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Fish die-off is taking place on the upper Pecos River

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is investigating a fish die-off in the upper Pecos River, from the village of Pecos north to Cowles.

The die-off is affecting brown and rainbow trout. Game and Fish, in a news release, attributes the problem to “stress induced by low water conditions and poor water quality throughout late summer and early fall.”

“Most of the fish observed were adult brown trout and a few rainbow trout,” said the release. “The department expects more fish to die through the fall as brown trout undergo spawning stress and flows continue to be very low.”

Fish that are caught using “legal fishing equipment” are safe to consume, said Game and Fish. But the agency recommends against collecting or consuming fish that are dead or dying.

Anyone seeing fish die-offs is asked to contact the department immediately at 888-248-6866.

The department says it will continue to evaluate waters statewide and will stock fish in waters that remain healthy for the fish. Waters that have been affected by die offs will be restocked when water conditions are suitable.