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New Mexico fishing and stocking report

By NM Game and Fish

Catches of the week

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Alto Lake: Tyler Handly, age 15, caught a 19-inch, 3-pound rainbow trout using garlic PowerBait Oct. 14.

Bluewater Lake: Ruth Herrera, age 11, of Santa Fe, caught a 41-inch tiger muskie with the help of her stepsister Hailey Lucero, age 9, trolling a black and white Rapala lure Oct. 17. Elijah Garcia, age 14, of Grants, caught a 12-pound channel catfish using hotdogs Oct. 11.

Clayton Lake: Andre Garcia, age 12, of Clovis, caught his limit of trout using PowerBait Oct. 18.

Red River Hatchery Pond: Viviana Ortega, of Santa Fe, caught a 15-inch rainbow trout using a brown Woolly Bugger Oct. 13.

San Juan River: Michelle Haines, of Counselor, caught a 20-inch rainbow trout using a brown San Juan worm Oct. 18.

The following reports came in late, but we thought they were worth mentioning.

Bluewater Lake: Andrew Judd, age 10, of Albuquerque, caught a 33-inch tiger muskie using a rooster tail spinner Oct. 9. Corina Moya of Artesia caught a 41-inch tiger muskie using a square bill KVD crankbait Oct. 3.

Cimarron River: Lanissa Darnell, age 5, of Alcalde, caught her first fish ever, a 12-inch rainbow trout using salmon eggs Oct. 10.

Eagle Nest Lake: Joslyn Salazar, age 10, of Santa Fe, caught a 19-inch rainbow trout using a white bomber Oct. 10.

Pecos River: Jim McKay caught and released a 22-inch rainbow trout using a hare’s ear nymph fly Oct. 6. He also caught and released an 18-inch rainbow trout using a Royal Wulff dry fly Oct. 8.

If you have a catch of the week story or just want to tell us about your latest New Mexico fishing experience, send it to us at funfishingnm@gmail.com. We may include your story in our next report.

For catches of the week, include name, age, hometown, date, location, type of fish, length, and weight if possible, and bait, lure or fly used.


McKayNE

Northeast Fishing Report

Cabresto Lake: Fishing for brook trout was fair to good using dry flies.

Charette Lakes: Fishing for trout was good using worms and PowerBait.

Cimarron River: Stream flow near Cimarron Monday morning was 7.75 cfs. Fishing for trout was good using worms and bead head hare’s ear nymphs.

Clayton Lake: Fishing for trout was fair to good using PowerBait and nightcrawlers. Fishing for walleye was fair using diving lures. Fishing for catfish was fair to good using chicken liver and homemade baits.

Conchas Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Costilla Creek: The Department has implemented the final phase of a project to expand Rio Grande cutthroat trout in 120 miles of the Costilla watershed in northern New Mexico. The final phase involved the removal of fish within a designated area (Rio Costilla from Costilla Dam downstream to the Valle Vidal Boundary including all tributaries and Comanche Creek from the road culvert crossing on FR 1950 downstream to its confluence with Rio Costilla and all tributaries) with a tentative restocking of Rio Grande cutthroat in spring 2022. Places to fish nearby include Costilla Creek below the fish barrier, Upper Comanche Creek, Shuree Ponds, Middle Ponil Creek, Upper Powderhouse Creek, Little Costilla Creek, Vidal Creek and McCrystal Creek. The Department anticipates the completion of this final phase in the fall of 2021. Please check the Department website for additional information on the project and to identify alternative angling opportunities in the interim.

Cowles Ponds: Fishing for trout was fair to good using chamois leech flies.

Coyote Creek: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Eagle Nest Lake: Fishing for trout was fair to good using Woolly Bugger flies and chartreuse garlic glitter PowerBait.

Eagle Rock Lake: Fishing for trout was slow using PowerBait and salmon eggs. Fishing for trout was fair to good using spinners.

Fawn Lakes: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Gallinas River: Fishing for trout was fair using worms.

Hopewell Lake: Fishing for trout was good using green PowerBait eggs and Pistol Pete’s spinners.

Lake Alice: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Lake Maloya: Fishing for trout was good using elk hair caddis flies, silver spinners and PowerBait.

Los Pinos River: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Maxwell Lake 13: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Monastery Lake: Closed due to COVID-19 health concerns. Check the Open Gate webpage for future updates.

Morphy Lake: Closed for a renovation project on the dam and no firm opening date has been set.

Pecos River: Stream flow near the town of Pecos Monday morning was 17.7 cfs. Fishing for trout was good using Royal Wulff dry flies, nightcrawlers, hare’s ear nymphs and bead head nymph flies.

Red River: Stream flow below the hatchery Monday morning was 31.7 cfs. Fishing for trout was good using stimulator dry flies with small nymph dropper flies and worms. Fishing at the hatchery was good using brown Woolly Bugger flies.

