State Parks Division Announces Changes To Eagle Nest Lake, Heron Lake Hours, Access And Activities

Conditions at Heron Lake State Park make ice fishing accessible. Photo Courtesy EMNRD


The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s State Parks Division announces that Eagle Nest Lake State Park has reopened to walk-in ice fishing and on Jan. 22, will resume normal day-use hours from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 7 days per week.

The campground at Eagle Nest Lake State Park remains closed as part of seasonal closures.

Beginning Jan. 21, Heron Lake State Park will also open to walk-in ice fishing.

State Parks manages access to areas of parks in the interest of public safety and resource protection. Currently, no motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice due to several pressure ridges that have formed in the ice. Pressure ridges can create hazardous ice conditions and even pedestrian anglers are encouraged to avoid them.

State officials remind visitors before going out onto the ice, consider the following safety precautions:

  • Don’t fish alone. Before you leave shore, inform someone of your destination and expected time of return.
  • Lifejackets Save Lives. Always wear a lifejacket (personal flotation device).
  • Be aware of and prepared for weather conditions. Dress in layers and wear thermal underwear, fleece or wool, and wind and waterproof outerwear, especially for feet, hands, and head. Take extra clothes, food, water, etc.
  • Keep fishing holes small and few. When drilling fishing holes with an ice auger, keep the diameter under eight inches. Bigger holes are not necessary to land fish and can create a safety hazard for others.
  • Watch your step. Avoid ice fishing near feeder streams or known springs; brush, logs, plants, or docks; multiple ice cracks or ice that is popping or otherwise audible; and dark colored ice that may be weak. Ice spikes are recommended for self-rescue.
  • Spread out. Too many people congregated in one area may be more than the ice can safely support. Disperse weight and fishing holes.

For more information and current updates about Eagle Nest Lake’s ice conditions, please contact (575) 377-1594.

For more information and current updates about Heron Lake’s ice conditions, please contact (575) 588-7470.

Information about fishing is available on the Department of Game and Fish website (

For additional information visit the State Parks website.