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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
nhfishandwildlif@aol.com

Fishing

Weekly Fishing Reports From The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and The Kittery Trading Post

N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- May 31, 2007

This week, big lakes biologist Don Miller is reveling in excellent conditions for bass and trout fishing. Read on for his location and tackle tips.

SPRING STOCKING: For a list of NH waterbodies stocked last week, go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm.

Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. One-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10, and annual licenses -- just $35 and good through Dec. 31 -- are still the best bargain around. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H.

FREE FISHING DAY! This Saturday, June 2, is Free Fishing Day in NH, the one day each year when adults don't need a license to fish! Of course, all regulations and bag limits apply. License and permit still needed for brood stock Atlantic salmon program.

For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for.

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BASS, TROUT AND MAYFLIES By Don Miller, Fisheries Biologist, Region 2/New Hampton

Well, it's that magical time of year when everything in nature breaks forth! Large-lake waters have warmed to the low 60s and smallmouth bass are prowling the flats in earnest, males seeking females and sweeping out nest depressions. We netted an Upper Valley (New London) pond this past week, and largemouth bass were in the early stages of cruising the flats, in water that was 60 degrees.

Anglers are catching good numbers of bass in the big lakes, working the drop-offs where spawned-out females and non-nesting males are lurking. Suspended jerk-baits fished erratically are producing well in these areas. Bass on shallow flats are either nesting or in the process of it. I am still amazed at the tenacity male bass exhibit when guarding a small pile of eggs from anything that gets too close! Catch-and-release seasons (now through June 15) are our best bet for protecting a portion of the spawning population to maintain a robust bass fishery, so please "tread lightly" and enjoy the wonders of nature.

Trout fishing right now is fantastic, as we have seen several hatches of blue-wing olive mayflies on local waters. Reports of larger mayfly hatches have been received as well. I enjoyed a trip to Russell Pond, up in the White Mountain National forest (WMNF) with my fishing pal last week. Be aware that a WMNF parking pass is required at this facility, as well as other sites in the forest. The water temperature was 59 degrees and a few mayflies were starting to show. We trolled wet Heron flies (bronze mallard) and had a blast as chunky holdover brookies repeatedly hit our offerings, fished on sinking-tip fly lines. Russell Pond is deep, crystal-clear water, so we used longer leaders (10-12 feet), and the stop-and-go action of the canoe did the rest.

Casting flies along the shorelines produced brook trout as well. When ladyslippers and blackflies are out, trout fishing is prime-time. Ponds in the White Mountains should produce well for the next month at the very least. Upper and Middle Hall, Guinea and Black Mt. Ponds in Sandwich are great waters to fish, all accessed off Sandwich Notch Road. Upper Hall has vehicle access, while foot travel is required to reach the other (remote) ponds. The Beebe and Mad rivers are nearby and offer wonderful stream fishing for rainbows and brook trout.

The broodstock Atlantic salmon stocking program is in full swing right now, and the Pemigewasset River in Bristol and New Hampton and further down in Franklin are the top spots in the area for this fishery. River temps are in the low 60s and flows are ideal for these acrobatic fish, many in excess of 10 pounds! Remember to pick up your salmon permit before venturing out. (Info and access map: http://wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm)

The recently held Winni salmon derby on Lake Winnipesaukee was met with cold east winds and rain showers, but this did not deter the thousands of anglers enjoying the annual spring event on the "big lake." Anglers registered 272 landlocked salmon that averaged 21.6" and a little over 3 pounds in weight. A Manchester angler won the grand prize with a 4.74-pound landlocked salmon! Salmon fishing will hold up well for at least the next few weeks, and as waters gradually warm, salmon will spend less time at or near the surface.

Enjoy the last days of spring, it doesn't get any better!

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If you know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report, send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm.

For the 2007 NH FISHING FORECAST, with suggested fishing waters by region, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast.htm.

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FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program

Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. --

Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.

N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- May 24, 2007

The weather is warming up and the sun is shining, just in time for a Memorial Day weekend outside! Kevin Sullivan brings news from the New Hampshire coast, where party-boaters are reeling in some impressive cod, haddock, and wolffish.

SPRING STOCKING: 170 sites stocked May 14-18! For a list of NH waterbodies stocked last week, go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm.

Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. One-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10, and annual licenses -- just $35 and good through Dec. 31 -- are still the best bargain around. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H.

For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. 

Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for.

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SEACOAST? SPECTACULAR! By Kevin Sullivan, marine biologist, Region 3/Durham

Well, 100 years passes a little quicker than we thought, because it hasn't even been a year since the Mother's Day floods and we've already experienced rainfalls and flooding at near or equal levels to last year, a supposed "100 year" flood!

  If it seems like déjà vu with the rainfall, the same can be said for the haddock catches this year. April started out slow for the ground fisherman, but the end of April and beginning of May have produced many overflowing coolers of haddock mixed in with a few good size Atlantic cod (15-20 lbs and bigger! See photo at the online version of this report). New Hampshire Fish and Game staff conducting at-sea creel surveys have seen individual party-boat anglers landing as many as 14 haddock a piece, although the average angler lands about two to three on a fair day. Most haddock being landed are in the 3 to 5 lb. range, with a few tipping our scales near 10 lbs.

  Another repeat from 2006 seems to be an increased frequency of landed Atlantic wolffish, which the fisherman's tale says always come up in pairs. Because these fish prefer to dine on lobster (don't we all?) their meat has a taste similar to lobster, and most anglers will agree that a wolffish is prize catch. 

On those days when the sea won't allow (or the wallet, with gas prices these days), the striped bass fishing is a great alternative in May and June. The annual river herring runs to the coastal rivers are in full swing in May, and even though they have had to deal with the high water flows this spring, the fish are managing to find the Fish and Game-operated fish ladders so they can make the transition from salt to fresh water for spawning.

  Saltwater anglers have been landing alewives in Henry Law Park in downtown Dover, where fishing is allowed downstream of the Washington St. Bridge. Most anglers are using small spoons, sabiki rigs, or "flutter hooks" for the alewives, which are only the bait for the "real" fishing! Some giant "cow" striped bass as well as "schoolies" are following the river herring runs right up to the fish ladders in Dover and Newmarket. Try fishing these areas at a flooding tide through the peak of tide when the herring are really stacking up

. Although the striped bass fishing is pretty good now if you're at the right spot, its only a few weeks before it bursts wide open up and down the entire seacoast -- so get ready and good luck!

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FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program

Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm.

-- Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.

N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- May 17, 2007

This week, some good North County news from Andrew Schafermeyer, and no blackflies...yet!

SPRING STOCKING: 190 sites stocked May 7-11! For a list of NH waterbodies stocked last week, go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm.

Note to broodstock Atlantic salmon program anglers: High water has delayed most of our broodstock stocking activity so far this spring, but a few of these whopping fish have been stocked in the Franklin area. More to come!

Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. One-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10, and annual licenses -- just $35 and good through Dec. 31 -- are still the best bargain around. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H.

For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm.

Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for.

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EVEN IN THE NORTH COUNTRY - SPRING HAS ARRIVED! By Andrew Schafermeyer, Fisheries Biologist, Region 1/Lancaster

Anticipating the nature of a phone call to the NH Fish and Game office in Region 1 is rarely a predictable event. Someone on the other end of the line may need help with anything from an unidentified bird to a skunk stuck in a barbeque grill. For most of the year, we may be questioned on anything from ATV laws to habitat characteristics. In the beginning of May, however, when a call gets directed to the Fisheries Division, I can be almost certain of its content. Is the ice out yet on Little Diamond Pond? Have you guys been able to stock Success Pond with the road rutted-up? What is the water temperature in the Androscoggin?

Fishing season has arrived in the North Country and everyone seems ready to forget about the late winter that gripped us in April. No matter what your target species is, the fish are ready for you! I've spoken with a crew of dedicated trout anglers who have been having a fantastic season thus far. They've trolled Mirror Lake in Whitefield and found two- and three-year-old brook trout, some of them weighing over three pounds. That's a lot of brookie! They've even started fishing the brooks like the John's River and, even though water temperatures are still less than 50 degrees F, the trout have been aggressive.

I recently spoke with a serious bass fisherman who has been looking to catch some pre-spawn large and smallmouth. He found Martin Meadow Pond in Lancaster to be just what he was looking for. Fish over-wintered well and look healthy and robust. They seemed to be keyed in on light-colored plastic baits like Senkos and lizards. I've always liked white in spring, as many forage species such as aquatic insects are in a larval stage that big fish recognize.

Speaking of bass... anglers should remember that we're at the start of catch-and-release-only season for bass (smallmouth and largemouth) in NH (May 15 - June 15). Only artificial flies and lures may be used, and bass must be immediately released unharmed at the site of the catch. It's for a good cause: The male smallies are defending their nests from predators, protecting their young and ensuring the next generation's safety.

I've heard very little from my pike fishing contacts, which likely means one of two things: The fishing has been slow, or it has been hot and they don't want me writing about it. Either way, the time to catch big Northern pike is now. Spawning much earlier than bass, these voracious feeders frequent shallow water and look to maximize their energy intake. I've always had luck throwing buzz-baits or loud surface lures such as jitterbugs or torpedoes.

I've been out fishing a half dozen times this spring and my advice is to get in on the action now. Cool and high water mean that fish are everywhere, and I haven't been bothered by a black fly or mosquito yet. You can bet that they are lying in wait ... I can only hope that a fish bites your hook before the bugs bite into you. Good luck!

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If you know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report, send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm.

For the 2007 NH FISHING FORECAST, with suggested fishing waters by region, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast.htm.

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FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program

Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm.

-- Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. 

N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- May 10, 2007

This week, Fish and Game's Ben Nugent offers an array of hot spots and tackle & technique tips for locations throughout the state.

SPRING STOCKING: For a list of waterbodies stocked last week, go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm.

Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. One-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10, and annual licenses -- just $35 and good through Dec. 31 -- are still the best bargain around. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H.

For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm

. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for.

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Instant Summer! A quick review of what's biting in the state By Ben Nugent, fisheries biological technician

The ice has receded on virtually every waterbody in the state. Reports as far north as Pittsburg predicted that the Connecticut Lakes would be fishable this week. Like most of us, several of New Hampshire's fish species are ready to become more active after feeling a little dormant this past winter.

><> So many fish, not enough time It's difficult to decide which species to target in early to mid-May in New Hampshire. Pike, pickerel and walleye are seeking meals missed during spawning, other warmwater species are gorging themselves to prepare for spawning, and the current water temperatures and conditions mean plenty of active trout and salmon. It's time to put some miles on those boat trailer tires and hiking boots.

><> Hungry Bass, Panfish and Pike Several warmwater species are beginning to feed ravenously in preparation for their spawning period as water temps begin to rise. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, and panfish such as bluegills, pumpkinseeds, white perch, yellow perch and black crappie are beginning to seek out the warmer shallows to get some extra calories and perhaps to some scouting for nest construction. It's hard to believe it, but we've seen water temperatures surpass 60 degrees F already in places! Keep your eye out for these fish species to be in very shallow waters (sometimes less than six inches). Fish the shallow water most easily warmed by a warm afternoon sun and you should do well. Here are a couple of suggestions: try using jerk baits with very slow retrievals for bass and target tributaries and nearby gravel bars or wood structure for most panfish species. Those in search of catching a monster predator should put on a strong leader and target pike. Several pike, with the potential of exceeding twenty pounds, call the Connecticut River home. If you toss a line in the river and its impoundments from Lancaster down to the Massachusetts border, there's a good chance that one of these toothy monsters will hit. A diehard pike angler reported catching one greater than 19 pounds recently in Dalton and seeing a few more much larger. As with bass and other panfish, pike are seeking out the warmer shallows and flats right now. The difference of a couple degrees in water temperature from a hot afternoon can mean everything.

><> The Fruit of our Hatcheries All six of our hatcheries have had stocking trucks on the road every day in recent weeks. Our fish culturists in the northern part of the state have had to use a little ingenuity to stock those lakes and ponds that are still ice-covered. It appears that spring flood flows are past us, though, and current flow conditions are ideal to hold stocked trout. We've been traveling to several hatcheries to administer fin clips to stocked fish for future surveys. All fish are in great condition and size. The appearance of these fish will have the most seasoned angler guessing if the fish is wild. Check out our weekly stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm.

