Fishing Report Jan. 23
By George Morse
The New Mexico Big Game Hunting Rules and Information for the 2019-2020 season is now available online. In it are instructions for how to apply for a big-game license in the annual drawing. Big-game licenses in New Mexico are distributed through an annual drawing. New Mexico has some of the best big-game hunting in the United States with numerous trophy-class animals taken annually by hunters. Visit the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website: www.wildlife.state.nm.us
The deadline to send in your application for the big-game license drawing is March 20 and the results of the drawing will be made available April 24 online, by telephone and at New Mexico Department of Game and Fish offices.
The Rules and Information website will provide all the information needed to apply for a license and the type(s) of licenses required. Seasons, restrictions, license fee and more will be covered in the 144-page document.
The ice-fishing season is in full swing and those lakes offering safe ice-fishing conditions report good to very good fishing.
Eagle Nest Lake will host an Ice-Fishing Tournament sponsored by Friends of Eagle Nest Lake and Cimarron Canyon State Park Jan. 26. During the day call JB at (337) 485-3722. In the evenings, call Roy at (505) 859-2236 for more information.
The fishing at Eagle Nest has been good for rainbow trout and yellow perch. An occasional northern pike and Kokanee salmon are also being caught. The ice thickness is about 14 inches.
Fenton Lake State Park, which is convenient for Los Alamos anglers, reports very good ice fishing for trout with some good-sized fish being pulled up through the ice. The ice thickness varies fron 7.5-to-9 inches. Use caution as some areas of the lake have thinner ice than others. Fenton Lake was stocked Jan. 17 with 1,002 rainbow trout.
The fishing below Abiquiu Dam on the Chama River has been good. The streamflow is 138 cubic-feet-per-second. Anglers are reminded that the daily bag limit here is two-fish-per-day.
At Abiquiu Lake, about 50-percent of the lake freezes overnight and melts off by midday. Anglers are doing some vertical jigging with slab spoons and blade baits for walleye. The fishing has been slow-to-fair. Launching boats is still very difficult at Abiquiu and caution is advised. A four-wheel drive vehicle is strongly recommended.
Streamflow on the Chama River below El Vado Dam is 24.2 cubic-feet-per-second. There have been no reports from here.
Heron Lake and El Vado Lake report unsafe ice conditions and are closed to fishing. Call (575) 588-7470 for conditions.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is ice-covered and there is no fishing at this time.
The streamflow on the Rio Grande is 336 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair.
The Red River below Questa was stocked Jan. 16 with 699 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good with salmon eggs and nymphs.
Lake Maloya and Lake Alice at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton are closed to fishing due to unsafe ice conditions. Call (575) 445-5607 for conditions.
There were no reports from Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas.
The fishing on the Pecos River in the Villanueva area has been very good. This area is stocked with rainbow trout in the winter.
Monastery Lake near Pecos is frozen over and closed to ice fishing.
In the Four Corners area, the San Juan River below Navajo Dam reports a streamflow of 284 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing in the Quality Waters has been good with a variety of fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Waters below the Quality Waters has been fair. The Bait Waters were stocked Jan. 16 with 9,360 small rainbow trout that are allowed to grow to size in the river.
There have been no reports from Jackson Lake or Lake Farmington. These lakes are well-stocked and if they have not frozen over could be worth a try.
Navajo Lake received a rare stocking Jan.16 of 2,672 catchable-size rainbow trout. Navajo is usually stocked with smaller trout that are allowed to grow to size in the lake. The fishing is reported as slow but might be better near where these trout were stocked.
There were no reports from Cochiti Lake, which may be frozen over.
Some of the best fishing in the state for stocked rainbow trout is now in the Albuquerque area, despite the urban environment. Tingley Beach was stocked Jan. 17 with 2,010 rainbow trout and the fishing has been very good.
The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are being stocked on a weekly basis and they are all reporting good fishing.
Elephant Butte Lake reports fair fishing for white bass with an occasional walleye and largemouth bass being landed. The night fishing for catfish has been fair. A 42-pound blue catfish was caught and released last week.
The fishing for stocked rainbow trout in the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte has been fair. The streamflow below Elephant Butte Dam is barely a trickle at 2.2 cubic-feet-per-second and the fish will be found in deep pools.
Several lakes in the Carlsbad area have received heavy stockings of trout and the fishing has been good to very good. Bataan Lake was stocked Jan. 18 with 1,499 rainbow trout. Carlsbad Municipal Lake was stocked Jan. 18 with 1,499 rainbow trout. Lake Van was stocked Jan. 16 with 2,000 rainbow trout.
In the Silver City area, Lake Roberts was stocked Jan. 17 with 1,251 rainbow trout and the fishing has been very good. You might hook a Gila trout here as they have been stocked in Lake Roberts.