Weekly Fishing Report: Oct. 13, 2020

By GEORGE MORSE
Sports And Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post

Now is a great time to plan a fall fishing trip.

The colors of fall are at their peak, with aspen and oak displaying their rich golds and reds. The temperatures are comfortable, with warm days and cool nights.

Streamflows are low throughout Northern New Mexico. Fall is the time that brown trout begin to spawn and the larger fish are more active during the day. It’s a good time to catch a trophy brown trout.

Try to limit the number of brown trout you kill, as these are wild fish and the population depends on natural reproduction.

The State Game and Fish Department is still busy stocking fish. Last week four different species were stocked in the state’s waters. Channel catfish, largemouth bass, Rio Grande cutthroat trout and rainbow trout were all planted in waters across the state.

Camping is now allowed at most of New Mexico’s State Parks for New Mexico residents only. Reservations are required.

Please practice safety requirements while fishing and camping. Do not gather in groups larger than 10 people. Wear a mask and practice social distancing. Last week New Mexico had a sharp increase in positive COVID-19 cases.

Enjoy the outdoors safely. Please clean up your camping area and leave it clean for the next New Mexican family to enjoy.

Fenton Lake State Park is open daily. Fenton Lake was stocked Sept. 14 with 639 Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging 11 inches in size. These fish came from the nearby Seven Springs Fish Hatchery. 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. It was stocked Sept. 30 with 2,184 rainbow trout. This lake receives very heavy fishing pressure. Please practice angling etiquette and give each other plenty of room.

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 8.45 cubic-feet-per-second. The Jemez River was stocked Oct. 6 with 1002 rainbow trout. Most of the stockings have been in the Rio Cebolla near Fenton Lake. It was stocked Oct. 6 with 434 rainbow trout. The Rio San Antonio near La Cueva was stocked Sept. 23 with 750 rainbow trout. They all contain wild brown trout.

The State Game and Fish Department stocked three streams in the Jemez Mountains Sept. 29 with fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The Rio Cebolla was stocked with 1,999 cutthroat trout. The Rio Guadalupe was stocked with 4,998 cutthroat trout. The East Fork of the Jemez River was stocked with 4,469 cutthroat trout. It will take a couple of years for these fish to reach catchable-size. The goal is for them to establish naturally-reproducing wild populations in these small streams.

San Gregorio Lake is open but has not been stocked in several months. It may still be fair for any remaining rainbow trout from earlier stockings.

Clear Creek near San Gregorio Lake was stocked Oct. 7 with 1,011 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout.

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. A 32-inch and a 26-inch walleye were caught recently. Night fishing for catfish should be worth a try. The campground opened Oct. 1 for overnight camping by reservation only. Reservations should be made three days in advance.

Blue-green algae has been detected at Abiquiu Lake. The algae does not affect the fish and they may be safely eaten. Pets, livestock and children should not be allowed to play in or drink water from the lake. Swimming in the lake is discouraged. Blue-green algae can cause health risks if ingested, inhaled or touched. Avoid areas where algae tends to accumulate, like the back of coves and along shorelines.

The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is running at 98.9 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a low flow and makes for good fishing conditions. Now is the time to fish here. The water here is usually 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. 6 with 1,055 rainbow trout.

Streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam is 96.7 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 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 Chama River above El Vado Lake is improving, although the streamflow has dropped. Stream temperatures have fallen. Above Chama the streamflow is at 18.8 cubic-feet-per-second. The streamflow at La Puente was 26.1 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 Sept. 15 with 54,060 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 16.1 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing should be at least fair for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. It was stocked Sept. 16 with 605 rainbow trout.

El Rito Creek, a small stream that flows through the town of El Rito, was stocked July 28 with 1,960 small Rio Grande cutthroat trout averaging 4.7 inches in size. Please release these trout and give them a chance to grow.

Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos was stocked Sept. 16 with 548 catchable-size rainbow trout and stocked with 180 rainbow trout averaging 18.3 inches in length. Weed growth is probably getting heavy in this little lake. It is limited to anglers 14 years old and younger and anglers 65 years old or older. The limit is three fish per-day and the lake is open sunrise to sunset. This lake closes to fishing Oct. 31.

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 are likely getting very weedy and receive heavy fishing pressure.

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. Weed growth is getting heavy in this lake. 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.

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 Sept. 15 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. It has not been recently stocked and the fishing could be slow as the trout have likely retreated to deeper water. Boats can no longer be launched here. The streamflow in the Santa Cruz River above the lake was just 5.80 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing should improve here as the water temperatures cool down.

The streamflow in the Rio Grande is still low at 159 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. Flows near Cerro at the Colorado border are very low at 34.8 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 above Pilar was stocked Sept. 24 with 250 rainbow trout. In the Pilar area, the Rio Grande was stocked with 2,000 rainbow trout.

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 low at 3.36 cubic-feet-per-second. The fish are concentrated in the deeper pools. The fishing has 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 35.1 cubic-feet-per-second below Red River Fish Hatchery.

Streamflow above Questa is 17.1 cubic-feet-per-second. The Red River below Questa was stocked Sept.16 with 1,100 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 Sept. 23 with 498 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 54 rainbow trout averaging 15.1 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.

Fishing has been good on the Rio Costilla for brown trout, rainbow trout and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. It was stocked Sept. 23 with 399 rainbow trout. The streamflow has dropped to 4.83 cubic-feet-per-second.

Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open daily. Weed growth may be starting to get heavy here. Trout fishing has been fair-to-good. Northern pike fishing has been fair-to-good. Anglers should try crank baits and swim baits resembling small rainbow trout. Eagle Nest was stocked Oct. 5 with 18,785 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.

Cimarron Canyon State Park is open daily. The Cimarron River was stocked Sept. 22 with 2,424 rainbow trout. It also contains wild brown trout. The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground were stocked Sept. 22 with 400 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 45 rainbow trout averaging 15.2 inches in length. Streamflow in the Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam is at 16.1 cubic-feet-per-second.

The fishing should be fair at Stubblefield Lake for largemouth bass, walleye and catfish. Water levels here may be getting low. The state-record channel catfish was caught at Stubblefield Lake.

Trout fishing at Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will be slow due to warm water temperatures. The trout here are mostly good-sized holdovers and they have moved to deeper water. There are also largemouth bass and catfish here. The state-record yellow perch was caught at Maxwell Lakes. Maxwell Lake 13 will close for the season Oct. 31 to protect migrating waterfowl.

Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton has reopened after being briefly closed due to a wildfire in Colorado. It is open daily. The fishing for rainbow trout has been good at Lake Maloya and fair at Lake Alice. Lake Maloya was stocked Sept. 15 with 3,000 rainbow trout. Lake Alice was stocked with 501 rainbow trout.

Clayton Lake State Park is open daily. The trout fishing here received another shot in the arm when it was stocked Sept. 21 with 3,985 rainbow trout. There also some big walleye, catfish and some good-sized largemouth bass here. Clayton Lake is a trophy bass lake and the limit is two bass per-day. It was stocked Sept. 30 with 3,499 largemouth bass averaging six inches in size. There is a 14-inch size limit on largemouth bass. The state-record walleye was caught at Clayton Lake. Clayton Lake closes for the season Oct. 31 to protect migrating waterfowl.

The Charette Lakes between Wagon Mound and Springer have been fair for stocked rainbow trout with some holdover trout. There are also yellow perch here. The Charette Lakes close for the season Oct. 31 to protect migrating waterfowl. 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 low at 1.79 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.

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 last week with a total of 2,505 rainbow trout. There are also wild brown trout here. The streamflow is at 18.2 cubic-feet-per-second, which is very low. The water is warm, so early morning fishing is recommended.

The Mora Fork of the Pecos River was stocked Oct. 6 with 200 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 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.

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 two weeks ago with a total of 61,073 small rainbow trout. Surprisingly, some kokanee salmon are still being caught trolling deep.

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 mixed, with some anglers snagging their limit and others getting only a few.

The streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was at 706 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 twice two weeks ago with a total of 69,989 small rainbow trout.

Several lakes in the Four Corners area were recently stocked that previously had not been. Lake Farmington was stocked Oct. 7 with 1,086 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 caychable-size rainbow trout and with 35 rainbow trout averaging 18. 5 inches in size.

Bluewater Lake State Park near Grants opened Sept.11 and the fishing was good for tiger musky. It is open daily. It was stocked Sept. 17 with 666 catchable-size rainbow trout and 580 rainbow trout averaging 16.2 inches in size. The fishing has been fair for catfish. It was stocked twice last week with a total of 10,680 channel catfish.

Cochiti Lake remains closed to anglers and camping

Tingley Beach in Albuquerque is now open. It was stocked Sept. 3 with 504 channel catfish so the fishing should be picking up here. It has been fair for catfish and bluegill. It was stocked July 14 with 50 largemouth bass averaging 15 inches in size. The stocking of rainbow trout at Tingley Beach has resumed. It was stocked Oct. 6 with 1,515 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 100 rainbow trout averaging 14.9 inches in size.

The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are not yet being stocked with rainbow trout. Fishing for catfish, carp and a few largemouth bass has been fair. The Rio Grande in Albuquerque is running well below normal. Fishing has been fair for catfish and carp.

Escondida Lake near Socorro 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 0.00 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.

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. 6 with 1,040 rainbow trout. The fishing for catfish and largemouth bass has been good. It was stocked Sept. 3 with 102 channel catfish an 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. 6 with 1,499 rainbow trout. The trout have pulled away from the shallows seeking deeper water and cooler water temperatures. There are also smallmouth bass here and the fishing for bluegill has been good. There is a lot of traffic on the water other than fishing.

These lakes are administered by the City of Ruidoso. They are limiting the number of cars that can be admitted each day. Ruidoso residents are given preference.

The Ruidoso River is running low at 0.23 cubic-feet-per-second. The flow picks up a bit downstream at Hollywood at 2.96 cubic-feet-per-second. It was stocked Oct 5 with 500 rainbow trout. The fish are likely stacked on top of each other 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 Sept. 28 with 2,160 rainbow trout. This is a designated trophy-bass water with a daily limit of two largemouth bass 14 inches in size or longer. The fishing for catfish has been fair. It was stocked Oct. 6 with 2,911 channel catfish. The bluegill fishing has been good.

Bear Canyon Reservoir is open. The best fishing is for catfish, crappie and largemouth bass. It was stocked Oct. 8 with 1,100 channel catfish.

Bill Evans Lake is open. 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.

The streamflow in the Gila River is dropping and is now at 29.9 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 Sept. 23 with 2,480 rainbow trout.

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