New Mexico Department of Game and Fish challenges anglers to catch five trout species
FARMINGTON — A new challenge from New Mexico Department of Game and Fish aims to draw anglers out of the cities and to parts of the state they might not normally visit.
The department announced the New Mexico Trout Challenge on Jan. 1, which challenges anglers to catch each of the five trout species found in New Mexico.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish spokeswoman Tristanna Bickford said the challenge is open to both New Mexico residents and visitors.
“New Mexico has some great fishing opportunities across the state,” she said.
Bickford said visitors may not know about the fishing opportunities because New Mexico is known as a dry, arid state.
To complete the challenge, anglers will have to fish waters throughout the state.
The five trout included in the challenge are the Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Gila Trout and Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. While Lake Trout can be found in Heron Lake, they are not included in the challenge.
The Rio Grande cutthroat trout is found in the northern part of the state while the rare Gila trout is found in the Gila and Aldo Leopold wilderness areas in the southwestern part of New Mexico.
Other trout, like the brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout, are more widespread.
Anglers can track their progress by downloading the Powderhook application on a smart phone or tablet. Bickford said the department of Game and Fish can help people who don’t have access to smart phones or tablets track their progress, but she said the app is the best way to participate. Anglers without smart phones or tablets can call the Information Center at 888-248-6866.
Anglers will be required to submit information about the location where the fish was caught, how much the trout weighs and a picture of the fish.
Any angler who completes the challenge will receive a NMTC coin, and the first person to complete the challenge will be listed on the New Mexico Trout Challenge Hall of Fame.
Fish caught before Jan. 1 cannot be entered in the challenge, and all participants must have a valid New Mexico fishing license.
“This challenge will not only test the fishing abilities of trout anglers across the state, it will be a great way for fellow anglers to prove their skill and enjoy the variety of outdoor recreation opportunities New Mexico has to offer,” said Kirk Patten, chief of fisheries management for the department, in a press release.
Both rainbow and brown trout can be caught in the San Juan River quality waters. Rainbow trout are also stocked in Lake Farmington, Jackson Lake and ponds in Aztec.
While brook trout are uncommon in New Mexico, they can be found in Cabresto Creek above Questa and Tecolote Creek near Las Vegas, according to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at email@example.com.
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