Anglers can still catch plenty of tasty fish during the winter as the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish switches from stocking catfish to trout in many statewide waters.
Every fall, the department switches from stocking catfish in the summer to trout in the winter at
, the Tingley Beach area drains and other popular fishing waters in the
southern half of the state. Albuquerque
“Trout fishing in small community ponds in southern
is especially popular during the winter," says Dan Williams, spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. New Mexico
|Lake Van near Dexter southeast of Roswell is a popular winter fishing destination.|
Catfish thrive in warmer water while trout prefer it much cooler, and these waters are ideal for this kind of stocking program.
Rainbow trout, including some big ones, are already being stocked at multiple locations in the drains that run alongside the
|Larger trout are frequently added during routine stocking to provide anglers even more fun while fishing.|
"We’re fortunate here in
to have waters such as New Mexico and the Albuquerque-area drains that cool off enough in the winter to allow us to stock trout for anglers to catch,” Williams says. Tingley Beach
Although the department doesn’t disclose exact stocking spots, general locations include: N.M. 550 river bridge in Bernalillo, the Corrales drain along the bosque, and the Rio Grande Open Space off
Other stocking spots include the Shining River parking area, the drain between Bridge and Rio Bravo Boulevards, and the west bank of the Belen drain and the east bank of the Peralta drain between Los Lunas and Belen.
Maps of the drains areas can be found in the fishing section of the department’s website at www.wildlife.state.nm.us. Thousands of trout are stocked every week from November through March. See the weekly stocking report on the department’s website for details of when and where.
Trout in the drains usually can be found in deeper pools, under the shade of overhanging trees or around any kind of protective structure.
|Prime trout habitat on an Albuquerque area drain.|
Try using a salmon egg or worm on a short piece of lightly weighted line just below a bobber or bubble so the bait rides just above the bottom. Spinners and flies are good lures too.
Most areas along the drains are open to the public during daylight hours and can be accessed by walking, riding a bike or driving if permitted. For more information about riverside recreation in the
area, visit the city’s website at www.cabq.gov. Albuquerque
|A quiet afternoon of fishing along one of the Albuquerque area drains.|
, anglers will find a kids pond for anglers younger
than age 12, a central pond where bait is allowed and the bag limit is four
trout per day. There is also catch-and-release only pond where only single,
barbless hooks on artificial flies and lures may be used. Tingley Beach
|Kids enjoy some fishing at one of the ponds at Tingley Beach.|
Anglers ages 12 and older need a current fishing license. Call the department’s customer service line at (888) 248-6866 to immediately get one. A license also can be purchased online at www.wildlife.state.nm.us or from vendors such as bait and tackle shops and sporting goods stores.
Good winter trout fishing also can be found within a moderate drive from
, including the Albuquerque at Pecos River and Villanueva state parks. Anglers can wet a line
for trout at Sumner Lake just outside of Socorro or on the Escondida Lake below Rio Grande at Truth or Consequences. Elephant Butte Lake
|The Pecos River below Sumner Dam is well stocked with trout during the winter.|
Anglers will find plenty of well stocked winter trout fishing waters in the southern part of the state. For a list of those waters visit the department’s website at www.wildlife.state.nm.us. Most of the state's best fishing can be found at state parks. Visit their website for more information.