Public meeting in Albuquerque on New Mexico fisheries management plan

There will be a public meeting in Albuquerque on New Mexico fisheries management plan on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6:00 to 7:00 PM.

SANTA FE -The Department of Game and Fish is seeking public comment on the draft of a new fisheries management plan that will help guide the department’s efforts into the future.
The new plan includes management direction for specific waters, primary fish species and project priorities. The last comprehensive, statewide, fisheries management plan was adopted in 1987 and only covered sportfish.
The new draft plan includes sportfish as well native and non-game fish. The draft plan also includes information about hatchery operations, habitat restoration projects, specific watershed areas, angler survey data, fishery management priorities, funding and more.

The plan can be found on the department’s website at http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/commission/proposals-under-consideration.

The department is also conducting public meetings about the plan:
Albuquerque: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Sept. 29, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Northwest Area Office, 3841 Midway Place NE, Albuquerque.
Roswell: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Sept. 30, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Southeast Area Office, 1912 W. Second Street, Roswell.
Las Cruces: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Oct. 7, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Southwest Area Office, 2715 Northrise Drive, Las Cruces.
Raton: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Oct. 8, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Northeast Area Office, 215 York Canyon Road, Raton.

Public comments can be sent by email to DGF-StatewideFishPlan@state.nm.us. Please submit comments by October 31, 2015. For further information please contact Kirk Patten, Assistant Chief of Fisheries, at 505-476-8055.

Comment from Ron Loehman, NM Trout Conservation Chairman

The plan is very comprehensive and G&F has done a lot of very good work in evaluating and categorizing the New Mexico watersheds that support fish populations.  In my opinion the plan could be improved if additional waters were designated catch and release, for example the sections of the Chama below El Vado and Abiquiu dams. The wild trout in other streams that are also stocked with triploids could be catch and release while the stocked rainbows could be kept. There are plans for recreational stockings of RG Cutthroats in a number of streams, but I believe that the list should be expanded.

Go to the meeting and let your opinions be heard.

Rio Cebolla Workshop and BBQ – May 30, 2015

WHAT:  Our annual member BBQ will be held on Saturday, May 30 in conjunction with a stream restoration clinic led by Bill Zeedyk, an expert in wetland and stream habitats.

Areas on the Rio Cebolla in the Santa Fe National Forest that we had targeted for restoration work have been closed to public access in response to the listing of the NM Meadow Jumping Mouse as an endangered species. We have permission to conduct this event on a private in-holding on the Rio Cebolla.

We will learn about techniques that reduce erosion and riparian degradation and improve fish habitat. These same techniques will be important for restoring Meadow Jumping Mouse habitat once its recovery plan has been developed.

WHO: Bill Zeedyk brings a lifetime of experience in natural resource conservation to the practice of river, wetland and riparian restoration. After retiring from the U.S. Forest Service with thirty-four years experience in habitat management, Bill founded a small consulting business to motivate others to employ his simple techniques for healing incised streams and gullied wetlands. NM Trout members have worked with Bill and his associates for many years on the restoration of Rio Grande Cutthroat trout on Comanche Creek in the Carson National Forest.

LOCATION and TIME: We will meet at 9:30 AM at the private property boundary where the Rio Cebolla flows under Forest Road 376. This spot is about 15 miles north of the Gilman Tunnels.  See the map below.

DETAILS: Bring gloves and a water bottle and wear sturdy shoes, long sleeves, and a hat. At noon we will break to enjoy a lunch of Rudy’s BBQ provided for NM Trout members.

If your membership has elapsed, please renew it!

Participants will have to sign a document releasing the property owner of any liability resulting from our event.

RSVP to Ron Loehman by 5:00 PM Tuesday, May 26th and we will provide you with lunch.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Take I-25 north to Bernalillo, left on Highway 550 to San Ysidro, right on Highway 4 through village of Canon, left on State Road 485 about a mile past the high school.  Continue on SR 485, which becomes FR 376, for about another 5 miles to the Gilman Tunnels. The workshop site is about another 15 miles north on FR 376. Total distance from the Big I is about 75 miles, driving time a little over an hour and a half.

