Due to recent cold weather, the lake’s ice thickness is now at minimum standards for this access according to New Mexico State Parks officials. State officials remind the public that you take a risk anytime you go out onto the ice. Before going out onto the ice, individuals are urged to consider the following safety precautions:
- Don’t fish by yourself. Before you leave the shore, tell someone where you are going and what time you are expected to return.
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Be aware of and prepared for weather conditions. Make sure to dress in layers and wear thermal underwear, fleece or wool, and wind and waterproof outwear, especially on your feet, hands, and head.
- Be sure to take additional clothes, food, water, etc.
- Keep fishing holes small and few. When drilling holes with an ice auger, officials ask that you keep the diameter under eight inches and remind the public that bigger holes are not necessary to land fish and can create a safety hazard for other people.
- Make sure to watch your step. Visitors are urged to avoid ice fishing near feeder streams or known springs, brush, logs, plants, or docks, multiple ice cracks, or ice that is popping or otherwise audible. Dark-colored ice may also be weak. Officials say ice spikes are recommended for self-rescue.
- Be sure to spread out. Too many people congregated in one area may be more than the ice can safely support. Visitors are asked to disperse weight and fishing holes.
For additional information and current updates about the lake’s ice conditions, call Eagle Nest Lake State Park at 575-377-1594. Additional information can be found on the Department of Game and Fish website or the New Mexico State Parks website.