Fishing Report Dec. 11

by Editor / Dec 11, 2018 / 0 comments

Fishing Report Dec. 11

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

The cold temperatures have kept anglers indoors and fishing pressure is very light in most areas of Northern New Mexico. Many lakes are now covered with a thin layer of ice that is unsafe for ice fishing and are closed. Streamflows are low this time of year.

The current weather forecasts indicate that New Mexico is out of the major storm track for the coming week. Expect cold nighttime and morning temperatures with some warming by the afternoon. Areas like the Moreno Valley will see temperatures below zero, so dress accordingly.

Now might be a good time to take a trip to Southern New Mexico where there are warmer temperatures and the State Game and Fish Department is doing most of its stocking of rainbow trout. The best quail hunting in the state is found in Southern New Mexico, so bring along your shotgun if have a hunting license. The winter dove hunting season is also open now in the southern half of our state. Remember if you want to shoot ducks and geese to have a Federal Duck Stamp and that lead shot is not allowed when hunting waterfowl.

There are still some good fishing spots open here in Northern New Mexico.

One of the best spots this time of the year is the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam, where the fishing has been fair. This area is well-stocked with rainbow trout and also holds some big, wild brown trout. The limit in this section of the Chama is two-fish-per-day. This regulation was put in place because many anglers complained that some fishermen were catching and keeping large numbers of trout in excess of the daily limit.

Streamflows here are 125 cubic-feet-per-second, which is a little higher than last week. During the summer, streamflows in this section are normally much higher to accommodate downstream farmers, including those along the Rio Grande.

The fishing in Abiquiu Lake has been slow-to-fair for walleye and trout. Launching boats at Abiquiu Lake is still very difficult and a four-wheeldrive vehicle is recommended. Abiquiu Lake does not freeze over.

The fishing in the Chama River below El Vado Dam is also a good bet during the winter. The flow is 81.5 cubic-feet-per second. This area is well-stocked with rainbow trout and also has wild brown trout. The limit here is the regular five-fish-per day. There is a catch-and-release section that begins at the gauging station below Cooper’s Ranch and extends downstream.

There was an unconfirmed report of someone snagging a limit of kokanee salmon near the dam at El Vado Lake.

There were no reports on the kokanee salmon snagging at Heron Lake, which means it’s likely pretty slow. The fishing from the bank for rainbow trout has been fair. Heron seldom freezes over.

Fenton Lake in the Jemez Mountains is iced over and closed to fishing. Call (575) 829-3630 for conditions.

The Jemez River was stocked Dec. 5 with 1,972 rainbow trout. There were no reports on the fishing. The trout are likely still concentrated near where they were stocked.

The streamflow in the Rio Grande was 311 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. The fishing has been fair-to-good for trout. This time of year fly anglers like to cast big streamers hoping to hook a northern pike, but there have been no reports.

The Red River below Questa is still being stocked and Dec. 5 the Department stocked 646 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.

There are no reports from Eagle Rock Lake. It was iced over two weeks ago. If this lake opens for ice fishing it should be worth a try because it is heavily-stocked.

Eagle Nest Lake is iced over and is closed to fishing and boating. Once the ice reaches a thickness that is deemed safe it will open for ice fishing. This is one of the best ice-fishing spots in the state for trout and perch when it is open. Call (575) 377-1594 for conditions.

There were no reports from the Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park below Eagle Nest Dam. The streamflow is just 3.3 cubic-feet-per second, so the fishing is likely very slow.

Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton had just a little open water and will likely completely freeze over soon. Then it will be a matter of waiting until the ice gets thick enough to safely walk on. Ice fishing is normally pretty good here. Lake Alice, a smaller lake at Sugarite Canyon State Park, is already iced over and is still not safe for fishing. Call (575) 445-5607 for conditions.

Thin ice is forming around the edges of the lake at Storrie Lake State Park.  The ice is melting off during the day. No reports on the fishing. Probably slow-to-fair for stocked rainbow trout.

Monastery Lake near Pecos was stocked Dec. 5 with 250 rainbow trout. It is now iced over and ice fishing is not allowed at this lake.

The fishing on the Pecos River now is at Villanueva State Park, which is south of Interstate 25 and the town of Pecos. It was stocked Dec. 5 with 500 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair.

Some of the best fishing in Northern New Mexico during the winter is in the Four Corners area. The lakes here do not freeze and are being stocked. Jackson Lake has been fair for trout. There were no reports from Lake Farmington, but it was stocked two weeks ago and is normally a good winter-fishing destination The Tiger Park Pond in Aztec was stocked Dec. 4 with 1,119 rainbow trout.

The San Juan River below Navajo Dam is a well-known prime fishing destination and the fishing here is good year around. You’ll likely have a little more elbow room this time of year. The streamflow is 289 cubic-feet-per second and the fishing has been good in the Quality Waters with a variety of fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Waters below the Quality Waters has been fair.

The kokanee salmon snagging at Navajo Lake appears to be over. The fishing has been slow-to-fair for rainbow trout. A few northern pike have been caught. Bass have retreated to deeper water. If you can find where they are schooled up they can sometimes be caught vertical jigging. Navajo Lake never freezes over.

The fishing at Cochiti Lake has been fair for white bass, catfish and walleye.

Tingley Beach in Albuquerque was stocked Dec. 4 with 2,396 rainbow trout and the fishing has been very good.

The Department stocks rainbow trout in the drainage canals in the Albuquerque area during the winter. The fishing has been good in the Albuquerque, Belen, Corrales and Peralta canals for stocked trout.

As already mentioned, the Department stocks rainbow trout in many of the municipal lakes and park ponds in Southern New Mexico during the winter. Some of the heavier stockings last week have been at Carlsbad Municipal Lake (1,500 trout) and at Lake Van near Carlsbad (1,999 trout). Some of these fish averaged 17 inches in length.

If you’d like to try to catch a Gila trout, the Department stocked 591 Gila trout Dec. 4 in the Gila River near Silver City. The fishing has been reported as good. Gila trout have also been stocked in Lake Roberts near Silver City. Lake Roberts is also stocked with rainbow trout and the Department stocked Lake Roberts Dec. 3 with 1,251 rainbow trout. The fishing has been very good.


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