It's difficult to summarize all the reports we've been receiving from anglers in the state. Trout ponds such as Saltmarsh Pond (Gilford), Sky Pond (New Hampton), Mirror Lake (Whitefield), Profile and Echo lakes (Franconia), and Hot Hole Pond (Loudon), have had anglers walking away very happy. There are countless opportunities for good river fishing in New Hampshire. Some of my favorite spots for springtime casting include the delayed harvest sections of the south branch of the Piscataquog River and the Souhegan River. These rivers receive generous numbers of larger fish and have reports of fish being caught well over twenty inches in length. The upper Connecticut River from Murphy Dam (Pittsburg) to West Stewartstown is well worth the trip. Fishing small pockets in this section of river can lead to some quality brown trout and rainbow trout strikes. ><> Big Lakes Update Happy salmon, rainbow trout and lake trout anglers are everywhere in the Lakes Region. Water temps in most of the lakes managed for salmon and lake trout are beginning to exceed 50 degrees F and are quickly rising from the recent abnormally high air temps. Salmon, rainbows and lakers are still being caught in relatively shallow depths in the water column. A quick sink-tip fly line, a couple to a few colors of lead core, or up to a dozen feet or so depth on the downrigger seem to be working pretty well. Live smelt towed at very slow speeds or trolling flies and spoons with some orange color at quicker speeds seem to be pretty productive. The anglers targeting these lakes all know the tried and true path to a successful fishing adventure on the big lakes involves a lot of experimentation. Patterns and depths could vary by the hour. Local bait shops can be a valuable resource to find out the colors and depths du jour. It should be noted that John Viar, one of the lakes region's fisheries biologists, has had few a great days at Sunapee Lake recently. Aside from landlocks topping out at over five pounds, John managed to catch a monster laker. The behemoth measured in at eleven pounds, eleven ounces and 31 inches long -- go to the online version of this report to see a photo (http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_reports.htm). Congratulations to John Viar for taking and releasing this monster on six-pound test and for battling this fish for over thirty minutes! ><> Catch a King The Atlantic salmon broodstock fish are about to enter New Hampshire's waters. Fish that at first sight that will make your jaw drop and knees tremble are soon to be loaded from the Warren Hatchery and stocked into various rivers in the Merrimack watershed. $11 permit required. More information about these enormous fish is available at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> If you know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report, send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. For the 2007 NH FISHING FORECAST, with suggested fishing waters by region, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- May 3, 2007 In today's report, Keene-based fisheries biologists Gabe Gries and Mike Racine offer some ideas for fishing in the southwestern part of the Granite State. Spring fish stocking is really rolling now! For a list of waterbodies stocked last week, go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. THIS SATURDAY 5/5: The new "All-fish Expo" is here! Saturday, May 5, from 10 to 3 at Fish and Game, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord. Free admission. We'll help you get ready for the season -- with "how-to" workshops (striper fishing, trolling tactics, kayak fishing, lots more!), plus boats and exhibits and all kinds of gear. For a full list of seminars and vendors, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2007/News_2007_Q2/All_Fish_Expo_042307.htm. TONIGHT 5/3: If you're reading this on May 3 and you're close to Concord: Tonight! -- Get in on the "panfish craze" with fisheries biologist John Viar and his free talk on the secrets of panfishing. That's tonight (Thursday), May 3, at 7 p.m., at NH Fish and Game, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, NH. More info: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2007/News_2007_Q2/Panfish_Craze_041607.htm Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. One-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10, and annual licenses -- just $35 and good through Dec. 31 -- are still the best bargain around. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FISHING ACTION AND WATERS ARE WARMING UP IN NH's MONADNOCK/UPPER VALLEY REGION By Gabe Gries & Michael Racine, Region 4/Keene Fisheries Biologists Snow to rain (measured in inches) to summertime weather in the 80's and then back to cooler weather. What's a person to do? Go fishing, of course! Just because the weather isn't cooperating or consistent doesn't mean you can't catch fish. Anglers in Southwestern NH have already been having a successful fishing season. Reports from Laurel Lake (Fitzwilliam) show anglers are bagging some impressive trout including rainbows up to 19 inches and some monster 4-5 pound browns. Trout stocking has been difficult over the past several weeks due to some ponds still having ice and lots of water in the rivers and streams. However, there are trout out there with more being stocked almost every day. Keep an eye on the Fish and Game website for the latest weekly stocking information, or click through the stocking link near the top of the page. Trout ponds and fly-fishing only ponds are open as of April 28. Some good spots to try for trout include Dublin Lake (Dublin), Sand Pond (Marlow), Swanzey Lake (Swanzey), Cold River (Alstead, Walpole), South Branch Ashuelot River (Swanzey/Troy), Spoonwood Lake (Nelson), Gustin Pond (Marlow), Contoocook River (Henniker), Mont Williams Pond (Weare), Nissitissit River (Brookline), Beards Brook (Hillsboro), and Winnepocket Lake (Webster). Walleyes were starting to hit in the Connecticut River until the intense rains began. The river is relatively high and muddy now, but the fish are still around as they stage for spawning. As the river comes down and begins to warm up, the walleye bite below Vernon and Bellows Falls Dams and at the mouths of major tributaries should start again. Fishing for black crappies, perch and sunfish should also start to get good as the river levels decline and the water temps rise. As spring progresses, opportunities for great bass fishing will increase. Remember that although the air temperature may be warm, the water temperature will still be cool. Take that into account when choosing your bait/lure and retrieval technique. Bass may still be somewhat lethargic and will want a slow-moving bait/lure that looks like an easy meal. A limited number of landlocked salmon (250) were stocked into Nubanusit Lake last spring and approximately the same number will be stocked this year. Remember, we are stocking low numbers of these salmon to increase their growth and to protect the lake's smelt population, so treat each fish you catch with care. Our management goal is to have these fish reach 18" by their second fall in the lake. Fish in the 12"-13" were reported being caught last fall and anglers reported incidental catches of salmon this winter in the 16" range. So, we expect some Nuby salmon to be of legal size this spring. Please remember that length limits and creel limits are waterbody specific. In Nuby, salmon must be at least 15" if you are going to keep them, but there is no length limit on rainbow trout. If you are not sure how to tell these species apart, go to http://www.dnr.cornell.edu/ext/fish/salmon/speciesdescriptions.htm. We hope you enjoy fishing this year in the Monadnock/Upper Valley Region and don't forget to take a kid fishing anytime you can. We are always happy to talk to you about fish and fishing so please contact us at Region 4 (352-9669; reg4@nhfgd.org) if you have any questions. For a list of popular waterbodies to fish by species, please consult the Suggested Fishing Locations for the Monadnock Region/Southwest N.H, which can be found at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast/Locations_Southwest.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> If you know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report, send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 26, 2007 This week, Mark Beauchesne can hardly contain his excitement to get out on the water for the trout pond opener, after a hemmed-in, rained-out early spring! Spring fish stocking is underway. For a list of waterbodies stocked last week, go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Mark your calendars: the new "All-fish Expo" is coming Saturday, May 5th, from 10 to 3 at Fish and Game, Hazen Drive in Concord. Free admission. We'll help you get ready for the season -- with "how-to" workshops (striper fishing, trolling tactics, kayak fishing, lots more!), plus boats and exhibits and all kinds of gear. For a full list of seminars and vendors, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2007/News_2007_Q2/All_Fish_Expo_042307.htm. And don't forget -- get in on the "panfish craze" with fisheries biologist John Viar and his free talk on the secrets of panfishing. That's next Thursday, May 3, at 7 p.m., at NH Fish and Game, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, NH. More info: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2007/News_2007_Q2/Panfish_Craze_041607.htm Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. One-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10, and annual licenses -- just $35 and good through Dec. 31 -- are still the best bargain around. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> TAKE AN ICE-OUT HOLIDAY AND ENJOY OPENING DAY FOR TROUT PONDS 4/28! By Mark Beauchesne, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator Ice-out was declared on Monday! We should make it an official holiday! If you haven't done it already, time to break out the fishing gear and make plans for a great season ahead. With work, family and spring cleanup at home, I'm feeling the crunch. So, this week I was on task to get the yard done. With that out of the way, I can focus on what really matters: Fishing! This spring has been odd, that's for sure. Rivers were at summer levels, then the rain/snow/sleet and floods came. Sure feels like we have been through that too many times in recent memory. I have had some calls from anglers wondering about the fish in the rivers. No, they did not get flushed out to sea -- trout and salmon (and, in fact, all river-dwelling fish) are shaped to handle fast water. The water on the surface of rivers and streams moves faster than water in the deeper depths. In times of high water, fish adapt to the changing conditions and seek refuge on the bottom, behind rocks and pools. No one knows for sure how much fish may be displaced by high, fast water. I look at it this way: Throughout the year, trout and salmon move up and down our rivers and streams on their own. With that in mind, what's the best strategy for fishing in these high-water conditions? With the water still high but clearing up, I will focus on the pools first. Taking my time, I fish the edges first. The water may be slightly warmer at the edges -- this is also where food (aquatic insects and worms) may have settled. I lean toward larger flies in early spring -- black or olive woolly buggers and larger bead-head nymphs like the hare's ear are definite "go to" flies right now. I'm not opposed to fishing a worm where it is legal -- drifting a worm on a stream of my childhood still has a certain magic that has not faded. Trout ponds open on the 28th of this month -- yeah, that's this Saturday! You bet I will be fishing this weekend. I can't remember the last time I had opening day off to go fishing. More than likely I will mix it up between fly fishing and spin fishing. Having both options will hopefully increase my success. I have a couple of trips scheduled for salmon fishing on the "big lake." From what I've been hearing, things are really rocking on Winnipesaukee. This gets me fired up to hook up with a leaping salmon. Mid-May, just a couple weeks away, brings pure excitement, from giant bluegills moving into the shallows of my favorite pond to the explosive strikes of a northern pike! White perch will also be moving in to spawn. I remember last year, giant schools of white perch roaming the shoals on Winni. When you find them you will have an opportunity not only for white perch, but yellow perch too. The yellow perch follow the schools of white perch so they can feast on their eggs. Big sunfish will also enjoy the feast. Keep only what you can use, release the rest. Great fishing!!! Mark ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> Fisheries staff are still looking for volunteers to help stock Atlantic salmon fry into the Merrimack River basin; the Upper Connecticut River watershed in northern N.H.; and the Monadnock region's Connecticut River watershed. Want to help out? Get times/dates and other information at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2007/News_2007_Q2/Fry_Stock_Vols_040907.htm. NOTE that the Merrimack River dates have changed! If you know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report, send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 19, 2007 This week, fisheries biologist John Viar says the ice is breaking up rapidly, and great fishing is on tap for New Hampshire's Lakes Region. Sunny weather ahead (finally) this weekend -- I hope you'll all get a chance to get out on the water. AT LAST! Trout stocking has really started! For a list of waterbodies stocked last week, go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. One-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10, and annual licenses -- just $35 and good through Dec. 31 -- are still the best bargain around. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H. This Saturday, April 21, from 10 to 3 at Fish and Game (Hazen Drive in Concord), it's the 19th Discover Wild New Hampshire Day! Bring the family and check it out -- we've got live fish, frogs, falcons, and more; 35 conservation exhibitors; and all kinds of hands-on activities like casting and archery for you to enjoy. For more info and a schedule of events, go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2007/News_2007_Q2/DWNH_Day_040507.htm Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ICE-OUT IS IMMINENT, AND LAKES REGION ANGLERS ARE READY FOR SPRING! By John A. Viar, Fisheries Biologist, Region 2/New Hampton What a difference a year makes! Last year New Hampshire's large-lake anglers were treated to near complete ice-out conditions on the April 1 opener, but this year, Mother Nature appears to have confused April with January (I guess She is getting even for the mild early winter!). Although open water has been at a premium to date, a heavy northwest wind followed by a horrendous multiple-day Nor'easter (which we are still enjoying as of this writing on 4/17) has finally started to open things up, especially on Lake Winnipesaukee. Heavy winds, driving rain, and swelling tributary inflows have done their part to create considerably more room for angling from a variety of watercraft, with select launch areas opening up as well. However, until the remaining ice sheets are gone, word to the wise, be careful in planning your trip -- changing wind directions and shifting ice sheets can cut you off from your original access point. With continued wind in the forecast and warmer, sunnier weather predicted for the weekend, open water availability will only increase and ice-out will not be far off on the Big Lake. Lake Winnipesaukee water temperature is hovering in the 38-degree F range -- full ice-out usually occurs when the lake hits 40-degrees. Again though, wind direction, sun, and rain are all big players in the ice-out game. Speaking of the weather, no matter what the conditions may seem like "at home," when angling by shore or boat in the early season on NH's big lakes, dress for ice fishing conditions -- you will be glad you did. Lake Opechee/Lakeport Dam has been an early season bright spot. An 8+ lbs. rainbow trout taken here was entered into the Trophy Fish Program; landlocked salmon action was hot as well. Most of these fish are "drop-downs" from Lake Winnipesaukee. Some salmon in particular will not be in prime condition in this locale, given their drop-down/current-fighting/relative lack of forage existence, but offer decent action nonetheless. All the recent rain/snow/melting has heavy flows dumping out of the lakes. This should translate to another extended, banner year for shore anglers in the above and similar river locations, as more fish will continue to drop down and conditions should remain suitable further into the spring. