The Game and Fish Department says ash from a wildfire in southwestern New Mexico is creating problems at a lake that produced the state's record largemouth bass.
The agency says Bill Evans Lake in Grant County may drop by 40 feet because its source of water can't be tapped in the aftermath of the Whitewater-Baldy fire.
The lake is 300 feet above the Gila River and it is filled by pumping water up a mesa. However, the department said a mining company's pumps can't be used because of ash in the river.
The state has stopped stocking fish although the lake remains open for camping and fishing. The lake is about 100 feet deep when full but low water levels will make boat ramps inaccessible.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.