A MESSAGE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF GAME & FISH
In this time of change, the department would like to encourage anglers to continue COVID-19 safe practices; it is a great time to mend equipment, stock tackle boxes and prepare for upcoming fishing trips. In the weekly fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of GO Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, we will continue to share tips and tricks to help you be ready and to safely go on your next adventure.
In this week’s fishing report, Berg highlights how people in the angling community can work together to ensure equal access for all. Berg is founder and executive director of Albuquerque-based GO Unlimited, an organization that creates access to outdoor recreation opportunities for people living with disabilities.
Accessible fishing and overcoming disability
New Mexico is a state of abundant outdoor opportunity. For people living with disabilities, accessing these opportunities can sometimes be tricky.
Thankfully, state, federal, private businesses and non-profit organizations are working together to create a situation in New Mexico where people of all abilities can enjoy the great outdoors.
There are a lot of access improvement projects going on across our state; here are just a few of the locations that are being singled out in this week’s report for their quality adaptive fishing opportunities.
At San Juan River’s Texas Hole, there are several piers that have been created so that people in wheelchairs can access the bank. Cottonwood Campground on the San Juan near the Navajo Dam community also offers accessible riverbank improvements. For anglers with a little more mobility, the San Juan River offers multiple parking locations close to the river with good access for those that can walk a short distance.
Navajo Lake, offers angling opportunities for a variety of fish species. The newly revamped Navajo Dam Marina created a fishing hole for all anglers and abilities. The fishing hole is also lighted for night fishing. To access the entire lake, accessible pontoon boats are great for fishing for anglers with disabilities.
Tingley Beach, in Albuquerque, offers accessible bank fishing. Catching can also be quite good because the department routinely stocks trout in the winter and catfish in the summer.
Eagle Nest Lake near Angel Fire has multiple accessible docks for anglers with disabilities to fish from. Anglers often report having good success catching perch, trout and pike.
Red River has multiple accessible pond and river fishing locations. Red River is a neat mountain town rich in outdoor sport, vacation and tourist opportunities. Eagle Rock Lake, located between Red River and Questa, has accessible bank fishing accommodations. Anglers often report having good success fishing for trout using PowerBait, salmon eggs and spinners.
Though the sandy bank can be an obstacle for anglers who use a wheelchair for mobility, good accessible fishing opportunities can be found at the marinas at Elephant Butte Lake. Night fishing under the lights can yield catching a lot of fish. Anglers often report having good success catching white bass, crappie, catfish and walleye using jigs tipped with minnows and worms.
If you have personal tips and tricks that you would like to share with your fellow anglers please email Berg 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) — blm.gov/new-mexico
U.S. Forest Service (USFS) — fs.usda.gov/about-agency/covid19-updates
New Mexico State Lands — nmstatelands.org/resources/recreational-access/
New Mexico State Parks — emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/
New Mexico Open Gate Properties — wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/maps/open-gate-program/
New Mexico Wildlife Management Areas — 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.