Local lakes stocked for free fishing day

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

Oasis State Park is a busy spot for local anglers these days after being stocked Tuesday with catfish for this Saturday’s Free Fishing Day.

Approximately 400 pounds of flatheads were brought in Tuesday to restock the lake at Oasis Park.

In February 2008, New Mexico Game and Fish issued a salvage order for the man-made lake when a leak was discovered in the liner.

Park Ranger Valerie Russ said the samsonite clay liner was more than 20 years old.

“We had a company come in and redo the samsonite work,” Russ said. “That held for two weeks and then we lost all the water. Then we went in and did the synthetic liner. That’s what we have in there right now.”

Russ said the new plastic liner is similar to what’s used in lagoons and landfills to protect ground water.

Free Fishing Day means people can fish without a license or a habitat stamp. The bag limit of two catfish per fishermen does apply. Participants must also pay any park entry fees.

“The pond is full and we do have fish,” Russ said. “They stocked us Tuesday they were pretty big catfish probably about two to three pounds.”

Mark Madsen, public information officer for Game and Fish, said Greene Acres Lake in Clovis and Oasis have been stocked with catfish for the summer. Ned Houk Park will be stocked in November with rainbow trout for the winter.

“What we mostly do, is stock those big cat waters (lakes) three times throughout the summer,” Madsen said. “We try to stock them the week before major holidays.”

Game and Fish stock lakes before Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.

Oasis is also offering an interpretive talk at 6:30 p.m. Saturday by Chris Dawson from Living Desert State Park about adaptations of desert plants. If there is inclement weather the program will be held at the park visitor center.

Where: Oasis State Park

When: Saturday June 6,

Time: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: $5 park fees, fishing is free.

Location: 6.5 miles north of Portales off of N.M. 467.

Phone: 356-5331