It’s time to renew your membership

Mike Maes,
Membership Chair

NMT members, the time of year is here to renew your membership for 2017.

Our membership is based on the calendar year: 1 January – 31 December.

Your membership in New Mexico Trout is crucial to our ability to preserve and enhance trout habitat and trout fishing in NM. We are in coordination with the Valles Caldera National Preserve to install a fish barrier on the Rio de Los Indios and our initial estimate is that we may be contributing up to $10,000. We need your support.

We have several forms of membership and sponsorship:

Regular Family Junior (under 21) Life Member Individual Sponsor Business Sponsor Corporate Sponsor
$30 annual $35 annual $15 annual $500 one-time payment $60 annual $150 annual $250 annual

And there are several convenient ways to renew your membership:

  1. Renew online! If you have already registered and are logged in, all your contact information will be automicatically filled in.
  2. Renew by mail. Fill in your information and send the form to your self to mail in with a payment.
  3. Come to our monthly meeting, fill out and drop off an updated membership form and we’ll take care of the restTypes of membership:


If you have any questions,contact Mike Maes or any one of the NMT Board of Directors.

New Special Trout Waters on Rio Chama

by Noah Parker, reprinted with permission from

special-trout-watersWith 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 area (the picture above is of the signs that will be placed on the upstream boundary). [NMT sponsored and helped install these signs!]

All of here at Land of Enchantment Guides would like to thank all of the individuals, organizations and business who supported and helped to make the catch and release area on the Chama a reality – we couldn’t have done it without your efforts. Hopefully over the next few years, this section of the river will become the great fishery that it has the potential to be.

New Fishing Rules Proposed 

nm_sa_logo_290.pngNew 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

The next public meeting will be held Thursday, November 16, 2017, beginning at 9:00 a.m., at the Elephant Butte Inn.

New Mexico National Monuments’ Boundaries Unchanged

MapRioGrandeDelNorte.pngInterior 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.

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.

Valles Caldera News

san antonio meadow fishingFishing 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.