Weather prompts fish ‘die-offs’ in NM lakes, rivers, Game and Fish says

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Recent weather is behind fish “die-offs” being seen in some lakes, rivers and other spots across New Mexico, the Department of Game and Fish said Friday.

The news comes as Game and Fish investigates a die-off at Quemado Lake, this after reports earlier in the week that fish in the Gila National Forest-area lake were dying, the agency said in a news release. Species at the lake including tiger muskies, goldfish, grass carp, crayfish and fathead minnows were affected by what’s being attributed to low oxygen levels.

“Due to recent weather patterns across the state, including drought and high temperatures, die-offs have also been noted in the Pecos River, Coyote Creek, Rancho Grande Ponds and areas around Elephant Butte,” said Eric Frey, the sportfish program manager with Game and Fish.

The department said it will continue to evaluate waters statewide and stock fish in places that remain healthy for fish. Waters affected by die-offs will be restocked “when water conditions are suitable,” the news release reads.

Fish caught using fishing equipment are safe to eat, Game and Fish said, but it’s not recommended to collect and eat fish that are dead or dying.

If fish die-offs are seen, contact the department at (888) 248-6866.