Anglers visiting the San Juan River in northern New Mexico this summer will discover a new 80-acre aquatic park featuring plenty of fishing improvements, lots of shady cottonwood trees and one of the best swimming holes on the river.
Carved out of a nearly impenetrable forest of water-robbing salt cedar and thorny Russian olive trees, the state Game & Fish Department has turned its Hammond Tract into what should become a very popular recreational area.
Acquired in the late 1980s from the federal government, the property is located about 14 miles south of the town of Navajo Dam. For years, it was nothing more than a rutted dirt road ending at a hole hacked through the trees where boaters could land.
Now, there’s a new concrete boat take-out ramp, an improved parking lot and a fresh outhouse. The invasive tree species have been cleared away while the towering cottonwoods remain, along with newly planted native vegetation.