The weather is forecast to be unseasonably cold this week. High temperatures just in the 30’s and lows below freezing for several days are what’s coming.
At temperatures like this, it won’t be long before some of the lakes in Northern New Mexico start to freeze.
Smaller lakes at high elevations like the Canjilon Lakes, Trout Lakes, Lagunitas Lakes and Hopewell Lake are likely already frozen over and will soon be inaccessible due to snow.
Anglers should remember that Clayton Lake, Maxwell Lake 13 and the Charette Lakes in Northeastern New Mexico are now closed to fishing and will reopen March 1, 2020. Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos also is closed to fishing now.
Checking last year’s fishing report, Fenton Lake in the Jemez Mountains was already starting to freeze over by this date. Currently, there are no reports of ice and the fishing has been good. They are still catching some of the Rio Grande cutthroat trout that were stocked recently from Seven Springs Fish Hatchery.
Only two cutthroat trout may be kept as part of the five fish daily bag limit. Fenton Lake was stocked Nov. 19 with 750 rainbow trout. For updated conditions, call 575.829.3630.
Fishing at the nearby Seven Springs Brood Pond at Seven Springs Fish Hatchery has been good. The fishing here is for anglers under 12 years old.
The fishing for brown trout has been good in the streams in the Jemez area. The fishing in the Jemez River below Battleship Rock has been good. The Jemez River was stocked Nov. 19 with 750 rainbow trout.
In the Four Corners area:
The kokanee salmon snagging at Navajo Lake is slowing down and was rated as just fair last week, No reports on other species. Trout fishing near the salmon runs might be worth trying. You might catch some catfish there too.
The streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 577 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good in the Quality Waters using midge patterns. In the Bait Water below the Quality Water, baetis fly patterns are working. The dry fly-fishing has been good. The Bait Waters were stocked Nov. 18 with 3,024 rainbow trout.
Jackson Lake and Lake Farmington were stocked with rainbow trout. Jackson Lake was stocked Nov. 25 with 1,029 rainbow trout. Lake Farmington was stocked Nov. 25 with 1,820 rainbow trout. There have been no reports. Tiger Park Pond in Aztec was stocked Nov. 20 with 1,540 rainbow trout.
In the Chama area, the kokanee salmon snagging at Heron Lake is rated as fair-to-good near the dam. No reports on other species. Fishing for rainbow trout near the salmon runs is often fair-to-good. You might also hook a lake trout.
The Chama River below El Vado dam is flowing at a heavy 1,090 cubic-feet-per-second. This is very high for this time of year. The fishing has been good. Check the streamflow here because lower flows mean better fishing at this location.
The streamflow below Abiquiu Dam was 1,120 cubic-feet-per-second Wednesday. This is almost 1,000 cubic-feet-per-second higher than average. Flows this high favor the fish and not the fisherman. The fishing has been slow. Keep checking the streamflows below Abiquiu because if they are lowered significantly, the fishing could be very good with some big fish landed.
No reports from El Vado Lake or Abiquiu Lake. The water level at Abiquiu is still very low and a four-wheel drive vehicle is needed to launch a boat.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is at a lower elevation and normally does not freeze until later this winter if at all. This lake is heavily-stocked and the fishing has been fair-to-good. There are still a few big stocker rainbow trout here and there are also wild brown trout, which should be finished spawning and looking for something to eat.
There was a report of a big rainbow trout caught in the Sipapu River. This was probably the Rio Pueblo. They stock some big rainbows here. There is plenty of snow in the Sipapu area and ice is likely forming around the edges of the stream.
The streamflow in the Rio Grande has risen and flows are now near normal at about 500 cubic-feet-per second. The fishing for trout is still good. The winter months are when some anglers like to fish big streamers in the hopes of hooking a big northern pike especially in the Pilar area and in the Orilla Grande Recreation area. The Rio Grande in the Pilar area was stocked Nov. 27 with 2,000 rainbow trout.
The fishing is still good in the Red River below Questa as it is still being stocked with rainbow trout from the nearby Red River Fish Hatchery.
The fishing in Eagle Rock Lake near Questa has been good for stocked trout. This lake may start to freeze over soon.
The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal are likely starting to freeze over. This area will soon be inaccessible due to snow. Eagle Nest Lake still has open water. The kokanee salmon snagging started late here and has been fair-to-good in the dock area. The fishing has been good for rainbow trout. The fishing has been good for northern Pike. Eagle Nest was stocked Nov. 19 with 24,624 small rainbow trout. Eagle Nest will start to freeze soon. Call (575).377.1594 to check on conditions.
The Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park is running at about 13 cubic-feet-per-second. No reports on the fishing.
Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton still has open water. The fishing has been good. It was stocked Nov. 25 with 1,357 rainbow trout. This lake should start to freeze over soon. Call 575.445.5607 for updated conditions.
Storrie Lake near Las Vegas needs a stocking of trout for the fishing to pick up here. There have been no reports. The Pecos River is flowing at 33.6 cubic–feet-per-second near the town of Pecos. The State Game and Fish Department is now stocking rainbow trout in the Pecos at Villanueva State Park. It was stocked Nov. 20 with 500 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos is still open and the fishing has been good. It was stocked Nov. 20 with 249 rainbow trout and stocked again Nov. 27 with 250 rainbow trout. Monastery Lake is on private property and ice fishing is not allowed.
The fishing has been good at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque for stocked rainbow trout. It was stocked Nov. 25 with 1,357 rainbow trout and stocked again Nov. 26 with 1,043 rainbow trout. The Department is now stocking the drainage canals in the Albuquerque area. The fishing has been fair in the Albuquerque, Belen, Bernalillo, Corrales and Peralta drains.
The fishing has been fair for catfish at Elephant Butte Lake. The Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam was stocked Nov. 25 with 975 rainbow trout.
The fishing has been fair at Alto Lake and good at Grindstone Reservoir in the Ruidoso area for stocked rainbow trout.
Bill Evans Lake near Silver City was stocked Nov. 18 with 2,015 rainbow trout and the fishing has been good. There were no reports from Lake Roberts near Silver City. The fishing here should be at least fair for rainbow trout and some Gila trout.
The Department is now stocking small municipal lakes and ponds in Southern New Mexico. Some of these stockings have been of good-sized rainbow trout.
The Estancia Park Pond was stocked Nov. 26 with 207 rainbow trout averaging 15.3 inches in size. Escondida Lake near Socorro was stocked Nov. 20 with 899 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 54 rainbow trout averaging 15.4 inches in size.