Big fish, big prizes cap 2017 ice fishing tournament

Toby Marcos and Elicia Valencia of taos

Some 258 anglers participated in the annual Ice Fishing Tournament Saturday (Jan. 28) at Eagle Nest Lake State Park. According to a press release from Christina Cordova, State Parks Public Relations Coordinator, participants came from all directions — from as close as Angel Fire and Cheyenne, Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, Clovis, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Taos, the Raton area, and numerous other places. 

Participants braved the -22 temperature to compete for $3,930 in prize money in the event, which is co-sponsored by the Friends Group of Eagle Nest Lake and Cimarron Canyon State Parks in cooperation with the Eagle Nest Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 

“This year, we had an incredible amount of participation with anglers, families and on-lookers who braved the frigid temperatures to come out and have a family, fun day out on the lake,” said Christy Tafoya, Director of New Mexico State Parks. “We are grateful to our co-sponsors for making this event a huge success!” 

And the winners are…


  •        1st — 21″ Trout by Michael A. Salazar, Santa Rosa – $627
  •        2nd — 20-3/8″ Trout by Roderick Lujan, Las Vegas, NM – $470
  •        3rd — 19-3/8″ Trout by Joe Montoya, Ranchos de Taos – $313
  •        4th — 18-1/2″ Trout by Nathan Pratt, Albuquerque – $156


  •        1st — 10-5/8″ Perch by Jacob Montez, Taos – $477
  •        2nd — 10″ Perch by Marcos Romo, Taos – $357
  •        3rd — 9-7/8″ Perch by Joshua Kitting, Tijeras – $238
  •        4th — 9-1/8″ Perch by Matthew Monjaras, Tijeras – $119


  • No pike were caught by the fishermen entering the Pike category with $650 in prize money.        

Creel Category (Points for total fish caught in entered categories) 

  • 1st — 39 Points by Nathan Pratt, Albuquerque – $210
  • 2nd — 33 Points by Matthew Peterson, Los Alamos $157
  • 3rd & 4th Place tied at 30 points each — Mike Davis, Clovis – $78.00; Casey Davis, Cerro – $78.00

The ice and weather stats on fishing day:

  • Ice thickness was 13 inches.
  • Temperature at 6 a.m. was -22 degrees and got up to 27 degrees when the tournament ended at 2 p.m.
  • Winds averaged 15 mph.  Participants stated that the sun was shining, making it a beautiful day to be outdoors ice fishing and winning cold, hard cash and fabulous prizes!

For more information and current updates about the lake’s ice conditions, please contact Eagle Nest Lake State Park, 575-377-1594.  For questions about fishing in northeastern New Mexico, call the Department Game and Fish, 575-445-2311.

Information also is available on the Department of Game and Fish or New Mexico State Parks respective websites,  and

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