New Mexico Trout Challenge

NEW! Anglers can now submit their catches by email to This preferred method is only required once the challenge is completed. Please see #11 of the official rules.

To promote trout fishing opportunities in New Mexico and encourage anglers to branch out and discover new fishing waters and trout species, anglers can now participate in the New Mexico Trout Challenge.

Still thinking about trying the Trout Challenge?
Check out some of the pictures we have already received from anglers participating so far.

Take the Challenge!

New Mexico is a state where the Rocky Mountains meet the desert. New Mexico is also a state that is rich in diversity from its many different climates to the fish and wildlife. Sportsmen and women of New Mexico are very fortunate to have such a diverse fishing opportunity, especially when it comes to trout.

New Mexico Trout Challenge Flier

New Mexico’s winter trout stocking program allows anglers across the state the opportunity to catch a trout in places that might not have them on a regular basis due to weather and water conditions. The best part about trout fishing in New Mexico, is that anglers have the opportunity to catch trout from one end of the state to the other whether stream or lake.

Find out more about the Trout Challenge by listening to Northwest Regional Public Information Specialist, Ross Morgan, in a January 2020 radio interview requested by 98.3 KXDJ in the Texas Panhandle.


Hall of Fame

Congratulations Nicolas Villescas, first to complete the challenge.

2020-2021 (click year and scroll)

  1. Nicolas Villescas
  2. Enrico Orozco
  3. Stacey Talachy
  4. Nicholas Gallegos
  5. Andrew Montgomery
  6. Valeria Anchondo
  7. Jon Wickliffe
  8. Christopher Ortega
  9. Bryan Esquibel
  10. Richard Luitich
  11. Sean Staggs
  12. Edward Marraccini
  13. Calvin Blodgett
  14. James Stoker
  15. Jeff Patterson
  16. Roy Thompson
  17. Zachariah Cruz
  18. Christopher Smith
  19. Brian Cavazos Galvez
  20. Jeff Fleming
  21. Paul Gonzales
  22. Paul Schroeder
  23. James Garrettson
  24. MariaElena Martinez
  25. Art Ariaz
  26. Pat Snyder
  27. Jessica Montoya
  28. Garry Willis
  29. Tyrone Herfel
  30. Matt Zeigler
  31. Hans Herfel
  32. William Hammond
  33. Luis Saavedra
  34. Grant Willis
  35. Charles Montoya
  36. Dave De Ruysscher
  37. Jacob Griego
  38. Meredith Zeigler
  39. Nicole Romero
  40. James Romero
  41. Scott Wassmund
  42. John Pike
  43. Dave Modisette
  44. Paul Hintzen
  45. David Joyner
  46. Annette Joyner
  47. Brandon Ihlein
  48. Aaron Andler
  49. Karen Ihlein
  50. Nicole Ihlein
  51. Vic J. Kopnitsky, Jr.
  52. Jesse Frizzell
  53. Justin Moquino
  54. Joseph Coucke
  55. Garrett Cathey
  56. Sadhvikas Addamane
  57. Shylah Romero
  58. Kevin Martin
  59. Carl Covin
  60. Tommy Mirabal
  61. Ruben Gonzales
  62. Jeff Schlecht
  63. Mike Breidenbach
  64. Chondra Breidenbach
  65. Gavin DeBerry
  66. Mark DeBerry
  67. Cody McLean
  68. Derek Voorbach
  69. Mark Marsalis
  70. Patricia Bailey
  71. Boris Moquino
  72. Chris Schneller
  73. Sam Wood
  74. Alex Marsalis
  75. Russell Hunter
  76. Thomas Tighe
  77. Nicolas Lujan
  78. Derb Carter
  79. Andres Lujan
  80. Merrill Lynch
  81. Rick Torres
  82. Justin Shupe
  83. Barry Bleske
  84. Patricia Barajas
  85. Timoteo Barajas
  86. Shaylyn Barwick
  87. Tolman Moore
  88. Marc Space
  89. Todd Humphrey
  90. Brett Myrick
  91. Michael Satches
  92. Gavin DeBerry
  93. Mark DeBerry
  94. Craig Cathey
  95. Marcelo Richert
  96. Mark Richert
  97. Henry Atencio
  98. Samuel Simmons
  99. Sean Moore
  100. Ashley Arrossa
  101. Mark Hutchings
  102. Roger Cook
  103. Chris Dibble
  104. Christopher Young
  105. Jonathan Borrego
  106. Toby Roybal
  107. Michael Lopez
  108. Charles Atsye
  1. Mark Koch
  2. Joshua Pacheco
  3. Laura Eberhardt
  4. Mitchell Curtis
  5. Dathan Archuleta
  6. Derrick Ortega
  7. Eric Frey
  8. Joey Merrell
  9. Tyson Lanier
  10. Thomas Morgan


