Pikeminnow in San Juan

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From the June 2017 newsletter The endangered Colorado Pikeminnow is showing signs of recovering its diminished population in the San Juan River basin. The lower reaches of the San Juan River provide habitat for this federally listed fish. Conservation of this fishery is a priority of the New Mexico Game and Fish Department, and staff spend a considerable amount of time monitoring, stocking, and enhancing habitat to ensuring the long-term persistence of this resource. Based on data gathered last year following the spring peak release from Navajo Dam, scientists said they have found evidence the Colorado pikeminnow is reproducing in the San Juan River, and the offspring are surviving. The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Services said more than 540 Colorado pikeminnow, once widely known as the “salmon of the southwest”, were counted in the San Juan River last year. They also found 23 yearling fish. Before last year, only one juvenile fish had been caught by scientists since work began in the 1990s to restore habitat. The Colorado pikeminnow lives in three river basins: The San Juan River basin, the Colorado River basin and the Green River basin. Both the Colorado and Green river basins have populations of Colorado pikeminnow that are reproducing and surviving to adulthood ... Read More

New Special Trout Waters on Rio Chama

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by Noah Parker, reprinted with permission from https://loeflyfishing.com With the beginning of the new licensing period on April 1st, 2017, the new catch and release area on the Chama River below El Vado Dam was implemented and became a reality. The New Mexico Game and Fish Commission (NMDG&F) approved catch and release regulations on this section of the Chama River at its November 17, 2016 meeting in Grants. The new regulation, as written by NMDG&F staff, applies to a three-mile stretch of the river that starts 1.3 miles below the El Vado Dam. The first 1.3 mile section of the Chama directly below the dam was left out of the proposal because it includes the Coopers El Vado Ranch and areas upstream that are popular with “catch and keep” anglers fishing on the Chama. The new catch and release area begins about 1/4 mile below Cooper’s where the gauging cable crosses the river and then runs downstream to the confluence of the Rio Nutrius/Canyon – a distance of about 3 river miles. Anglers willing to walk a moderate distance downstream from Cooper’s should have the opportunity for larger, stream-bred trout. The new catch and release regulation for this section of the Chama River mandates that all fish must be released with a tackle/gear restriction of using only single barbless hook and artificial lures. At some point in the next few weeks signage will be installed on the riverbank at the upstream and downstream boundaries of the new catch and release ... Read More

New Fishing Rules Proposed 

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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is proposing new rules. Some of the changes are:
  • Modifications to the Special Trout Water (STW) program including increasing designated waters by 52 miles, reducing the number of Special Trout Water classifications from over eleven to four, and removing some waters that no longer meet the STW designation.
  • Lifting catch-and-release only designation at Brantley Lake
  • Adding Alumni Pond, Corona Pond, Estancia Pond, Perch Lake, Rancho Grande Ponds, Roswell Kids Ponds, and Rio Grande below Elephant Butte as winter trout waters
Another feature of the proposed plan is to rename the categories of Special Trout Water.  In true New Mexico fashion, catch and release waters will be known as “Red Chile” waters.  Waters with a two fish limit and restricted tackle will be known as “Green Chile” waters.  Waters with a two fish limit, open to any legal tackle will be known as “X-mas” waters.  More information on the changes and process for public comment is at http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/commission/ The next public meeting will be held Thursday, November 16, 2017, beginning at 9:00 a.m., at the Elephant Butte Inn ... Read More

Fly of the Month –  October Caddis  

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Pattern, notes & photo by John Kreft
Used by permission
From the October 2017 newsletter Hook: Dai Riki 270 # 8 – 10
Thread: Black
Body: Orange wool
Rib: Small gold wire
Hackle: Brown furnace
Underwing: Black krystal flash
Wing: Black dyed elk Summer’s over. It’s Fall and the weather is just beginning to turn. My wife doesn’t like hearing that. But what does that mean to a fly fisher? Well, October is just around the corner and I saw a few October Caddis on the river last week. I thought about how important they are to the fish. These bugs are BIG. I’m talking about a size 8 caddis pattern, not the familiar size 16 & 18 caddis, pale morning duns (PMD) and blue wing olives (BWO) the fish have been eating lately. Every once in awhile, you’ll see a big, splashy rise. Maybe it was a fish taking an October Caddis! Here is a fly I tyed and fished in 2014. It’s a slight variation to a standard Elk Hair Caddis fly pattern. Think I’ll call it the RiverKeeper October Caddis! Fish an October Caddis pattern in the afternoon and evening when the adults are most active. I blind-cast these when I don’t see any fish rising and WHAM! Other times, cast it to a fish that’s eating other bugs and see if they’ll eat it. An occasional twitch of the rod tip will provide movement similar to the real caddis. Give it a try. October Caddis begin hatching ... Read More

New Mexico National Monuments’ Boundaries Unchanged

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that two large national monuments in New Mexico be reviewed to allow increased access and other uses. The plan does not change the boundaries of the Rio Grande del Norte monument near the New Mexico-Colorado state line and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks monument along the southern border. It does call for making public access a priority and congressional authority to enable Native American tribes to co-manage cultural areas within the monuments’ boundaries. Zinke’s plan also urges more grazing, hunting and fishing at these sites, and requests a new assessment of border-safety risks at the monument near the Mexican border ... Read More

Three Interstate Stream Commissioners Resign

Three Interstate Stream Commissioners Resign
Commission members Jim Dunlap of Farmington and James Wilcox of Carlsbad submitted resignation letters to Gov. Susana Martinez on 11 October, a day after commission Chairman Caleb Chandler of Clovis tendered his resignation. Dunlap wrote in his resignation letter that he had “great concern for lack of direction from the State Engineer and adherence to New Mexico State Statutes.” The commission has also come under fire in recent years for open meetings violations. The resignations leave the commission with just four active members out of nine board positions, because there were previously two vacancies.The Interstate Stream Commission has broad powers to investigate, protect, conserve, and develop New Mexico’s waters including both interstate and intrastate stream systems. A key item of discussion over the past few years is the Gila River diversion project, which is looking into options to divert the river for farm and municipal use in southwestern New Mexico ... Read More

Resolution Guide Service

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Fishing report by Tina and Mike Stalled about Resolution Guide Service and Rainbow Lodge, New Mexico Trout sponsors ... Read More

Valles Caldera News

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Fishing is permitted year-round as long as streams are not frozen. All anglers are required to check in at the Valle Grande Contact Station before fishing the waters within the preserve to obtain a free fishing permit. However, vehicle access to certain streams may not be available year-round and may require a backcountry vehicle permit. Up to 35 backcountry vehicle permits are available daily from mid-May through October as conditions allow. Elk hunting is in progress thru December 6, 2017, so wearing bright colors is advised outside of the preserve’s “no hunting” zone. A series of prescribed burn projects will be completed beginning the week of October 16th, dependent upon suitable weather and fuel conditions. The prescribed burn will take place within an approximately 2,330-acre project area in the Banco Bonito district of the preserve – north of NM State Road 4 near mile marker 30. The burn operations will be completed within a 3-10 day period. Brief traffic delays may occur during this time, but are not expected to cause road closures or disrupt visitor activities elsewhere on the preserve ... Read More
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