By George Morse
Fishing Report July 9
The good news is streamflows in Northern New Mexico are coming down and nearly all the streams and rivers now have good fishing. This includes the upper Chama River above El Vado Lake, where the flow was 453 cubic-feet-per-second Monday. The water clarity was very good. This is a great section of river to fish.
One access point is the outlet of Heron Dam. It requires a long walk down to the river. This spot is where some special regulations apply that anglers need to be aware of. The fishing from the outlet upstream 2.9 miles is restricted to the use of flies and lures with a single, barbless hook. The bag limit is two-trout-per-day.
From the outlet downstream to El Vado Lake, any legal method of fishing may be used. The regular bag limit of five-trout-per-day applies. Anglers are encouraged to release fish or limit their kill in this stretch, as it has the potential to grow big fish.
Last year, the streamflow in the Chama got exceedingly low and the water very warm. It will be interesting to see how the upper Chama River fishes this year and what effect the low-water conditions had on the trout. Many, if not most, of the fish (rainbow trout, brown trout) in this section are wild fish. The brown trout are completely wild.
There is another public fishing area just below the town of Chama. This area is heavily-stocked with rainbow trout from the Los Ojos Fish Hatchery. The upper Chama River was stocked June 30 with 1,015 rainbow trout.
Another bit of good news is they are holding a lot more water in Heron Lake and the water level is up. Heron Lake at one time was the best kokanee salmon fishery in the state, but recent drought has negatively-affected the salmon fishery and it has not been good the last few years. Hopefully, the higher water level at Heron will have positive effects on the salmon fishery and it can begin to recover.
They caught some big lake trout during a recent survey at Heron by the State Game and Fish Department. It’s good to know that the lake trout fishery is still there.
Elsewhere on the Chama, the fishing is improving below El Vado Lake and Abiquiu Lake as streamflows are being cut back at both locations. The streamflow below El Vado Tuesday was 401 cubic-feet-per-second and below Abiquiu it was 386 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing was reported as good below El Vado for brown and rainbow trout. A 22-inch brown trout was caught last week.’ The fishing below Abiquiu was reported as good for brown trout with flies containing some yellow in them. The Chama River below El Vado Dam was stocked June 30 with 508 rainbow trout.
The fishing in the lakes that are part of the Chama River system has not been as good. The fishing was slow at Heron Lake with just a few trout and kokanee salmon caught. The fishing for bass has been good at El Vado Lake. Some big trout are being caught at the north end of El Vado where the Chama River comes in.
The water level is very low at Abiquiu Lake and a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for the launching of boats. The fishing has been inconsistent, but was recently reported as good using nightcrawlers for walleye and catfish.
The exception to the lower streamflows has been the Rio Grande, which is still blasting away at over 3,000 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing is still slow on the Rio.
The fishing in the smaller lakes has been fair-to-good. The Canjilon Lakes have been heavily-stocked. They were stocked July 1 with 1,015 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 115 rainbow trout averaging 18.2 inches in size.
Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras was stocked July 1 with 1,817 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 185 rainbow trout averaging 18.2 inches in size. Large trout are being caught on Power Bait and large fly patterns. The fishing has been good.
A report finally came in from the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border. The fly-fishing was reported as good using woolly buggers and parachute adams.
Over in the Jemez Mountains, all the small streams are reporting lower streamflows and good fishing. The Jemez River, the east fork of the Jemez River, the Rio Cebolla near Fenton Lake and the Rio San Antonio are all fishing well. The Rio Cebolla was stocked July 2 with 800 rainbow trout and the Rio San Antonio was stocked with 211 rainbow trout. The Rio de las Vacas and the Guadelupe River are also worth trying. All these streams contain wild brown trout.
Fenton Lake has been fir-to-good for stocked rainbow trout. There are some big wild brown trout in this lake that are sometimes caught. It was stocked July 2 with 350 rainbow trout.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond at Seven Springs Fish Hatchery has been very good. The angling here is for kids under 12 years-of-age. The youngsters caught some big fish here last week and in addition to stocked rainbow trout it also holds some big, wild brown trout. It was stocked July 2 with 450 rainbow trout.
