Fishing the Jicarilla Lakes
Prolonged drought conditions in the southwest have seriously affected the Jicarilla fishing lakes, and decreased opportunities for fishermen. There are 7 fishing lakes ranging in size from 35-500 acres, when full. Two of these lakes, Hayden Lake and La Jara Lake are currently dry. The other lakes including Stone Lake, Mundo Lake, Enbom Lake, Dulce Lake and Horse Lake have been impacted by drought conditions but are currently stocked for fishing. Please see the current fishing report under the fishing blog section of the fishing menu!
Stone Lake, located 18 miles south of Dulce has a history of producing huge rainbow trout, up to 10 pounds. Stone is managed as a trophy fishery, where only artificial flies and lures, with barbless hooks are permitted. Stone Lake is currently stocked with rainbow trout and largemouth bass but we are planning to stock Brown Trout in the fall of 2012. Stone is most easily fished from small boats and float tubes. Stone Lake is an extremely productive fishery with an unbelievable diversity and abundance of aquatic invertebrates. Tiger salamanders and Fat head minnows also contribute to trout diets in this lake and growth rates of 2 inches have been recorded at Stone Lake. Stone Lake is perhaps our most challenging fishery, but the payoff can be huge!!!
Mundo Lake, located 4 miles south of Dulce, is managed for maximum public fishing opportunity. Mundo is stocked with Rainbow Trout, and Channel Catfish, and is easily fished from shore, small boats, and float tubes. Four floating docks anchored around the lake offer a great way to avoid weeds during summer months . Mundo Lake is stocked more often, and more heavily, than the other reservation lakes. Fishing action tends to be great at Mundo, though fish tend to be somewhat smaller, due to the rapid turnover of fish and competition amongst the various species. Mundo Lake is home to Rainbow Trout, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and most recently Tiger Musky. The new addition of Tiger musky is intended to help us control rapidly expanding populations of Bluegill and Bass. Mundo Lake has something for everyone and is great for ice fishing too!
Enbom Lake, at approximately 30 acres, is the smallest lake on the reservation. This is a picturesque lake along the Continental Divide, which is stocked with catchable- size rainbow trout and Trophy Rainbows each spring. It provides good fishing during spring and early summer, and again in fall as water temperatures cool. Enbom Lake very rarely survives a winter and regulations allowing for increased limits (20 trout per day) in October are intended to clean the lake out before ice season in December.
Horse Lake is located approximately 2.5 miles east of Enbom Lake on Road J-14. Access to Horse Lake is weather dependent, since the dirt road can become impassible when wet (very quickly). Horse Lake is stocked each spring with Rainbow Trout, and can provide good fishing through the summer. Horse Lake is prone to winterkill; however, when fish do survive through winter, the spring fishing for large rainbows can be spectacular. In recent years, Horse Lake has not survived the winter an fishing has been poor. We continue to stock Horse Lake on an annual basis but we have been utilizing very small 1-3 inch rainbows to offset costs with stocking this large body of water. Fall fishing and early ice fishing is the recommended time for Horse Lake.
Dulce Lake is back on the list of fishable lakes on the Jicarilla reservation. Dulce Lake was drained to repair the dam in the late 90's and never refilled. In 2010, despite very low water levels, the Jicarilla Game and Fish Department beagn stocking Dulce Lake again. The result has been a tremendous seasonal fishery with excellent Rainbow Trout fishing in the Spring, Summer, Fall, and into Ice season. Dulce is managed like Enbom at this time, where the limits go up in the fall to try and remove as many fish as possible before winterkill takes effect. Growth rates at Dulce Lake are fantastic and in the past few years the lake has regained its reputation for fat feisty rainbows that bite good and jump around too! Dulce Lake is still very shallow and weeds are constantly an issue so please be prepared for weeds and if possible bring a small boat or float tube that will allow you to get out and hit the pot holes in the weed beds.
The Navajo River is another fishery open to both tribal and nontribal anglers. The Navajo River is a tributary to the San Juan River and there is approximately 12 miles of stream on the reservation. The Jicarilla Game and Fish Department has been working on habitat restoration in the Navajo River to protect three rare native fish species, but the trout fishing for Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout can be excellent! The Navajo River is quite beautiful and there are several primitive campsites along it's banks.
Fishing conditions vary considerably, depending on water levels, stocking and winter carryover so please check the fishing report for recent information (updated weekly).