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New Mexico Lakes-  Conchas Lake

Conchas Lake State Park
Information compiled from US Army Corps and the State of New Mexico

This large and beautiful body of water is just 70 miles from Las Vegas off Hwy 104 at an elevation of 4,200 feet. The 9600 acre lake has an overall length of 25 miles and more than 60 miles of varied shoreline, the clear, blue-green water of Conchas Lake offers anglers and boaters alike a unique experience.

With dozens of camping sites at or near the water's edge, many with shelters, access is barely a stone's throw away. Rock formations and underwater cliffs near the dam offer divers  the opportunity of adventure just outside their camp.

Conchas has traditionally been known as one of the best walleye and smallmouth bass lakes in the southwest, but an abundance of bass, crappie and bluegill also thrives. Fishing is good using top water lures, jerk baits, spinner baits, crank baits, tubes, salt craws and senkos for black bass. Fishing is fair using swim baits, crank baits, bottom bouncer/worm rigs, minnows and sassy shad for white bass and walleye. Night fishing is good using dough bait, night crawlers and liver for catfish. Boaters need to be aware of the shallow water and sandbars in the Canadian and Conchas river channels. Rock formations and hazards can become more prevalent as the water level drops. 

Two modern marinas provide facilities for boating, fishing and water skiing. Camping and picnic facilities are located on the south side of the lake. Full hookups are available on the north side of the lake, where rental cabins, a trailer park with hookups, a marina, a store and a restaurant are also available.

History: Conchas Dam is located at the confluence of the Canadian and Conchas Rivers.  Prehistoric and historic peoples used these east flowing rivers as routes between the Rio Grande and the Plains for ten thousand years.  From the Paleo-Indian hunters of the mammoth and bison to the Spanish and Mexican expeditions of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries, explorers and traders crossed the area.

Conchas Dam was one of a number of Depression-era New Deal projects completed in New Mexico.  Pressed for by Governor Clyde Tingley, the project started in 1935 under Roosevelt's Emergency Relief Appropriation Act.  The act required Captain Hans Kramer, the Engineer for the new Corps District, to get 90% of his employees from relief roles.  Most of the employees were unskilled and knew only of horses, buggies and wagons.

Conchas Lake State Park
P.O. Box 976
Conchas Dam, NM 88416

Conchas Lake State Park
P.O. Box 976
Conchas Dam, NM 88416

Directions: Conchas Lake is 72 miles southeast of Las Vegas and just 32 miles northwest of Tucumcari, via Hwy 104, in San Miguel County.

Conchas, NM Weather.

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