Fishing At Pecos National Historical Park

December 26th, 2013 by Victoria Racimo


The Pecos National Historical Park fishing program offers each angler approximately one mile of stream to fish alone or with up to two guests for the day. This approach is designed to offer each angler a quality experience. This section of the Pecos River is not accessible by any other park user; it is hoped each angler has a satisfying and memorable experience.

Pecos NHP hosts 3 miles of fishing opportunity along the Pecos River. Three fishing seasons have been established for 2010. The Spring season begins Thursday March 18, 2010 and ends Monday April 12, 2010. We will begin accepting reservations for the Spring season beginning March 1. The Summer season begins Thursday June 24, 2010 and ends Monday August 2, 2010. We will begin accepting reservations for the Summer season beginning May 27. The Fall season begins Thursday September 2, 2010 and ends Monday October 25, 2010. We will begin accepting reservations for the Fall season beginning August 10. Anglers will be provided the opportunity to fish the Pecos River within the park Thursdays through Mondays, 8:30am-3pm in the Spring and Fall seasons. The Summer season will provide the opportunity to fish the Pecos River within the park Thursdays through Mondays, 8:30am-4:30pm.

For the purposes of the fishing program, the 3 miles of river located within the park are divided into three sections or &24948;eats? Two beats, or up to six anglers, per day will be available on a reservation system; one beat, or up to three anglers, per day will be available first-come first-served. All beats will be rotated daily to ensure a varied angler experience.


To take part in our fishing program, you can either make advanced reservations for the two beats available per day (six anglers total) or show up at the visitor center the day you would like to fish to see if there are any spaces available.


The Pecos River is susceptible to severe variations in streamflow due to extreme rainfall either in the valley or the headwaters and the melting of snow pack during the spring season. These share here variations can pose a danger to individuals in close proximity to the water.

Monitoring streamflow is essential in providing for the safety of anyone who is on the river during periods when extreme variations may occur. This is especially true in the spring when a melting snow pack raises the water level significantly on a day by day basis. Discharge levels and Real-Time Water Data within the Pecos National Historical Park can be obtained at:

Access to the river will be based on streamflow levels measured in cubic feet per second (cfs) as monitored by USGS observation station 08378500 near Pecos, NM. Streamflow levels at or above 200cfs is the limit in which the Pecos River at Pecos NHP will be closed for fishing.

The limit considered to be safe streamflow levels (below 200cfs) is based on the USGS designation of floodstage which is 5.0 gage height, feet. The equivalent of 200cfs when measured in gage height, feet is approximately 2.3ft or ?of floodstage. It has been determined that at this level of discharge park staff conduct actions deemed necessary to insure the safety of anglers.

2010 Reservation System

Reservation requests for the Spring season will be made by phone starting 8am March 1, 2010 until all slots are filled. The park will process all phone calls in the order in which they were received. Please call the park for reservations during the parks operating hours 8am-4:30pm Labor Day – Memorial Day (Parks winter hours). From Memorial Day – Labor Day please call from 8am-6pm (Summer Hours). The park fishing reservation phone number is (505) 757-7272, the park address: Fishing Program, Pecos National Historical Park, PO Box 418, Pecos, NM 87552.

First Come First Served

First-come first-served anglers will be accommodated at the park visitor center starting 8:15am the day the angler wishes to fish (Thursdays through Mondays). The park opens at 8am and it takes the rangers a few moments to open up shop. Be courteous if other anglers are there ahead of you at the entrance gate.

Cancellation And Arrival Time Policy

Anyone who makes a reservation should contact the visitor center and let staff know that they are canceling a trip 24 hours in advance. All anglers must check in to the visitor center no later than 9:30am the day of the permit. After 9:30am, available spaces will be given away on a first come, first served basis. Make sure also to check streamflow levels – At or above 200cfs – NO FISHING.


$3 per person park entrance fee*

$25 per person river access fee – Good only for one day of fishing

*All national park passes will be honored including Senior, Access and Annual passes. All fees will be paid at the park visitor center the day of fishing. All major credit cards are accepted.

2010 Fishing Season Important Dates

2010 Season

Start Date

End Date

Reservations Accepted Beginning


March 18

April 12

March 1, 2010 until slots are filled


June 24

August 2

May 27, 2010 until slots are filled


September 2

October 25

August 10, 2010 until slots are filled


* All anglers must possess a valid New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMG&F) fishing license and Habitat Management and Access Validation. Special rules exist. It is your responsibility to know and obey them.
* To obtain current New Mexico fishing license fees visit the New Mexico division of Wildlife web site.
* All fishing is catch and release.
* Only artificial flies and lures with single, barbless hooks are permitted.
* No bait such as worms, grasshoppers, salmon eggs, corn, etc. are allowed.
* No pets are permitted into the park with the exception of assistance animals.
* Anglers must pack out all trash.
* No commercial guiding allowed during the pilot program.
* No open fires are allowed in the park. Smoking is prohibited except within designated areas. Other seasonal restrictions might apply.
* Every angler will receive mandatory safety and rules orientation prior to fishing in the park.
* All fees (i.e.. $25 access fee good only for one day and $3 park entrance) are payable the day of fishing at the visitor center.
* All waders, wading shoes and personal nets will have to be rinsed at the visitor center before fishing.


To help you prepare for your fishing trip at the park, we&25267;e provided a checklist. Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list but it should help as you begin to plan your trip. We look forward to meeting you.

Check streamflow levels – Fishing Rod – Sunscreen & Lip balm – Reel (if needed) – Rain gear – Extra line – Sunglasses – Extra tippet – Drinking water – Array of flies – Lunches or snacks – Fishing Vest – Extra layer of clothing – Hat – Binoculars for wildlife viewing – Camera – Trashbag


The Pecos River begins in the Santa Fe National Forest and heads south. After flowing through the town of Pecos and some private ranch land, the river enters Pecos National Historic Park, where it winds for three miles through a mixed Ponderosa pine forest. The upper two miles form a beautiful and isolated stretch of river shaded by pines but bordered by grassy banks open for casting. The river curves against rock walls forming deep pools, interspersed with riffles and boulder studded runs. There are plenty of holding areas for trout and the gravel substrate supports abundant invertebrates. The lower one mile flows through more open country and becomes braided, gliding past grassy banks, willow thickets and cottonwood stands, ending in an click this website enticing pool against a cliff wall. Introduced brown trout and rainbow trout from 8 to 14&25859;an be caught with typical trout stream patterns, and a dry fly and a dropper is a good combination to try. Fossils are visible in limestone outcrops along the river near the old railroad bridge and a variety of birds can be seen in this nearly pristine riparian area. Anglers and non-anglers can enjoy the sense of wilderness and natural grandeur on this newly accessible river.

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