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> The following is an important message to all who enjoy New Hampshire's large-lake landlocked salmon fisheries: In our annual fall netting surveys, it has become apparent that hook wounding injuries to landlocked salmon are leading to a reduction in the overall quality of the fishery, especially in heavily-fished Lake Winnipesaukee. For the last two years, 20% of the population has exhibited moderate to severe hook wounding damage (see pictures at the online version of this report, http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_reports.htm). By age 3, hook-wounded salmon average 1 inch shorter and 0.5 lbs. lighter than their non-hook-wounded counterparts. Salmon must use precious and limited (given our infertile lakes) forage fish/calories to repair tissue damage, rather than growth. Some steps you can take to reduce these negative impacts to help preserve the quality of the fishery into the future, include the following: * Use extreme care when unhooking and releasing fish -- have pliers/hemostats/other gear organized and prepared; minimize handling and exposure time; NEVER shake a fish off the hook, NEVER attempt to unhook a fish suspended in the air, NEVER sharply pull hooks out while the fish is moving and twisting * Use rubber or other "fish friendly" landing nets when catch and releasing, whether from shore, wading, or boat -- rubber nets can even be better than no net, since they allow you to cradle the fish with less stress and quickly and efficiently remove the hook. Rubber nets also prevent loss of slime coat and scales, fin splitting, and other damage * When harvesting/keeping fish, select those more severely wounded * Consider harvesting/keeping a previously hook-wounded fish instead of a more robust fish which is lightly hooked and thus more easily released -- the latter has more potential to become a "trophy"/quality salmon in the future * Remember all hooks can cause damage -- many variables come into play, such as fish size and hooking location, as well as angler experience in proper handling/release techniques ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> Jump start your fishing season by coming to the first-ever "ALL-FISHING EXPO" at Fish and Game in Concord on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free admission! More than 30 exhibitors will be on hand with the latest boats, rods, reels, lures, baits and fishing electronics. Seminars on fishing lures and gear, kayak fishing and hot tips for striped bass action. Everything for average Joes (and Janes) to fishing pros! More info next week. Fisheries staff are still looking for volunteers to help stock Atlantic salmon fry into the Merrimack River basin; the Upper Connecticut River watershed in northern N.H.; and the Monadnock region's Connecticut River watershed. Want to help out? Get times/dates and other information at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2007/News_2007_Q2/Fry_Stock_Vols_040907.htm. NOTE that the Merrimack River dates have changed! If you know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report, send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 12, 2007 In today's report, hatcheries supervisor Robert Fawcett presents the annual plan for growing and stocking trout throughout the state. Because of continuing winter weather, stocking is getting off to a slow start this year. These waterbodies were stocked last week (April 2-6): Silver Lake in Harrisville, Whittemore Lake in Bennington, Hunts Pond in Hancock, Mont Williams Pond in Weare and Frenches Pond in Henniker. When the stocking trucks really start rolling, we'll keep you up-to-date! Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. One-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10, and annual licenses -- just $35 and good through Dec. 31 -- are still the best bargain around. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H. Fisheries staff are looking for volunteers to help stock Atlantic salmon fry into the Merrimack River basin; the Upper Connecticut River watershed in northern N.H.; and the Monadnock region's Connecticut River watershed. Want to help out? Get times/dates and other information at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2007/News_2007_Q2/Fry_Stock_Vols_040907.htm. Jump start your fishing season by coming to the first-ever "ALL-FISHING EXPO" at Fish and Game in Concord on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free admission! More than 30 exhibitors will be on hand with the latest boats, rods, reels, lures and baits. Seminars on fishing lures and gear, kayak fishing and hot tips for striped bass action. Everything for average Joes to fishing pros! Stay tuned for more info. If you know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report, send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> WE HAVE WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR: QUALITY HATCHERY-RAISED TROUT By Robert Fawcett, Supervisor of Hatcheries New Hampshire Fish and Game's Fish Culturists and Conservation Officers are releasing over 200 tons of hatchery-raised trout this spring. Whether you fish for trout in waters open to fishing year-round or trout ponds that open the traditional fourth Saturday in April (April 28 this year), Inland Fisheries Division Management will provide excellent angling opportunities. Stocking is starting later than last year; there's still some ice to melt and more winter weather on tap today for most of New Hampshire. You can follow the weekly stocking at the Fish and Game website: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. THE PLAN FOR 2007 STOCKING CALLS FOR 445,645 Eastern brook trout yearlings: 57.2% to streams, 42.8% to lakes and ponds; 15,615 two-year-olds: 34.7% to streams, 65.3% to lakes and ponds; 1,760 "three-year-pluses" (surplus brood fish): 35.8% to streams, 64.2% to lakes and ponds. Also: * 277,105 rainbow trout (RT) yearlings: about 40% to streams, 60% to lakes and ponds. * 129,600 brown trout (BT) yearlings: 88,940 to streams, 40,660 to lakes and ponds. * 5,000 tiger trout (TT). Tigers are a cross between a brook trout male and a brown trout female, and have the potential to keep growing to a trophy size if not hooked and cooked at a younger age. They are a cross between two not very closely related species, so a small percentage survive to get stocked. This year's brook trout are around 11-12 inches, the rainbows are 12-14", and the brown trout are 10-11". There will definitely be some nice big rainbow trout surprises in the southwestern region again this year. Look for four-pounders, and maybe even larger, because some of the fish in the pond have evaded the seine for a number of years. The Fish Culturist's mission is "to produce fish of the right species, size, and timing to fill the gaps in the natural eco-cycle, to contribute to management goals for a wide variety of users, and restoration of self-sustaining native fish populations." Check out the number, age and species of fish to be produced at New Hampshire's six state fish hatcheries in 2007-2008 in a chart available in the online version of this report: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/Fishing_Reports/Fishing_Reports_2007/fishing_report_040507.htm. FISH CULTURE 101: If a waterbody has plenty of natural habitat capacity to meet all phases of a fish species' life cycle, then fish populations are self-sustaining and don't need to be supplemented with hatchery-reared fish. But where there are gaps in that natural habitat capacity, hatchery resources are used to provide a fishery that would otherwise not occur for some reason -- for example, lack of adequate habitat for spawning or juvenile rearing, but plenty of habitat for grow out. "Room and board" provided by a hatchery stand in for natural habitat and food organisms. Fish culturists nurture fish eggs through the fry and fingerling stages, until they're large enough to be released and survive in lakes, ponds and rivers. This helps the cycle complete itself, and allows New Hampshire's trout and salmon fisheries to remain productive. KEEPING TROUT HEALTHY: Fish and Game's new fish pathologist, Dr. Joel A. Bader, has identified some bacteria responsible for a significant loss of fish shortly after initial feeding due to disease. We have applied for an investigative new animal drug (INAD) permit to treat with chloramine-t to improve trout survival. Fish Culturists face challenges every year, and this next year will be no exception, having to manage around pipe consolidation projects, and installation of 24-hour composite sampler vaults, valves, and buildings at Berlin, Warren, and Twin Mountain hatcheries for treatment and monitoring of discharge water. Composite sampling methods must begin at all three of these facilities after November 30, 2007. Environmental regulations limit the use of chemical treatments. Hopefully the new drug, and having Joel's expert help, will reduce some of the challenges. The department plans to construct a new water supply pipeline to Powder Mill Hatchery, and install ultra-violet treatment units to reduce our need for chemical therapeutants to control parasites and disease at our largest production facility. All of these projects are necessary for future trout production. Bryant Pond in Canaan was lost to trout management because we do not stock unless there is public access, and, unfortunately, public access was lost at Bryant Pond during this past year. Notification occurred after this year's stocking schedules went out, so 640 EBT yearlings will no longer be needed for management of that waterbody. You can help preserve access for fishing and hunting by keeping in mind basic good landowner relations. For a new "Angler's Guide to Landowner Relations," visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/anglers_landowner_relations.htm. Your local hatchery workers do a fantastic job of producing and distributing the large put-and-take trout you will have the opportunity to catch this spring. There's a lot going on behind the scenes to keep New Hampshire's fisheries healthy -- and anglers happy. Have a good year of fishing and enjoying wild New Hampshire. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 5, 2007 It's here at last! Welcome to a new season of the NH Weekly Fishing Report. If you're new to this list, this is the first weekly fishing report for 2007. Each week from now through September, we'll bring you fishing news and information from one of our regional fisheries staff members, along with a link to the most current stocking report (during stocking season). If you know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report, send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. ***Today's report brings the brand-new 2007 Fishing Forecast for all regions of the state -- it's too big to squeeze into this e-mail, but all you have to do is follow this link to the Fish and Game website: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast.htm Fish stocking began last week, with just a handful of Rockingham County sites stocked: The Exeter River in Chester, Fremont, and Sandown; the North Branch in Candia; the Piscassic River in Fremont; and the Little and Stingy rivers in Nottingham. The regular stocking report will begin in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting. For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. One-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10, and annual licenses -- just $35 and good through Dec. 31 -- are still the best bargain around. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. -- Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301 N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 28, 2006 This is it, folks: our last fishing report for 2006, with a roundup from the Lakes region and the Southwest part of NH. Thanks for reading, have a terrific fall season, and stay tuned for ice-fishing action this winter. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FALL FISHING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE LAKES REGION By John A. Viar, Fisheries Biologist, Region 2/New Hampton Well, another banner year has gone by for Lakes Region anglers -- or has it? Fall is one of the best and most overlooked times of year to fish, so get out there and enjoy the colors of the season. In nearly every case you will also find the solitude you longed for during the busy summer recreational season! Cooling waters and hungry pre-spawn trout can make for some exciting fishing before the close of the season on October 15 in designated trout ponds and rivers/streams (before heading to your fall fishing destination, always be sure to check the Freshwater Fishing Digest for seasons and special regulations). For fly anglers, Sky Pond in New Hampton and Upper Hall Pond in Sandwich will produce plenty of brookies. For spin casting, check out Spectacle Pond in Groton or Saltmarsh Pond in Gilford. Or take a hike into one of the many remote trout ponds (http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/trout_remote.htm) for the most brilliantly colored brookies you will ever lay eyes upon -- their vivid good looks will compete with the fall foliage encountered during your adventure. Many savvy anglers know fall bass fishing means some of the largest specimens of the year -- smallmouth and largemouth are looking for calories, and lots of them, before the long winter. Many patterns emerge, often within the same lake. Winnipesaukee, Squam, or other large-lake smallies may be feasting on smelt in deep water or combing shallower haunts for schools of juvenile yellow and white perch. Largemouth are often found on the edge of remaining weedlines, looking for that last big meal -- make sure to be there to offer it up! Fall is synonymous with toothy predator time - some of the largest chain pickerel and northern pike of the season. Much to the demise of anything capable of being swallowed, the cooling temperatures put these giant torpedoes on search and destroy missions. Many of the same waterbodies containing bass will harbor excellent chain pickerel populations, including and particularly the back bays of the large lakes such as Winnipesaukee; for northerns, head to the Connecticut River backwaters and main-river weed edges in the Hanover, Piermont, and other areas. Don't overlook general regulation ponds (open to all fishing year-round), which receive stocked trout (http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/year_round_trout_ponds.htm) for a fall "combo" trip. Is there a better "Indian Summer" day than one spent trolling for rainbows in the morning hours, then switching to casting for smallmouth bass on their fall-feeding binge? Waterbodies for such an adventure include Waukewan Lake in Meredith and Little Sunapee Lake in New London. For those who do not ice fish, fall fishing memories captured and recalled will sustain you through the long winter months, so be sure to make them. For those with a growing case of "hard water fever" -- fear not, the cure is coming soon! The modernization of ice fishing, from winter clothing to transportation to fishing technology, has made winter the favorite fishing season for many experienced anglers...stay tuned for why! ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> COOLING WATERS HEAT UP FISHING IN SOUTHWEST NH By Gabe Gries and Michael Racine, Fisheries Biologists, Region 4/Keene With the approach of increasingly cooler weather, thoughts start to turn towards fall hunting opportunities. However, some of the best open-water fishing of the year is yet to come. As water temperatures start to cool, angling for many sport fish species begins to heat up. Now is the time to hit those trout ponds. The last few nights I have fished, I have seen many trout rising just before dusk. Now is the time for those of you who don't have equipment to troll deep to get out there for some great "surface feeding" action. That being said, trout are also being caught in good numbers while trolling on Granite Lake (Stoddard), Silver Lake (Harrisville) and Spofford Lake (Chesterfield). A friend recently had a fish on at Nubanusit Lake (Hancock) that straightened out the hook out on his streamer. He said it had to be a fish as he was only 10 feet down in 40 feet of water. Probably a big laker. Speaking of Nubanusit Lake, the landlocked salmon that were stocked this spring (for the first time in 25 years) as 5-6" fish have been growing well. Anglers have reported catching (and releasing) a few salmon that are running 10 - 14 inches! This is tremendous growth and means they have more than doubled their size in less than six months in the lake. A recent Fish and Game forage fish survey showed that rainbow smelt populations are at excellent levels. If growth rates and survival of these salmon continue to be high, we can expect some excellent salmon fishing in Southwestern NH in a couple years. Please remember that we are stocking low numbers of salmon (~300 per year) in order to maximize growth while still protecting the smelt population. Accordingly, it is imperative to handle all salmon with care and release them as quickly as possible. Angling on the Connecticut River should be fantastic in the coming weeks. Walleye will begin moving towards the tributary mouths and smallmouth bass will be centered on some of the deep holes. Find the right habitat and you will find some nice fish. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 21, 2006 With the official beginning of fall tomorrow (9/22), it's time to think about the fishing opportunities that remain to us this season, and get out there to enjoy fishing in the crisp air! Today, fall-stocking news from Bob Fawcett, our hatcheries supervisor; brood stock Atlantic salmon tips from anadromous fisheries biologist Jon Greenwood; and a terrible teddy-bear tale from Milford hatchery. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FALL TROUT STOCKING By Robert S. Fawcett, Hatchery Supervisor Twenty-six (26) lakes and ponds are set to be stocked with trout in September or October. That will be around 6,237 rainbow trout "almost yearlings" (8 or 9-inchers) and 4,993 two-year-olds (11 to 14-inchers), 2,820 eastern brook trout (EBT) yearlings, 3,960 EBT Kennebago-strain fall fingerlings (3 or 4-inchers), 973 tiger trout (10+ inchers) and 250 brown trout (13+ inchers). FOR A CHART OF WATERBODIES managed with fall stocking, go to the online version of this report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/Fishing_Reports/Fishing_Reports_2006/fishing_report_092106.htm. Tiger trout are stocked in Lucas and Willard ponds, and Laurel Lake also receives brown trout. Fish are stocked in the fall for a variety of reasons, though most are intended to "recruit" into the winter ice fishery. The tiger trout take longer to reach a larger size at time of stocking for better survival and a more pleasing size fish for the angler. They are very difficult to raise successfully, because they are a cross between two different genuses, and have poor initial survival in the hatchery. Those few that do survive have the potential to make up for that in growth to a trophy size with time. In terms of research, fall stocking can help the regional biologists answer questions about subsequent performance of the fish after they are stocked. They mark the fish and then perform creel surveys to figure out what percentage of what fish are caught through the ice. Gabe Gries at Fish and Game's Region 4 office in Keene (603-352-9669) can tell you that 87% of the fish caught last winter at Laurel Lake in Fitzwilliam were from spring stocking and 13% were from fall stocking. Some of those facts can be useful in making management decisions. Mostly, the fall stocking is simply to make sure you have the opportunity to catch some trout this winter. It represents a change from years ago when any trout caught in the winter ice fishery were just hold-overs from spring stocking, and no special effort was made for the ice angler. Many anglers look forward to ice fishing for trout, in waters that remain open to the taking of trout year round. Make sure and check the Fishing Digest for which ones remain open, or check: *Lakes and ponds managed for trout without a closed season -- http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/year_round_trout_ponds.htm * Rivers and streams managed for trout without a closed season -- http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/year_round_trout_streams.htm ><> FALL FISHING FOR BROOD STOCK SALMON STARTS SOON By Jon Greenwood, Coordinator, Merrimack River Anadromous Fish Restoration Program If you're looking for some challenging catch-and-release sport fishing while you're out enjoying the beautiful fall weather, head to the Merrimack and Pemigewasset rivers to hook the "King of Fish" -- Atlantic salmon. Fisheries statistics tell us that the success rate for catching salmon is higher in the fall than in the spring season, thanks to better wading conditions and cooler temperatures. This fall, Fish and Game will stock the Merrimack and Pemigewasset rivers with salmon -- about 700 brood stock Atlantic salmon averaging 2 pounds each. You might also hook into some of the brood stock salmon stocked last spring. Expect some great fishing by the first week in October. Note that the brood stock Atlantic salmon season runs year-round, but all salmon caught from October 1 through March 31 must be released immediately. Brood stock anglers need a New Hampshire fishing license and an $11 Atlantic salmon permit; both can be purchased online at http://www.FishNH.com, or from license agents statewide. All proceeds from salmon stamp permits help support the Merrimack River Anadromous Fish Restoration Program, created in 1993 by Fish and Game in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help restore migratory fish populations to the Merrimack River watershed. FLY FISHING FOR SALMON The brood stock salmon released in the Merrimack give New Hampshire anglers an exciting recreational fishing opportunity. This fall, the fish will be stocked only in the Franklin-Bristol area. The first good spots to are below the Ayers Island Dam in Bristol along the Coolidge Woods Road, the Profile Falls Recreation Area (the access site near the Smith River confluence) and below the Eastman Falls Dam in Franklin. Because salmon are migratory, anglers should also try fishing downstream as the season progresses: in the Stirrup Iron Brook area (Boscawen), the Contoocook River in Penacook, at Sewall's Falls Recreational Park in Concord and below the Garvins Falls Dam in Bow and the Hooksett Dam. Find more information and an access map at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm. Fly anglers can use traditional salmon flies or trout streamers such as Grey Ghosts, Mickey Finns or any patterns that imitate small baitfish. Fly casters pursuing broodstock salmon this fall should consider using lighter, 5- to 7-weight rods with floating or sink tip lines, depending on river flow conditions, so they can experience the feel of the fight. Some recommended flies include traditional hair wing flies and streamers. Some patterns to try are green highlander, black bear green butt, cosseboom, soft hackle marabou and muddler minnow. Fishing nymphs has also proven successful. SPIN FISHING ANGLERS As the season progresses, spin casters should try the area from the town of Bow to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border, which is open to both fly and spin fishing. The best areas include the section of the river just below the Garvin's Falls Dam in Bow, and below the Hooksett Dam, where the river is fast flowing. Fishing success in these two areas is best angling from a boat. Excellent boat access is provided at Public Service of New Hampshire's ramp on the west side of the river in Bow and at the state-owned ramp on the east side of the river below the Hooksett Dam. Spin-casting anglers would do best to use medium 6 and a half to 7-foot rods. Recommended lures include: Little Cleo (chrome, chartreuse colors), Blue Fox Pixie, Trixie (silver, chartreuse), Rapala's CD model, and large in line spinners such as Mepps Aglia (nickel, green, yellow) and rooster tails. Remember that the use of lures for the taking salmon is by the use of an artificial lure having no more than ONE hook point! A solution for lures sold with treble hooks is to either cut off two of the hook points or replace the treble hook with a #6 bait holder hook. RECORD YOUR SUCCESS Brood stock salmon anglers can help the program by reporting their catch to Fish and Game; fishing diaries submitted by January 15, 2007, are eligible for a prize drawing. Last year's three winners took home a salmon fly rod, a salmon fly reel (both donated by Kittery Trading Post) and a framed Atlantic salmon print from Fish and Game. So get out and enjoy New Hampshire's fall colors and great fall fishing! ><> TEDDY BEAR KILLS FISH! By Robert S. Fawcett, Hatchery Supervisor On Wednesday, September 6, 2006, a TEDDY BEAR released by person or persons unknown stopped the flow of water to a circular pool at Milford Hatchery, killing 2,500 rainbow trout. WATER FLOW in hatcheries IS LIFE SUPPORT TO THE FISH! Stop that flow, which delivers the dissolved oxygen required for fish respiration, and the fish suffocate and die. RELEASE OF ANY TEDDY BEARS into fish hatchery water IS NOT PERMITTED. Please think before you act. If a teddy bear is dropped accidentally, find a fish culturist and tell them quickly, so they might save your teddy bear, and keep it from becoming a killer. Thank you. ED. NOTE: A photograph of the accused appears on the online version of this report at http://www.FishNH.com. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 14, 2006 This week, fish habitat biologist John Magee offers recent highlights from his work in the Fish Habitat Program. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FLOOD IMPACTS ON FISHERIES HABITATS By John Magee, Fish Habitat Biologist The Fish Habitat Program has been busy this year. Here's an update on three recent projects: ><> NASH STREAM We have been conducting habitat, water quality, stream morphology and fish survey assessments in Nash Stream and its tributaries (Coos County) with Trout Unlimited; the US Fish & Wildlife Service; and the Department of Resources and Economic Development's Division of Forests and Lands, which owns and manages Nash Stream State Forest. From the data we collected in 2005 and 2006, it is apparent that there is very little wild brook trout production in Nash Stream; this is due to the poor habitat that was the result of the catastrophic flood that occurred when the Nash Bog Pond dam failed in 1969, and the human activities that followed. There is widespread evidence that after the flood, Nash Stream was straightened and berms were created along it using large machinery in an attempt to control future flooding. What this did was effectively preclude brook trout from reestablishing wild populations there. In contrast, the tributaries have abundant wild brook trout, although some of the culverts through which the tributaries flow block fish passage (which is necessary for brook trout, as they tend to migrate upstream just prior to spawning). Still, those wild brook trout have been able to find enough spawning habitat to keep those populations robust. We recently conducted an assessment of the ability of brook trout to migrate upstream through two culverts on Farrer Brook. We found that one culvert appears to completely block wild brook trout, and at the other culvert, only a single wild brook trout migrated through it. We intend to remove one culvert entirely, and replace the other culvert with a much larger crossing, potentially a small bridge. Overall, the restoration work for the project will entail removing or replacing the stream crossings that currently have impacts on fish passage and/or stream morphology, and instream and floodplain work that will provide suitable habitat for wild brook trout. The project will continue through 2008. ><> COLD RIVER WATERSHED We've also been working on a very large restoration project of the Cold River and Warren and Bowers brooks in the Cold River Watershed, principally in Alstead and Acworth. In early October 2005, during the heavy rains and flooding, a culvert on Warren Brook become plugged with sediment and wood (both natural components of stream ecosystems). Immediately upstream of the culvert, a pond formed in a matter of hours. Eventually, the culvert failed, and the floodwaters raged down Warren Brook and into the Cold River. Several people died in the floodwaters, and many people lost their homes and property. The flood also destroyed much of Warren Brook and the Cold River. We have been working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), NH Department of Transportation (NHDOT), the Towns of Alstead and Acworth and the Cold River Local Advisory Committee to develop a watershed restoration plan for the area. NRCS received a $7.7 million appropriation for the restoration of these waterbodies, and NRCS, NHDES, NHDOT and NH Fish and Game funded a study to determine which specific restoration activities should occur using the $7.7 million. It is anticipated that some restoration work, which will likely entail rebuilding the stream channel and floodplain, will begin in November 2006. Future work will continue into 2007 and possibly 2008. This particular project is moving at a very fast pace and is receiving overwhelming support, not to mention the largest stream restoration award in the state. ><> SUNCOOK RIVER During the May 2006 floods, the Suncook River formed a new channel in Epsom. The floodwaters rose as high as they did because two dams impound a section of the river in Epsom downstream of Route 4. The waters spilled over the bank about 1,000 feet upstream of the dams and flowed through a gravel pit before reentering the river another 5,000 feet downstream. Because of the highly erodable soils and the gravel pit being at such a low elevation and so close to the river, the bottom of the new channel began to erode in an upstream direction, and eventually, all the water in the Suncook River flowed through the new channel. Enormous amounts of sand eroded from this area and were deposited on agricultural fields and along the banks and in the river downstream for many miles. The Suncook River in this area is very different than it was before these floods. NHDES is taking the lead, with Fish and Game as a partner, to secure funds to assess the current condition of the river's morphology and restoration potential. We are hopeful that assessment work will begin in early 2007 with some restoration work in the same year. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 7, 2006 This week, walk the banks of an unnamed trout stream with biologist Andy Schafermeyer -- then go out to find a few secret spots of your own in the New Hampshire woods! Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> SIGNS OF FALL: COOL AIR, COOL WATER, THE RED BELLY OF A WILD BROOK TROUT By Andrew Schafermeyer, Fisheries Biologist, Region 1/Lancaster One of the true advantages to fishing in September is the scenery. As evening approaches and the trees on the horizon are mirrored on the water, fishing takes on a whole new feeling. One usually has to put on a jacket or sweatshirt, fingers get cold after landing a fish, and darkness completely falls by 8 o'clock. Every glimpse of a dark red brook trout belly is a reminder that fishing in New Hampshire is an awesome experience. One of my "can't-miss" fall destinations is a small and winding brook in Lancaster that usually produces some of the nicest-looking trout that I see all year. Throughout the summer, this unnamed brook is not a picturesque trout stream. Flows can be low and water temperatures reach levels that that push fish to cooler, shadier tributaries. In September and October, however, this brook picks up some volume and aggressive fish can be found with some regularity. I usually bring the smallest fly-rod I own -- a seven-foot four-weight. This allows for short, controlled casts and magnifies the intensity of the fight when I hook up. I start with attractor patterns on the surface unless I see a certain insect being eaten with some frequency. I like small Royal Wulffs and Humpys with brightly colored bellies. This approach allows me to search out feeding fish and get a grasp on what type of habitat (pools, glides, etc...) the trout seem to prefer. Walking a large stretch of stream gives me tons of opportunities for fish. I have never encountered another fisherman, and I'm always scouting out bird-hunting covers as I walk. The most important thing to bring into this stream is a particular mind-set concerning the size of the fish. Because of the micro-habitat, brook trout are only going to grow as large as the parameters let them. Therefore, a six-inch trout may be five or six years old and, by all standards, a trophy. New Hampshire's summers don't give these fish as long a growing season as other, larger New England waterbodies. Add to this the somewhat sterile conditions that arise from water flowing through a landscape dominated by granite, and the picture becomes clearer. This particular trout stream is similar to hundreds of others that snake their way through our landscape. Walking a few miles of one is a great way to connect with trout populations that are self-sustaining and yet very delicate. The fish are wily and landing one brings an honest sense of accomplishment. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- August 31, 2006 This week, fisheries biologist Mike Racine brings us a roundup of sampling results, to show what warmwater fish species you're likely to hook in five local waterbodies. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish stocking activity is done for the summer. Get past stocking info at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ABUNDANT WARMWATER FISH IN SAMPLED WATERS By Mike Racine, Fisheries Biologist -- Region 4/Keene Some fine warmwater fishing is available to anglers in the Monadnock/Upper Valley region of New Hampshire, based on our warmwater sampling research from this summer. The goal of the NH Fish and Game Department's Warmwater Program is to sustain and improve warmwater fish populations to provide recreational fishing opportunities in an ecologically sound manner. One way we meet this goal is by conducting summertime assessments of warmwater lakes, ponds and rivers in New Hampshire. These surveys are conducted at night, using an electrofishing boat to temporarily stun the fish in a given area. We capture the fish, record the species, collect length and weight data, and then release them back into the water. Here are some of the fishing waters we sampled: ><> DREW LAKE (Hopkinton): This waterbody is part of the Army Corps of Engineers Hopkinton-Everett Lake Project and is located 15 minutes west of Concord just off of RT 9 to Upper Sugar Hill Road. Parking is limited to a few trailers and the gravel ramp is adequate for larger boats. Sport fish sampled included numerous large pickerel and largemouth bass, and moderate amounts of edible-size panfish (black crappie, bluegill, sunfish) and yellow perch. Non-sport fish sampled consisted solely of golden shiners. The channel at the south end of the lake produced fish in highest numbers. Hopkinton Lake, part of the same waterway as Drew Lake but separated by a small swamp, was sampled in 2005. Comparatively, very similar size and numbers of species were sampled in each lake with the difference being that common white suckers and brown bullheads were sampled in Hopkinton Lake. ><> FRANKLIN PIERCE LAKE (Hillsboro): This waterbody has a good-quality gravel ramp (Rte. 9 to Manahan Park) with parking for 7-10 trailers. Sportfish sampled include numerous white perch, pickerel, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, panfish (black crappie, bluegill, common sunfish) and brown bullhead. Non-sport fish sampled were common white sucker and fallfish. White perch dominated our sampling efforts. They comprised over 60% of all fish sampled. Yellow perch were also numerous, comprising about 20% of all fish sampled. The majority of white perch and yellow perch were small to medium sized. Bass tournament data consistently show that largemouth bass dominate the catch over smallmouth, and that largemouth average 2-3 pounds. Shoreline fishing is limited due to moderate development. ><> HALFMOON POND (Hancock): There are no houses on this 65-acre pond and only one camp. Expect serenity at its best. This waterbody is a fantastic yellow perch and sunfish fishery. These species comprised nearly 80% of all fish sampled and most were of edible size. Anglers can also expect good bass action. Other sportfish species sampled were largemouth bass (most were 10"-14", several around 17", and one over 20"), pickerel, and yellow bullhead. The gravel ramp has a moderate drop off. Parking is limited to a few cars and trailers. Don't overlook the channel on the far side from the ramp and the deeper holes by the bridge pylons during the hot summer days. ><> HORACE LAKE (Weare): This waterbody has a decent paved launch. The access is through a locked gate that opens at 8am and closes at 9pm. The rocky shoreline has occasional stumps and submerged logs. Sportfish sampled included abundant numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass. We also sampled moderate numbers of panfish including black crappie, bluegill, and common sunfish. Other fish species present in this waterbody are yellow bullhead, yellow perch and stocked brown trout (the stocked trout create a popular summer and winter fishery for local anglers). Shoreline fishing is limited due to moderate development. ><> POWDER MILL POND (Hancock): This waterbody, also known as Bennington Bog, is a dammed portion of the Contoocook River and has moderate vegetative cover, few submerged logs and woody debris, and very few rocks. There is a state-owned ramp on the south side of the lake suitable for any size boat and parking for many trailers. Our sampling effort produced the largest numbers of all species for all waterbodies sampled this year. Panfishing here is fantastic! Panfish sampled were black crappie, bluegill (notable in terms of both size and numbers), and common sunfish. We also sampled yellow perch and white perch. Other sportfish species sampled were smaller numbers of medium and large pickerel and all sizes of bass. An average of about five bass tournaments are held here each year and largemouth is the predominant bass species caught. Largemouth entered in tournaments average around 2-2.5 pounds with smallmouth averaging about 2 pounds. This waterbody is relatively shallow. Beware of the frequent humps from 8 feet to less than 2 feet in the middle of the waterbody. Either your prop or your fish finder will let you know they are there. Shoreline fishing and car top access is possible along Rte. 202. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- AUGUST 24, 2006 Biologist John Viar is out straight on the Forager survey boat sampling forage fish populations in the Lakes Region at night, but he took time out to send us this report. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish stocking activity is done for the summer. Get past stocking info at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ------------- THE KEY TO NEW HAMPSHIRE'S LARGE-LAKE FISHERIES by John A. Viar, Region 2 Fisheries Biologist When you're fixed on hooking big fish, it's easy to forget about the small fish ... the really small fish. And those are the important ones -- the forage fish smaller than your pinky. Without rainbow smelt, managing salmonids (landlocked salmon, lake and rainbow trout) in our large lakes would be difficult, if not impossible. Although lake and rainbow trout will prey on a variety of food items, salmon ultimately depend on a thriving population of smelt. The growth rate and body condition of our large lake salmonids is highly proportionate to the abundance of smelt. FISH SANDWICH Successful anglers on New Hampshire's large lakes like Winnipesaukee have reported most activity from 30-50 feet. There's a good reason for that. Experienced anglers know this band of water represents the thermocline, a layer of quickly descending water temperatures sandwiched between warmer surface and colder bottom water - a key to consistently finding mid- to late-summer salmonid action. A BALANCING ACT Smelt populations are extremely difficult to manage. A variety of natural factors such as spring precipitation and nutrient levels can affect year-class strength and overall abundance. Young-of-the-year/age-0 smelt (born this spring, about 1.5-2 inches long right now) account for the bulk of most New Hampshire smelt populations. Their availability is critical, since salmon, particularly age-1 fish stocked earlier in the year, need them for rapid growth. Another important pelagic (open water) forage fish in New Hampshire's large lakes is juvenile white perch, which are also readily consumed by salmonids. Balancing this predator/prey relationship is imperative -- which is why we need an estimate of forage fish abundance in order to stock appropriate numbers of salmon. If too many salmon are stocked, forage is decimated and salmon growth and body condition suffers greatly. When smelt populations are healthy and stable, the typical stocking rate is about 0.5 salmon per acre of surface water. In Winnipesaukee, for example, this translates to about 22,000 yearling salmon stocked each spring - again, ultimately dependent upon forage fish resources. WELCOME ABOARD The tool for the job is called the Forager, a converted 22-foot Eastern lobster boat that has been set up to survey our large-lake forage-fish populations. The boat cruises along transect lines while a sophisticated hydroacoustic unit (sonar "fish-finder") counts the number and size of fish targets. This tells us how many forage fish there are. But to verify the species and condition, we use a large trawl net designed to catch small young-of-the-year fish. As you may expect, most fish caught are smelt, but we also catch young-of-the-year white and yellow perch. Although we trawl slowly, and bigger fish are able to avoid the net for the most part, occasionally we catch adult smelt and the odd lake trout or salmon. [Editor's note: Visit the online version of this report to see what these tiny fish look like, as as well as an "echogram" reading that tells biologists how forage fish are dispersed.] All work is done at night, when smelt move into the thermocline to feed on zooplankton (tiny animals). Most smelt hold near bottom during the brightest daylight hours to try to avoid predation by salmonids (smelt are sitting ducks high in the water column). This explains why dusk and particularly dawn are usually the best fishing times. Salmonids are primarily sight feeders, so limited feeding occurs at night. By dawn, they're voracious and ready for a hearty breakfast. The first traces of daylight let them hunt effectively, slashing upward (most predatory fish prefer to feed upward, since their prey has a blind spot directly beneath them) into schools of smelt, which are just beginning to descend to the bottom, after their night of feeding. To date, we have completed sampling on Newfound Lake and nearly completed Lake Winnipesaukee. Much number crunching lies ahead, but both lakes look very good at first glance. At Winnipesaukee in particular, age-0 smelt and white perch appear to be in excellent abundance. Other lakes to be surveyed in the next several weeks include Big Squam, Winnisquam and Sunapee. For more information on New Hampshire's large-lake fisheries management, feel free to contact Fish and Game's Region 2 Fisheries Biologists John A. Viar at jviar@nhfgd.org or Donald R. Miller at dmiller@nhfgd.org. - ### - -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- August 17, 2006 It's never too soon to start reminiscing about recent fishing experiences. Mark Beauchesne gives us a summer rundown, and encouragement to toss a line in an often-overlooked river at the heart of the Granite State... Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish stocking activity is done for the summer. We'll have lots more fish for you next March... stay tuned. Get past stocking info at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> DESTINATION: MERRIMACK By Mark Beauchesne, Advertising and Promotions Coordinator Two months filled with fishing have passed since my last report. June was outstanding despite dealing with the rains. I spend some quality time in the Great North Woods. Fishing streams has always been special for me. A trip to Pittsburg to fish the upper Connecticut was just what I needed. I camped out at Lake Francis, just below the inlet -- the inlet proved to be very good fishing. I landed several fish in a short time. All of the fish were caught on an elk-hair caddis fly. In this short stretch of stream, I managed to catch brook trout, rainbows and salmon. My trout fishing continued with a few trips to Willard Pond. The "hex" hatch is what I was hoping to be part of -- this giant mayfly typically hatches during the last week of June through the second week of July. Well, this year I was too early, and the hex phenomenon happened after my trip to Willard. But, all was not lost. I spent several warm June evenings in the float tube enjoying this wonderful pond. Willard has quickly become one of my favorites -- not only because of the fish, but for the wildlife watching opportunities and pure serenity. Bass fishing lived up to its consistency and excitement on our big lakes. I fished Winni more this year than in previous Junes and Julys. June was great... between the raindrops. Catching fish on topwater baits is just too exciting. A bonus sighting added to this trip. We all know how wonderfully clear Winni is... I find myself enchanted by the water clarity, and I'm always looking into the lake. Sometimes I see fish, other times rocks, sand and the occasional turtle. This time I was taken aback by what I witnessed. I was watching the bottom of the lake. I was seeing the color of sand that ran into a darker bottom. Then the bottom moved in unison. White perch! A huge school of them. What a thrill to see so many fish! There are some that say "whities" are not as plentiful as they used to be. I disagree. I encountered several more schools of white perch that day. Later in July, I encountered more white perch. This time on the end of my line! We hooked into several quality white perch fishing a crawler on the bottom in 17 feet of water. We were after smallies, but this was even better. I made several trips on the Merrimack River in both Concord and Manchester. What a resource this river is. Our Concord trip produced a mixed bag of perch, bluegills, bass and crappies. Once we found the crappies, we focused on them. The hot lure: a small jig head tipped with a fire-tiger-colored curl-tail grub. I landed crappie after crappie on this odd-colored bait. Hey, it worked -- who care what it looks like. I fish with my friend Chris on the Merrimack in Manchester -- we fished right behind the ballpark. Soft plastic baits and the grub produced high numbers of hard-charging river smallies. This is an easy place to fish from shore. It was my first time fishing in a true "urban" setting -- but I couldn't have noticed that I was in the middle of a big city. The beauty of the river is fantastic. The trips to the Merrimack really reinforced what I already knew. The river has excellent opportunities for land-based anglers to catch quality fish. The river is in your backyard. For many of us we drive over it on our way to our fishing destinations. Don't overlook the river. I will be making several more trips there before the season has changed. