By George Morse Sports and Outdoors
Fishing Report Oct. 9
After looking over the stocking report, it’s pretty easy to pick this week’s hotspot. On Oct. 3, the State Game and Fish Department stocked Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos with 575 rainbow trout that averaged 20 inches in size and over three pounds in weight. Those are some big fish. They were raised at the nearby Los Ojos Fish Hatchery.
Laguna de Campo is a small lake that is open to anglers 14 years of age or younger, 65 years of age or older and to those anglers with disabilities. Up to two adults in direct supervision of youth anglers may also fish. It is open from May 1 to Oct. 31 between the hours of 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.
Keep an eye out for ospreys at Laguna del Campo. If you’re lucky, you might see one snatch a trout from the water.
The Department was planning to drain Laguna del Campo last year due to repairs needed to the dam. The local community wanted to keep the lake open and was successful in convincing the Department not to drain the lake. It is a very popular fishing area with locals. If possible, fish during the week to avoid the heaviest fishing pressure.
The weather has turned sharply cooler and there was even a dusting of snow on the mountains recently. Streamflows are still low, as is the water in the reservoirs. A good snowpack this coming winter is needed to bring the water levels back up.
The cooler weather should turn on the trout as they will start to feed in preparation for winter. Brown trout and brook trout spawn in the fall. They should become more active. This is a good time to hook a big brown trout. Since they are wild fish, try to limit the number you keep because they depend on natural reproduction to sustain the population.
There have been no reports of good snagging for kokanee salmon from anywhere, even from Navajo Lake. The low water in our reservoirs appears to have negatively-impacted kokanee salmon.
It’s elk-hunting season in Northern New Mexico, so be prepared to run into some hunters in the mountains.
Abiquiu Lake was recently-stocked with over 50,000 small rainbow trout averaging just four inches in size. These fish are allowed to grow feeding in the lake, rather than being fed in the hatchery. Consequently, their meat is bright orange like salmon and they are firm, healthy fish. Every spring, I catch some big rainbow trout at Abiquiu that are bright and silvery like salmon. They are wonderful eating and hard fighters.
The fishing may pick up at Abiquiu thanks to this stocking. The walleye, bass and brown trout in Abiquiu will often chow down on these little fish. Casting trout-imitating lures may hook you a good-sized fish.
The water level at Abiquiu Lake is very low and caution is needed when launching boats. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam was stocked Oct. 2 with 1,053 rainbow trout. The water here is still too murky and the flow still a little high for good fishing conditions.
The trout fishing on the Chama River below El Vado Dam has been very good for brown and rainbow trout. It was stocked Oct. 2 with 585 rainbow trout. The flow here is lower than it is below Abiquiu and the fishing conditions better.
El Vado Lake and Heron Lake are very low and the fishing is slow.
The Chama River below Heron Dam has been good. It’s a bit of a hike down to the river here but the fishing is usually worth it. The Chama River above El Vado Lake was stocked Oct. 2 with 1,053 rainbow trout. These fish are stocked near the town of Chama, so this would be a good spot to try.
As mentioned at the beginning of this report, Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos has been good for some big, stocked trout.
The fishing at the Trout Lakes near Cebolla has been good, also for stocked trout.
The Canjilon Lakes have been fair-to-good. Anglers are still catching some of the big rainbow trout and Rio Grande cutthroat trout that were stocked a couple of weeks ago. You’ll likely bump into elk hunters in this area this time of year.
Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras has been fair-to-good. The wild brook trout in Hopewell should be spawning and males will have the bright red bellies they develop this time of year.
There were no reports from the Rio de los Pinos north of Tres Piedras near the Colorado border. The wild brown trout here are spawning and you may hook some nice browns this time of year.
In the Jemez Mountain area, Fenton Lake was stocked Oct. 3 with 628 rainbow trout. There are some big wild brown trout in Fenton Lake. The fishing has been good.
The Rio Cebolla below Fenton Lake was stocked with 400 rainbow trout and the fishing for the stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout has been good. The Jemez River was stocked Oct. 3 with 1,181 rainbow trout and the fishing has been good. There are also wild brown trout here. The fishing for brown and rainbow trout has been good in the Rio San Antonio near La Cueva.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond near Seven Springs Fish Hatchery was stocked Oct. 3 with 448 rainbow trout and the fishing has been very good. There are a few big, wild brown trout here too.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is very low and the fishing is slow.
The streamflow in the Rio Grande is low for this time of year. The fishing has been good for brown and rainbow trout. This is a good time of year to hike into the Rio Grande Gorge and try to catch some of the big, wild brown trout there.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is running low. This stream is heavily-stocked. The fish are likely concentrated in deep pools near where they were stocked. Find them and catching a limit should be easy.
The Red River below the town of Questa was stocked Oct. 2 with 700 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
The Red River Hatchery Pond was stocked Oct. 2 with 400 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 150 rainbow trout averaging over 14 inches in size. The fishing has been very good here.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is heavily-stocked and the fishing has been good.
The perch fishing at Eagle Nest Lake continues to be very good. The trout fishing has been fair. Anglers normally hook some big northern pike at Eagle Nest this time of year.
The fishing in the Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park has been good. This stream is heavily-stocked. The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes have been fair for stocked rainbow trout.
There were no reports from Maxwell Lake 13. I think this lake might be worth a try. The cooler weather will possibly put the trout into a more active mood. This lake is very rich in food and if the trout made it through the summer they should be good-sized. This lake closes to fishing Oct. 31 to protect migrating waterfowl.
If the fishing is slow at Maxwell, you could try nearby Stubblefield Lake, where they’ve been catching some nice largemouth bass. This lake also closes Oct. 31
Lake Maloya in Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton has been fair-to-good. It is heavily-stocked. Lake Alice, also in Sugarite Canyon, might be worth a try. The mountains here should pick up some snow soon.
The Charette Lakes have been slow for rainbow trout.
The fishing finally picked up at Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas, where it has been reported as fair-to-good. The fishing has been good in the Gallinas River near Las Vegas, which is well-stocked.
There were no reports from the Pecos River, where some fish dieoffs were recently reported. The cooler weather and precipitation should greatly benefit the fish here.
Monastery Lake near the town of Pecos has been fair-to-good. The Cowles Ponds north of Pecos have been fair.
Over in the Four Corners, the fishing for northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and perch has been good at Navajo Lake. The snagging for kokanee salmon has been very slow.
The streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam has been around 600 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good in the Quality Waters with a variety of fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Waters has been good with flies, lures and bait.
The fishing has been just slow-to-fair at Cochiti Lake for white bass, catfish and carp.
The fishing has been slow at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque. They should start stocking trout again at Tingley Beach as the weather starts to cool down enough. That will improve the fishing here.
The water level is very low at Elephant Butte Lake. The fishing for white bass has been very good. It’s been good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and catfish. They are not releasing water from Elephant Butte Lake right now, so the Rio Grande between Elephant Butte Lake and Caballo Lake is very low. The fishing for catfish has been very good.