A local attraction known for fishing will officially be closing its doors on 30 October.
Jan Phillips is one of the owners of Shady Lakes, which has been a part of the Phillips family since 1962. Even though the Phillips family is closing the door on Shady Lakes, Jan hopes whoever ends up buying the fishing hole can keep the tradition going. The owners have yet to put the property on the market. Shady Lakes was originally just a bait farm when it was first purchased by the Phillips family in 1962. Once they bought it, they quickly converted it into what it is today.
We had a technical problem at the September monthly meeting, so here are Jerry’s slides on winter fishing in New Mexico.
Fishing on Cow Creek
On 1 June,18 of the 20 lucky winners of the club sponsored lottery to fish Cow Creek Ranch met at 6:30 a.m. at the Lowes on Paseo Del Norte’s parking lot. Car pools were organized and we set off for Cow Creek Ranch. Knowing that folks would get separated driving the interstate, we all met at the Glorieta/Pecos exit where many of the anglers had a cup of coffee from a coffee truck. The truck is like a food truck except it serves all kinds of coffee drinks at lower prices than Starbucks. We departed the exit and traveled caravan style past the village of Pecos to the end of the paved road to gravel washboard, to the dirt road, over a stretch of rocky road, to the recently graded ranch road.
After rendezvousing at the Ranch, Lanier Hartnagel, the owner of the Ranch explained to the group the rules of fishing on the Ranch including how to release a fish that has been caught. She also explained to the group that this was a special deal we had been given since she only allows people to fish on the Ranch with a guide. Waters on the Ranch had been divided into twelve beats, these were assigned to the group with two anglers assigned to each beat during the morning. In the afternoon, the anglers were told to fish wherever the wanted with the understanding that should not infringe upon water being fished by another angler.
Just about everyone caught fish with some catching more that others. Some probably caught the largest rainbow trout of the their life. Many fat 20 inch plus trout were landed and one angler, who fished the stream reach above the developed water, caught four species of trout.
An afternoon rain put a damper on some of the fishing, but once it stopped the fishing activity was back to normal. It did however, make for some muddy roads on the way home.
In talking with many of the group members, all were positive about the event and would like to see having the Club do it again. At our most recent Board of Directors meeting we discussed the event and how it should perhaps be changed in the future if we have it at Cow Creek Ranch. Should we do a lottery with the stipulation that the winners pay part of the cost? Should we scale back the number of participants? We would like your input and ideas on the issue. So your thoughts, PLEASE.
For me, it was an enjoyable outing, but was at times like herding cats. I hope all of you who participated had a great time.
Jerry Burton, President NMT
Photo by Roger Blake
The East Fork of the Jemez, Jaramillo Creek, the Rio San Antonio, and the Rito do los Indios are open to fishing year round, as long as they are not frozen. Vehicle access requires a Backcountry Vehicle Permit, and 35 permits will be issued daily on a first-come basis at the Valles Caldera visitor center until 30 September. The free permits are for general access to the backcountry and there is no special quota for anglers. There is no additional cost for the Vehicle Access Permit beyond the general entry fee for the Preserve. A valid New Mexico fishing license is required and all waters fall under the NMDG&F Special Trout Water regulations. Additional details are at: http://www.nps.gov/vall/planyourvisit/fishing.htm
Note that anglers should be prepared for bear encounters, since the recent black bear attack on a women marathoner. The National Park Service recommends that “if a bear approaches you, stand up tall and make loud noises- shout, clap hands, clang pots and pans. When done immediately, these actions have been successful in scaring bears away. However, if attacked, fight back! Never try and retrieve anything once a bear has it. Report all incidents to a park ranger.” Additional safety recommendations for the Valles Caldera are at https://www.nps.gov/vall/planyourvisit/safety.htm
From the January 2016 newsletter
