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Unless specifically prohibited, all federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service, and some state lands, are open to fishing. However, because of the scarcity of water on New Mexico's public lands, fishing opportunities are limited.

It's important to fish only on lands where it is legally allowed. Private lands are open to fishing only if you have the permission of the private land owner. Private land does not have to be posted with "NO FISHING" signs to be off limits to fishing. If you don't have permission to fish on private lands, you are trespassing and can be prosecuted.


It's your responsibility to know of any fishing restrictions and where they apply. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish regulates fishing on all public lands. Extensive information related to fishing in New Mexico can be found at Fishing rules and regulations are outlined in the New Mexico Fishing Rules and Information and the New Mexico Big Game and Small Game Hunting Proclamations. The Game and Fish and Furbearers Rules also list some restrictions on BLM-managed lands. These publications are available at some of the BLM field offices, New Mexico Game and Fish Offices, sporting good stores, and online at

BLM New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Areas

Photo of Fisherman

Fishing Fishing

Carlsbad Field Office
 Black River Recreation Area
 Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area

Farmington Field Office


Simon Canyon Area of Critical Environmental Concern

Las Cruces District Office
 Gila Lower Box Canyon

Taos Field Office

 Rio Chama Wild and Scenic River

Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River

 Red River Wild and Scenic River

Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway


Wild Rivers Recreation Area

 Orilla Verde Recreation Area
 Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area