100 acres of natural preserve located between Las Cruces and El Paso

Welcome to the Lake of La Mesa Ranch

The lake from the west overlooking the Organ Peaks in the background. For at least 30 years the lake level stayed the same, there would be some seasonal variation of less than 10% in most cases. The average depth of the lake was 6 to 7 feet.
Left: Picture taken in 2010 from the Peninsula on the west side of the lake.
From the dock. Picture taken in  2009  looking north towards Las Cruces. The lake area is approximately 12 acres including the trees and shoreline.
  This picture was taken from the center of the Lake in July 2012. The shore line was beginning to recede and vegitation grew very fast due to the warm weather and very nutrient rich enviornment. The drought was taking a toll in the area. The water authority would only allow the water to run in the Rio Grande for a few months and the pecan farmers were pumping the ground water to make up for the irrigation shortfall.  
  Some say the drought was totally responsible for the lake's withdrawal, but that is not the total story, the release of water from the northern dam was reduced significantly beginning in 2010. It was this water that the farmers irrigated their crops with and the annual allotments were reduced. In light of the predicted drought, the farmers were encouraged to drill irrigation wells, plant pecans, and generally replace or augment their water requirements from the underground aquifers. Within a couple of years the water table dropped by many feet and the lake dropped as well. By winter of 2013 the lake dropped by 50% more than in the preceding decades.
  By 2014 the lake was all but dry. The wildlife suffered and many species died. The lake was always fed by an inlet on the western shore (that part remained) but the rest of the lake subsided below as the water table continued to drop.
  As of January 2018 the water level in the lake began to rise for the first time in 3 years as a result of the Rio Grande river running for a longer period of time.  The river recharged the aquifers somewhat and water level in the lake increased steadily for several months.  A quick flyover indicates the water is approximately 2 feet and steady to a slow increase. There was no flow in the Rio Grande in Mesilla Valley at the time this picture was taken. The seasonal dam release will not occur until late spring or early summer. In the meantime the farmers will pump the aquifers and it is expected that the water table will drop again.
From the dry lakebed vegetation sprang forth with new growth. Some over 7 feet tall. The water level is about 2 feet in this picture.
  This video is a quick flyover and gives a better perspective of the condition of the lake as of January 2018.