Photo of George Morse in the water. Valley Daily Post photo.
Fishing And Other Stuff
By George Morse Sports and Outdoors
El Nino is certainly going out with a bang. The snowfall over the weekend was very beneficial for soil moisture and will help lessen the fire danger. It should also help the fishing. Increased runoff from the melting snow will raise the level of the streams and river, while also washing more nutrients into them. Wild trout and holdover trout from previous stockings should have plenty to eat and grow fat and healthy. Reservoir levels should rise.
The snow probably put a damper on the opening days of turkey season. Once it melts, the birds should be out and about. The moisture will spur good growth of new grass and other browse for wildlife. The grazing in the mountains for cattle and sheep should be good this year.
So far the apple crop here in the Espanola Valley has escaped damage, although we may have a few more cold nights ahead. There are still some cherries, peaches and European plums left. Even a few Japanese plums escaped the frost.
This morning (Wednesday) there was frost on our trucks. The outside thermometer read 30 degrees. That may not hurt the fruit. Keep your fingers crossed.
Hummingbirds should soon start showing up at local feeders. Time to get the feeders ready after taking them down for the winter.
The fishing at local lakes is fair to good right now and likely to get better when the water starts to warm up again. The flows below El Vado and Abiquiu Dams on the Chama River are still low. This is the time of year that they catch some surprisingly big brown trout from the Rio Vallecitos.
The Rio Grande has risen close to 1,000 cubic feet per second, making the fishing there a little tougher.
Now is the time to take a drive up north and appreciate the beauty of our snow-covered mountains and the bounty they promise to bring. Trapped in the snow is the water that will irrigate our pastures, gardens and orchards in the coming year. Taking the drive between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla as the snow is melting is magical. Watching all that water runoff and fill every gully and little stream as it makes its way downhill to the bigger rivers helps you appreciate the relationship of snow to our entire ecosystem.
Brazos Falls should be running strong this year. Look for it springing out of the Brazos Cliffs soon.
New Mexico is a place where we still live by and appreciate the cycles of the natural world. We are a little bit closer to the land here than in other places.