Where Did The Water Go?

abiquiu lake 2
Despite a tremedous snowpack this past winter and well-above average spring runoff swelling the rivers and streams of Northern New Mexico, the water level at Abiquiu Lake remains at extremely low levels. The above photo taken July 3 shows just how far the water has retreated from the dam.

Water Level Low at Abiquiu Lake

By George Morse

Abiquiu Lake was a popular destination with recreational boaters, jet-skiers and water skiers. Because of the low water level the concrete boat ramp now falls short of the water and the launching of boats is very difficult. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. The boat ramp would normally be busy on the July 4 holiday, but the lake was practically deserted July 3 and no boats were observed on its surface.

Abiquiu Lake has been a popular destination for anglers in the past with good fishing for walleye, smallmouth bass, crappie and trout. Because of the murky conditions and low water levels, the fishing so far this year has been inconsistent and slow.

Because of the low-water levels at Abiquiu Lake, a peninsula of dry land now extends from the shoreline well into the lake. Boaters are cautioned to keep an eye out for underwater obstructions due to the low-water level.

Water that would normally be held at Abiquiu Lake is now likely being stored at Elephant Butte Reservoir. Elephant Butte is about 200 miles downstream from Abiquiu. Elephant Butte was just six-percent full six months ago and 11.3-percent full three months ago. It is now at 28.3-percent full as of July 4 and still rising.