New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Karl Moffatt, (505) 476-8007
Public contact: James Dominguez, (505) 476-8163
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, DEC. 15, 2015:
PUBLIC COMMENTS SOUGHT ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES RULES
SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking public comments on proposed rule changes to better protect the state from the spread of harmful aquatic invasive species.
“We need to further protect our state’s water resources and delivery infrastructure from these destructive invasive species,” said Mike Sloane, chief of the department’s Fisheries Division. “These rule changes will help us address some gaps we’ve discovered in enforcement and compliance.”
The proposed changes to Aquatic Invasive Species rules include requiring all out-of-state boat owners to pass an inspection before launching a watercraft in New Mexico. The proposed rules also would make it mandatory for all boaters to stop at aquatic invasive species inspection and decontamination stations, and would provide for the creation of a seal of approval program.
New Mexico remains free of zebra or quagga mussel infestation but is surrounded by states where the invasive species have taken root. The mussels can attach to structures and grow quickly, clogging inlet pipes and other equipment.
New Mexico is one of only six western states that remain free of the invasive mussels, and the rule changes are needed to help keep it that way, Sloane said.
The proposed rule changes can be found on the department website.
Comments or suggestions should be sent by Dec. 31 to James.Dominguez@state.nm.us.