More Hunting, Fishing Opportunities on Game Commission Agenda

More Hunting, Fishing Opportunities on Game Commission Agenda

CARLSBAD – More opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and other wildlife-associated recreational activities; proposed changes in fishing regulations; and a summary of the Department of Game and Fish conservation and recovery plans will be among items presented to the New Mexico Game Commission during its meeting Dec. 16 in Carlsbad.

The meeting will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, in the lecture hall, room 153, at the New Mexico State University campus, 1500 University Drive, Carlsbad. The full agenda and other information are available at the Department of Game and Fish Web site, www.wildlife.state.nm.us or by calling (505) 476-8008.

Agenda items include:

• The Commission will consider several new opportunities to improve hunting and fishing in the state and expand programs to lease private lands for hunting. The Department also will present more opportunities for wildlife watching and other Gaining Access Into Nature (GAIN) wildlife-associated recreation. Hunting and fishing proposals include expanding some hunting seasons for youth and mobility impaired hunters; allowing mobility impaired hunters to use crossbows; and expanding fishing opportunities for youth. Proposed additions to GAIN opportunities include assisting the Department with wildlife surveys, electro-fishing operations and research studies; photo blinds in the prairie chicken areas; and hunting for feral pigs in the southeast.

• The Department will present a summary of its many long- and short-range wildlife management, recovery and conservation plans, including those required by law or federal direction. The plans address a wide spectrum of objectives, from managing Commission-owned properties to recovery efforts for endangered species, and habitat studies.

• The Commission will consider fishing-regulation amendments designed to create more opportunities for anglers. Proposed rule changes include establishing legal fishing hours at Conservancy Park Lake and Tingley Beach in Albuquerque, removing the special catfish designation from Aztec Pond, increasing the limit for yellow perch to 30 from 20; increasing the limit for striped bass from two to three, and increasing the length limit for smallmouth bass at Ute and Conchas lakes from 12 to 14 inches.

• The Department will nominate 35 New Mexicans, seven from each of five regions, to serve on the citizen advisory committees that assist in identifying programs eligible for the Public Land Management Stamp (Habitat Stamp) funds. Each committee will be composed of five sportsmen representatives, one environmental representative and one public land permittee representative. All hunters, trappers and anglers who use federal lands in New Mexico are required to purchase a $5 Habitat Stamp. The money from the stamp goes toward programs to protect and restore wildlife habitat.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the meeting, please contact Shirley Baker, (505) 476-8030. Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, can be provided in various accessible forms.

The New Mexico Game Commission is composed of seven members who represent the state’s diverse interests in wildlife-associated recreation and conservation. Members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. Current members are Guy Riordan, chairman, Albuquerque; Tom Arvas, vice-chairman, Albuquerque; Alfredo Montoya, Alcalde; David Henderson, Santa Fe; M.H. “Dutch” Salmon, Silver City; Peter Pino, Zia Pueblo; and Leo Sims, Hobbs. For more information, visit the Department of Game and Fish Web site at www.wildlife.state.nm.us .

$1,500 REWARD OFFERED IN POACHING OF BIGHORN SHEEP

QUESTA – A $1,500 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the poaching of a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep from the Latir Wilderness herd in the late summer or fall of 2005.

Department of Game and Fish biologists retrieved the sheep’s radio collar Dec. 1 from Cabresto Creek, where it apparently had been tossed after it was cut from the sheep’s neck. The collar, which emits a special signal when the sheep has not moved in six hours, was located Nov. 22 during a routine aerial survey of the Latir herd. The 14-year-old ewe was one of about 150 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Latir Wilderness. The ewe was transplanted to the Latirs from the Pecos Wilderness in 2003.

An Operation Game Thief reward of $750 was matched by the New Mexico chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, bringing the total reward to $1,500. Anyone with information about the bighorn poaching or other wildlife law violations is encouraged to call toll-free (800) 432-4263. Callers can remain anonymous.

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