New Mexico Fishing Season: Know when it Ends for the Best Catch!

When Does Fishing Season End in New Mexico?


New Mexico, often referred to as the “Land of Enchantment,” offers anglers a diverse array of fishing opportunities throughout the year. Whether you’re an avid angler or just looking to enjoy a relaxing day by the water, it’s important to know when fishing season ends in this beautiful southwestern state.

Fishing Seasons in New Mexico

New Mexico boasts a wide range of fishing seasons that vary depending on the type of fish and location. Let’s explore some popular species and their respective fishing seasons:

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout are one of the most sought-after fish in New Mexico due to their stunning beauty and exciting fight. The standard fishing season for rainbow trout typically runs from April 1st through October 31st. However, there are selected waters where catch-and-release is permitted during winter months, allowing anglers to enjoy this incredible species all year round.

Brown Trout

Brown trout can be found abundantly in various rivers and streams across New Mexico. Their fishing season aligns closely with that of rainbow trout, spanning from April 1st until October 31st. Similarly, catch-and-release opportunities may be available outside this period.

Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat trout thrive predominantly in cold mountainous waters throughout New Mexico. While their specific fishing season varies depending on location, it generally extends from May until November each year – providing ample time for anglers to savor catching these native beauties.

Regulations and Licenses

Before embarking on your ultimate angling adventure, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with relevant regulations and licensing requirements set forth by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF). These guidelines ensure the sustainable management of fish populations and contribute to the preservation of New Mexico’s natural resources.

Fishing License Requirements

To legally fish in New Mexico, residents and non-residents aged 12 years or older must possess a valid fishing license. The NMDGF offers various options such as annual licenses, one-day licenses, resident veteran licenses, etc., accommodating different preferences and needs.

Special Fishing Rules

Certain waters in New Mexico have special rules governing their use. It’s crucial to be aware of these regulations before heading out. Some areas may require additional permits for access or impose restrictions on catch limits or bait types. Staying informed will help ensure both compliance with regulations and an enjoyable fishing experience.

Closure Periods

While most fishing seasons extend from spring through fall, there are specific closure periods during which angling is restricted or prohibited in certain locations to protect spawning fish populations:

Winter Closure

Some rivers and streams close entirely during winter months to safeguard fish habitats during their sensitive breeding season. These closures typically occur between November 1st and March 31st. However, lakes or reservoirs might still remain open for ice fishing activities if conditions permit.


Knowing when fishing season ends in New Mexico ensures that you make the most of your time angling while respecting wildlife conservation efforts. Take advantage of the diverse range of species available throughout the state by planning your trips accordingly within legal boundaries set forth by the NMDGF. So grab your gear, cast a line into one of New Mexico’s beautiful waters, and create unforgettable memories amidst its enchanting landscapes!