Following the loss of a mine that sustained the Questa, NM economy for years, the small village needed to look in a new direction. As it turned out, a quick peek outside a window provided a potential solution: outdoor recreation.
That transition recently received a boost as the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish partnered with Chevron Mining, Inc., Trout Unlimited, Questa Economic DevelopmentBoard, the Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service on a fish habitat improvement project at Eagle Rock Lake and the Red River.
The project, which ran over $800,000, involved installing large boulders and tree trunks as well as reconfiguring the streambed to increase pools and create better places for fish to live. Gravel bars were built to increase river channel sinuosity, and new trails and bridges were developed to improve angler access.
While improvements were being made to the river reaches, Chevron was busy dredging and relining adjacent Eagle Rock Lake. The river and stream project were connected by a new trail system that created a unique angling opportunity.
Article originally appeared in New Mexico Wildlife (Spring 2016 – Vol 59 Num 1).The magazine is available online at: http://magazine.wildlife.state.nm.us. New Mexico Wildlife is a quarterly magazine produced by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish with a focus on department activities, native wildlife and outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing.