Santa Fe, NM (NMDGF) — Anglers across New Mexico took to the waters over the recent Memorial Day weekend. The warm weather and recent fish stockings drew people to lakes and streams throughout the state.
Department of Game and Fish officers checked more than 3,000 anglers for licenses over the holiday weekend.
“We want all anglers to purchase a fishing license, if required.” said Department Col. Robert Griego. “Fishing is affordable family fun.”
The department uses revenue from fishing licenses to manage and improve fisheries, including stocking fish, rehabilitating riparian areas and improving boat and angler access.
Children age 11 and under are not required to purchase a license. Resident annual fishing licenses are $25 and nonresident annual fishing licenses are $56. Junior annual fishing licenses for anglers 12 to 17 years of age, senior annual fishing licenses for residents age 65 and older, one-day and five-day licenses also are available. Anglers can purchase their licenses online at the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website at www.wildlife.state.nm.us , toll-free at (888) 248-6866, at all department offices or at local vendors.
“Anglers are usually happy to talk to us when we are out checking licenses,” said Conservation Officer Sergeant Ty Jackson. “They have a lot of questions, like where the fish are biting and where the best hunting will be in the fall.”
“Only a small percent of those checked were in violation of the law,” Griego said. “Our sportsmen and women are generally responsible and law abiding, and our officers enjoy the opportunity to educate the public about safety, conservation and fishing rules.”
While the majority of anglers followed the rules, officers issued nearly 300 citations over the weekend. The most common violation was fishing without a license. Officers also wrote citations for exceeding the bag limit, off-highway vehicle safety violations and other offenses. They also responded to complaints about bears and mountain lions. Conservation officers will continue to visit lakes and streams throughout the summer, educating the public and making sure that people are not taking more than their fair share.
Fishing violations can result in fines of $50 to $500 and up to six months in jail. Repeat offenders or those committing more serious violations can have their hunting or fishing privileges revoked.
For more information about fishing in New Mexico visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us , or call the department at (888) 248-6866.