Fisheries Meeting Synopsis
by Ivanna Erwin, Staff Writer
An extremely knowledgeable presentation was given by Coldwater Fisheries Biologist Master of Science Candidate, Jane Trujillo, of the NM Dept. of Game & Fish, to a very well attended meeting this past Wednesday at the Eagle Nest State Park meeting facility.
I never knew SO MUCH could be said about the fish in our lake, but now I know! Many were gathered to hear about the Fisheries Department’s plans to attempt to provide more successful fish stocking events over the coming year, (and, in turn, more successful catching) in the hopes that the fish being stocked would have a better chance to survive not only the stocking process but the first few hours, days, & weeks after being deposited into a harsh environment of “killer-ninja” birds and the ever-predatory Northern Pike.
In the past the lake has been stocked with 3”-6” fingerlings, which would normally have survived long enough to grow a bit bigger and be a good size for our Angler’s to enjoy catching.
Since the “accidental” introduction of the Northern Pike, and the increase in the birds that have come to make our lake their home, it seems like the stocking efforts have been fairly futile, so, now, after a bit of intense study, the Fisheries dept. has come to the conclusion that they must attempt to stock larger (8”-10”) fish in order for them to have a better chance of making it in the lake and thriving. The problem with that is the current hatcheries are not large enough to contain the fish long enough for them to get bigger to become stock. For instance, stocking the smaller fish allows for more numbers to be inserted. Trying to stock bigger fish means less amounts are able to be raised in that same time period and space. Still they’re going to give it a try, and study them further to see if this is indeed a better strategy.
Other ideas are being bounced around on how to grow them bigger before they are stocked, but ideally the best bet would be for the hatcheries to be made larger to be able to grow more of the successful size of fish that is needed. Where’s Elon Musk’s crowd when we need him?
All in all, it was a well heard meeting event and it is reassuring for the Anglers that the Fisheries Dept. is indeed aware of our lake’s issues, and are really striving for a better solution.
If you have any further questions, comments or suggestions on how this project can be more successful, please feel free to contact Miss Trujillo; she is more than happy to hear you out, her email is: Jane.Trujillo@state.nm.us