Eagle Nest Lake ice getting thicker

By Michael Ritterhouse – Staff writer

EAGLE NEST – When you drive up to any of the access points to Eagle Nest Lake State Park you will see a big sign that says, “Eagle Nest Lake Closed to Ice Fishing.” As of Sunday (Dec. 28) the ice at the boat ramp for Eagle Nest Lake State Park is six inches, the lowest portion is reported as “slushy.” The water at the edge of the boat ramp was first frozen on Thursday (Nov. 27).  

Fishing can begin when the lake ice is nine inches thick for fishers on foot.  The ice must be twelve inches thick to use an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or snowmobile.    

Danny Selman, a fishing guide helping out at Eagle Nest Marina part-time, said, “I’m guessing ten days, two weeks, to be on the safe side before its (the ice) thick enough.”  That estimate depends on the temperatures going forward, he said.

According to Kerry Jones, warning coordination meteorologist for NOAA/National Weather Service in Albuquerque, “A strong Arctic front will invade northeast New Mexico on Monday (Dec 29), and the remainder of eastern and central areas of the state by Tuesday. At the same time, an expansive upper level storm system will gather strength and organize over the inter-mountain west and Great Basin region. This deepening low pressure system will eventually cross New Mexico later in the week, most likely late New Years Day into Friday.” So the weather outlook is positive for thickening of the ice on Eagle Nest Lake.

The next scheduled measurement of the ice is Sunday (Jan. 4).