The habitat project on the San Juan River below Navajo Dam has been completed and flows have been restored to 500 cfs on December 1, 2011.
Descriptively, the work has included creating a detention pond in the outlet of the Rex Smith Wash so as to prevent siltation of the area in and below the “Kiddie Hole”; placement of rock, topsoil and willows so as to close off some of the unproductive braids; and creation of 20 fish holding areas, “holes” if you will.
On 11/30/11 Buck Skillen of Duranglers got a guided tour of the work from New Mexico Game & Fish fishery biologist Marc Wethington. Here is Buck’s reaction to what he saw.
“The result of all of this work is just short of INCREDIBLE! There are now a lot more places to fish up through the braids and this will spread people out more and, perhaps, reduce some of the crowding. The fish have already moved into the holes that were created. I stood next to one such hole and was able to fish to probably 30 or 40 fish within an easy cast. I hate to say it but shooting fish in a barrel came to mind. Fortunately, they were hungry and ate readily. I wont ask you to suspend belief or strain my credibility by mentioning numbers; suffice to say I had fun. And, perhaps, best of all it doesn’t look fabricated. I really believe inside of a year we won’t be able to notice what was done. All in all a very exciting development for our San Juan Quality Waters.”
Midges and BWO’s still coming off and fishing has been very good with only a few anglers on the water.