Pecos River Fishing Public Access Villanueva State Park

by | Jun 26, 2022 | New Mexico Videos, NM Camping, NM Fishing Reports, NM State Parks, NM Trout Fishing | 0 comments

Heavy monsoon rains muddy the Pecos north of the park entrance in mid June 2022.

Villanueva has long been a trout-fishing destination. The department regularly stocks the stretch of river flowing into the park with rainbow trout during the winter. Trout prefer cooler water temperatures, so the department does not stock trout in the area during warm summer months.

Villanueva State Park is a state park of New Mexico, United States, located on the banks of the Pecos River. The park features red and yellow sandstone cliffs, cottonwood trees, and other native plants. The park elevation is 5,600 feet above sea level.

Fish for big cats at Villanueva State Park

The department stocked a section of the Pecos River flowing through Villanueva State Park south of Las Vegas with 200 catfish for the first time earlier this week. The large channel catfish range in size from 18 to 20 inches, and larger.

Anglers can fish at Villanueva year-round since catfish will now provide an excellent summer fishing opportunity. Catfish tolerate a range of temperatures, but prefer warmer waters. They can be lured easily with bait at water temperatures between 60 and 72 degrees, but they stop feeding when the temperature drops lower than 40 degrees.

The department plans to start stocking this stretch of the Pecos regularly with catfish from April through October, and will continue to stock rainbow trout November through March.

Additional big catfish waters around the state include Bataan, Blue Hole Park Pond, Bosque Rdondo, Carrizozo, Chaparral, Conoco Lake, Corona, Dennis Chavez Pond, Escondida, Estancia Park Lake, Eunice, Grants Riverwalk Pond, Green Acres, Green Meadow, Jal Lake, Lake Van, Ned Houk, Oasis State Park, Perch Lake, Roswell Kids Pond, Tingley Beach and Young Pond.

To fish for cats at Villanueva State Park, or any public waters in the state, anglers ages 12 and older are required to have a fishing license. To purchase a fishing license, and for more information about fishing in New Mexico, please visit the department’s website at


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