are always welcome. Outdoor clothing is another option. Try to select gifts that will be used, rather than sit in a closet after being unwrapped. If you can’t find it first in a local store, order online.
Be grateful for the beautiful outdoors and thankful for the bounty of fish and game here in New Mexico.
Fenton Lake State Park in the Jemez Mountains is open. Camping is allowed by reservation only. It was stocked Nov. 19 with 779 catchable-size rainbow trout. Fenton also has wild brown trout. It received a stocking Sept. 20 of 326 catchable-size Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Only two cutthroat trout may be kept per-day as part of the five-trout-per-day bag limit. Call (575).829.3630 for current conditions at Fenton.
The Rio Cebolla below Fenton Lake is stocked with rainbow trout and also has wild brown trout. It was stocked Oct. 20 with 601 rainbow trout.
San Gregorio Lake is open. The fishing is reported as slow-to-fair. It has not been stocked with catchable-size fish this year. This lake requires anglers to park and hike in. There are reports of vehicles being broken into at the parking area. Lock your vehicles and secure your valuables.
San Gregorio Lake was stocked Sept. 16 with 1,081 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The State Game and Fish Department is trying to establish a fishery here for Rio Grande cutthroats.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond at Seven Springs Fish Hatchery is open. It is also known as the Kid’s Pond. It was stocked Aug. 31 with 100 rainbow trout averaging 18.7 inches in size. It was stocked Oct 20 with 435 catchable-size rainbow trout. There are a few big brown trout in this pond. The fishing is for anglers under 12 years old.
The trout fishing has been fair in the Jemez River. The streamflow is now 15.3 cubic-feet-per-second. This is slightly higher than last week. The fish are concentrated in deeper pools. It was stocked Nov. 19 with 749 rainbow trout.
The smaller streams in the Jemez Mountains are lower. The San Antonio River was stocked three weeks ago with a total of 1,320 Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging seven inches in size. Please try and release these fish if caught to give them a chance to grow and reproduce. All the streams in the Jemez Mountains have wild brown trout.
The Rio Guadelupe in the Jemez Mountains was stocked Oct. 27 with 1,011 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout and with 577 cutthroat trout averaging 6.3 inches in size.
Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open and boating conditions are listed as good. The Lake View campground is now closed and the docks have been taken out of the water. The Main Area and Visitors Center are now open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Six-Mile and the Marina are open daily. Please do not park on the boat ramp. Rainbow trout fishing is picking up and some big fish have been landed. The fishing for perch has been fair. Northern pike fishing has been fair. Some good-sized kokanee salmon have been caught this year. A potential new state-record kokanee weighing 5 pounds was caught this summer. Kokanee salmon snagging season began Friday (Oct. 1) at Eagle Nest. It was reported as very slow. For more information and current conditions, call (575).377.1594.
Heron Lake State Park is open. Boating conditions are described as fair. Bank fishing should be at least fair for rainbow trout. You may catch a lake trout this time of year. The lake level is still low. The primitive boat ramp is open. Four-wheel drive is recommended to launch boats. Kokanee salmon snagging season opened Nov. 12 at Heron Lake. Some anglers have been able to catch their limit of 12 salmon-per-day. Some are not doing as well. The fish are scattered. The best areas are near the dam and at the Sierra Vista boat-launching area.
El Vado Lake has rainbow trout, brown trout, perch and small smallmouth bass. Call (575).588.7470 for conditions at both Heron Lake and El Vado Lake. The main park is now open. Boating conditions are described as poor. The main boat ramp is open. Water level is low. The North Day Use Area has had fair-to-good fishing for trout. The Dam Day Use Area has been fair for trout, perch and small smallmouth bass. Kokanee salmon snagging season began Oct.1 at El Vado. It is reported as very slow.
Abiquiu Lake is open, including the boat ramp and picnic areas. The campground is open. Camping is by reservation only. It is managed by the Corps of Engineers. Reservations may be made at www.reservation.gov.
The water level is low at Abiquiu. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for launching boats. The fishing has been fair for walleye. The fishing is slow-to-fair for smallmouth bass. Fishing for catfish has been fair-to-good but may slow down as the water cools. Trout fishing should pick up. There are some good-sized trout in Abiquiu. Call 505.685.4371 for more information.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is flowing at 58.4 cubic-feet-per-second. This is very low. The water here is murky. The fishing could be at least fair for stocked and holdover rainbow trout. There are some big, wild brown trout here. Fly Fishermen should use flies with a little flash to them. It was last stocked Oct. 18 with 761 rainbow trout. The limit here is two-fish-per-day.
