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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Richard McDonald, (5750 532-2104
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
richard.mcdonald@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUG. 15, 2012:

BILL EVANS LAKE LOSING WATER AS GILA RIVER ASH FLOWS PREVENT PUMPING

SILVER CITY – Bill Evans Lake, once home of the state record largemouth bass, is rapidly losing its water as the pumps that feed it from the Gila River remain shut down due to ash flow from the Whitewater Baldy wildfire in southwestern New Mexico.

Officials with Freeport McMoRan, which uses the water for its mining operations, said the lake level may drop as much as 40 feet before water conditions improve enough to resume pumping. In the meantime, the Department of Game and Fish has stopped stocking the lake.

Bill Evans Lake is owned by the State Game Commission. The mining company’s four pumps carry water 300 feet uphill from the Gila River to the lake. When full, the 62-acre lake is about 100 feet deep. Fish species include catfish, trout, largemouth bass and sunfish.
The state-record bass, taken in 1995, weighed 15 pounds, 13 ounces.

The lake will remain open for fishing and camping, although boat ramps will be inaccessible.

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