Rio Grande: Stream flow at the Taos Junction Bridge Monday morning was 167 cfs. Fishing for trout was good using double nymph fly rigs in slow-moving pools and mayfly dry dropper setups in the riffles.

Rio Hondo: Stream flow Monday morning near Valdez was 25.7 cfs. Fishing for trout was fair using small attractor dry flies.

Rio Mora: Stream flow Monday morning was 3.67 cfs. We had no reports from anglers this week.

Rio Pueblo: Stream flow near Penasco Monday morning was 3.82 cfs. Anglers reported that the water level was very low and not good for fishing.

Santa Cruz Reservoir: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Shuree Ponds: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Springer Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Storrie Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Stubblefield Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Ute Lake: Fishing for white bass was fair using slabs and vibrating blade baits in 25 to 30-feet of water on main lake flats. Fishing for walleye was fair to good using blade baits and slab jigs in 30 to 35-feet of water on main lake points. Fishing for catfish was good using punch bait and cut bait. The surface water temperature was in the mid-60s and the main lake was clear.


NW

Northwest Fishing Report

Abiquiu Lake: Angling activity has been very light. Due to low water levels, anglers are advised to use four-wheel-drive vehicles to launch boats and watch for obstructions on the water.

Animas River: Water flow below Aztec Monday morning was 53.5 cfs. We had no reports from anglers this week.

Albuquerque Area Drains: Fishing for carp was fair to good using corn and bread balls.

Bluewater Lake: Fishing for tiger muskie was good using 8-inch streamer flies, jointed Rapala lures and swimbaits. Fishing for trout was slow to fair using PowerBait. Fishing for catfish was good using chicken liver and hot dogs.

Brazos River: Fishing for trout was fair to good using worms and small nymph flies.

Canjilon Lakes: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Chama River: Monday morning flows below El Vado and Abiquiu were 99.5 cfs and 64.0 cfs, respectively. Fishing for trout below El Vado Lake was good using nightcrawlers and orange PowerBait. Fishing for trout below Abiquiu Lake was good using mop flies and small egg pattern flies. The water level was low and the water color was murky.

Cochiti Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

El Vado Lake: Is open for Salmon Snagging Season. Park hours are 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Kokanee salmon snagging was reported as slow.

Fenton Lake: Fishing for trout was fair using worms. Fishing for trout was good using black leech flies and Panther Martin spinners.

Heron Lake: Salmon snagging season opens Nov. 13. Please note Nov. 13 is the correct opening date for the snagging season at Heron Lake and any other reported opening dates are incorrect. Fishing was reported as slow.

Jemez Waters: Stream flow on the Jemez near the town of Jemez Monday morning was 6.65 cfs. Fishing for trout was fair using worms and salmon eggs.

Laguna del Campo: Fishing for trout was fair to good using yellow and green garlic-scented PowerBait and worms.

Lagunitas Lakes: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Lake Farmington: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Manzano Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

McGaffey Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Navajo Lake: Fishing for kokanee salmon using snagging hooks was good near the dam. Please note that the buoyed no-wake areas and shoreline within the no-wake areas at the Pine River Boat Ramp and Simms Boat Ramp at Navajo Lake are currently closed for salmon snagging and will open on Nov. 13.

San Gregorio Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

San Juan River: Stream flow Monday morning was 750 cfs. Fishing for trout in the quality waters was good using black, crème and red midge pupa pattern flies and brown San Juan worms, small Baetis nymph flies and RS2’s.

Seven Springs Brood Pond: Closed due to COVID-19 health concerns. Check the Department’s Alerts page for future updates.

Tingley Beach: Fishing for trout was fair to good using garlic PowerBait and PowerBait worms.

Trout Lakes: We had no reports from anglers this week.


Southwest Fishing Report

Alumni Pond: Fishing for catfish was slow to fair using worms, stink bait and hotdogs.

Bear Canyon Lake: Fishing for catfish was good using nightcrawlers.

Bill Evans Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Caballo Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Elephant Butte Lake: Fishing for white bass was fair to good trolling white Bomber crankbaits. Fishing for catfish was good using cut carp bait and chicken liver.

Escondida Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Gila River: Stream flow Monday morning was 32.5 cfs. Fishing for catfish in Grant County was good using cut bait.

Glenwood Pond: Fishing for trout was fair to good using dry flies and PowerBait.

Lake Roberts: Fishing for catfish was good using beef liver and worms. Fishing for trout was good using pink and orange PowerBait, flavored salmon eggs and black dry flies.

Percha Dam: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Quemado Lake: Fishing for trout was slow.

Rancho Grande Ponds: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Rio Grande: Stream flow below Elephant Butte Monday morning was 0.52 cfs. We had no reports from anglers this week.

