Recent rain helps New Mexico lake levels

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Memorial Day is just around the corner and it’s an opportunity to get away, if only for the weekend. It’s not a bad time, either, with recent rain some popular destinations around the state are seeing higher lake levels. Yet, others are still struggling.

KRQE News 13 called a number of state parks around New Mexico to see how lake levels compared to last year. A trend emerged among lakes on the eastern side of the state versus those in the north and west.

KRQE News 13 found that those lakes in the eastern plains had better conditions than those in the southwest and northern parts of the state.

The weather team says that’s for good reason. For starters, the eastern plains did well over the winter, receiving a lot of moisture. Then, in recent weeks, the area saw even more precipitation.

The southeast also did well these past several weeks in areas like Tucumcari and Carlsbad. While the same isn’t true for the southwest, state park officials say it’s still a good time to get out to one of the state’s many parks.

“I’m challenging every single person who listens to this to go out and spend at least one visit at a New Mexico State Park this summer,” said New Mexico State Parks Division Deputy Director Toby Velasquez. “Be safe, be prepared, get the information that you need in advance and if you’re out there and you run into any issues, look for one of our rangers.”

According to the state park website, Brantley Lake, not far from Carlsbad, is seeing excellent boating conditions, as is Santa Rosa Lake out east.

Yet, up north, places like Clayton Lake, Storrie Lake and Navajo Lake are all ranked fair and Heron Lake has a poor rating for boating conditions.

The southwest didn’t see any moisture in recent weeks, but south central New Mexico did.

Elephant Butte is up over last year. In fact state park officials say they’ve started to release water from the dam. They say that means good conditions for Caballo Lake.

Out east, folks with Sumner lake say waters are up from last year- so much so, it’s up over the spillway. They say that does mean primitive camping is limited because of the flooding.

Another promising spot is Conchas Lake. It’s also up since last year and the last two weeks of rain certainly helped. Plus, officials there say fishing has been especially great this year.

For current lake levels around the state, click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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