LAS CRUCES -- Limited angling opportunities for Gila trout will open July 1, 2007, in select streams in southwestern New Mexico that have been closed to fishing since 1966, when the Gila trout was first listed as a federal endangered species. The State Game Commission approved the changes at its March 2007 meeting in Las Cruces, based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to downlist the Gila trout from endangered to threatened.
The new regulations allow the Department of Game and Fish to open angling opportunities for Gila trout and open select streams that previously have been closed to all fishing. Opportunities and rule changes approved by the Commission include:
- Limited angling will be allowed for Gila trout in Black Canyon Creek from July 1 through September 30 as a Special Trout Water. Fishing will be catch-and-release only with artificial flies or lures and a single barbless hook.
- Iron Creek will be open for year-round angling as a Special Trout Water with a two-fish daily limit. Fishing will be with artificial flies or lures and a single barbless hook.
- Regular trout water rules will apply to McKenna Creek and Sacaton Creek, with no tackle or bait restrictions and a bag limit of five fish per day and no more than 10 in possession.
- Everyone who fishes in Black Canyon and Iron Creek must have a Gila Trout Permit along with a valid New Mexico fishing license. Permits are free and will be available June 1 on the "Buy licenses online" feature of the Department website, http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/or by clicking here.