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New Mexico Lakes - Cochiti Lake

New Mexico's Cochiti Lake
Cochiti Lake is located within the boundaries of the Pueblo de Cochiti Nation on the Rio Grande about fifty miles upstream from Albuquerque. Cochiti is stocked in cool months with rainbow trout. In addition to stockers, 3- to 5-pound rainbows often show up from November through February. Similar size browns and some big rainbows also show up in those months on the Rio Grande below the Stilling Basin. However Cochiti is know more for the  northern pikes, walleyes and smallmouth bass. Some northern pikes are in the mid 40 inch range and walleye can be nearly 30 inches in length.

Cochiti Dam is one of the ten largest earth fill dams in the United States, containing more than 65,000,000 cubic yards of earth and rock. It rises 251 feet above the Rio Grande streambed and stretches out more than five miles to impound waters of the Rio Grande and the Santa Fe Rivers. Chociti LakeIts control tower is 260 feet above the streambed, the equivalent of a 20 story building. A 474-foot bridge connects the tower to the dam's main embankment.

Originally Cochiti was authorized only for flood and sediment control. However, officials of the state of New Mexico and counties surrounding the site expressed interest in a permanent pool for fish and wildlife enhancement and other recreational purposes. Congress then modified its authorization for Cochiti Lake to include a 1,200 surface acre lake for recreation. Water for this lake is imported from the Colorado River Basin to the Rio Grande Basin via the San Juan Diversion Project across the Continental Divide. Construction of Cochiti Lake began in 1965; the main embankment was completed in 19.75; and the lake opened to the public in July, 1975. In 1976, the Cochiti Recreation are on the west side of the lake was opened to the public. Another recreation area, Tetilla Peak, on the east side of the lake was opened to the public in 1983.

A visitor's center on the west side of the lake, adjacent to the operations building is available to the public. Recreational facilities include campsites, electrical hookups, picnic sites, group shelters, restrooms/showers, drinking water, dump stations, universally accessible fishing area, and boat launching ramps. the Pueblo de Cochiti operates and maintains a small marina. Cochiti Lake is an all Federal project constructed at a cost of $94.4 million.

The project controls water form an 11,695 square- mile drainage area.

Directions:
From Santa Fe, S on I-25 to exit 264, W on Hwy 16 and N on Cochiti Hwy (Hwy 22). From Albuquerque, N on I-25 to exit 259, NW on Hwy 22
  • Recreational Opportunities
    Boating
    Camping
    Educational Programs
    Fishing
    Hiking
    Picnic
    Museum/Visitor Center
    Water Sports
    Wildlife Viewing
Cochiti, NM Weather

 

 

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