Exotic Hunting & This Week's Fishing Report

by Staff Reporter / May 26, 2017 / comments

Exotic Hunting & This Week's Fishing Report

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

New Mexico offers several unique opportunities to hunters and anglers. It is, as far as I know, the only state where exotic species of big game may be hunted on public land.

Oryx, Persian Ibex and Barbary Sheep were all introduced to New Mexico and have established populations in various parts of the state. The oryx were first introduced on to White Sands Missile range. Although the best hunting is still to be found on the Missile Range, the oryx have spread on to public lands around the Range. These animals make handsome trophies and are excellent eating, as well. Persian Ibex were introduced into the Florida Mountains near Deming and they also spread on to adjacent lands. They are considered some of the toughest animals to hunt because of the rugged terrain they inhabit. Barbary Sheep were initially hunted in the Canadian River Canyon east of Las Vegas, but now the best hunting is found in an area surrounding Roswell and in the Guadeloupe Mountains near Carlsbad.

Small game hunters have the unique opportunity to bag four different species of quail. Scaled, Gambel’s, Bobwhite and Mearn’s (also known as Montezuma) quail inhabit the state and offer hunters a chance at a “Grand Slam” of quail species. New Mexico also offers three species of dove and is one of the few states where you can hunt sandhill cranes.

 Anglers can try for a traditional “Grand Slam” of rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout and brook trout. You can add lake trout at Heron Lake State Park. The state offers the unique opportunity to catch Gila trout. Once considered an endangered species, Gila trout fishing opportunities have been greatly expanded in recent years and they are now stocked in several public waters in the southwestern corner of the state. With the exception of a few fisheries in Arizona, New Mexico is the only state where Gila trout may be caught in so many different locations.

With the busy Memorial Day weekend coming up, anglers should be sure and check the weekly stocking report Friday. The State Game and Fish Department will likely be heavily stocking fish throughout the state for the upcoming long weekend. Some of these stockings will likely be of bigger-than-average size trout.


  FISHING REPORT

  • The fishing for smallmouth bass at Abiquiu Lake has been good and should just get better as the water warms up. The walleye fishing should also improve. The water was been murky Monday and under those conditions fishing for catfish can be your best bet.
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  • The bank fishing for rainbow trout has been good at Heron Lake and at Eagle Nest Lake. Perch have been biting on worms at Eagle Nest.
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  • Laguna del Campo has been very good for trout. Check and see if they plant some big fish from Los Ojos Fish Hatchery at Laguna del Campo before the weekend.
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  • Fenton Lake continues to be good for trout.
  • The seven Springs Brood Pond (also known as the Kid’s Pond) at nearby Seven Springs Trout Hatchery gave up a 28-inch brown trout Sunday. Fishing at the Brood Pond is limited to anglers under 12 years old.
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  • The streams in the Jemez Mountains are dropping and clearing. The fishing has been good in the Jemez River, Rio San Antonio and Rio Cebolla.
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  • Hopewell Lake is open and the fishing should be good for brook trout. Hopewell will likely be heavily stocked just before the Memorial Day weekend, so check the stocking reports.
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  • The streamflows on the Rio Grande and Rio Chama continue to be high and fishing is generally slow with your best bet being below El Vado Dam.
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  • Lake Alice and Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton have been fishing very well. Sugarite Canyon State Park will host a Fishing Derby May 27-June 4. There will be some big fish and tagged fish stocked for the Derby. Anglers can win prizes for catching a tagged fish. For more information call (575) 485-8328.
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  • The fishing at Santa Cruz Lake has been good. Anglers with boats have been doing particularly well fishing near the inlet at the south end of the lake.
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  • Monastery Lake and Morphy Lake both received stockings of bigger-than-average trout last week and the fishing at both has been good.
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  • Although it’s running high, the Rio de los Pinos has been fishing well and now is the time you have a better chance of catching some quality brown trout there. The high water will bring out the bigger fish.
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