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- August 10, 2006 Kevin Sullivan reports from the New Hampshire seacoast this week, where stripers are starting to pass though and winter flounder are the surprise summer hit. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish stocking activity is done for the summer. We'll have lots more fish for you next March... stay tuned. Get past stocking info at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> RETURN OF THE BLACKBACK! By Kevin Sullivan, marine biologist, Region 3/Durham It has happened again. Summer has sped up and we are rapidly approaching fall. As the vacations draw to a close and kids head back to school, the stripers will start to head south. It's time to get out there before another season is behind us. As August fishing goes, this year has been pretty good to us. Strong numbers of stripers are providing good action on the coast for this time of year. With the onset of fall weather towards the end of the month, look for an influx of fresh stripers returning from their northern feeding grounds. In the meantime, here are some tips to increase your success. For bait fishermen, it can be very beneficial this time of year to work hard to find live bait. If you have trouble finding bait on your own, take some live eels along. You can purchase eels at local bait stores such as Taylor's Trading Post in Madbury and Suds N' Soda in Greenland. It often takes live bait at this time of year to convince finicky fish to strike. Make sure to have some wire leaders with you in case the bluefish are on the scene. Overall, the bluefishing this season has been "spotty," with reports of fantastic catches on some mornings, and when boats return the same afternoon the fish seem to have disappeared. The best tip I can give you for fishing these swimming eating machines is to CHUM! Like stripers (and many tourists for that matter), these fish are preparing for the long trip home and need to get that last meal in for every bit of valuable energy they can obtain. Periodically tossing over a mixture of chopped fish, fish oil and -- believe it or not -- corn, usually works well to grab their attention and appetite. I also enjoy "spot-fishing" blues by searching for breaking baitfish and diving terns around areas that I know tend to attract blues, such as White Island, the back side of Cedar Island, and off Rye Ledge. Get within casting distance and try throwing a floating rapala-style lure or a surface popper right into the middle of the frenzy, and believe me that lure won't last long. I have heard reports of blues being taken this year even up in the Great Bay Estuary on live eels and by anglers trolling near Goat Island and Durham Point. We don't get this opportunity every year, so get out and take advantage of it. In my opinion, the story of the year has been the winter flounder fishing. A recent article in the Hawkeye has one of our own wildlife biologists, Eric Orff, detailing a winter flounder fishing trip this season with a friend where he "limited out" on his catch of flounder aboard a vessel from Gauron's Deep Sea Fishing fleet out of Hampton. Reports from Kittery Trading Post and many local anglers say that the Pepperell Cove area in Portsmouth Harbor has been the hot spot. Other successful fishing grounds have been at the mouth of Hampton Harbor and most notably near the mouth of the Merrimack River. This spot is where our local party boats, which have in recent times focused on Atlantic mackerel and bluefish for their half-day trips, have been devoting their morning half-days to winter flounder trips. Ed Gilmore of Smith & Gilmore Charters in Hampton told me recently that it has become a popular trip this season for his customers, and most trips resulted in great success. In all the talk of flounder fishing this year, the name "fluke" has even been tossed around. Fluke is a popular common name for summer flounder, which occasionally stray this far north. They are easily distinguished from winter flounder by their squared tail, large mouth, and formidable teeth. These flounder are also more aggressive than winter flounder and will chase lures or even break the surface in a strike. Captain Mark Godfrey of Eastman's Fishing Fleet in Seabrook reports two fluke landed during an evening fishing trip at the mouth of the Merrimack River while targeting striped bass! All in all, it has been an unusual year on New Hampshire's seacoast, to say the least. We have had record rains, heat waves, hailstorms, and they even say a tornado in Exeter. So now that the fall weather is beginning to settle in, make the most of it and get out there and fish! ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- August 3, 2006 This week, fascinating findings from an ongoing migration study, courtesy of coldwater fisheries biologist Dianne Emerson. You won't believe how far a brook trout will travel! If you're going for trout during steamy weather, here's Dianne's advice: "High water and temperatures have forced fish to hunker down. Be patient -- they are in the water. Give the trout a couple of days to acclimate. Remember, hot temperatures can be lethal to fish, even if they appear to swim away after being caught and released. It's best to target warmwater fish that can handle greater than 70-degree temperatures, or hit areas that are spring-fed. And, remain aware that you are pulling these fish out of the spring and into the warm temperatures. Be gentle but quick to return them to the cool water!" Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish stocking activity is done for the summer. We'll have lots more fresh fish for you next March... stay tuned. Get past stocking info at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> AND YOU THOUGHT ONLY SALMON MIGRATED... By Dianne Emerson, Coldwater Fisheries Biologist, Region 1/Lancaster What about brook trout? It all started in June of 2005 with 34 wild brook trout that reside in the Dead Diamond River and the Magalloway River. The captured fish were weighed, measured and aged using scales -- like all of our other fish assessments. But these fish were different because they also underwent surgery. Radio telemetry tags were inserted into their belly cavities so that we could follow them around and observe where they go and when. What we found was astonishing! Research has indicated that brook trout move very little if they are in suitable habitat. Suitable habitat includes cold temperatures throughout the summer, spawning substrate for the fall, and pool habitat to sustain them through winter. Some researchers have found they move less than one mile a day under these conditions. This is the case for the Magalloway fish that we tagged. The Magalloway River flows out of Azicohos Lake and in and out of Maine and New Hampshire until it reaches the headwaters of the Androscoggin River. This river begins at Azicohos Dam, which has a bottom-fed release. This river's maximum temperature during the summer is 67°F. That is three degrees below what we consider to be a critical/maximum temperature for brook trout. These fish remained in the pools we caught them in until mid-September, moved a couple of miles downstream to spawn, and then moved further downstream to pools greater than ten feet to over-winter. Now the trout are back in the pools that we tagged them in last year! The Dead Diamond, on the other hand, is a natural river that has a long history of logging at its headwaters as well as its mainstem and tributaries. The mainstem and tributaries have been recovering as a result of management by Dartmouth College Woodlands, but the headwaters are still heavily logged. The Dead Diamond River's maximum temperature varies annually but last year it topped out at 80°F on the surface. There are sections of this river that are less than 3 inches deep, so surface temperature needs to be considered. That being said, the Dead Diamond fish that were tagged in the mainstem left the river. All of them! They went into the Magalloway River, Umbagog Lake and the Androscoggin River. Most of the fish spent their summer in the Magalloway and they overwintered in Umbagog and the Androscoggin. Unfortunately, only one of those fish returned to the Dead Diamond. He went back to the pool he was caught in and at the last tracking on July 31 he was working his way downstream again. This fish traveled 23 miles to seek coldwater refuge, spawning grounds, and winter habitat! This study is ongoing and we are hoping to gather more information on the residents of the river during this field season. New fish were tagged in the Dead Diamond River this year, despite all the rain in June. We will continue to track them, as well as those tagged in 2005, throughout the year. The objectives of the brook trout migration study are to: 1) determine if migration from the river is normal behavior to acquire "thermal refuge," or if it was the result of the high water in 2005, and 2) determine which seasonal habitats are preferred and why. The latter will provide important biological information that we can use when designing restoration projects. If you are interested in learning more about this project, feel free to contact me directly at demerson@nhfgd.org or by phone 603-788-3164. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- July 27, 2006 This week, fisheries biologists Ben Nugent and Matt Carpenter offer a short course in brook trout gear, locations, and techniques. Fish stocking activity has been winding down as the waters warm up, and will soon be suspended until spring. Get the final stocking list of the season at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> THE BROOK TROUT BASICS By Ben Nugent, fisheries biological technician; and Matt Carpenter, fisheries biologist Of all fish species in New Hampshire, the brook trout continues to be one of my favorite fish to catch. Brookies live in some of the most scenic rivers and streams in the state and to me, their coloration make them hands-down the most attractive fish. If you're looking for a way to cool off on these humid summer days or introduce someone new to fishing, going after brookies can't be beat. ><> GEAR An advantage of the equipment needed for brook trout fishing is simplicity. Mobility is key; you want to be able to move up and down the stream quickly and quietly as possible. Any basic rod and reel combo will be enough to get you started. I like to keep extra hooks (the smaller the better) and sinkers (nonlead, of course) in a small container that fits in my pocket. Instead of waders, I use an old pair of sneakers to move around the stream. If I'm fishing at a relatively open stream, I'll bring out the lightweight fly rod with tiny beaded nymphs and caddis imitations.  ><> LOCATIONS Fortunately, there are opportunities in almost every town in New Hampshire to fish for brook trout. See http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm for some suggested areas on where to go. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department stocks almost 1,500 miles of streams every year. The hard work of our fish culturists and scientific advances in feed for hatchery-raised fish has made it very difficult to distinguish the taste and appearance of wild trout from stocked trout. The most crucial habitat characteristic needed for brook trout is clean, cold water (usually less than 70 degrees F). If you can find this type of water, there's a good chance brookies will be there. Mountain brooks and slow-moving streams near farmlands are my personal favorite places to fish for brook trout. Try to find deeper pools, undercut banks, small beaver dams, or submerged wood. All of these areas provide great cover for brookies. ><> TIPS Worm containers that attach to your belt make bait readily available and are well worth the few dollars they cost. Speaking of worms, you can get them using a spade shovel in fertile soil or at bait shops and convenience stores throughout the state. (Ed. note: Please dispose of worm containers in a proper trash receptacle, not at the edge of our beautiful waters!) The soil on the outskirts of a garden is a great spot to look for worms. Brook trout are used to feeding on very small insects and worms. It's better to use smaller worms (dillies or trout worms). Night crawlers are usually a little too big. Prepared hook assemblies with red beads and spinners can also be effective.  If you don't have a creel basket to hold your catch, use plastic shopping bags. I like to tie a shopping bag to my belt loop. If you're going to be walking through thick areas, use two bags -- in case the outer bag tears. Put moistened ferns in the bag to keep your catch damp.  Don't stay home because the water is high. Some of the best fishing can occur right after a thunderstorm. The pulse of rain flushes food into the stream, making the fish feed aggressively. The cloudy water after a storm also helps to disguise your line.  Brook trout are very aware of their surroundings. If spooked, brookies will stop looking for food and seek out cover for protection. When walking along streambanks, try to be as stealthy as possible. The vibrations of a person stomping around could alarm the fish. Stay low and wear dark clothing. A big white t-shirt passing by can be easily seen by a brookie.  Be prepared for a quick bite. I tend to fish pools very quickly but persistently, not staying longer than a few minutes if I don't get a bite. In most cases brookies in small streams will hit quickly. If you're lucky, you might get a second chance if the first hit is missed. Brookies can be "smartened" very quickly -- if the fish senses something wrong with the bait, it most likely won't bite again.  Get out there while you can. Believe it or not, it it's almost August and the leaves will start to change color soon -- and it will be time to tune up the ice fishing gear! ><> WANT TO LEND A HAND? Brook trout populations have declined, especially in the southern Appalachian Mountains, where rural landscapes have become more urban. There are many efforts to protect and restore brook trout habitat. The largest project to date is the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, which aims to document, protect, and restore brook trout populations throughout their entire range on the east coast. If you are interested in helping protect brook trout habitat, contact your local chapter of Trout Unlimited (www.tu.org), a nonprofit organization that works to protect trout and salmon fishing throughout the U.S. Joining a chapter is a great way to access the experience and local knowledge of a group of people who are passionate about trout fishing. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- JULY 20, 2006 In the dog days of summer, break out the hot dogs! This advice and more for Southwest-region anglers, from Travis Drudi and Gabe Gries of Fish and Game's Region 4 office in Keene. Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. It's easy to bring a friend along, too -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ________________________________ HOT DOGGIN' FOR POUT AT NIGHT By Travis Drudi, Fisheries Seasonal and Gabe Gries, Fisheries Biologist -- Region 4 (Keene) Poutin' at night doesn't just have to be about the horned pout. Bass and sunfish (as well as the occasional untargeted snapping turtle) can also be caught while fishing from shore at night. Recent outings on Lake Monomonac in Rindge have resulted in this mixed bag of quality horned pout, 3 bass (two of the biggest weighing 3 lbs. and another 5 lbs.), along with a few sunfish and a snapping turtle of approximately 15 lbs. Using 10 lb. test mono and 2/0 extra-wide gap hooks baited with a good-sized piece of hot dog works well. To get the piece of hot dog to stay on, hook it through the side, turn the hook and put it through one of the ends. A floodlight over the water helps to attract small fish, which in turn brings in the bigger ones. Trout fishing on Laurel Lake (Fitzwilliam) is still amazing. Browns and rainbows in the 18-20 inch range are still being caught even though it is mid-July. These are some gorgeous fish! Trolling flies of your choice with wire or lead core line in about 20-25 ft. of water is working well. Being on the water early or at dusk is key. This time of year, bass action can be fast or slow depending on what time you are on the water. When the largemouth seem to be sluggish, try flipping a jig-and-pig or a weighted wooly hawg into pads and thick cover. Highland Lake (Stoddard), the Connecticut River, Thorndike Pond (Jaffrey), Harrisville Pond (Harrisville), Child's Bog (Harrisville) and Lake Warren (Alstead) have all been producing some nice bass. The old Greez technique of using a worm and bobber can provide some good action as well -- for kids and adults alike. For some fun smallie fishing, throw a topwater lure early or late in the day in 5-10 feet of water. A Senko worked very fast over the surface has caught the attention of some big smallies for me in the past. A tube bait should be kept handy as a backup in case the fish misses your topwater offering. If you have not fished for lunker largemouth at nighttime, you should definitely try it. When the moon is out, throw a black jitterbug or an oversized black Senko around docks, isolated weed patches or close to shore. The hot and humid days of July are the perfect time to go jigging for lake trout. We know that one normally thinks of this as a wintertime activity, but it can lead to high catch rates during summer as well. Suggested locations in Southwestern NH include Nubanusit Lake (Hancock) and Silver Lake (Harrisville). Slowly maneuver around the lake and use your fish finder to look for sudden changes in depth, such as slopes right off shore and deep holes. The lakers should be in these areas, although sometimes they will be resting right on the bottom and won't show up on your fish finder. When you find one of these areas, shut off the motor and drift slowly while jigging right off the bottom. You want a 6-7 foot rod spooled with 10+ lb test line. It is always good to use a 3-4 foot leader of fluorocarbon line. Common lures to use are Hopkins Shorty Spoons and Castmasters. A lure from 1/4 to 3/4 ounces works well on most sizes of fish. If the fish aren't cooperating, try to vary your presentation. Do you need to pound the bottom with the jig to stir up the mud, tip the lure with some cut bait, reel up quickly from time to time to entice them to bite? Half the fun is figuring out what they want on a particular day. We hope you enjoy fishing this year in the Monadnock/Upper Valley Region, and don't forget to take a kid fishing anytime you can. We are always happy to talk to you about fish and fishing so please contact us at Region 4 (603-352-9669; reg4@nhfgd.org) if you have any questions. For a list of popular waterbodies to fish for by species, see Suggested Fishing Locations for the Monadnock Region/Southwest N.H at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast/Locations_Southwest.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- July 13, 2006 This week's glowing report from fisheries biologist Don Miller says that lakes, ponds and rivers in the Lakes Region are all delivering outstanding summer fishing. Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And now it's easy to bring a friend along -- New Hampshire residents can buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> LAKES ALIVE! By Don Miller, fisheries biologist, Region 2/New Hampton It's mid-July and summer is here in full force! Thunderstorms before 9:00 a.m. with frequent lightning and hail? We got it in the Lakes Region! Our topsy-turvy year continues to bring weather extremes. Lake Winnipesaukee is finally down to "full pool"... for how long is anybody's guess! Lake trout and salmon fishermen have seen those fisheries picking up recently, as the thermocline has "set up" and fish have found their comfort zone. Lake trout are being caught on the usual Suttons, Mooselooks and DB Smelt spoons, and the unusual, vertical jigging of soft-plastic jigs. You can find lake trout concentrated in the deeper basins this time of year (70 - 100 feet deep), and they will often show some interest in a jig, if worked subtly over their position. Try this during calm-water times! Landlocked salmon have been taken 25 - 45 feet down on downriggers and lead-core lines. There are a myriad of colors associated with the popular spoons (Top-Gun, DB Smelt, Mooselook and Needlefish, for example) -- the options are endless. A friend of mine reported a 22" rainbow trout caught in Lake Winnisquam recently -- it weighed close to 4 pounds! Lead-core line, 41/2 colors, and a fluorescent red/orange Mooselook were the downfall of this trout. Also in the Lakes Region, we have experienced tremendous river fisheries this spring and early summer (in between flood events). In downtown Laconia, at Avery Dam, anglers have been treated to landlocked salmon and rainbows in the Winnipesaukee River. River flows in excess of 2500 cfs (cubic feet per second) have brought fish down from Lake Winnipesaukee, and up from Lake Winnisquam, since last fall, when all the floods began. It's great to see anglers enjoying an asset like the Winnipesaukee River in such an urban setting. It reminds me of the scenes in the 1960s and '70s when anglers flocked to these areas. Now is the time to try the rivers. The Pemigewasset River is a wonderful fishery, all the way from Lincoln/Woodstock/Thornton (brook and rainbow trout), to Boscawen (bass and pickerel). In between, there are miles of riffles, pools and slack water that have any combination of species present at this time of year. The Swift and Saco rivers up in the White Mountains are great summer fisheries with their cool waters. To find the best fishing, try bushwhacking through the woods. Remote trout ponds are fishing well now. Mayfly hatches are at or near peak in these waters -- any fisherman will tell you that trout go on a feeding-frenzy blitz when these hatches occur. With our wet year, water levels in these ponds are excellent. Call us at Region 2 or drop an e-mail for select waters! Finally, I've had a blast bass-popping at dusk with my lab these past few days on Lake Winnisquam! It's low-tech fishing: canoe, paddle, dog, fly rod, me. Rocky shoals and sand flats have some nice smallmouth bass cruising in those special hours at or near dusk. For me, it's a perfect way to unwind, catch some nice bass, and talk to someone who always gives you her complete attention! Get out and enjoy all that water! Don Miller can be contacted at NHFG Region 2 (603) 744-5470 or dmiller@nhfgd.org. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- July 6, 2006 In this week's report, marine biologist Kevin Sullivan chums the Fishing Report waters with lively talk of outsized coastal catches. Been to the beach lately? Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Introduce a friend to the pleasures of angling -- New Hampshire residents can now buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ATTACK OF THE WHITE-BELLIES! By Kevin Sullivan, marine biologist, Region 3/Durham In recent weeks, saltwater anglers frequenting New Hampshire's seacoast have reported some excellent catches of everything from deepwater Atlantic cod to striped bass in the shallows of the Great Bay. If you have had a chance to read the daily fishing reports from some of the headboat captains in Hampton recently, you might have realized an unusual occurrence. Many of the trips departing from Hampton that usually set sail at 8 a.m for a two-hour, approximately 27-mile steam out to Jeffrey's Ledge in search of offshore Atlantic cod and haddock have instead been traveling only 9 miles from shore or less! These trips to a location known to fishermen as "Whaleback," just south of Hampton, have been producing catches of Atlantic cod that are much larger in size than the average fish. Many fisherman refer to these abnormally large migratory Atlantic cod as "White-bellies." I myself had the opportunity to ride one of these trips for a creel survey conducted by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, and on this trip (which took less than 20 minutes of travel time) I watched as anglers brought one cod after another onto the boat, with almost all of them tipping the scales at 20+ lbs. In fact, there were more than a few fish that our hand scales couldn't handle, but the crew's scale had them weighing in the high 50-pound range. One angler, 16-year-old Tiffany Duguay of Madison, NH, took part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and landed a 50-lb. cod in early June (see the online version of this report for a photo -- http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_reports.htm). Tiffany and her family are sending an application to the International Game Fish Association, because they believe it may be a world record for a junior female angler. Although the action seems to be cooling off now, it would probably be worth your while to hop aboard one of these charter or party boat trips, or at least mark this time of year on your calendar for 2007! Bait fishing, which is fishing for Atlantic mackerel and "harbor pollock" to use as striper bait, has been the frustration of many anglers this season. Baitfish have been hard to find at times, particularly in early June, most likely because of the freshwater runoff from May's storms. However, the good news is that in the past two weeks anglers have began filling up their live wells with pollock effortlessly in less than half an hour -- and if they are willing to make the trip out to the Isles of Shoals, they can add some Atlantic mackerel as well. Fishing for both of these fish is relatively simple, but the most important point to remember is CHUM! You need to excite the school of fish into a feeding frenzy, so keep chumming cut-up herring or old bait (I have always said that the worse it smells, the more the fish like it). While chumming, use a 1/2 or 1/3-ounce diamond jig about 20-25 feet down, and be ready for the strikes. Pollock are usually found a little closer to the bottom than mackerel, so a good rule of thumb is drop your jig to the bottom and then reel up one or two turns. The striped bass anglers are once again out in force this year, and from the information collected from our daily creel surveys seem to be finding the fish with ease. Most anglers participating in the voluntary surveys have reported large catches of "schoolies" (sub-legal sized striped bass) in the Piscataqua River and Great Bay areas. Some of the bigger fish that have been caught this year were landed near the Isles of Shoals, more specifically near White and Star Islands. At times this season it has been difficult to catch live bait (pollock and mackerel) so many anglers have settled for drifting cut bait, usually herring or Atlantic mackerel. Don't forget lures, either -- I spent most of a day fishing live bait this past week with no success, but the first cast of an 8" Rapala Shadrap into a tidal eddy in the Great Bay resulted in a 24" striped bass. The true measure of a good striped bass angler is his ability to adapt to the fish. Don't limit yourself to one type of fishing in a trip, try one rod with bait and another with a floating lure. Or, if you have the opportunity to fish from a boat, try trolling some midwater lures near Goat Island or Adam's Point in the Great Bay. But make sure you have that steel leader on there, because a bluefish won't give a second thought to taking that $12 lure with him. Whatever type of fishing you choose, there is an opportunity for everybody in the coastal waters of New Hampshire... but summer will be gone before you know it and those fish will be heading south, so get out there and fish. Good luck! ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT - June 29, 2006 Sincerest apologies from your Fishing Report editor for this edition being a day late, and many thanks to those who called with a friendly reminder! This week, seasonal fisheries tech Christina Corrigan weighs in with some thoughts on recent rains, and recommendations for your next North Country fishing trip. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Introduce a friend to the pleasures of angling -- New Hampshire residents can now buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> HOW HAS THE RAIN AFFECTED FISHING IN THE NORTH COUNTRY? By Christina Corrigan, Inland Fisheries Seasonal Technician Region 1 Heavy rainfall has left the North Country dark and on the verge of flooding for the better part of early summer. Rivers have been swollen to maximum capacity more often than not, causing some anglers to become discouraged even in areas that are normally plentiful. The fast currents and amount of debris that have been bombarding the entire Northeast has left fish scattered. Recent fishing trips to the Dead Diamond River, north of Errol, have been challenging. Looking back at the spots where brook trout usually were holding gave little insight to their whereabouts so far this summer. Water currents have made it hard to use flies because of the turbulent topwater. Those using bait struggled to find the right weight that would allow the line to sink before it was carried out of sight. Even some experienced lifelong fishermen came back empty-handed. On the few days of sun that we've had, fishing has been slightly better. Water temperatures skyrocketed, though, when we had two or more days of continuous sun. Fluctuations range from 13 degrees Celsius (55 F) to as high as 21 degrees Celsius (70 F) depending on the rain and sun. The higher temperatures cause the fish to stay deeper and lower in the rivers, making it harder to reach them with flies. When the water is cooler it is usually due to the heavy rain, which means the currents are usually pretty swift. When I finally landed a few trout in these tough conditions, there was a great sense of accomplishment. For those that are adventurous, these rainy days that plague us are actually good days to spend on a lake or pond. Fish like trout prefer the cooler temperatures and are apt to be less skittish. In the earlier part of the month, I fished Forest Lake in Whitefield and found it very good. The lack of sunshine and continuous rain does have a silver lining: decreased traffic from swimmers and other recreationists has left the fish comfortable and hungry. Lake Umbagog is always a good summer destination -- last week, I found the fishing to be really good there. Both lakes are good places to catch bass and great spots for a leisurely ride on a pontoon boat, or a paddle in your canoe or kayak. Don't forget the binoculars! Hopes for weekend sunshine are optimistic. For those who are looking for a relaxing fishing trip this Fourth of July weekend, I recommend caution around the high waters -- but I encourage you to take advantage of low water temperatures which create angling opportunities not normally found in July. I've heard of great catches in Profile Lake, Franconia and Clarksville Pond, Clarksville. A happy and safe holiday to all you fish junkies out there. