Weekly Fishing Report: February 14, 2024

Weekly Fishing Report: February 14, 2024

Written by George Morse
Sports and outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post

For several years, the New Mexico Game and Fish Department has, periodically throughout the season, stocked larger-than-average rainbow trout in many of the state’s trout lakes and ponds.

These large fish average 15-20 inches in length, a welcome addition for anglers accustomed to catching 9-12 inch rainbow trout.

Reviewing stocking reports for last year (2023), there were few, if any, stocks of this large trout. Places where larger trout can be caught such as the San Juan River, Navajo Lake, Chama River, Eagle Nest Lake, and the Rio Grande have produced some trout, but reports of large trout from elsewhere have declined significantly.

Anglers fishing Lake Abiquiu this year should start catching smallmouth bass. Bass are stocked as fingerlings in 2022 and should be a catchable size. Please release these fish and give them a chance to grow bigger. There is a 14-inch size limit for largemouth bass.

There is already a smallmouth bass fishery in Abiquiu. The maximum size for smallmouth bass is 12 inches. Anglers will need to familiarize themselves with the difference between the two species.

Albuquerque area sewers are now stocked with rainbow trout. The Albuquerque, Albuquerque South, Belen Riverside, Bernalillo, Corales and Peralta drains were all stocked last week.

Rainbow trout are now stocked at Tinguely Beach in Albuquerque. It was stocked on February 6 with 1,823 rainbow trout.

Fenton Lake State Park is now open for ice fishing. Be careful. It was stocked on January 3 with 833 rainbow trout. For more information and current lake conditions call 575.829.3630. The ice is checked daily.

501 rainbow trout were stocked in the Rio Cibola River, which flows in and below Lake Vinton, on Oct. 26. It also has wild brown trout.

Monday’s downstream flow of the Jemez River was 17.7 cubic feet per second. This is slightly lower than last week and below normal. The Jemez River was stocked on Jan. 23 with 830 rainbow trout.

The upper reaches of the Jemez River are frozen over and it will be difficult to catch fish.

Seven Springs Brood Pond, also known as Kid’s Pond, is open. Located in the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery. Fishing is intended for anglers 11 years of age or younger. It was stocked on October 26 with 661 rainbow trout. It also has some wild brown trout and some Rio Grande trout from a previous stock. The maximum is three trout per day. This pond is likely frozen.

The Bureau of Land Management manages the Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area near Chimayo. It has been closed for the season and will reopen on March 1.

For updated conditions, check with the Bureau of Land Management website Or call 505.351.1438.

The office also manages the Orilla Verde Recreation Area along the Rio Grande River in Pilar. Camping is on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations. Downstream flow of the Rio Grande was 382 cubic feet per second at the Taos Junction Bridge. This is higher than last week and lower than normal. The Rio Grande at Pilar on January 23 was stocked with 2,184 rainbow trout.

From the Colorado state line downstream to the Taos Junction Bridge, the limit is two trout per day on the Rio Grande. The Rio Grande Gorge above Pilar on Jan. 23 was stocked with 267 catchable-sized rainbow trout. It was stocked on November 27 with 43,846 Rio Grande trout fingerlings.

Eagle Nest Lake is now open for ice fishing. Traffic is permitted on the ice surface only. Fishing should be good for rainbow trout, northern yellow perch, and the occasional kokanee salmon.

Remember, if you catch a pike at Eagle Nest, you won’t be able to return it to the lake. You have to kill him. For more information and current conditions, call 575.377.1594.

Downstream flow of the Cimarron River below Eagle’s Nest Dam or near the town of Cimarron has not been measured. It was stocked on October 11 with 2,426 rainbow trout. Check the Carson National Forest website to see if campgrounds are open.

The Cimarron Gravel Pit at Maverick Campground is open. They’re starting to freeze.

Lake Maloya and Lake Alice in Sugarite State Park near Raton are open. Lake Maloya was stocked on December 8 with 2,979 catchable size rainbow trout. Lake Alice is closed to fishing due to unsafe ice conditions. Lake Maloya is open for ice fishing call 575.445.5607 for current conditions.

Heron Lake State Park is now open. There is open water for bank fishing, which was good for catching rainbow trout. It was stocked on January 18 with 93,370 catchable rainbow trout. The kokanee salmon fishing season began on November 11 and has been reported as very slow. It has now been closed. There is no ice fishing.

Call 575.588.7470 for conditions at both Lake Huron and Lake El Vado.

Lake El Vado State Park is closed. Try fishing at the north end of the lake where the Chama River empties.

Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas is open. It was stocked on October 3 with 4,008 rainbow trout.

