New Mexico fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in New Mexico. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in New Mexico

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5 waterbodies
18 cities
28 fishes

What kind of fish can you catch in New Mexico

Below are 28 types of fish that can be caught in New Mexico. The data have been collected based on fishing reports from New Mexico and have undergone serious moderation. Explore the map of New Mexico to find out where a particular type of fish is biting.

Lakes and reservoirs for fishing in New Mexico

Below are the largest and most popular lakes, reservoirs, and bays for fishing in New Mexico. Each New Mexico body of water includes information on fish species, analytics, and a map with fishing spots

Licenses for fishing in New Mexico

For more detailed information on regulations and to purchase a license, please visit the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish website

License Type Resident Price Non-Resident Price
Annual Fishing License (12 and Older) $25.00 $56.00
One Day Fishing $12.00 $12.00
Five Day Fishing $24.00 $24.00
Junior Annual Fishing (12-17) $5.00 $15.00
Senior Annual Fishing (65-69) $8.00 -
70 Years and Older Annual Fishing $0.00 -
Handicapped Annual Fishing $8.00 -
Second Rod Validation $4.00 $4.00
Habitat Improvement Stamp $5.00 $5.00
Habitat Management and Access Validation $4.00 $4.00


  • Free Licenses are available for New Mexico residents 70 years and older, and 100%-disabled veterans.
  • Discounts may apply for active military and veterans.
  • Gila Trout Fishing Permit is free for select locations.
  • Licenses are required for anglers 12 years and older and are valid from April 1 through March 31 of the following year.
  • A New Mexico Fishing License is not required on tribal reservations and private Class-A lakes.

Fishing Regulations in New Mexico

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electrical devices for fishing is illegal.
  • Fishing with nets, traps, or seines is restricted to specific permits and designated areas.
  • Use of live fish as bait is limited in certain waters to prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • Snagging fish is only allowed in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Spearing and bowfishing are permitted for certain species in specified waters.
Catch Limits
  • Trout: Daily limit varies by area, typically 5 fish with size restrictions in some waters.
  • Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth): Daily limit of 5, size limits vary by water body.
  • Crappie: Daily limit of 15, no size limit.
  • Catfish: Daily limit varies, generally no more than 2-4 fish.
  • Walleye: Daily limit of 5, with minimum size requirements in some waters.
  • Pike: Daily limit varies, often no limit to encourage removal in certain waters.
  • Panfish (Bluegill, Sunfish): Daily limit generally 15-20, depending on the species and location.
  • Kokanee Salmon: Limits vary by area, often 12 fish during certain seasons.
  • Sturgeon: Catch-and-release only, no harvest permitted.
  • Muskellunge: Daily limit of 1, minimum length of 40 inches.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to certain waters may be restricted for environmental conservation or tribal agreements.
  • Fishing on private property requires explicit permission from the landowner.
  • Special regulations apply to fishing in state parks and wildlife refuges.
  • No fishing zones enforced around certain infrastructures like dams and fish hatcheries.
  • Seasonal access restrictions in certain areas for fish spawning and habitat management.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Catch-and-release areas for certain species, especially trout.
  • Areas with gear restrictions, such as artificial lures only or fly fishing zones.
  • Slot limits for bass and other species in certain lakes and rivers.
  • Special regulations in waters with high fishing pressure or ecological sensitivity.
  • Trophy fisheries with enhanced size and bag limits in selected areas.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is strictly prohibited.
  • Special regulations in habitats of rare or sensitive aquatic species.
  • Research fishing for rare species requires special permits.
  • Reporting accidental catches of rare species is important for conservation efforts.
  • Areas with significant ecological value may have additional fishing restrictions.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for specific species during spawning or migration periods.
  • Ice fishing regulations, including shelter and gear restrictions, during winter months.
  • Seasonal closures in sensitive ecological areas for species protection and habitat restoration.
  • Temporary closures during environmental events or for population studies.
  • Special regulations for early and late fishing seasons in certain areas.

Most popular cities for fishing in New Mexico

The largest and most popular fishing cities in New Mexico. Cities in New Mexico include information on fishing, as well as a map with fishing spots. Explore the cities to know what fish are caught and in which bodies of water.