New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact: Karl Moffatt: (505) 476-8007


New rules to battle aquatic invasive species now in effect

SANTA FE – New rules to combat the spread of aquatic invasive species in New Mexico went into effect July 11.
Changes include:

  • Watercraft owners are required to stop at an inspection station whenever one is set up and in operation.
  • Mandatory inspection and, if necessary, decontamination is required of all out-of-state registered watercraft or watercraft re-entering the state of New Mexico.
  • All boaters are required to “pull the plug” and completely drain watercraft when transporting on a New Mexico roadway.

“The boating public’s cooperation is essential in our fight to prevent destructive invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels from infecting our waterways,” said James Dominiguez, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. “These changes will help our watercraft inspectors and law enforcement personnel as they conduct watercraft inspections at our waterbodies.”

New Mexico is one of only six western states that remain free of zebra or quagga mussel infestation, but is surrounded by states where the invasive species have been found. The mussels can attach to boats and grow quickly, leading to encrusted equipment and clogged water pipes. Their spread also poses a risk to our native aquatic wildlife, hydroelectric power systems and surface water delivery lines used for municipalities and agriculture.

Inspectors are stationed at various lakes and reservoirs throughout the state to ensure that watercraft are completely clean, drained and dry before launching. Boaters can help by adopting these measures on their own.

For more information about the battle against aquatic invasive species please visit and or contact the department’s Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, James Dominguez, (505) 476-8163, or