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Santa Fe, NM – Fenton Lake State Park will open to ice fishing on Friday, January 11, 2019. Recent cold weather has increased the lake’s ice depths to minimum standards, New Mexico State Parks and the Department of Game and Fish officials announced.

The State Parks Division and the Department of Game and Fish jointly manage the lake and surroundings. State Parks has the authority to close or restrict access to areas of parks, as well as to restrict, limit or prohibit activities such as ice fishing as conditions require. Such actions are taken in the interest of public safety and resource protection.

State officials remind you that you take a risk anytime you go out onto the ice. Before going out onto the ice, consider the following safety precautions:

  • The use of ATVs on the ice is strictly prohibited. 
  • Lifejackets Save Lives. Always wear a lifejacket (personal flotation device).
  • Don’t fish alone.  Before you leave shore, inform someone of your destination and your expected time of return.
  • Be aware of and prepared for weather conditions. Dress in layers and wear thermal underwear, fleece or wool, and wind and waterproof outerwear, especially for feet, hands and head. Take extra clothes, food, water, etc.
  • Be prepared for emergencies. Carry equipment such as ice picks or awls, rope, and cellular phones. Pack a first-aid kit and matches or other sources for starting a fire.
  • Keep fishing holes small and few. When drilling fishing holes with an ice auger, keep the diameter under eight inches. Bigger holes are not necessary to land fish and can create a safety hazard for others.
  • Watch your step. 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; and dark-colored ice that may be weak. Ice spikes are recommended for self-rescue.
  • Spread out. Too many people congregated in one area may be more than the ice can safely support. Disperse weight and fishing holes.

For more information and current updates about the lake’s ice conditions, please contact Fenton Lake State Park, (575) 829-3630. Information also is available on the Department of Game and Fish or New Mexico State Parks respective websites, here and here.

For more information on all New Mexico State Parks, please visit our website here.

Conditions are Right for Adventure at New Mexico State Parks!

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