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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

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Last Updated: 10/07/2014

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New Mexico Aquatic Resources Education Program


The Aquatic Resources Education program provides fun and educational ways to introduce kids and adults to the sport of fishing, angling ethics and fisheries management and watershed monitoring techniques. The program is funded by anglers through the money provided by the Sports Fish Restoration Act - a federal program that taxes motorboat fuel and equipment purchased by anglers.


Angling Education


Learn to fish from a pro -- for free!


fly fishing class

Currently scheduling for July 1-June 30, 2015.

Casting a line and catchin' fish -- the basics of angling --offer fun for entire families in New Mexico's enchanting outdoors. For those who have never fished or are a little rusty, yet eager to get started, the Fishing Skills Program offers FREE clinics with all the equipment you need for learning from experienced, professional trainers.

Students of all ages learn basic skills of:

  • assembling tackle
  • knot tying
  • identifying fish and good fish habitat
  • casting
  • fish handling
  • New Mexico's fishing rules and regulations
  • angling ethics
  • aquatic food webs
  • outdoor safety and fishing safety
  • basic and intermediate fly-fishing skills

To schedule a fishing clinic at your community or school, contact:

Kevin Holladay
Conservation Education Coordinator

Phone: (505) 476-8095
Fax: (505) 476-8116

Colleen Welch
Conservation Education

Phone: (505) 476-8119

Fax: (505) 476-8116


Some of our events:

  • 2014 Free Fishing Day Saturday, September 27th as well as a free event (on the 26th) at Fenton Lake State Park in the Jemez Mountains.
  • Watch for New Mexico Free Fishing Day events on the first Saturday in June each year and local community fishing events in your area. Statewide fishing clinics will be posted in the spring.
  •  Kids-to-Hatcheries Educator's Guide and mini-crate can be checked out from any State Fish Hatchery or from the main office in Santa Fe.


Fishing Clinics




boy fishing


The first Saturday in June and the fourth Saturday in September are free fishing days in New Mexico, when anglers of all ages, resident or nonresident, can fish without a license. The Department of Game and Fish and its community partners conduct free fishing clinics at waters statewide on free fishing day in June.


The Department also invites schools, scouting groups and other community and youth organizations to schedule fishing clinics at other times of the year.To schedule a clinic or for more information, call (505) 476-8095.


Links to Children's Water Festivals

Children can learn about this vital southwestern resource at festivals offered throughout the year, including:

McKinley County Youth Water Awareness Day City of Gallup.

Become an Aquatic Resource Education Volunteer!


  • Teach kids to fish and be good stewards of the aquatic environment.
  • Assist kids in restoring and monitoring the health of our watersheds.
  • Work with natural resource and education professionals in the classroom and the field.
  • Click Here for the Volunteer Instructor Application


Watershed Watch


High school students around the state participate in this long-term fisheries and watershed monitoring program.


Watershed Watch


Watershed Watch is concerned with watershed management practices, benthic invertebrates, water quality, and their relationship to fish habitat.

The program consists of laboratory work and field sessions on stream collection and analysis. The long-range goal is to develop these analyses to make recommendations to the Department for future fisheries management in selected streams.

For Aquatic Resources Education assistance & information, contact:

Kevin Holladay
Conservation Education Coordinator

Phone: (505) 476-8095
Fax: (505) 476-8116

Colleen Welch
Conservation Education

Phone: (505) 476-8119

Fax: (505) 476-8116


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