New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, DEC. 12, 2011:
ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Game Commission will consider allowing unlimited take of northern pike from Eagle Nest Lake to address the aggressive species’ threat to the lake’s trout and salmon fishery at its meeting Thursday, Dec. 15, in Albuquerque.
Northern pike were illegally stocked in Eagle Nest Lake. Recent surveys have indicated populations of the predatory fish have increased substantially and include four-year age classes with fish ranging in size from 12 to 30 inches. Northern pike have been known to destroy salmonid fisheries throughout North America. Proposed regulations would remove daily harvest and possession limits for pike, make it unlawful to release a live pike back into the lake, and remove northern pike from the waste-of-game fish protection.
Thursday’s meeting will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room C of the University of New Mexico Continuing Education Conference Center, 1634 University Blvd. NE, in Albuquerque. The full agenda, detailed agenda-item briefings and other information are available on the Department of Game and Fish website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us, or by calling (505) 476-8008. Details of proposed rules and opportunities to comment about them also are available on the website.
Other agenda items include:
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, Vice-chairman Thomas “Dick” Salopek, Tom Arvas, Bill Montoya, Scott Bidegain, Robert Hoffman and Robert Espinoza Sr.
Television celebrity Mike Rowe got up close and personal with New Mexico walleye when he joined biologists with the Department of Game and Fish for some fish-squeezing earlier this year at Santa Rosa Lake. His adventure will air on “Dirty Jobs” at 7 and 9 p.m. Tuesday on The Discovery Channel (check local listings).
Rowe helped Department staff capture walleye, physically squeeze eggs from the female fish and then fertilize the eggs with milt squeezed from males. Like all participants in the operation, he was slimed.
The Department conducts the egg harvesting operation every spring at lakes around New Mexico. Fertilized eggs are taken to Rock Lake Fish Hatchery in Santa Rosa, where they are hatched and raised to about ½-inch fry before they are returned to the lakes. This year, eggs were taken from Clayton, Santa Rosa, Stubblefield and Caballo lakes.
This year’s New Mexico walleye egg harvest, combined with more eggs from Wisconsin, allowed the Department to stock about 6.7 million walleye fry in Ute, Stubblefield, Conchas, Clayton and Santa Rosa lakes.