Rio Guadalupe Nominated for Outstanding National Resource Water

by Ron Loehman, Conservation Chair

The following is an excerpt from the NM Trout’s testimonial submitted in support of the Rio Guadalupe nomination as Outstanding National Resource Water (ONRW).

The Rio Guadalupe exhibits all of the characteristics of an Outstanding National Resource Water. It is a delightful, free-flowing stream with high water quality in an exceptional scenic setting that is a treasured recreational resource. The Rio Guadalupe arises at about 7200 feet in elevation in New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains at the confluence of the Rio Cebolla and the Rio de las Vacas, the site of the old settlement of Porter’s Landing. The river then flows south for approximately 13.7 miles, where it joins the Jemez River near the intersection of SR 485 and SR 4.

The State of New Mexico classifies the upper part of the Rio Guadalupe as high quality coldwater fishery and it is generally considered the finest brown trout water in the state. New Mexico Trout, a local, all-volunteer fly fishing and conservation organization with over 250 members, has adopted the Rio Guadalupe as its “Home Waters”.  This is a designation given by anglers to a stream that is their go-to destination and that is of special significance and concern. New Mexico Trout conducts a cleanup of the FR 376 corridor along the Guadalupe each Spring.  The club has also provided volunteer labor and funding for materials for many of the vehicle barriers at the FR parking areas on FR 376.

Ron Loehman, who owns a home on the lower Rio Guadalupe, writes, “I have been impressed and delighted by the Guadalupe ever since I first discovered it more than twenty-five years ago. Over the years I’ve fished all up and down the river and hiked much of the canyon and surrounding uplands. The Guadalupe can always surprise the visitor. On walks one may see wildlife such as beaver or occasionally elk, come across Indian ruins, and find fossil outcroppings. The Rio Guadalupe is a treasure that deserves protection so that those who come after us can also enjoy its delights and the recreation and renewal it provides.”

Mike Hosking, a New Mexico Trout member from Albuquerque wrote: “My introduction to the Rio Guadalupe was in September 2012. I had just returned from a week of hiking and fishing in Yellowstone with a neighbor. We mostly fished streams in the northern section of the park and it was a great time. On the ride home, my neighbor was surprised to hear that I had never fished the Guadalupe. He called me the following week to go there. We dropped down to the Guadalupe about six miles upstream from the Gilman Tunnels. The rest of the day was as good as it gets, even after fishing in Yellowstone. It was a perfect mid NM September day. The fishing was exceptional. For the first hour, every pool and riffle that I casted to yielded a strike. The browns that I did catch were fair size and fought hard. As the day progressed, the action slowed, but wading through the canyon section was memorable.

Note:  The proposal will be stronger if I have testimonials from you describing your
special recreational experiences on the Rio Guadalupe and/or what the Guadalupe means to you. Please send comments to me.