Fishing Report March 19
By George Morse
Spring officially begins in just a couple of days and the weather has turned more like spring recently. Temperatures in Northern New Mexico are in the 50’s and 60’s. There are still some lakes that are closed to fishing due to unsafe ice conditions, but it shouldn’t be long before most of the lakes are free of ice and open to fishing. Some of the higher small lakes above 9,000 feet will remain frozen until April and even into May.
The cold winter we just had has delayed the blooming of fruit trees here in the Espanola Valley. This bodes well for the upcoming season. Checking on the fruit buds of the apricot trees, they are still several weeks away from blooming. Apricot trees are the first fruit trees to bloom in the spring and thus the trees most susceptible to a late frost. Maybe we’ll get a good crop of apricots this year thanks to the delayed bloom. Other fruit trees should also benefit from the delayed bloom.
The moisture we had this winter will also benefit other plants. The grass should grow more vigorously and it should be a green spring this year. Wildflowers should be more abundant. Plenty of nutritious forage for cattle and elk this spring. The rivers will rise and by April and May swollen with spring runoff from the melting snowpack. Water levels in our lakes and reservoirs should rise ad there should be plenty of water for irrigation. Boat ramps that were not even in the water last summer will be usable once again.
Lakes that still remain closed due to unsafe ice conditions include:
Eagle Nest Lake is closed to fishing. Call (575) 377-1594 for updated conditions.
Fenton Lake is closed due to unsafe conditions. All (575) 829-3630 for updated conditions.
El Vado Lake is still closed to fishing. There is some open water but it is difficult to reach at Heron Lake. Call (575) 588-7470 for updated conditions.
Lake Alice at Sugarite Canyon State Park is free of ice but the water is murky. Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park has just a little open water and the ice that remains is unsafe for fishing. Call (575) 445-5607 for updated conditions.
Other lakes report a variety of conditions ranging from slow to very good.
Abiquiu Lake reports fair fishing for walleye with an occasional smallmouth bass. No reports on trout fishing but this is usually a good time to catch a big trout at Abiquiu, The water level is still very low and the boat ramp is still out of the water.
The fish will be in very shallow water this time of year, so long casts are not necessary. While the water is low, be sure to make a mental note of structure like points and humps that later this spring will likely be under water. These will likely be good spots to fish later this season.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam has been fair for trout. The streamflow was 279 cubic-feet-per-second. Remember that the limit here is two-fish-per-day.
There are still no reports from the Chama River below El Vado Dam. I can only guess that it’s hard to reach the river here because this would normally be a good spot and would already have been stocked. The streamflow is still low at 29 cubic-feet-per-second.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo has been fair and it was recently stocked. There is still no boat dock in at Santa Cruz.
The Rio Grande streamflow was 588 cubic-feet-per-second and the fishing has been slow-to-fair.
The fishing has been good in the Red River below Questa. The Red River Hatchery Pond has been good using Power Bait. The River was stocked March 13 with 701 rainbow trout. The Hatchery Pond was stocked March 13 with 399 rainbow trout.
Although Fenton Lake is closed, there is still some good fishing in thr Jemez Mountains near Los Alamos.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond, where angling is just for kids until 12 years-old, has been good. It was stocked march 13 with 451 rainbow trout. In addition to the stocked trout, there are some big holdover rainbow trout and wild brown trout here.
The Cebolla River flows out of Fenton Lake. It was stocked March 13 with 251 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
The Jemez River is swollen with runoff and running at 198 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing is slow. It was stocked March 13 with 1,001 rainbow trout.
Over on the east side, the fishing has been good in the deeper holes of the Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam.
Maxwell Lake 13 has been very good for trout. The fish here are fat and healthy holdover rainbow trout that are good-sized.
The Charette Lakes have been good for trout and there are some nice holdover rainbows here too. There are also yellow perch at the Charette Lakes.
Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas has been fai-to-good for trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos has been good for trout.
The Pecos River is starting to swell with runoff. The fishing has been slow. The streamflow was 66.5 cubic-feet-per-second.
Over in the Four Corners, the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was flowing at 284 cubic-feet-per-second and the water is quite murky. The fishing has been slow.
Jackson Lake was fair for stocked trout. It was stocked March 11 with 2,458 rainbow trout.
No reports from Lake Farmington, but there should be plenty of stocked trout waiting to be caught here. It was stocked March 11 with 2,610 rainbow trout.
Navajo Lake was stocked four times last week with a total of 71,600 small rainbow trout. The fishing has been slow-to-fair for northern pike and an occasional trout.
Cochiti Lake has been excellent for catfish. A few white bass and a nice largemouth bass were caught last week.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque was stocked twice last week with a total of 2,279 rainbow trout. The fishing has been very good because of these heavy stockings.
The drainage canals in the Albuquerque area are still being stocked and the fishing has been fair-to-good. Anglers are starting to catch a few largemouth bass.
The fishing for white bass and a few walleye has been slow –to-fair at Elephant Butte Lake. The fishing for catfish has been fair-to-good. The fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass has been slow.
The fishing has been good at Lake Roberts near Silver City for trout. The fishing for catfish has been fair.