Thanks to a recent stocking, the fishing was good at San Gregorio Lake for rainbow trout.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo has been fair-to-good. The water here is likely getting too warm for stocking and it will likely not be stocked again until fall when the water cools down.
The streamflow in the Rio Pueblo is 39.8 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout.
The streamflow in the Red River was 130 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good below the hatchery for stocked rainbow trout using spinners and for wild brown trout using small, minnow-type lures. The Red River above Questa was stocked July 2 with1,799 rainbow trout.
The Red River Hatchery Pond was stocked July 1 with 400 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 80 rainbow trout averaging 15.8 inches in size. The fishing here has been good. Fishing here is for anglers 14 years of age and younger and 65 years of age or older.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa was stocked July 2 with 499 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 54 rainbow trout averaging 15.8 inches in size. The fishing has been good.
The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal opened for fishing July 1. These ponds are stocked with good-sized rainbow trout and the fishing is limited to flies and lures with a single, barbless hook.
The fly-fishing has been good early and late at Eagle Nest Lake for rainbow trout and perch. Worms are also catching some perch. No report on other species.
The fishing on the Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park has been good. This stream holds stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. It was stocked July 1 with 2,425 rainbow trout.
The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes near Maverick Campground were stocked July 1 with 1,001 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 45 rainbow trout averaging 15.8 inches in size. The fishing has been good.
The trout fishing at Maxwell Lake 13 was fair with worms. No report on fishing at Stubblefield Lake.
The fishing has been good at Lake Maloya in Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton. No reports from Lake Alice.
The fishing has been fair-to-good at Coyote Creek in Guadalupita State Park near Mora.
There were no reports from Storrie Lake, Charette Lakes or the Gallinas River.
The Pecos River between the towns of Pecos and Cowles were stocked twice last week with a total of 3,001 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good for rainbow trout and wild brown trout. The streamflow on the Pecos was near-normal Tuesday at 113 cubic-feet-per-second.
Monastery Lake near the town of Pecos has been good for trout. It was stocked july 2 with 900 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 95 rainbow trout averaging 15.2inches in size.
The fishing at Conchas Lake on the Canadian River has been very good for bluegill. It has been good for largemouth and smallmouth bass. It has been fair-to-good for walleye and fair for catfish.
The fishing at Santa Rosa Lake near Santa Rosa has been good for bass, walleye and crappie. The lake level will be lowered by 8.5 feet over the next 10 days.
The fishing at Sumner Lake between Santa Rosa and Fort Sumner has been fair-to-good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and catfish. It has been fair for walleye and white bass.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 827 cubic-feet-per-second Tuesday. The fishing was good in the Quality Waters above the Texas Hole and fair below the Texas Hole with various fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Water was fair-to-good.
The fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass was fair-to-good at Navajo Lake. The fishing was fair for northern pike. Crappie fishing was slow and a few trout were caught trolling.
The fishing has been slow at Cochiti Lake. The water is murky and the best fishing is for catfish.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque was stocked July 2 with 444 channel catfish averaging 18 inches in size. The fishing was slow-to-fair but should pick up a little. The fishing was fair for bluegill.
Elephant Butte Lake saw heavy boat traffic over the Fourth of July holiday. The fishing is picking up for white bass. The fishing was slow-to-fair for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and crappie. The fishing was good for catfish.
The fishing in the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam has been good for walleye.
The fishing has been good for white bass at Caballo Lake. The fishing has been fair-to-good for crappie and fair for walleye.
The State Game and Fish Department stocked channel catfish averaging 18 inches in size at small municipal lakes and ponds across Southern New Mexico last week. The fishing is normally fair-to-good after these stockings.
The fishing was slow at Lake Roberts near Silver City.
The fishing was fair for perch and trout at Grindstone Reservoir near Ruidoso.
The fishing at Alto Lake near Ruidoso was fair-to-good for catfish. It was stocked July 2 with 81 channel catfish.