Natural Resources

Conchas Lake does not allow hunting. Some of the many mammals seen in the area include Barbary sheep, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, beaver, badger, mountain lion, bobcat, porcupine, coyote, muskrat, raccoon, red fox, swift fox, black-tailed jackrabbit and desert cottontail.

The lake also provides habitat for seasonal waterfowl as well. Canada goose, white-fronted goose, mallard, gadwall, pintail, teal, American widgeon, shoveller, redhead, ringed-neck duck, canvasback, lesser scaup, common golden-eye, bufflehead, ruddy duck, hooded merganser, common merganser, and the American coot are some of the birds spotted.

On August 15, 2009, there was a rare sighting of a Blue-Footed Booby at Conchas Dam. Normally sighted on the Gulf of Mexico and farther south to Peru, the rare bird sighting was quickly confirmed by bird experts. This was the first sighting ever in New Mexico. Word traveled fast. Over 1,000 bird enthusiasts and curious visitors came to Conchas Lake from all over New Mexico and across the nation including Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Washington, California, Connecticut, Montana, Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri to catch a glimpse of the rare bird.

The zebra mussel is an invasive species that can alter the natural ecosystem and out-compete native species if introduced into fresh water lakes or streams. They range in size from microscopic to two inches. They cluster together, causing problems for boat motors, pipes and dams. In order to prevent the spread of this nuisance species, each boat that enters the water at the south side boat ramp is inspected. The zebra mussel inspection program started the summer of 2009 and has inspected over 2,800 boats.

To help educate the public, there are several signs, a billboard, and decals on the rangers’ trucks. There is a project website and PSA as well. The Corps also works in cooperation with (NM) State Parks, who perform the inspections on the north (boat) ramp, by sharing numbers weekly.