The Chama River below El Vado Dam is flowing at 100 cubic-feet-per-second. This is higher than last week. The fishing has been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. The state-record brown trout was caught here. It was last stocked Oct. 1 with 440 rainbow trout.
The State Game and Fish Department stocked 71,323 Rio Grande cutthroat trout fry Aug. 26 below El Vado Dam. The Department is trying to create a fishery here for cutthroat trout. The fry averaged just 1.1 inches in length.
The streamflow in the Chama River above El Vado Lake is higher than last week. The streamflow at La Puente is 48.3 cubic-feet-per-second. It was stocked Oct. 1 with 792 rainbow trout in the area around the town of Chama. Try fishing below the outflow from Heron Dam.
The streamflow in the Brazos River was not repoted.. It was stocked Oct. 13 with 385 rainbow trout. The Brazos Lodge Pond was stocked Sept. 20 with 93 rainbow trout. The Brazos River also has wild brown trout.
Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos is closed for the season.
The Canjilon Lakes and the Trout Lakes near Cebolla are open. They may soon start to ice over and be inaccessible due to snow. The Canjilon Lakes were stocked Sept. 22 with 600 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 250 rainbow trout averaging 18.8 inches in size. They were also stocked Sept. 20 with 977 catchable-size Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Please remember only two cutthroat trout may be kept as part of a five-fish-per-day limit.
The Canjilon Lakes were stocked Oct. 25 with 4,995 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
The Trout Lakes were stocked Sept. 9 with 202 rainbow trout averaging 18.7 inches in size. They were stocked Sept. 21 with 500 catchable-size rainbow trout.
The Trout Lakes were stocked Oct. 28 with 5,020 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
The Lagunitas Lakes were stocked Sept. 8 with 1,501 rainbow trout. This was the second stocking of the year. They were stocked Oct. 18 with 5,017 Rio Grande cutthroat trout fingerlings. They may soon ice over and be inaccessible.
Hopewell Lake between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla is open, as is the nearby campground. The fishing has been fair-to-good. It was stocked Sept. 21 with 2,244 rainbow trout. It also has wild brook trout. It may soon start to ice over.
Hopewell Lake was stocked Oct. 25 with 4,995 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
The Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border was running a little low. It was stocked Oct. 19 with 1,349 rainbow trout. There should be increased brown trout activity.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is currently open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. The Overlook campground is open. The North Shore campground is closed. The fishing has been slow. It should pick up as the water cools and stocking resumes. It was stocked Nov. 4 with 2,629 rainbow trout. It also has wild brown trout. The boat ramp is open. For updated conditions, check the Bureau of Land Management website.
The Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park is open. Fishing has been good for stocked rainbow and wild brown trout. It was last stocked Oct. 13 with 2,019 rainbow trout. Streamflow below Eagle Nest Dam is 0.40 cubic-feet-per-second. This is really low and not beneficial for spawning brown trout. Streamflow is at 6.08 cubic-feet-per-second near the town of Cimarron.
The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick campground were last stocked Oct. 13 with 98 rainbow trout.
Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton is open daily. Lake Alice and Lake Maloya are open for fishing. Camping is available by reservation only. Lake Alice is a small lake and the fishing is primarily for recently-stocked rainbow trout. It was stocked Novv. 8 with 188 rainbow trout. Lake Maloya is bigger and is capable of producing larger, holdover trout. It was stocked Nov. 8 with 930 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 140 rainbow trout averaging 15.2 inches in size. Call (575).445.5607 for current conditions.
Clayton Lake and the Charette Lakes are closed for the season.
Morphy Lake State Park is closed for the season.
Storrie Lake State Park is open. It was stocked Oct. 18 with 1,021 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 150 rainbow trout averaging 16.3 inches in size.
Cochiti Lake is open. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass has been fair. Crappie, catfish and northern pike are being caught as well. The boat ramp is open. Reservations are no longer needed to enter the lake. Camping reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov. They are not sold at the lake. The Tetilla Peak Recreation Area is closed. This lake is managed by the Corps of Engineers.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque is now being stocked. Stockings here will continue through the winter. It was stocked Nov. 17 with 1,802 catchable-size rainbow trout.