Snow Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Trees Lake: Fishing for trout was good using green and purple PowerBait. Fishing for catfish was fair using chicken liver and worms.

Young Pond: We had no reports from anglers this week.


SE

Southeast Fishing Report

Alto Lake: Fishing for trout was fair to good using yellow glitter PowerBait. Fishing for catfish was fair using worms.

Bataan Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Black River: Stream flow at Malaga Monday morning was 4.58 cfs. We had no reports from anglers this week.

Blue Hole Park Pond: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Bonito Lake: Closed until further notice by the city of Alamogordo due to fire damage. It appears now that the lake will be out of commission until 2022.

Bosque Redondo Lake: Fishing for catfish was fair to good using hotdogs.

Bottomless Lakes: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Brantley Lake: Fishing for bass was good using watermelon and pumpkin-colored plastic worms.

Carlsbad Municipal Lake: Fishing for catfish was good using nightcrawlers and homemade dough bait.

Chaparral Park Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Corona Pond: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Eunice Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Green Meadow Lake: Fishing for catfish was fair using chicken and beef liver. Fishing for bass was fair using worms.

Greene Acres Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Grindstone Reservoir: Fishing for trout was good using spinners and orange PowerBait.

Jal Lake: Fishing for catfish was fair to good using worms and homemade dough bait.

Lake Van: Water levels are low, but fishing for catfish was fair to good using chicken liver and worms.

Oasis Park Lake We had no reports from anglers this week.

Pecos River: Stream flow below Sumner Lake Monday morning was 86.7 cfs. Fishing for white bass south of Carlsbad was good using white Jelly Worms. Fishing for catfish was fair to good using worms.

Perch Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Ruidoso River: Stream flow Monday morning at Hollywood was 3.28 cfs. We had no reports from anglers this week.

Santa Rosa Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Sumner Lake: Fishing for walleye, bass and catfish was good using dark plastic worms and live worms.


Tips and Tricks

You might have noticed that quite often anglers report having success using cut bait. It is a highly effective bait, especially for catching large predatory fish such as catfish and lake trout.

The most common cut bait is made from common carp found in pretty much all lakes and many warm water rivers and ditches across New Mexico.

To make cut bait first, you must catch a carp. The easiest way that I have found to catch carp is by using a small trout salmon egg hook baited with a ball of bread. I pinch off about a 1-inch square piece of bread and compress it around the hook forming a small ball. Carp’s mouths are not very big, so you do not need a big piece of bait.

Once you catch a carp, there are two popular shapes to cut the meat. When fishing for catfish, 1-inch cube pieces of cut bait work well for average size fish. Larger pieces work better for bigger fish. Cutting the meat into strips is also a good way to prepare the cut bait. Strips of cut bait work well tipped on jigging tubes.

It is important to know the rules when using baitfish for fishing.

Bait and Baitfish

Possession of and use of any baitfish while fishing is illegal, except as defined below. Baitfish may not be used in Special Trout Waters, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge or Bottomless Lakes State Park. Bluegills and sunfish (genus Lepomis) taken legally by angling may be used as live or dead bait in the water where taken.

Commercially packaged and processed dead fish are not considered baitfish and are approved for use in all waters where the use of bait is legal. Roe, viscera and eyes of game fish taken legally may be used in all waters where the use of bait is legal. Chumming is allowed in all waters, except Special Trout Waters. Goldfish or bullfrogs (including larval stages, for example, tadpoles) may not be used as live or dead bait in any waters. Salamander larva (waterdogs) may be used in all waters where the use of bait is legal.

Live and dead baitfish use exceptions

Live and/or dead baitfish are approved for the drainages and waters listed in the table below. This includes Regular Trout Waters, where the use of bait is legal.

Approved live and/or dead baitfish locations

Rio Grande Drainage: Fathead minnow, red shiner and shad Elephant Butte and Caballo reservoirs: Fathead minnow, red shiner, shad and golden shiner Canadian River Drainage: Fathead minnow, red shiner, white sucker and shad San Juan River Drainage: Fathead minnow and red shiner Gila River and San Francisco River Drainages: Fathead minnow only Pecos River Drainage (excluding Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Bottomless Lakes State Park): Fathead minnow and red shiner

Approved dead-only baitfish (cut bait) locations

Statewide: Common carp Heron Reservoir: White sucker

Taking minnows

Baitfish may only be taken for personal use and only by anglers currently licensed or 11 years of age or younger. Permitted methods for taking minnows include: angling, dip nets, cast nets, traps and seines. Seines may not be longer than 20 feet, and the mesh size may not be larger than 3/8-inch square. All protected species of fish (including endangered and threatened species) taken with seines, nets and traps must immediately be returned to the water.

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