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New Mexico Fish on Film Fest  

by Brian Beaudoin, Membership Chair

NMF3The premiere New Mexico Fish on Film Fest was a success and a total of 49 people came to watch videos submitted by NM anglers fishing NM waters. The styles of videos were as diverse as the species of fish and scenery we enjoy here in New Mexico. I personally loved the fact that these were local waters and local fishermen. While maybe the videos weren’t as mystical as some of those far off places that I’ll probably never get to visit of the F3T, these videos were shot in places I have been or can get to easily, fish, and be back home the same day. There is a certain allure to that and seeing places from a different angle. Seeing Rio Grande Cutthroat and Brookies on film was particularly engaging.

The winning video “Fly Fishing Hopewell Lake” was put together by Adrian Baca and Robert Gutierrez. They went home with big prizes and later went to Zia Kayak Outfitters and picked up their grand prize, a Hobie PA14 Kayak! Second place was a great video labeled “Wilderness Wanders” by brothers Eric and Matthew Peterson. Third place went to David Goodrich for his title “Superstition“. The event was a great success and we look forward to putting another great show together for 2016 but need you to submit your videos so we have content to put on the big screen! While the show was put together and run by Mark Pelletier of Fish Enchantment Guide Service and Bob Widgren of Custom Fly Rod Crafters, net proceeds were graciously donated to New Mexico Trout. Also, think about the other sponsors of the NMF3 and please consider supporting those local shops and businesses.

Custom Fly Crafters      866-532-0272               www.flyrodcrafters.com  

Taos Fly Shop              575.751.1312                www.taosflyshop.com 

Fish Enchantment                                           www.fishenchantment.com 

Zia Kayak Outfitters      575-744-4185               www.ziakayakoutfitters.com 

NM Trout will be hosting this event again in 2016, more details will be announced at www.nmf3.com. To submit your videos please mail to NMF3, PO Box 65575, Albuquerque   NM   87193. If you have questions on a submission or anything else pertaining to the NMF3 please contact Matt Pelletier at 505-264-2999 or email at submitnmf3@gmail.com.

Annual BBQ and Stream Restoration Clinic

by Ron Loehman, Conservation Chair

BBQ2015Save the date! Our annual BBQ will be held on Saturday, 30 May, in conjunction with a stream restoration clinic led by Bill Zeedyk, an expert in riparian and piscine habitats.
Bill brings a lifetime of experience in natural resource conservation to the practice of river, wetland and riparian restoration. Upon retiring from the U.S. Forest Service with thirty-four years experience in habitat management, Bill founded a small consulting business with the mission of motivating others by developing and advancing simple techniques for healing incised streams and gullied wetlands.  The event will be held alongside the Cebolla creek below Fenton lake. More details coming in the May Newsletter.

Clean Up Day on the Rio Guadalupe

by Ron Loehman, Conservation Chair

cleanup2015aNew Mexico Trout has a tradition of welcoming the Spring opening of FR 376 between the Gilman Tunnels and Porter’s Landing with a volunteer trash pickup. That Forest Service road provides access to our Rio Guadalupe home water and it accumulates a lot of roadside trash over a season’s heavy use by the many people who visit that corridor. Doing these annual cleanups is one way we can express our thanks for the wonderful trout fishing opportunities the Rio Guadalupe affords, while we help maintain it in a state that we like to visit.

cleanup2015bTwenty new Mexico Trout members volunteered for this year’s cleanup. The weather was excellent and, thanks to the excellent turnout, we were able to pick up along the entire seven-mile stretch by lunchtime. It’s always a mystery to me how some people can go to such a beautiful area and then throw their trash all over it. It would be interesting to see what their own homes look like. This year’s tally of trash was thirty large garbage bags, with a truck tire and a kitchen sink as the big-ticket trash items.
We all enjoyed the lunch, especially the chocolate chip cookies for dessert. One highlight was the club’s recognition of Phyllis Martinez as an honorary New Mexico trout member. Phyllis is a ranger in the Jemez District office and is the main USFS staffer with whom we organize our conservation projects. She always works the hardest on any project we’re on and is outstanding in every respect.

