FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – Something fishy happened up at Navajo Lake. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is seeking info into the disappearance of hundreds of salmon that were part of a spawning effort.
Every year, New Mexico helps kokanee salmon spawn. But Friday, October 20, a fish holding pen was vandalized. The pen was dragged from the lake and the salmon that were supposed to be inside were missing, the department says.
“The loss of this spawn has dramatic impacts on future kokanee fishing opportunities, as they do not sustain their populations via natural spawning,” Kirk Patten, the department’s chief of fisheries, said in a press release. “Every fish we can collect eggs from is critical to maintaining the fishery. To have someone remove these fish from our trap is a massive hit to the state’s fisheries, especially this year when populations are already low.”
Normally, the department collects salmon in holding pens so that they can manually spawn salmon. The department then takes fertilized eggs to the Los Ojos fish hatchery. The young fish are then put into northern New Mexico’s coldwater lakes.
The department is offering $2,500 for information leading to those involved in the salmon incident. Anonymous reports can be made at 1-800-432-4263 or online at this link.