New Mexico is on the verge of an invasion of nonnative plant and animal species that threaten the health and quality of our waters. Although New Mexico is only one of 6 states in the Continental US with no evidence of infestation, Zebra and Quagga Mussels have been found in lakes and streams of all our neighboring states, most recently the Quagga mussel has been found in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam at Lee’s Ferry. We all will need to play our part in helping to avoid their spread. If you visit any of these infested waters, below are suggestions for decontaminating waders, boots and other paraphernalia that may carry spores, parasites or other hidden species which may escape into or from the local watershed are below:
Because aquatic nuisance species are generally microscopic in nature, it very difficult to ‘see’ whether you have properly cleaned your equipment (vectors) including fishing gear, boots, wader, float tubes, vest, sandals, socks, line, reel, boat, canoe, and even vehicles…. The EPA, and other environmental agencies which have had a bigger role in establishing the decontamination procedures for several states and federal agencies ARE RECOMMENDING THE USE OF BLEACH to decontaminate as well as Cleaning and Drying. Use a solution of Common household bleach (Clorox), and fresh water in a container of adequate size for this procedure. A 2% solution is adequate to disinfect gear of all pathogens of hard and soft sided objects. 13 oz of Bleach to 5 gallons of water or 2.5 oz to one gallon will make you a 2% solution. … Hard items must soak for at least one minute, no less. Five is best. Soft items such as felt soles, clothing, sandals, or anything else that takes time to dry out should be left for thorough saturation. 15-30 minutes will suffice. … Once items have been saturated and allowed to sit in the solution for the correct amount of time, it is time to rinse off. Take another bucket with fresh water and rinse the items until no smell of chlorine is present on the item when you use Bleach. Now allow the gear to completely dry.
For more information:
From the January 2016 newsletter
A warming trend in the Pacific has spawned a wet season for the Southwest, including New Mexico. Every one of the state’s river basins have an above-average snowpack, according to the initial water supply forecast by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Last year, the snowpack was well below 100 percent in most of New Mexico’s mountain ranges. December’s snowfall pushed precipitation totals for the month to 137 percent of the 30-year average. December marked the first time that New Mexico was reported as drought-free on the drought monitor map compiled by agencies that keep track of river flows, soil moisture and other data.
The snowpack in the Rio Grande Basin, which includes the western slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the eastern side of the Jemez Mountains, reached 134 percent of average. Last year, the snowpack at this time was 76 percent of average.
The Pecos River Basin snowpack, at 159 percent of average, is more than twice what it was last year at this time. The Rio Hondo basin was at 181 percent compared to 72 percent last year.
Nearly two months after the Gold King mine spill, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish biologists say fish caught in sections of the Animas and San Juan rivers are safe to eat. Immediately following the spill, the department issued a catch and release recommendation. However, recent tissue samples from fish revealed only trace amounts of metals that are within acceptable levels for human consumption. The department will continue collecting and testing species of fish. Collections will be taken again at six months post spill, one year post spill and then annually.
Link to NM Game & Fish announcement.
From the August/September 2015 Newsletter
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) has been executing a program to stock larger fish in local waters over recent years. The aim of the program that grows larger trout at several of its hatcheries is to keep anglers excited about the sport. The idea for the program came from the tremendous positive responses the department has received from anglers who had caught big trout, stocked in numerous fishing areas during the past few seasons. Many of those fat trout were the first generation raised at the Los Ojos Fish Hatchery after it had been closed for decontamination to eliminate whirling disease a few years ago. About 1,000 fish had to be held over at the facility to ensure they were free of the disease. They grew to around 17 inches each before being stocked in nearby Hopewell and Canjilon Lakes and the Chama River. This year, fish hatcheries at Red River and Los Ojos will raise thousands of fish in the 15 to 17-inch range for stocking in about 20 selected lakes and ponds. Some of those big trout were stocked in the Rio Costilla and Red River, fish hatchery ponds such as Seven Springs, and places like Tingley Beach. Even remote Charette Lakes, far out on the plains of eastern New Mexico, got a load of the big fish.