Freedom New Mexico
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish issued an emergency order Monday to allow people to salvage fish from the man-made pond at Oasis State Park after a leak was discovered in its liner, according to a news release.
The order will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. March 3, the release said.
Oasis State Park manager Jim Whary said he and his staff were disappointed the liner had failed so soon after the pond had reopened to fishing Feb. 5.
“We had a 10-month renovation project and it’s obviously not holding up,” Whary said.
Whary said the pond is not being pumped, but it is draining quickly none-the-less. He said Monday afternoon little water remained.
The salvage order relaxes the manner and method for angling so that those who have a fishing license or youngsters under the age of 12 may use grappling, nets and seines to take game fish. The order also does away with bag, possession and size limits so fishermen may take as many fish as they want. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout in the winter and channel catfish in the summer.
Whary said State Parks officials will meet in early March to discuss the problem.
“I feel confident they (state) will fix it,” Whary said. “I just don’t know how or when.”
In the meantime, he said the 17th annual Kid’s Fishin’ Clinic scheduled for March 8 has been canceled. The pond was stocked with 1,600 rainbow trout in anticipation of the clinic, which promotes conservation along with giving children a chance to learn how to fish.
Oasis State Park is 6.5 miles north of Portales on N.M. 467. Day-use entry fees are $5 per vehicle.