MEETINGS WILL ADDRESS PROPOSED CHANGES TO FISHING RULES
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is accepting comments and will conduct public meetings from July 1-9 in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell and Raton to discuss several proposed changes to state fishing regulations.
Proposed changes include:
- Close McKenna Creek and the portion of Iron Creek from the fish barrier upstream to headwaters to all fishing. This proposed change also would remove the Special Trout Water designation on Iron Creek. Both of these creeks contain genetically pure populations of Gila trout that are vital to the long-term sustainability of the species, and the closure will conserve these populations during post-fire recovery of the watersheds.
- Allow licensed anglers and individuals younger than age 12 to take game fish by bow and arrow (bow fishing). All daily bag, possession and size limits would apply. Bow fishing for game species would not be allowed within Special Trout Waters. This proposal would expand recreational angling opportunity.
- Update all regulations to replace outdated language referring to individuals with disabilities.
- Reduce the statewide striped bass daily bag limit from 2 to 1. This proposed change would not affect the unlimited daily bag and possession limit of striped bass in San Juan County. Based upon surveys, the Elephant Butte Lake striped bass population has shown a decreasing trend. A reduced harvest would help sustain this population.
- Remove the “Youth Only” designation and allow licensed anglers ages 12 years or older (including adults) to fish at Young Pond in Las Cruces. Because of extreme drought conditions, angling opportunity has become very limited in Dona Ana County. Allowing all licensed anglers to fish at Young Pond will expand angling opportunity. Young Pond currently is restricted to anglers younger than 12 years of age.
- Reduce the channel catfish daily bag limit from 15 to 2 on the following waters: Ned Houk, Harry McAdams, Young Pond, Roswell Kids Pond, Perch Lake and Blue Hole Park Pond. Most of these waters are stocked with catchable channel catfish and a reduced daily bag limit would prolong the availability of catfish to anglers.
Department staff will be at the following meetings to discuss and accept public comments about the proposed changes:
- Albuquerque: July 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m., New Mexico Game and Fish Office, 3841 Midway Place NE.
- Las Cruces: July 1, 6-8 p.m., New Mexico Game and Fish Office, 2715 Northrise Drive.
- Roswell: July 9, 6-8 p.m., New Mexico Game and Fish Office, 1912 West Second Street.
- Raton: July 9, 6-8 p.m., New Mexico Game and Fish Office, 215 York Canyon Road.
Comments about the proposed changes also can be expressed by contacting Fisheries Management Division by telephone at (505) 476-8055 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.