How to Enter

Catch 5 trout (Rio Grande Cutthroat, Gila, Brown, Brook and Rainbow Trout) within New Mexico lakes & streams. Anglers who complete the challenge in New Mexico waters receive special awards & appear on this page.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has partnered with Powderhook to allow anglers to record and share their catches for the New Mexico Trout Challenge. Upon completing the challenge, the Department will be notified and you will be sent a New Mexico Trout Challenge coin, sticker, certificate of completion and you will be listed in the Trout Challenge Hall of Fame.

Installation: Search for “Powerderhook” in the App Store or click the icon below. Download the Powderhook application.

App Store

Google Play

Helpful Links

Catch & Release Video


Official Rules

  1. No fee or registration. No time limit.
  2. Open to residents & non-residents.
  3. Catch & Release encouraged.
  4. Excludes Class A and privately stocked water.
  5. No catch before 1-1-2020 allowed.
  6. Only one (1) trout species per entry.
  7. New submission required each new catch.
  8. No limit to challenge completion per year.
  9. Have a Customer Identification Number (CIN).
  10. Have a valid New Mexico fishing license and abide by fishing rules and regulations.***
  11. Anglers submitting a catch for this challenge can do so by emailing them to or downloading the Powderhook application on a smart device.
  12. Submission must include angler’s:
    • Full name, phone, email, mail address.
    • Current NM fishing license number.***
    • Customer Identification Number (CIN).
    • Date, catch, county, and body of water.
    • Catch photo. Photo becomes property of NMDGF for promotional media.
  13. Must check completion box on final submission.
  14. Upon verification, angler receives:
    • Certification of achievement
    • New Mexico Trout Challenge coin & sticker
    • Addition to Trout Challenge hall of fame

*** Licenses not required for anglers 11 or younger.
Official Rules (PDF)

Using Powderhook

Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout

Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Cold Water Fish Illustration - New Mexico Game & Fish

Rio Grande Cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis; RGCT) is the southernmost occurring subspecies of Cutthroat Trout and is designated as New Mexico’s State fish. RGCT are brilliantly colored, with brass colored sides transitioning to green and bronze toned backs complete with sparse spotting patterns. Many fish commonly display vibrant red coloration along their lower flanks and all RGCT possess a distinctive red-orange slash along their jaw line.

Gila Trout

Gila Trout Cold Water Fish Illustration - New Mexico Game & Fish

Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae) have been described as “taking their colors from the New Mexico sunset,” an apt description. Their iridescent gold sides blend to a darker shade of copper on the gill covers. Small, profuse spots cover the upper half of the body and a faint, salmon-pink band is present on most larger fish and parr marks are commonly found on adults. Because Gila trout are often found in small streams, they rarely grow larger than 12 inches.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout Cold Water Fish Illustration - New Mexico Game & Fish

The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is a species of salmonid native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean. Adult freshwater stream rainbow trout average between 1 and 5 pounds, while lake dwelling and anadromous forms may reach 20 pounds. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish stocks rainbow trout in a number of waters to provide angling opportunity. They have numerous black spots on a silvery body with a pink streak along the sides.

Brown Trout

Brown Trout Cold Water Fish Illustration - New Mexico Game & Fish

The brown trout (Salmo trutta) is a European species of salmonid fish that has been widely introduced into suitable environments globally. Several wild populations of brown trout occur throughout New Mexico. Their abdomen is usually yellow and they have large black spots and smaller re-orange spots with halos on their sides.

Brook Trout

Brook Trout Cold Water Fish Illustration - New Mexico Game & Fish

Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is a species of fish in the char genus of the salmon family Salmonidae. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada. Most brook trout populations occur in smaller am more difficult to access streams around the state. Brook trout have wavy lines on their backs, white edges on the front of their lower fins and a dark body with yellow spots and red spots with halos on their sides.