Weekly Fishing Report: November 20, 2023
Written by George Morse
Sports and outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
For most of the fall, water released from below Abiquiu Dam was much higher than normal. As a result, the streamflow in the Chama River below the dam was much higher than normal.
Water flowing from Abiquiu has recently been cut off. Likewise, river flows have decreased significantly in the Chama River. This would improve fishing conditions. This section of the river is well equipped. It should provide good fishing as long as the river flow remains low. There are some big wild brown trout here.
Special regulations in this section stipulate a limit of two fish per day. Be sure and check the streamflow report online at the USGS Streamflow Report for New Mexico.
More than 4,000 rainbow trout were recently stocked in Bluewater Lake near Grants. Known as a destination for anglers looking to add tiger muskie fishing to their bucket list, Bluewater was formerly known as a trout lake. It has been overrun by illegally introduced suckers and goldfish.
Tiger muskies are stocked to eat suckers and goldfish. They did, but they ate the trout right away. Bluewater trout fishing will be good until the fish are stocked, caught by anglers, or eaten by tiger muskies. Very few trout will live longer than a few months.
Albuquerque area sewers are now stocked with rainbow trout. The Albuquerque, Albuquerque South, Belen Riverside, Bernalillo, Corrales and Placitas drains were all stocked last week.
Rainbow trout are now stocked again at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque. It was stocked three times last week with a total of 2,400 rainbow trout.
Fenton Lake State Park is open for camping. The lake is open from 7 am to 7 pm. Camping is by reservation only. It is filled with rainbow trout. It also has some wild brown trout and some Rio Grande trout from previous stockings. It was stocked on November 7 with 1,034 rainbow trout. For more information and current lake conditions call (575).829.3630.
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 Jemez River downstream flow was 14.0 cubic feet per second. This is higher than last week and lower than normal. The Jemez River was stocked on November 7 with 999 rainbow trout.
12,424 Rio Grande cutthroat trout were stocked Sept. 28 in the Rio San Antonio, a tributary of the Jemez River. It was stocked on October 4 with 751 rainbow trout.
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.
The Bureau of Land Management manages the Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area near Chimayo. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Thursday to Sunday. Fishing should be good for stocked rainbow trout and some wild brown trout. It was stocked on November 2 with 3,804 rainbow trout. The water level is low, but the boat ramp is still open. Cold weather may cause trout to move into shallow water.
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 262 cubic feet per second at the Taos Junction Bridge. This is slightly higher than last week and below normal. The Rio Grande at Pilar was stocked on November 13 with 2,001 rainbow trout. Fishing conditions are very good on the Rio Grande right now. Wild brown trout are active before spawning.
From the Colorado state line downstream to the Taos Junction Bridge, the limit is two trout per day on the Rio Grande. 248 catchable size rainbow trout were stocked in the Rio Grande Gorge above Pilar on November 13.
Eagle Nest Lake in Eagle Nest State Park is open. Boating is open and docks are present.
Fishing should be good for rainbow trout, yellow perch, northern pike, and the occasional kokanee salmon. Eagle Nest is receiving heavy stockings that are close to catchable size and larger hatchery fish, which is unusual. It was stocked twice last week with a total of 21,148 seven-inch rainbow trout. Larger trout are stocked in hopes of mitigating losses from predation by northern pike. 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 was 1.74 cubic feet per second. This is the same as last week. The Cimarron River near the town of Cimarron was measured at 4.26 cubic feet per second. 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 now open. It was stocked on October 11 with 397 rainbow trout.
Lake Maloya and Lake Alice in Sugarite State Park near Raton are open. Lake Maloya was stocked on November 15 with 1,498 catchable size rainbow trout. Lake Alice was stocked on November 15 with 251 rainbow trout. 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. The boat dock and boat ramp are now open. The lake level is higher than in previous years. The kokanee salmon fishing season began on November 11 and has been reported as very slow.
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 is
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 was measured at 25.2 cubic feet per second which is below normal. 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 Nov. 7 with 499 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos was fair. It was stocked on November 16 with 252 rainbow trout.
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. Northern pike fishing has been fair to good. The fishing has been fair. Kokanee salmon are starting to school near the dam at a depth of 50-60 feet. Kokanee salmon rip season began October 1st. Early reports described the rupture process as slow. The fishing has improved and is now fair to good. Boating conditions are good. Call 505.632.2278 for terms.
Other lakes in the Four Corners area are now being stocked. Lake Farmington was stocked on November 8 with 1,881 rainbow trout. Aztec Pond Number 1 was stocked on November 7 with 100 rainbow trout. Aztec’s Tiger Park Pond was stocked on November 7 with 1,200 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. They will soon begin to freeze.
Canjilon on September 25 was stocked with 1,184 rainbow trout and contains juvenile trout. Trout Lakes on September 25 were stocked with 740 rainbow trout.
The campground at Hopewell Lake is open. Fishing has been good for trout and wild trout. It was stocked on October 5 with 2,520 rainbow trout.
The Rio de los Pinos is located near the border with Colorado north of Tres Piedras. II was stocked on October 3 with 1,799 rainbow trout. It has wild brown trout.
The best river in the state and known throughout the fishing world is the San Juan River below Navajo Dam. The stream flow here is now 338 cubic feet per second, the same rate 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 was stocked three times three weeks ago 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 on November 3 with 1,910 rainbow trout.
Lake Abiquiu is open, including a boat ramp and picnic areas. Camping is open. It is managed by the Corps of Engineers. Reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov. Water levels drop as too much water is released. Fishing has been fair 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 76.4 cubic feet per second. This is much lower than last week and much lower than normal. The water is murky. Fishing is likely to be fair for stocked and held trout. There are a few large wild brown trout here. It was stocked on November 16 with 525 rainbow trout. The limit here is two fish per day.
The flow rate in the Chama River below the Alvado Dam was 108 cubic feet per second. This is lower than 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, the Chama River at La Puente is clear and the river’s flow rate is 39.6 cubic feet per second. This is slightly higher than last week and below normal. It was stocked on September 18 with 1043 rainbows.
The flow of the Rio Pueblo near Peñasco was measured at 6.99 cubic feet per second. This is higher than last week and slightly below normal. It was stocked on September 26 with 2,001 rainbow trout. It has wild brown trout.
The Red River flows below the fish hatchery at a rate of 46.3 cubic feet per second. This is higher than last week and above normal. It was stocked on November 8 with 699 rainbow trout.
Red River Hatchery Pond is open. 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.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is open. It was stocked on November 8 with 500 rainbow trout.
105 rainbow trout were stocked in Valle Vidal’s Shuri Ponds on July 24, averaging 15.2 inches.
Cabristo Lake, a small, high-elevation lake accessible by four-wheel drive near Cuesta, has good fishing for brook trout and wild trout. It may soon start to freeze.