Most of the stocking activity last week took place in Southern New Mexico.
This is part of the “Winter Trout Water” program of the State Game and Fish Department.
Rainbow trout are stocked in ponds, lakes and rivers in the southern part of the state during the cooler months of the year to provide trout fishing in areas where trout are not normally found. These waters become too warm during the summer months for trout to survive.
There are not a lot of fishing reports this time of year as a lot of outdoor enthusiasts turn their attention to elk and deer hunting. This does not mean the fishing is not good, just that not a lot of anglers are going there. There’s usually a lot of elbow room on many of the lakes in Northern New Mexico this time of year.
A reminder that Maxwell Lake 13, the Charette Lakes and Clayton Lake are now closed to fishing for the winter. They will reopen March 1, 2020 to anglers.
After a short blast of cold, wintery weather, the temperatures have returned to seasonal levels with nice, cool temperatures during the day and chilly to cold temperatures at night and early in the mornings. Still not nuch snow in the mountains. The forecast is for above-average temperatures at least until the middle of November if not longer.
Navajo Lake is still the only spot that reports good snagging for kokanee salmon. It may not be long before the quality of the salmon starts to deteriorate and their flesh becomes soft. These fish are actually in the process of dying after spawning.
Still in the Four Corners area, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam is 315 cubic-feet-per second. This is low for this time of year. It is due to be raised to 500 cubic-feet-per-second Nov. 14. The fishing has been very good in the Quality Water with dry flies like midge patterns and BWO’s. The fishing in the Bait Water has also been good using flies.
There was a report of an angler catching a nice kokanee salmon on a spinner from the Chama River between the outlet at Heron Dam and El Vado Lake.
Kokanee run up the Chama River from El Vado Lake. Snagging is impractical here. Kokanee will strike a lure or bait out of aggression. There are also some big rainbow trout and brown trout here. Fishing conditions are very dependent on how much water they are releasing from beneath Heron Dam.
There were no reports from Heron Lake or El Vado Lake. Heron Lake was stocked Oct. 29 with 29,997 four-inch rainbow trout.
There were no reports from the Canjilon Lakes or Trout Lakes. Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos is now closed to fishing for the winter.
Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras may soon freeze over and there were no reports from here.
The fishing in the Chama River below El Vado Dam has been good. The streamflow here is 633 cubic-feet-per-second.
The fishing in the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam has been fair. The streamflow here is 664 cubic-feet-per-second.
These are heavy releases for this time of year. They are currently releasing no water from Elephant Butte Lake, so it likes like they still want to raise the water level at Elephant Butte this winter.
The water level at Abiquiu Lake remains low. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for launching a boat.
The Rio Grande continues to be a prime location. Streamflows are running below normal and the water is clear. The Rio Grande was stocked about two weeks ago. Much of the stocking takes place in the Pilar area. Another spot where trout are stocked is near the John Dunn Bridge at Arroyo Hondo north of Taos.
The fishing continues to be good at Fenton Lake in the Jemez Mountains. Anglers are catching some of the recently-stocked Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Like I mentioned last week, only two cutthroat trout per-day may be kept as part of the daily trout limit of five fish. Fenton also has rainbow and brown trout.
The fishing is still good at the Seven Springs Brood Pond at Seven Springs Fish Hatcherynorth of Fenton Lake. Tha fishing here is for kids under 12 years of age.
The fly fishing for brown trout has been very good in the small streams in the Jemez area. The fishing below Battleship Rock on the Jemez River has been good.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo has been heavily-stocked and the fishing has been good.
The fishing at Eagle Rock Lake near Questa has been good and it was stocked two weeks ago.
The fishing has been good in the Red River below Questa.
Eagle Nest Lake has been good for rainbow trout. There were no reports on other species.
The streamflow on the Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park is 33.8 cubic-feet-per-second as they are releasing water from Eagle Nest Lake. This is a strong flow for this little stream and there were no reports from here.
No reports from Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton. This lake should have good fishing as long as it remains ice-free because it is well-stocked.
No reports from Storrie Lake near Las Vegas. This lake needs a stocking to improve the fishing.
The Pecos River is flowing low and clear. The fishing remains good in this well-stocked river. There are some nice brown trout in this river that should still be spawning.
Monastery Lake near the town of Pecos is well-stocked and the fishing has been good.
Cochiti Lake has reportedly been good for catfish. Catfish will feed heavily in the late fall to fatten up for winter.
Tingley Beach In Albuquerque had no reports. This is very surprising because it was heavily-stocked two weeks ago and was stocked again Oct. 29 with 250 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches in size. The fishing should be good for these stocked trout.
The fishing has slowed down at Elephant Butte Lake with just a few white bass being caught. The Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Lake was stocked Oct. 30 with 648 rainbow trout. There is practically no streamflow below Elephant Butte Dam and the fish will be in the deeper pools.
Grindstone Reservoir and Alto Lake near Ruidoso have been good for stocked rainbow trout. Grindstone has been giving up some nice-sized fish from earlier stockings.
Lake Roberts near Silver City has been good for stocked rainbow trout and Gila trout.
Bill Evans Lake near Silver City was heavily-stocked two weeks ago and was stocked again Oct. 29 with 1,635 rainbow trout from the Glenwood Fish Hatchery.
The fishing has been good thanks to these recent stockings.
Bill Evans Lake and Lake Roberts also have some big largemouth bass. These are designated as trophy bass water and the limit is two fish 18 inches in size or longer. The state-record largemouth bass was caught at Bill Evans Lake.
The lakes in the Carlsbad area receive heavy stockings of rainbow trout under the “Winter Trout Water” program mentioned at the beginning of the report. Bataan Lake, Carlsbad Municipal Lake and Lake Van all received stockings of over 1,000 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good for these stocked trout. Now is a good time to visit Southern New Mexico as the temperatures are pleasant.