New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
dan.williams@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEB. 25, 2008:

GAME COMMISSION EXPANDS GILA TROUT FISHING, ELECTS NEW OFFICERS
EMERGENCY FISH SALVAGE PERMIT ISSUED FOR OASIS STATE PARK

 

GAME COMMISSION EXPANDS GILA TROUT FISHING, ELECTS NEW OFFICERS

SANTA FE -- The State Game Commission expanded opportunities to fish for Gila trout, elected new officers, and rejected a proposal to limit the number of flies anglers can use on a single line at its meeting Feb. 21 in Santa Fe.

Limited fishing for Gila trout was opened in 2007 on select streams after the trout was downlisted to threatened on the endangered species list. The Commission increased those opportunities by adding a portion of Mogollon Creek, and extending the Gila trout-fishing season to July 1 through Oct. 31 on Mogollon and Black Canyon creeks. Fishing for Gila trout on those waters is restricted to catch-and-release on artificial flies or lures with single barbless hooks. Anglers also must have a free Gila trout permit, available on the Department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

 In other action, the Commission:

Elected Tom Arvas of Albuquerque as chairman and M.H. "Dutch" Salmon as vice-chairman for 2008. Arvas replaces Alfredo Montoya of Alcalde, and Salmon replaces Arvas as vice chairman. The Commission also announced its newest member, Oscar Simpson of Albuquerque. He replaces Terry Riley of Tijeras, whose term expired.

Voted against a proposal to limit to two the number of flies anglers can use on a single line. Some anglers and guides had expressed concerns that fish on the San Juan River and other waters are being injured when lines with multiple flies break and wrap around fish. Broken lines with flies also are potential hazards to waterfowl and other wildlife. The Commission asked the Department to further investigate potential adverse effects using multiple flies could have on fish and wildlife.

Opened for public comment the first draft of the Department's biennial review of the status of all wildlife listed as threatened or endangered under the New Mexico Wildlife Conservation Act. The review is conducted to determine if each species should retain its current status, or be downlisted or uplisted. It can be found on the Department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

The full agenda, detailed agenda-item briefings, meeting minutes and other information will be available by March 7 on the Department of Game and Fish website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us or by calling (505) 476-8008.

The New Mexico Game Commission is composed of seven members who represent the state’s diverse interests in wildlife-associated recreation and conservation. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. Current members are Chairman Tom Arvas, Albuquerque;Vice-chairman M.H. "Dutch Salmon, Silver City; Alfredo Montoya, Alcalde; Leo Sims, Hobbs; Sandy Buffett, Santa Fe;  Jim McClintic, Albuquerque; and Oscar Simpson, Albuquerque.

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EMERGENCY FISH SALVAGE PERMIT ISSUED FOR OASIS STATE PARK

PORTALES -- Director Bruce Thompson of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish issued an emergency order today to allow people to salvage fish from the three-acre pond at Oasis State Park.

The order relaxes the manner and method for angling so that those who have a fishing license or youngsters under the age of 12 may use grappling, nets and seines to take game fish. The order also does away with bag, possession and size limits so fishermen may take as many fish as they want. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout in the winter and channel catfish in the summer.

The order will go into effect starting at 12:01 p.m. Feb. 25, 2008, and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m.  March 3, 2008.

State law allows the Game and Fish Director to take this action when an emergency exists. In this case, the pond at Oasis State Park City will be drained to repair a leak in the new liner of the pond. Draining the lake will kill all of the fish in Oasis State Park. Rather than letting the fish die and go to waste, Director Thompson issued this order so people can utilize the resource.

Oasis State Park is 6.5 miles north of Portales on N.M. 467. Day-use entry fees are $5 per vehicle. For more information, please contact the park at (575) 356-5331.

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