Press release: Sumner Lake reopening Friday

State Park officials announced today that Sumner Lake State Park will reopen on Friday, June 17, 2011 with a number of new procedures in place to ensure there is no spread of Quagga mussel larva.

As a condition of reopening, all watercraft will have to go through a mandatory inspection before launch and a decontamination process upon removal. New boating hours will be from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

“We understand that these procedures are an inconvenience to our visitors, but we are excited that they will allow us to open the lake for all to enjoy,” said John Bemis, Cabinet Secretary-Designate for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

“Boating activity will reopen at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, June 17th at the main ramp,” said Tommy Mutz, Divis ion Director for New Mexico State Parks. “Most inspections can be completed in less than ten minutes but it may take longer.”

The Alamo and Eastside Boat ramps will remain closed. Shore launching remains prohibited. Trained aquatic invasive species seasonal employees will inspect all watercraft prior to launching. The length of time it takes for inspection is dependent on where the watercraft has been used and its complexity.

Upon removal of all watercraft, boats will go through a process to ensure no potential spread of Quagga mussel larva. Boats and personal watercraft will be required to go through a decontamination process that will require a high pressure spray and engine flush.

“The responsible agencies want the public to enjoy recreation at Sumner Lake, but it’s in all of our best interest to prevent any potential spread of Aquatic Invasive Species,” said Tod Stevenson, Director of the Department of Game and Fish.

The process will occur at the main ramp on the west side of the lake. The decontamination process should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete, but will vary depending on boat size and complexity.

State Parks and Game and Fish officials on site will conduct the decontamination process. Upon completion of the process, boat users will be given proof of decontamination. The decontamination certificate may be required to show officials before launching at other lakes.

Overnight visitors will be given a temporary Boat Launch Pass allowing them to launch and take out their boat or watercraft without having to be decontaminated until they’re re ady to leave the lake. Sumner Lake was closed to all watercraft use on May 27, 2011 after

laboratory test results found indications of Quagga mussel veligers (larva). Quagga mussels are an aquatic invasive species that have spread into lakes throughout the Western United States.

These devastating invasive species are carried from place to place on boat trailers and boats. They are highly successful in part because they attach to any hard surface and can live out of water for weeks at a time. Dealing with a water body infested with aquatic invasive species entails significant costs. Other states have spent tens of millions of dollars in attempts to control aquatic invasive species.

Aquatic Invasive Species prevention and control is authorized in accordance with the Aquatic Invasive Species Control Act of New Mexico and federal laws including the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 and Control Act of 1990.

The New Mexico State Parks Division reminds all boaters to Clean, Drain, and Dry their boat each and every time! For more information call 888-NMPARKS or visit NMPARKS.com.