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A MESSAGE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF GAME & FISH
As COVID-19 continues to force all of us to make changes to our daily schedule, the Department would like to remind you that together we can make a difference. To help minimize the spread of the virus:
Practice social distancing
Wash your hands regularly
Avoid non-essential travel
Stay healthy and safe.
In this time of change, the Department would like to encourage anglers to stay home, mend equipment and prepare for the upcoming fishing season. In the weekly fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of Go Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, we will be sharing tips and tricks to help you be ready to go on future adventures. Each week we will feature some different flies, lures activities or cooking recipes that can be done at home:
Removing a hook embedded in the angler
Many anglers, both veterans and beginners, have accidentally caught themselves instead of their intended targets. We’ve talked about how to remove a hook from a fish’s mouth. Today, we will go over a method for removing a barbed hook embedded in an angler’s skin.
1. Don’t cut the hook. You will need the eye and the shank of the hook to help remove it.
2. Cut about a 1.5-foot long piece of heavy pound test line.
3. Wrap the piece of line around the curved shank part of the hook.
4. Pull the line taut in the opposite direction of the hook enters the skin.
5. Press down on the eye of the hook to disengage the barb of the hook as much as possible.
6. With pressure on the eye of the hook, quickly jerk on the line to pull the hook out of the skin.
Building a worm bed
This is a fun project for kids and adults alike. Worms reproduce fast, so building an environment for them to thrive and multiply in can produce an ongoing source of fishing bait. Today, we will cover how to use two styrofoam coolers, one for the worm bed, and one that catches “worm juice,” which is a great source of fertilizer for your garden plants. If you do not want the fertilizer, just follow the instructions that apply to the worm bed/top box.
Choose a box that is 8 to 12-inches deep for your top box. A Styrofoam cooler that is at least 2 feet long by 1 foot wide works well. Poke 12 evenly spaced screwdriver-size holes in the bottom of the box.
Mix shredded newspaper, rich soil and compost in the top box. For compost you can use any combination of leftover fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, and eggshells. Water the worm bed until it is nice and moist.
Add worms. Worms caught in your area are a good choice because they have already proven to be successful in the temperature and environment around you. Red wigglers are a popular choice for trout anglers looking for store-bought worms. Night crawlers and earthworms are other options that can also be purchased. Place your worm box in a shady cool spot so that it does not get too hot and dry.
Place the second box below the worm bed/top box to capture the juices created by the feeding worms.
Keep your worm bed moist and replenish with compost once a week or so. Don’t over-compost: The bed should primarily be dirt. Check the bottom box for “worm juice” once a week or so. Any juice you have, dilute to the color of weak tea and use to water plants you wish to fertilize.
If you have personal tips and tricks that you would like to share with your fellow anglers as we wait out the current restrictions, please email Dustin at email@example.com.
Social distancing is a challenge for all anglers; the itch to go fishing just keeps growing. But this is a time for all New Mexicans to pull together for the overall health of all our citizens and stay home. The department reminds anglers it is their responsibility to be aware of closures and contact land managers for properties of interest when restrictions are lifted.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — www.blm.gov/new-mexico
U.S. Forest Service (USFS) — www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/covid19-updates
New Mexico State Lands — www.nmstatelands.org/resources/recreational-access/
New Mexico State Parks — www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/
New Mexico Open Gate Properties — www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/maps/open-gate-program/
New Mexico Wildlife Management Areas — www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/state-game-commission-lands/
Angler and outdoor recreationists should consult their local government’s website for information regarding specific city and town fishing access.