Officials hopeful Oasis pond will open early next year

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

New Mexico State Parks officials hope to have the fishing pond at Oasis State Park fixed by early next year.

The three-acre pond has been closed since February when park officials drained it after discovering a leak, according to Oasis State Park Manager Jim Whary.

The state parks department tried to fix an original leak in 2007 with a patch, which failed. Officials were unable to located the source on the new leak, Whary said.

A bentonite clay liner had been installed in 1980.

The cost to patch the manmade pond the first time was $123,000. The cost of installing a new synthetic liner will be $150,000, officials said.

The state parks department is trying to have a design for the new liner completed by August and open the bid on the construction of that liner in September, according to Marti Niman, New Mexico State Parks information officer.

The work on the pond should be completed by February, if all goes according to plan, Niman said.

Charles Roberson of Portales said he would ride his bicycle to Oasis twice a week to fish at the pond.

“I have no place else to go,” said Roberson, who unable to drive a vehicle due to limited to eyesight. “That pond is a wonderful thing, I would like to see it open again sometime this year.”

The pond is stocked with rainbow trout in the winter time and channel catfish during the summer time.