A man waist deep in water holding a silver fish and his fishing rod

Refuge fishing waters include a shallow 30-acre wetland spanned by a universally accessible boardwalk, the Elmendorf Canal (Interior Drain), Riverside Canal and the east side of the Low Flow Conveyance Channel. Fishing and frogging season is April 1-September 30. Available species include catfish, white bass, carp and bullfrogs.

Fishing & Frogging General Information

Fishing and frogging regulations are designed to provide safe recreational opportunities through wise use of renewable wildlife resources. Fishing and frogging are allowed in accordance with Federal regulations governing public use on National Wildlife Refuges as set forth in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations.   

Fishing will be in accordance with applicable State of New Mexico regulations, bag limits and license requirements, subject to the conditions stated below. The most restrictive regulation will apply. For more information, visit the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website or call: 888-248-6866.  

You may only enter the fishing and frogging area from the Tour Loop and you must pay the entrance fee or have a valid pass.  

Fish may only be taken by hook and line.    

New to fishing the refuge? After reviewing State of New Mexico fishing regulations and refuge-specific regulations, we recommend starting along the Elmendorf Canal. Use caution along steep banks and stay away from water control structures.    

Dates & Hours

When? - We allow fishing and frogging from April 1 through September 30. You may only be on the refuge one hour before legal sunrise until one hour after legal sunset. Fishing and frogging are allowed from one-half hour before legal sunrise to one-half hour after legal sunset.  

Where? - We allow fishing and frogging on certain canals in areas normally open to the public (including Elmendorf/Interior Drain and the Bike Trail - east side of the Low Flow Conveyance Channel), and the wetland unit that the Boardwalk spans. 

How? - In the fishing and frogging area, we allow the use of bicycles only on designated roads and the Bike Trail. We do not allow the driving of motor vehicles off-road.   


We only allow American bullfrogs to be taken and no other frog species. We only allow the use of hook and line, spears, gigs, and archery equipment to take bullfrogs. Bullfrogs are non-native, voracious predators of many native insects, reptiles, birds, and small mammals. Removing bullfrogs from the refuge helps protect native species including the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse that swims and climbs through plants growing near water.

Laws, rules, and regulations