Plan your Trip to Lake El Novillo

Lake El Novillo, San Pedro De La Cueva, Batuc & Tepupa

Lake El Novillo 01 

Lake El Novillo "Plutarco Elias Calles Reservoir"

This lake cove image - we might move it to members only.
 Lake El Novillo Cove MapLake Novillo ("Presa El Novillo" in Spanish) is a 70 mile long man-made lake in Sonora, Mexico, near the city of San Pedro de la Cueva. More formally known as "Plutarco Elias Calles Reservoir", it is located on the Yaqui River. It is fed by the Yaqui and Moctezuma rivers.
El Novillo Dam
The dam was placed into operation on November 14, 1964. It provides water for irrigation and can generate 135,000 kilowatts of electricity. The reservoir contains 2,925 million cubic meters of water.  Click here to see a video of Vic Daniels on the history of El Novillo Dam.
Bass Fishing Catches
Lake El Novillo is a remote and mountainous lake that provides an excellent  fishing  experience for any angler, especially Bass Fishing. With its huge variety of terrain, you’ll find great fishing as you explore this vast and plentiful lake. It’s common to catch up to 100 Bass a day!
fish planting Novillo Sportfishing AssnEl Novillo, started with lots of species of fish, including Largemouth Bass, but the Novillo Sportfishing Association, and through its members and community, planted 375,000 Florida strain fingerlings several years ago to increase the size of the average catch. However, the record was 13.5 lbs. prior to the release. Bass in the range of 4 to 6lbs. are caught regularly.  The Bass here have plenty to forage on: shad, bluegill, crappie, and lots of tilapia. 
See More on the Variety of Fish to catch at Lake El Novillo.
largebass 13Image 10

Tres Pueblos 

Sonora's 3 Sunken Pueblos

In the mid 1960's, the waters of the El Novillo "Plutarco Elias Calles" hydroelectric dam overwhelmed three small towns in rural, central Sonora. Batuc, Suaqui and Tepupa. All were founded in the early 1600's.

The River Basin Yaqui wm minTres Pueblos Map

Tres Pueblos Tulane University 01
San Francisco Javier De Batuc church, The church in Batuc was built between 1744 and 1767, and was largely overseen by Jesuit Priest Alejandrro Rapicani Oetken. It was one of the only mission-era churches in the region built from quarried stone, and is considered one of the best built by historians.    
San Pedro & Lake Novillo   NovilloSportFishing.com27 San Pedro & Lake Novillo   NovilloSportFishing.com26
  100 foot long, 6 foot hight wall memorial of the three towns, painted by residents of San Pedro de la Cueva memorializing the history of the three sunken pueblos.

San Pedro De La Cueva

Church Batuc Lake El Novillo
With the completion of the El Novillo Dam in 1964, the long established municipals of Batuc, Suaqui and Tepupa were dissolved and put under the municipal control of San Pedro de la Cueva. Including the Church which was build in the late 1600’s.
The façade has been relocated to Hermosillo.
San Pedro & Lake Novillo   NovilloSportFishing.com23 min
 Housing had been built for displaced families of Batuc and Tepupa, but they refused to live there. This is the area where a lot of the Gringos live today.
The ejido registered in 1952 with an area of almost 258 sq. miles. It was enlarged to about 913 sq. miles in 1964 with the addition of the territory encompassing the frontier municipals of Batuc, Tepupa and Suaqui when the dam was built.
Cave San Pedro de la Cueva
 The most prominent feature of the area is the cave across the river, at the base of the 4,900 foot Las Tetas. The cave is said to have a depth of 230 feet.
In 1725 a Jesuit missionary of mixed Italian and German blood named it San Pedro Apostol. The practical residents changed it to "San Pedro de la Cueva" (Saint Peter of the Cave).
Tourism Lake El NovilloSince the creation of the El Novillo reservoir in 1964, the town was introduced to a new source of revenue, the sport fisherman. Tourism quickly grew to a major source of income for the residents.
Products made in San Pedro de la Cueva include the peanut Oblea; two thin wafers with a honey, brown sugar and peanut mixture holding them together. The Tehua, a heavy work shoe for men, and the Chanclita for women are still made here.
Museum CafeLaPena Novillo Sport Fishing 1
Visit the Museum and Café in San Pedro located next to the river. You’ll enjoy great food and learn about the rich history of the area.


Batuc Tres Publeos 01
 It is known also as The Colony, and it has less than 500 inhab­itants who are devoted to cattle raising, agriculture, fishing and the industry of tourism.
At scarcely three kilometers is the reservoir of El Novillo and in its flooded waters one can capture species like the lobina [bass], tilapia, carp and bagre [catfish] among other fresh water species.
Those that live off the tourism are those that lend their services in the camps of tourists of Old Batuc.
The countless turns, slopes and ascents that exist in that mountain range are impressive; but, however, they offer a wonderful view to the visitor.


Batuc Tres Publeos 01
 A dozen kilometers to the south of the town of San Pedro de la Cueva, you encounter New Tepupa, inheritance of the extinct town of Old Tepupa, disappeared in the year 1964 under the waters of the reservoir of El Novillo. In order to go to the reservoir, distant some six kilometers, you go down the arroyo of La Colgada, named so in honor of an enormous rock that seems that it is about to fall.