The drainage ditches in the Albuquerque area are now being stocked with catchable=size rainbow trout. The Corrales Riverside ditch will not be stocked. The Albuquerque, Albuquerque South, Belen Riverside, Bernalillo and Peralta drains were stocked last week.
Over in the Four Corners Navajo Lake State Park is open. Camping is by reservation only. The bass fishing has been fair. The fishing for northern pike has been fair. Snagging season for kokanee salmon began Oct. 1 at Navajo Lake. The snagging is still being reported to be very good. It is usually best in the Navajo Dam area. Boating conditions are good. Call (505).632.2278 for conditions.
Tiger Park Pond and Aztec Pond #1 in Aztec are now being stocked. Tiger Park Pond was stocked Nov. 16 with 751 catchable-size rainbow trout. Aztec Pond was stocked Nov. 16 with 79 catchable-size rainbow trout. There may be some bigger trout left over from earlier stockings.
Jackson Lake north of Farmington is now being stocked. It was stocked Nov. 15 with 1,406 rainbow trout.
Lake Farmington is being stocked again. It was stocked Nov. 9 with 1,397 rainbow trout.
Bluewater Lake State Park is open. Boating conditions are listed as good. Camping is allowed by reservation only. Lake water level is low. The trout fishing should pick up. It was stocked Nov. 15 with 2,076 rainbow trout. Tiger muskies are being caught and the fishing for them has been good using big crank baits and waterdogs. Fishing for catfish is fair using hot dogs. Expect traffic delays on westbound Interstate 40 at Laguna. Call (505).876.2391 for current conditions.
The Rio Grande streamflow is 405 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. This is about like last week and closer to normal. The fishing has been good for rainbow and brown trout. Anglers are catching smallmouth bass and some northern pike in the Pilar area. The Rio Grande at Pilar was stocked Nov. 10 with 1,499 rainbow trout. The Rio Grande Gorge above Pilar was stocked with 326 rainbow trout.
The Rio Grande Gorge north of Pilar was stocked Oct. 27 with 9,531 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
From the Colorado state line downstream to the Taos Junction Bridge, the limit is two-trout-per-day in the Rio Grande.
The streamflow in the Rio Pueblo near Penasco is 5.71 cubic-feet-per-second. The flow is lower than last week. The fishing should be fair for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout.
The Red River near the Red River Fish Hatchery is flowing at 32.8 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing is normally fair-to-good here for stocked rainbow trout and some wild brown trout. It was stocked Nov. 17 with 525 rainbow trout. It was stocked Oct. 27 with 7,063 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
The Red River Hatchery Pond is now open and was stocked Sept. 22 with 60 rainbow trout averaging 17.3 inches in size. It was stocked Oct. 20 with 298 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 80 rainbow trout averaging 15.5 inches in size. The fishing here is for anglers under 14 years-of-age and over 65 years old. The limit here is three fish per-day
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is open. This little lake is right off the highway between Questa and Red River. It was stocked Oct. 28 with 374 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 50 rainbow trout averaging 15.5 inches in size.
The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal were stocked Aug. 9 with 500 rainbow trout averaging 14.8 inches in size. Fishing here is with flies and lures with a single, barbless hook. The limit is two fish-per-day.
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 297 cubic-feet-per-second. This is lower than last week and well-below normal. It 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. The Quality Water is stocked with small rainbow trout that grow quickly in the fertile waters. 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 Quality Water was stocked Nov. 17 with 4,912 sub-catchable rainbow trout.
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. 2 with 2,299 rainbow trout.
The Pecos River above the town of Pecos ran well this summer thanks to monsoon rains. The streamflow at Pecos was 20.0 cubic-feet-per-second, which lower than last week. The fishing has been fair for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. It was last stocked Oct. 13 with 2,250 rainbow trout. The stockings in winter move south to Villanueva State Park. It was stocked Nov. 16 with 374 rainbow trout.
The Gallinas River near Las Vegas is running a little lower than last week. The streamflow was 4.41 cubic-feet-per-second. Some good-sized holdover trout have been caught.
Monastery Lake is open to fishing. It was stocked Nov. 16 with 189 catchable-size rainbow trout. Please pick up your trash here as this is private property and should be respected. Fishing here is possible through the State Game and Fish Department’s Open Gate Program. It draws a crowd on weekends.