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,  AUG. 17, 2009:

SAN JUAN FISHING, ANTELOPE AND ELK HUNTING ON COMMISSION AGENDA

SANTA FE -- The State Game Commission will consider designating the entire special trout waters, or "quality waters" of the San Juan River below Navajo Dam as a catch-and-release fishery, eliminating the one-fish-per-day bag limit currently in place for most of the 3 ¾-mile stretch of world-class trout stream. The proposal is one of 27 agenda items for the Commission's meeting Thursday, Aug. 20, in Albuquerque.

The meeting will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the State Bar of New Mexico, 5121 Masthead NE, in Albuquerque. The full agenda, detailed agenda-item briefings and other information are available on the Department of Game and Fish Web site, www.wildlife.state.nm.us or by calling (505) 476-8008.

The San Juan River proposal follows several public meetings, a survey of anglers and hundreds of public comments addressing some anglers' concerns about the quality of fishing and the number and size of trout in the Special Trout Water below Navajo Dam. Current rules provide for catch-and-release fishing in an approximately ¼-mile stretch immediately below the dam and a one-trout-per-day bag limit, minimum size, 20 inches, in the remaining 3 ½ miles of the quality-water section.   

Other agenda items include:

  • An update on Department efforts to work with landowners and hunters to develop a new system to allocate public- and private-land pronghorn antelope licenses and authorizations.
  • A proposal to change elk hunting unit boundaries and the way elk hunting authorizations are allocated to private landowners through the Department's E-PLUS system in Game Management Units 6A and 6C in the Jemez Mountains. The Commission will consider alternatives suggested in several public meetings, public comments, and a survey involving landowners, hunters, area businesses and other interests.
  • An update on public comments concerning possible changes to the dates and method hunters apply for deer licenses. Proposals include simplifying the licensing process by eliminating the current deer hunting permit.
  • A report and discussion of the Department's furbearer management objectives, harvest information and rules.
  • An update on public comments and statewide meetings about public access to Commission-owned properties and possible rule changes to the Gaining Access Into Nature program. Proposals include changing rules to better define access opportunities and fee requirements for specific wildlife areas.
  • An update on the transfer of the state Off-Highway Vehicle Program from the Tourism Department to the Department of Game and Fish.
  • A report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on plans of the government of Mexico to release Mexican wolves into northern Mexico, and management implications if those wolves disperse into New Mexico.

The State 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 Jim McClintic, Albuquerque; Vice-chairwoman Sandy Buffett, Santa Fe; M.H. “Dutch” Salmon, Silver City; Alfredo Montoya, Alcalde; Leo Sims, Hobbs; Tom Arvas, Albuquerque; and Kent Salazar, Albuquerque.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the meeting, please contact Shirley Baker, (505) 476-8030. Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, can be provided in various accessible forms.

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