Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Melting Ice at Heron Lake -- N.M. Parks Presss Release

For Immediate Release: March 13, 2007
Contact: Erica Asmus-Otero (505) 660-7017/Erica.asmus-otero@state.nm.us

Heron/El Vado Lakes Temporarily Closed Due to Melting Ice Conditions
Doors Remain Open for Other Recreational Opportunities

LOS OJOS, NM – New Mexico State Parks has closed Heron and El Vado lakes temporarily due to unsafe conditions resulting from melting ice. However, both parks will remain open to visitors interested in other recreational opportunities including hiking, wildlife viewing and camping.

“As always, we want to ensure that the public is safe,” said Anthony Marquez, Superintendent of Heron/El Vado Lake State Park. “This is a temporary situation because of the spring thaw.”

Rising temperatures have caused ice at both lakes to melt, creating unsafe conditions for fishermen and boaters. The lake ice has thinned, making ice fishing dangerous, and the boat ramps are also partially iced over, creating difficult conditions for launching.

Melting ice is raising lake levels by about two inches per day; lake levels are expected to rise further with spring runoff. Heron Lake is currently at 162,300 acre-feet (7,135 feet elevation) and El Vado is currently at 110,000 acre-feet (6,859 feet elevation).

Marquez expects visitation this year to be high, especially with the many recreational opportunities available at the two parks, including boating, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing. Half a dozen bald eagles have been seen in both parks recently and osprey are also expected to make their seasonal return.

Heron Lake State Park is located 11 miles west of Tierra Amarilla via US highways 64/84 and NM 95. El Vado Lake State Park is 17 miles southwest of Tierra Amarilla via NM 112.

For more information, contact Heron Lake State Park at (505) 588-7470 or log onto www.nmparks.com.



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