Stream flow at Pecos Canyon State Park has not been measured due to ice. Fishing for trout and wild brown trout was fair to good. Pecos Canyon was stocked on October 25 with 1,498 rainbow trout. The Pecos River in Villanueva was stocked on February 5 with 448 rainbow trout.

Monastery Lake near Pecos is closed due to unsafe icy conditions. Ice fishing is not allowed here.

In the Four Corners area, Navajo Lake State Park is open. Camping is by reservation only. Trolling with imitation baits such as Rapalas can produce brown trout. They were stocked six times last week with fish from three different hatcheries for a total of 94,519 catchable rainbow trout. The q for northern pike has been fair to good. Fishing was slow. Kokanee salmon rip season began October 1st. Early reports described the rupture process as slow. The fishing has improved a bit and is fair. Its closure has now expired on December 31st. Boating conditions are good. Navajo Lake does not freeze. Call (505).632.2278 for terms.

Bluewater Lake State Park was stocked on January 22 with 4,800 rainbow trout. Fishing will be good until most of the trout are caught or eaten by tiger muskie. Musky fishing can be slow. Thin ice may form in the lake.

Other lakes in the Four Corners area are now being stocked. Lake Farmington was stocked on February 5 with 1,969 rainbow trout. Aztec Pond Number 1 was stocked on February 1 with 821 rainbow trout. Tiger Park Pond was stocked in Aztecs on February 1 with 1,688 rainbow trout.

Popular fishing spots in the Carson National Forest include Canjilon Lakes and Trout Lakes near Cibola and Lake Hopewell between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla. It will soon start to freeze and will be inaccessible due to snow.

Hopewell can be reached by snowmobile. Ice fishing is said to be very good for trout and wild trout.

The Rio de los Pinos is located near the Colorado border north of Tres Piedras. II was stocked on October 3 with 1,799 rainbow trout. It has wild brown trout. It’s iced.

The best river in the state and known throughout the fishing world is the San Juan River below Navajo Dam. The river flow at San Juan was 338 cubic feet per second. This is the same as last week. San Juan offers world-class fishing for large trout.

Fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns in the four miles of quality water below the dam. Fishing here is done by catch and release with flies and lures that have a single barbed hook. It is stocked with small rainbow trout that grow quickly in the fertile waters. It has been stocked three times in four weeks with more than 110,000 rainbow trout fingerlings. Another 11,618 rainbow trout fingerlings were stocked on October 30. Large wild brown trout are found in high quality water. Some of these fish would likely break the state record if they could be kept and weighed.

Bait Water fishing in San Juan below the water quality was fair to good using flies, lures and lures. A regular daily limit of five trout can be kept here. There are some big brown trout here too. It was stocked twice last week with a total of 3,228 rainbow trout.

Lake Abiquiu is open, including a boat ramp and picnic areas. The boat ramp may be closed periodically. Camping is open. It is managed by the Corps of Engineers. Reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov. Fishing has been slow for walleye, catfish and smallmouth bass. There are some good sized trout at Abiquiu. Call 505.685.4371 for more information.

The Chama River flows below Abiquiu Dam at a rate of 56 cubic feet per second. This is slightly higher than last week and well below normal. The water is turbid. Fishing is likely to be fair for stocked and held trout. There are a few large wild brown trout here. It was stocked on January 24 with 415 rainbow trout. The limit here is two fish per day.

The flow rate in the Chama River below the Alvado Dam was 98.8 cubic feet per second. This is about the same level as last week and below normal. It has wild brown trout. It was stocked Oct. 25 with 36,990 one-inch Rio Grande cutthroat trout.

Above Lake El Vado, downstream flow was not measured on the Chama River at La Puente due to ice. The river flow above the town of Shama has not been measured.

The flow of the Rio Pueblo near Peñasco has not been measured due to ice. It has wild brown trout.

The Red River flows below the fish hatchery at a rate of 43.7 cubic feet per second. This is higher than last week and above normal. It was stocked on February 6 with 562 rainbow trout.

The Red River Hatchery Pond is likely frozen over. Hunting is for anglers 11 years of age or younger and 65 years of age or older. The limit now is five fish a day. It was stocked on October 16 with 400 catchable size rainbow trout. It will likely be frozen.

Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is open. It was stocked on November 8 with 500 rainbow trout. Maybe it ended up freezing. Use caution as ice may be unsafe.

Shuree Ponds in Valle Vidal is closed until July 1.

Cabristo Lake, a small, high-elevation lake accessible by four-wheel drive near Cuesta, has good ice fishing for trout and wild rainbow trout. It’s been frozen.

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