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Catch and Release Clinic

Article by Ron Loehman
Photos by Tad Tucker and Ron Loehman

“A trout is too valuable to catch only once”. That quotation, from famous fly angler Lee Wulff, is the idea that brought more than forty New Mexico Trout members to the Rio Chama below El Vado Dam. There, on March 28th, Noah Parker, owner of Land of Enchantment Guides, conducted a workshop on the benefits that catch and release regulations would bring to the tailwater fisheries on the Rio Chama. It was a near perfect spring day as Noah described the initiative he is leading to persuade the NM Department of Game and Fish to establish four-mile stretches below Heron, El Vado, and Abiquiu dams as catch and release only.

The Chama below Abiquiu Dam is a pretty stream with clear water, good structure, and easy access. It is easy to imagine that, with catch and release regulations, it could become a trout fishing destination similar to the San Juan below Navajo dam. Given that it is only about a two-hour drive from Albuquerque, the prospect is even more appealing.

catch+release1After the initial catch and release overview, Noah gave a nice introduction to fly selections, rigging, and general tailwater fishing techniques. People then dispersed individually or in small groups along a mile or so below the dam to apply what they had just heard. Noah, and his associate Jesse Lee, aided by several experienced NM Trout members, acted as roving coaches, giving advice and otherwise assisting anyone who wanted more hands-on help.

As the saying goes, “the fishing was excellent, but the catching was a little slow”. Bright mid day sun and lots of people on the river made things challenging, but people caught some fish and everyone had fun. The club provided an ample lunch with lots of opportunity for people to socialize and for new members to meet old hands. Fishing continued after lunch as people explored some excellent-looking water some distance below the dam.

catch+release2New Mexico Trout is indebted to Noah and Jesse for taking time from their busy guiding schedules to introduce us to a part of the Chama that was new to many of us. Land of Enchantment Guides supports NM Trout through generous, yearly donations to our Conclave, presentations at our monthly meetings, and as a general source of helpful advice to anyone who asks. A number of us have fished with Noah or others on his staff and the experience has been uniformly excellent.

New Mexico Trout as an organization has endorsed the Rio Chama Catch and Release Initiative and many of our members have individually signed petitions to that effect. It will take a lot of effort to overcome Department of Game and Fish inertia, but it will be worth the effort. Watch for future newsletter articles on other ways you can help.

Wetlands Roundtable Meeting 

From Land and Water Program Director, Mollie Walton, PhD
January 2015 Newsletter

The New Mexico Wetland Roundtables are part of a Wetlands Program Development Grant from EPA Region 6 to foster partnerships and collaboration for the restoration and protection of wetlands and riparian resources in New Mexico and are conducted on a semi-annual schedule. If you have not attended in the past, we would like you to see what the New Mexico Wetlands Roundtable is all about.

The next meeting is March 26 (Thursday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm). This meeting will also be in celebration of Bill Zeeyk’s 80th birthday. Presentations will cover projects that highlight aspects of Bill’s career in wetland and stream restoration including: on the ground improvements, development of new restoration techniques, teaching restoration techniques to others, and new initiatives that promote volunteerism, collaboration and partnerships. This roundtable is co-sponsored by the Quivira Coalition, Albuquerque Wildlife Federation and the New Mexico Environment Department.

Location: Rotunda Meeting Room, University of New Mexico, Science and Technology Research Park, 801 University Blvd SE (Park North, 1st Floor East), Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Free Parking is available at the parking structure conveniently located one block west of the building on Baseheart Road.

This is a FREE event. Space is limited and participants must be registered to attend. Please use the following link to submit your RSVP:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-mexico-wetlands-roundtable  Use the password: Wetlands

Contact Shelly Barnes for more information at michelle.barnes@state.nm.us.