• Shovel races next weekend
    Most people never get to win an Olympic medal, but the next best thing is a world championship title. This year, anyone can compete for the coveted World Championship Shovel Racing title at Angel Fire Resort. Competitors of all ages are once again waxing up their snow shovels for the 37th annual Angel Fire Resort Shovel Race Championships, presented by Lowe’s Valley Market. This year the resort is giving an open invitation for anyone who would like to try and be a world champion to come participate in the race. Racers from all over the country compete by sitting on the scoop of a standard aluminum snow shovel, handle pointed downhill, and then lift their hands and feet to allow gravity to take them for a ride. Each rider gets two shots to clock the fastest time down the front of the Angel Fire ski mountain and top speeds regularly exceed 70 miles per hour. The practice session will be held Feb. 5, with the competition occurring Feb. 6. Shovel racing began as a simple contest in the 1970s when lift operators would ride their shovels down the mountain at the end of their shifts.
  • New rules approved for aquatic invasive species
    SANTA FE — All boats soon will be subject to inspection and possible decontamination before launching in New Mexico waters under new rules adopted to combat the spread of harmful aquatic invasive species. The new rules, approved by the State Game Commission at its Jan. 14 meeting, will take effect Feb. 12. Changes to the AIS rules include: • Mandatory watercraft inspection required any time an inspection station is set up and in operation. • Mandatory inspection and, if necessary, decontamination of all out-of-state registered watercraft or watercraft re-entering the state of New Mexico. • Fourteen-day advance notification of intent to transport watercraft 26 feet long or longer into New Mexico. • All boaters are required to “pull the plug” and drain watercraft when transporting in New Mexico. • Implementation of a voluntary watercraft seal program to expedite boater access to a waterbody with limited need for inspection.
  • UNM ready to take on Air Force
    ALBUQUERQUE — The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team (11-8, 4-2 MW) is set to face the Air Force Falcons (10-10, 1-6 MW) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in WisePies Arena. The Lobos enter the matchup following a road victory over San Jose State Saturday, 83-64. The Lobos were led by a career-best 33 points from sophomore Elijah Brown and a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds from junior Tim Williams. It was the program’s best victory on the road at San Jose State. That win put the Lobos at 4-2 and third overall in the Mountain West Conference. A win on Wednesday would give the team their fifth-straight record of 5-2 or better to start MW play. Currently, they are just one of three teams with a league winning percentage above .600. The two teams ahead of the Lobos, San Diego State and Boise State, will face New Mexico in the next two weeks. Air Force will enter Wednesday’s game looking to end a streak of six straight losses, with their last win coming in the MW opener against San Jose State. Prior to their recent skid, Air Force started their season 10-4 and picked up nonconference wins over New Mexico State and Tennessee Tech. They also nearly upset Southern Illinois on the road to start the year, falling, 77-75.
  • Glenallen Hill returns as Isotopes manager
    The Albuquerque Isotopes announced recently Glenallen Hill will return for a second season as manager of the club. The upcoming campaign will mark Hill’s fourth consecutive year as manager of the Rockies Triple-A team. Pitching coach Darryl Scott also returns to the Isotopes for a second straight season, marking his seventh in the Rockies organization. A new hitting coach will join the Isotopes in 2016, with an announcement to be made within the upcoming weeks. Hill led the Isotopes to a 62-82 record during his first year in Albuquerque, which saw the team finish third in the PCL’s Pacific Southern division. Before taking the helm of the Isotopes in 2015, Hill managed the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in 2013 and 2014 after six years as first base coach for the Rockies. The 2016 season marks the 50-year-old’s 13th campaign in the Colorado Rockies organization. Hill began his coaching career in 2004 as the hitting coach for the Rockies High-A affiliate, the Visalia Oaks. The Santa Cruz, California native also served as interim manager for the Modesto Nuts during the last three months of the 2006 season. Hill has also served on the coaching staff for the California/Carolina League All-Star Game in 2006 and on the National League All-Star coaching staff, led by Clint Hurdle, at Yankee Stadium in 2008.
  • Ice fishing unsafe in spots
    Albuquerque Area Drains: Trout fishing on the Albuquerque Drain, Albuquerque Drain South, Belen Drain and the Corrales Drain was fair to good using spinners, wax worms, power eggs, small jigs and salmon eggs. A.J. Trujillo fished the Belen Drain with his brother Gerald Trujillo and his wife, Amber Trujillo of Los Lunas. They caught a walleye, carp, catfish, three largemouth bass and a trout. All were caught on power jigs with the exception of the trout, which was caught on a Rooster Tail. Bluewater Lake: Opened for ice fishing Saturday, Jan. 16, with an ice thickness ranging from 7 to 9 inches. Fishing was fair to good using atomic jigs for trout. Fishing for all other species was slow. For updated ice conditions, contact the State Park office at 505-876-2391. Chama River: Monday morning water flows below El Vado and Abiquiu were 114 cfs and 68 cfs respectively. Fishing below Abiquiu was good again this past week as anglers did well using Berkley power eggs, worms, wooly buggers and egg patterns for trout. Cochiti Lake: As of Monday, the majority of the lake was covered with unsafe ice.
