EAGLE NEST LAKE OPENS TO ICE FISHING SATURDAY
EAGLE NEST – Eagle Nest Lake will open to ice fishing Saturday, Jan. 29, the Department of Game and Fish and the State Parks Division announced.
Recent cold weather has increased the ice depth to 12 inches on most areas of the lake – safe enough for foot traffic only. Off-highway vehicles, snowmobiles or other vehicles are prohibited on the lake at this time. Anglers are advised to stay away from pressure ridges or areas of open water. Ice conditions will be closely monitored and the lake could close to ice fishing if conditions deteriorate.
The State Parks Division has a formal procedure for checking the depth of ice. The ice thickness is measured starting at the shoreline and progressing out over the lake. When the ice is of a thickness that is considered safe, the lake is opened to ice fishing. Also, park staff continually makes visual checks of the ice looking for cracks, water on top of the ice, and open water, all signs that the ice may not be safe for anglers.
The State Parks Division and the Department of Game and Fish jointly manage Eagle Nest Lake and surroundings via a joint powers agreement. According to criteria established by both agencies under the agreement, Eagle Nest Lake State Park staff report the ice conditions to the Department of Game and Fish. When the ice thickness meets its requirements, the Department allows ice fishing on the lake. The Department of Game and Fish has the authority to open or close the lake to ice fishing. State Parks assists with the on-the-ground posting and enforcement of the ice-fishing determinations. In addition, State Park managers and superintendents have the authority, by regulation, to close or restrict access to areas of parks, as well as to restrict, limit or prohibit activities such as ice fishing as conditions require. Such actions are taken in the interest of public safety and resource protection.
For more information and current updates about ice conditions, please contact Eagle Nest Lake State Park, (575) 377-1594, or for questions about fishing in northeastern New Mexico, call the Department of Game and Fish in Raton, (575) 445-2311. Information also is available on the Department of Game and Fish or New Mexico State Parks respective websites, www.wildlife.state.nm.us and www.nmparks.com.
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