Ruidoso is surrounded by lakes and streams that provide anglers with a variety of fishing opportunities in the beautiful mountain scenery.
State and Federal Fishing Waters
Alto Lake is 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.
Bonito Creek: This creek feeds Bonito Lake from the mountain terrain, and then runs from Bonito Lake dam onto Fort Stanton and Hondo. Rainbow and Brook Trout can be found in the upper part of Bonito Creek. If you fish in 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. Parking reservations are required Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the summer months. The Dam House is open seasonally for Kayaks and Paddle Boat rentals.
Rio Ruidoso River:
Beginning high in the Sacramento Mountains, the Rio Ruidoso runs through Upper Canyon. The river continues to flow through town onto 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's front desk. Boat docks are open from April 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. 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 from 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.
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 licenses 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.
Fishing Season: Year-round