  • Nominations sought for wildlife conservation awards
    SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is soliciting nominations for its inaugural Excellence in Wildlife Conservation awards to be presented Feb. 20 at the Governor’s Special Hunt Auction and Banquet at Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque. The awards are in recognition of outstanding achievements and contributions to wildlife conservation in New Mexico. The public is invited to submit nominations in the following categories: Governor’s Conservationist Lifetime Achievement Award: The Governor’s Conservationist Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a distinguished individual who has made a contribution of lasting significance to the benefit of New Mexico’s wildlife. Nominees should be individuals whose lifelong efforts have been dedicated to conserving New Mexico’s wildlife for future generations. Commissioner’s Wildlife Conservation Partnership Award: The Commissioner’s Wildlife Conservation Partnership Award recognizes an organization that promotes wildlife conservation in New Mexico.
  • Eagle Nest ice fishing tournament on Jan. 30
    EAGLE NEST — Ice anglers rejoice. The annual Ice Fishing Tournament, to be held Jan. 30 at Eagle Nest Lake State Park, once again promises excellent fishing and impressive prizes. The prize money from 2015 totaled $2,966. Cold weather recently at Eagle Nest Lake indicates good ice coverage for the event. Registration begins at 6 a.m. Jan. 30 inside the Eagle Nest Lake State Park Visitor Center. Tournament participants must be in line at the visitor center no later than 2 p.m. to enter their catch for tournament prizes. Tournament fee is $10 for each category entered. Participants are eligible for prizes in only those categories they enter. Last year, the tournament drew 182 registered ice fishermen from 42 different towns and cities in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Texas. Last year’s prize money and categories included $1,028 (trout), $879 (perch), $609 (creel) and $450 (pike). Raffle and door prizes were also awarded while the event raised more than $2,500 to help Friends of Eagle Nest Lake and Cimarron Canyon State Parks promote activities at the two state parks.
  • Lobos track and field hosting winter high school and open meets
    ALBUQUERQUE — The University of New Mexico track and field program is hosting a series of indoor meets open to all ages this winter at the Albuquerque Convention Center, the indoor facility for the Lobos. The slate of meets starts Saturday with the Duke City All-Comers. The following race will be the New Mexico Open on Jan. 30 while the Cherry and Silver Open will take place Feb. 6. Each meet costs $1 to enter and all three meets start at 6 p.m. Athletes can register for the meets at CoachORegistration.com. The entry deadline for the meets is at midnight the Friday before the meet. There will be no walk-up registration offered. Participants at each meet receive a complimentary T-shirt and healthy snacks and refreshments. For more information, contact meet directors Emily Hosker-Thornhill and Matt Bergin at unmindoor@gmail.com.  
  • Thousands of Gila trout to be stocked in western New Mexico
    SILVER CITY (AP) — Federal officials have plans to stock about 10,000 Gila trout in southwestern New Mexico to boost recreational fishing opportunities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says recovery stocking goals for the threatened fish were met in 2015 so the excess fish will be released in the Gila River Forks and in Lake Roberts in early January. The fish are expected to grow to the catchable nine-inch range by the end of May. The Gila trout was first listed as endangered in 1966. Thanks to recovery work over the decades, its status improved and it was down listed to threatened in 2006. For 2015, a national fish hatchery in northern New Mexico propagated more than 50,000 Gila trout for recovery efforts.  
  • Lobos win MW openers
    ALBUQUERQUE — The University of New Mexico men's basketball team (8-6, 1-0 MW) kicked off Mountain West Conference play with a victory, defeating the Nevada Wolf Pack (8-5, 0-1 MW), 88-76, Wednesday in WisePies Arena. "It's good to get back on the court and get a win," said head coach Craig Neal "It was one of those things that I knew we could do, I knew we could play to our capabilities, and I thought for 10-15 minutes the first half we played at a high level. We've had some inconsistencies with the maturity of my team and that's part of growing together. But all in all, I'm really happy with the guys. They played hard, they finished the game and they stayed together." The win marked the 50th career victory for Craig Neal as the head coach of New Mexico. Reaching the mark in 79 games, he’s one of the five fastest coaches to ever reach that mark.