SANTA FE – Anglers can catch trout all winter long as the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has resumed stocking its winter trout waters.
Every fall, the department switches from stocking catfish in the summer to trout in the winter at popular fishing waters such as Tingley Beach and the drains in the Rio Grande valley around Albuquerque and at many lakes and ponds in the southern half of the state. Catfish thrive in warmer water while trout prefer it much cooler, and these waters are ideal for this kind of stocking program.
“Winter’s a great time of year to enjoy southern New Mexico’s warmer weather and the great trout fishing found there,” says Eric Frey, sportfish manager for the department.
Some great spots to fish for trout in the winter include Alto Lake and Grindstone Reservoir near Ruidoso. Lake Roberts, Bear Canyon and Bill Evans Lakes in the Gila National Forest region are fabulous fishing destinations. Oasis Lake State Park near Portales and Lake Van in Dexter provide excellent fishing and scenery in the southeastern part of the state. Alumni Pond in the heart of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces can be a fun place to fish, while Tiger Park Lake outside of Aztec provides an excellent setting for fishing, Frey says. For a complete list of winter trout waters and more information about them, including maps for the Albuquerque drains, please visit the department’s website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.
The department stocks an estimated 17,000 trout a month in its winter trout waters. Tingley Beach, also called Conservancy Park, and the drains around Albuquerque are stocked weekly, including some bigger trout. Most winter trout waters are found south of Interstate 40. See the department’s weekly stocking report at www.wildlife.state.nm.us for information about where and when winter trout waters are stocked. The website also features helpful articles about fishing.
Anglers ages 12 and older need a fishing license, available by calling the department’s customer service line, (888) 248-6866. 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.