If you missed Wednesday's general meeting, you missed a great presentation by New Mexico Game & Fish fisheries biologist Marc Wethington.
Wethington filled us in on what the heck has been going on with the marsh above Baetis Bend (it is a new wetland area) and, of more interest to us, with the two back channels below Texas Hole.
If you have ever wandered these channels, you know they can have good fishing, but generally only at times of high water (remember those?). Well, while Wethington and his crews were building the adjacent wetland, they also did extensive work to narrow the channels and speed the current through these old sloughs.
The idea is to create better habitat for trout, to give anglers new places to explore and to spread crowds out a bit by making use of these previously marginal areas. The two stretches together total just under one mile - not a bad addition for a fishery generally considered to total only four or five miles!
Crews also greatly improved trails through this area and even fixed the old quagmire path to the Bend. I have to admit I miss the old slog, though!
Finally, Wethington outlined plans for the Hammond Tract, a substantial piece of Game & Fish land far below the quality waters. Wethington said crews have already done substantial work to clear the salt cedars from one bank of the tract, which lies just off NM Route 511 14 miles Below Navajo Dam.
Next, he plans to work on the channel to create more trout habitat in this stretch, which some people use as a takeout for the epic Lower San Juan float. He said he believes this area capable of producing truly huge fish.
Thanks to those who attended the meeting. For those who missed it, we hope to see you at the next meeting tentatively scheduled for Feb. 12!