Ruidoso is surrounded by lakes and streams that provide anglers with a variety of fishing opportunities in beautiful mountain scenery.
State and Federal Fishing Waters
Alto Lake is a public water and is now fish sustainable. It has been stocked with catfish and it is planned to be stocked with trout.
Bonito Lake: Due to the Little Bear Fire this lake is closed. The fishing season on Bonito Lake runs from April 1 to November 30. The lake opens daily from 5 am until 10 pm. The New Mexico Game & Fish Division stock the lake frequently. This is the most scenic lake in the Ruidoso area. No boats or watercraft are allowed. The lake is about 5 miles north of Ruidoso off of Highway 37. The turnoff is well marked on the highway.
Bonito Lake will be closed for 3 to 5 years.
The lake has been closed since the Little Bear Fire rendered it usless.
Remember, only you can prevent forest fires and, around here, we expect you not to forget it.
Bonito Creek: This creek feeds Bonito Lake from the mountain terrain, and then runs from Bonito Lake dam on to Fort Stanton and Hondo. Rainbow and Brook Trout can be found in the upper part of Bonito Creek. If you fish this watershed, please practice catch and release to help sustain a sustainable quantity of trout in the waters.
Carrizo Creek: This creek runs from the Mescalero Lake dam on the reservation, flowing into the Rio Ruidoso near the Chamber of Commerce building. The creek is not stocked but contains native Brown Trout. Carrizo Creek is Ruidoso’s hatchery and nursery for Brown Trout. If you pursue fishing this tributary, please use barbless hooks and handle all fish caught with extreme care, while practicing catch and release.
Eagle Creek: Springs and mountain runoff feed this creek, which more or less follows Highway 532 down ski run road. The tributary is not stocked with Trout, but contains a few Brook and Rainbow Trout.
Grindstone Reservoir: The lake is a village water reservoir that is open to fishing on a year round basis. Summer fishing hours are from sunrise until 10 PM. Non-motorized boating is allowed from April 1 to Oct 31. A permit is required and is available from The Ruidoso Parks and Recreation office at 535 Resort Drive. The lake is stocked frequently on a year round basis. Ample public parking is available. No overnight camping is allowed.
Rio Ruidoso River:
Beginning high in the Sacramento Mountains, the Rio Ruidoso runs through Upper Canyon. The river continues to flow through town on to Hondo. It is stocked year round with Trout. Rainbow and Brown trout are found throughout its meanderings.
Tularosa Creek: Beginning at the boundary of the Mescalero reservation, Tularosa Creek flow for several miles off the mountain. The New Mexico Game & Fish Division stocks this watershed periodically. It is open year round.
Mescalero Reservation Fishing Waters
Located at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort, this beautiful lake is stocked with trout. Daily fishing permits may be purchased at the hotel front desk. Boat docks are open from Aril through September. Fishing hours are from sunrise to sunset.
Eagle Lakes: Located about three and a half miles off Highway 48 up ski run road. The lakes are open from late May through September. Daily fishing permits must be purchased at the Lake area entrance office. Call 575-336-4668 for information.
Rio Ruidoso: The upper portion of the Rio Ruidoso River is located on the Mescalero reservation at the top of Main Road in the Upper Canyon. This area of the River is open from May through September and is stocked with Rainbow Trout.
Silver Lake: Located off state Highway 244 in the southern part of the Mescalero reservation. This lake is open May through September. Daily fishing permits are required and available at the Silver Lake office. This lake is stocked with Trout.
Private Fishing Waters
Seeping Springs Trout Lake: This is a spring Trout pond located just four miles east of Ruidoso Downs racetrack. A fishing license is not required. It is open March through September for family oriented camping and fishing. Call 575-378-4216 for information.
Ranch Sosegado Trout Pond: This private trout pond is set in lovely location with a natural backdrop of surrounding mountains. It is open every weekend and weekdays by appointment. Call 575-671-4580. It is located 24 miles west or Ruidoso just off Highway 70 in Bent NM. A great outing for young and old alike. A fishing license is not required.
Fishing Regulations for State and Federal Waters
A current New Mexico fishing license is required of all persons age 12 years or older who fish in New Mexico. Fishing license are issued from the period of April 1 through March 31 of each year. Licenses are available at Wal-Mart and Western Auto. Fishing licenses are not required to fish on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation, however, daily permits must be purchased.
New Mexico issues one day , five day, and annual licenses.
In the Ruidoso area fishing licenses may be purchased at Wal-Mart and Western Auto.
Fishing Season: Year round (except Bonito Lake which is April 1 through November 30).