Where is it?
Bill Evans Lake is located in north-central Grant County. Take New Mexico Highway 180 to the community of Riverside. Look for a road sign identifying the paved road to the lake.
Bill Evans Lake is an interesting body of water: It's a lake 300 feet above the river that fills it. Water from the Gila River is pumped up a high mesa to where a sparkling lake is impounded.
The lake is suited to both trout and warmwater fish species, and is a great year-round place to watch birds and wildlife.
Bill Evans provides a great view of surrounding mountain ranges. The lake is surrounded by a gravel road, providing access to much of the shoreline. The gravel road can be uneven and may require a high ground clearance vehicle in some areas — but the lake is relatively small and all of the shoreline can be reached easily by foot.
The lake annually fills anglers' creels with crappie, channel catfish, bluegill and largemouth bass. Trout, although present throughout the year, are more active from October through May. Compared to other southwestern lakes, Bill Evans has relatively cool waters and largemouth bass grow slower than in warmer lakes. But big largemouth are still found in Bill Evans, including the state record 15-pound, 13-ounce largemouth caught in 1995. The lake is typically maintained at a level of 62 surface acres.
Boating is permitted on the lake, but only electric motors and self-propelled boats are allowed. All of the lake is a no-wake zone.