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT - June 22, 2006 This week, some offbeat species recommendations and special tips for catching each kind, from Ben Nugent and Matt Carpenter of the fisheries division in Concord. Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Introduce a friend to the pleasures of angling -- New Hampshire residents can now buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> HAZY, HOT, HUMID, AND THE FISH ARE HUNGRY! By Ben Nugent, fisheries biological technician, and Matt Carpenter, fisheries biologist Summer appears to have instantly arrived earlier this week, with dreary days of steady rain replaced by sunny skies and near-record-breaking temperatures. There's no better place to cool off than in a fishing boat or under a forest canopy near a river or stream. When most people think of fishing, the usual species come to mind. Trout, salmon, and bass are the most common game species sought after in New Hampshire, but they're not the only players. In fact, we have more than 20 different species of sport fish in the Granite State. Matching wits with some of the nontraditional game fish can be just as rewarding and challenging, if not more. To find recommended areas for all fish species in New Hampshire, visit the suggested fishing locations at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm.  ><> CARP If you want to catch a big fish and you don't have time to go to the ocean, try carp fishing. The Merrimack River is loaded with carp, as we found out during the floods this spring. We got calls from people reporting carp trapped in golf courses and lawns as the floodwaters receded. An angler recently reported seeing schools of large carp while snorkeling near Sewalls Falls in Concord. The common carp is native to Asia. It was introduced to New Hampshire in the late 1800s. In addition to the Merrimack River, it can also be found in the Connecticut River and Mascoma Lake. Reaching sizes up to 60 pounds, the carp is known for its tremendous fighting ability. Because it is considered an invasive species in New Hampshire waters, there are no restrictions on carp fishing. You can even get carp with a bow and arrow. The simplest way to get started is with a can of sweet corn or specially made dough baits, 8 to 12 pound test line, a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce sliding casting sinker, and a size 4 to 8 hook. Bait the hook, leaving the point exposed. Carp are very particular about how their food feels. If they feel any tension, they will immediately drop the bait. To avoid this, use a swivel to hold the sinker at least 12 inches away from the hook. Excess corn or bait can be used as chum. Carp are bottom feeders with relatively small, soft mouths, so the bite can be subtle. Waiting for a bite takes patience, but once you get one, hold on! ><> CHAIN PICKEREL The chain pickerel, like other members of the pike family, is a voracious predator. This fish-eating machine can be found in nearly every lake, pond, and slow-moving river in New Hampshire. Pickerel as large as two to three pounds are not that uncommon and provide an impressive fight. The state record is eight pounds! Many people rave about the taste of these fish. Fishing for chain pickerel is simple and not much different than targeting bass. The main key to find pickerel is vegetation. Pickerel will stay motionless and wait for a meal to swim by. The movement of virtually any lure can trigger a pickerel to strike. Casting soft plastics, crank baits, or jerk baits around weed lines is a good bet. Ripping poppers and jitterbugs over lily pads and through pickerelweed can also be deadly. Watching the water boil around a surface lure before a strike is quite a rush. Be sure to have pliers handy when landing this fish to avoid being cut by its teeth.  ><> SUNFISH Fishing for sunfish, like bluegills and pumpkinseeds, is a great way to get young kids interested in fishing. Like chain pickerel, these attractive fish can be found in virtually every lake and pond in New Hampshire. A simple worm on a small hook with a bobber is the classic method. Some people also use small spinning lures or flies. Fish the margins of lakes, ponds, or slow-flowing rivers for the best results. Look for vegetation, submerged logs, boulders, or any underwater structure. The pools just above beaver dams are also worth a try. In the right spot, bites should be frequent enough to hold the interest of even the most easily distracted child. ><> HORNED POUT Fishing for horned pout is a great way to spend a summer evening outside of the house. Only the most basic fishing equipment and a headlamp or lantern is needed to catch these great-tasting fish. Hornpout can be caught from a comfortable chair along shore just as easily as in a boat. These fish are primarily bottom feeders and are commonly found in muddy areas of lakes and ponds. Hooks baited with worms or flavored/scented soft baits with small sinkers laid motionless on the bottom will be productive. A bobber can be useful if you can get a pretty good estimate of the depth of the water. Once the bait has settled to the bottom, reel the slack in until the line is tight. Use a rod holder or stick to keep your rod tip up and keep an eye on your line. The spines of these fish are to be avoided -- therefore, a good pair of pliers is also a necessity for poutn'.  And for the traditionalists. . . ><> QUICK BASS UPDATE The trout and salmon gear has been temporarily put aside to target post-spawning largemouth and smallmouth bass. Recent trips to Squam Lake, Umbagog Lake, Martin Meadow Pond, Winona Lake, Forest Lake, Mirror Lake (Whitefield), and Moore Reservoir have resulted in countless aggressive fish of all sizes. Weightless sinking soft plastics have been deadly. These baits are extremely easy to fish and seem to be irresistible for several species. Water temps in several small lakes and ponds appear to have increased enough to push most of the smallies to their deeper water summer patterns. Plenty of them have been returning to the shallows at dusk to feed, yielding fairly good evening surface action.  ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT - June 15, 2006 This week, a thorough roundup of angling action in the Southwest part of the state, courtesy of Travis Drudi, seasonal fisheries staff. Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Introduce a friend to the pleasures of angling -- New Hampshire residents can now buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> SMALLIES, TROUT AND MORE STILL BITING IN MONADNOCK/UPPER VALLEY REGION By Travis Drudi, Region 4 Fisheries Seasonal With the recent mild temperatures, largemouth and smallmouth bass in the region have for the most part finished spawning in smaller to medium-sized waterbodies. Females will now be found in deeper water from 10-15 feet deep and good action for males can be had in shallow water now that they are hungry after guarding the nests. (Ed. note: check out the online version of this report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_reports.htm for a picture of Travis's latest haul!) If you want to find those female smallmouths, try using tube baits or soft-plastic stick baits in deeper water adjacent to bedding areas. If you prefer hefty largemouth, weighted worms or large lizards in dark green or junebug colors are reliable choices in the ponds and lakes with darker water in the region. Large tube baits in green and crawfish colors also work well for largemouth in clearer waters. If you are looking for ponds with large quantities of smaller bass, Halfmoon Pond (Hancock), Otter Lake (Greenfield), and Laurel Lake (Fitzwilliam) should provide fast action. These are good ponds to visit if you want to introduce a friend or family member to bass fishing. Although the fishing is slower, recent trips to Sip Pond (Fitzwilliam), Sportsman Pond (Fitzwilliam), Hubbard Pond (Rindge), and Lake Monomonac (Rindge) have resulted in some nice largemouth from 3 lbs. up to 6 1/2 lbs. For the experienced smallmouth angler, large specimens can be found in many of the designated trout ponds in the area. Spoonwood Pond (Nelson), Swanzey Lake (Swanzey), Stone Pond (Marlborough), and Gilmore Pond (Jaffrey) are just a few examples. Putting your time in, drifting crawfish along the bottom or using imitations such as tube baits can produce some real trophies. Don't forget -- the catch-and-release-only season for smallmouth and largemouth bass ends at the end of the day today (June 15). From June 16 to 30, the bag limit for bass is 2 fish daily. The bag limit returns to 5 fish for July 1 through October 15. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> TROUT ACTION TOO! Some good trout action can be had right now at a number of waterbodies. Laurel Lake (Fitzwilliam) is full of trout and some holdovers from last spring and fall's stockings (up to 18 inches) are still being caught. The best time to fish for trout in ponds right now is early in the morning and late in the evening. Trolling silver spinners on fluorocarbon or using sinking flyline behind the boat is producing trout in Laurel Lake and others. Some nice brook trout are being caught in Stone Pond (Marlborough) -- this is a great place to introduce youngsters to trout fishing. If you prefer river fishing for trout, the Contoocook River in Jaffrey/Peterborough has produced some colorful brook trout, browns, and rainbows in the 10-13 inch range. The Gridley River (Sharon) provides fun, fast action for 6-inch brookies eager to take your fly or small spinner (an ultra light rod and 4 lb. test is recommended). The South Branch of the Ashuelot River (Troy) is stocked with some nice browns, with the occasional brook trout being caught, and is a fly-fishing only section. The browns stocked in this stretch have been found to hold over through the summer and into fall. You do not have to travel up north to experience remote fishing, as there are several remote ponds in the Southwest region of New Hampshire that offer brook trout fishing and bass fishing. For brook trout, Lily Pond and Caldwell Pond (both in Alstead) offer an opportunity to have the trout all to yourself. Shattuck Pond (Francestown) is difficult to access, as it requires both a capable 4WD vehicle or hike-in and a boat, but it offers great largemouth bass fishing with an abundant population. For the locations of these remote ponds, check your NH Atlas and Gazetteer or an online map service like TopoZone.com, or contact Fish and Game's Keene office at 603-352-9669. Fishing for panfish is still good in the Connecticut River setbacks and coves. Black crappies are still hanging out close to shore and should be just about finished with spawning by now. Bluegills and pumpkinseeds are currently laying eggs and guarding the nests. These can provide some great action for kids. There have also been reports of some nice white perch and hornpout caught in the Hinsdale area. Also, don't give up on walleye fishing yet. Some nice fish are being caught at the mouths of tributaries to the Connecticut River such as the Cold River, Little Sugar River, and the Ashuelot River. We hope you enjoy fishing this year in the Monadnock/Upper Valley Region and don't forget to take a kid fishing any time you can. We are always happy to talk to you about fish and fishing, so please contact us at Region 4 (603-352-9669; reg4@nhfgd.org) if you have any questions.  For a list of popular waterbodies to fish for by species, please consult the Suggested Fishing Locations for the Monadnock Region/Southwest N.H. at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast/Locations_Southwest.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT - June 8, 2006 Avid angler Mark Beauchesne is back this week with tales from his recent adventures on NH waters. Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Introduce a friend to the pleasures of angling -- New Hampshire residents can now buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. SPECIAL OFFER for FISHING REPORT READERS! For a limited time, subscribe to NH Wildlife Journal magazine for ONLY $10! You'll get a full year (6 issues) of stunning wildlife photography, stories about fish and wildlife, and plenty of wild places and practical tips to help you plan your next adventure. Look at sample articles or print an order form at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Shop/order_form_WJmag_special.htm. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> I'M FISHIN' IN THE RAIN, JUST FISHIN' IN THE RAIN... By Mark Beauchesne, Advertising & Promotions Coordinator Looking back at May, we sure had our up and downs -- with the water level, that is. Lower-than-normal conditions at the start the month provided some outstanding stream and river fishing for trout. The condition factor of the trout coming from our hatcheries was great, with tons of healthy trout out there for the catching. I received several reports about the "really nice" trout my friends were catching. When the floods came, I received many calls from people concerned for the fish. Well, trout deal very well with fast-moving water; they instinctively know where to find calmer waters to wait out the flood. Now, the flooding did help disperse the fish. This is a good thing! We should have some great summer river fishing. Plans are in the making to wade in shorts and old sneakers. I'm going to explore the river like I did when I was twelve! Our trout ponds are in great shape also. A recent trip to Willard Pond in Antrim produced several fish for us. Willard is a classic trout pond, with no shoreline development at all -- just woods and water. This bass fisher even managed to land a nice brook trout on a nymph stripped slowly over rocks. I was surprised by the power of this fish, which I released to be shared with the next angler. Pre-spawn bass fishing was right on track also. Unfortunately I only made it out four times for the "jerk bait" season. But, I made up for it by going on a two-day pike-fishing trip. (A big thanks to Al VanDooren of Andover, Mass., who put us up at his "camp" in Orford for two nights. Al's french fries were just one of the many highlights. Al and I met several years back on the Connecticut River. I was about to take a dip in the river when Al stopped by to chat. He was catching pike but was losing lures to their teeth. I shared some wire with him and our friendship grew. That's how it is with anglers -- don't you meet the greatest people fishing?) Our two-day trip was absolutely perfect. We focused on the larger backwaters of the Connecticut River. The weather and water temps were ideal -- with water in the low to mid 60s. Fishing with me was my good friend "the Iceman" John Viar. Our mission was big post-spawn pike. John was loaded for bear, with big minnow baits and huge inline spinners. John hooked up first on day one, pulling an average-sized pike out of new weed growth. Shortly after releasing the fish John hooked up again, bringing a nice 20-inch walleye to the boat. You guessed it -- into the live well it went. John and I love a good fish fry. I made long casts all day with my favorite fly. Two strips and wham! I'm hooked up. The fish streaked along the bank, pulling drag like a big fish does. Oh, that wonderful sound. Several runs later I brought the fish to hand: 29 inches on the tape. What a way to start the season off! The rest of day one was filled with more pike and giant -- I mean GIANT -- smallmouth bass. I had no clue there were three-pound-plus smallies in the Connecticut. Day two was just as productive on this amazing river. As we neared the end of our trip we decided to make one more pass down the shore that had been the most productive. A long cast to the bank, one strip, and I'm hooked up. I saw the pike, and then I saw how huge it was. The fish made for deeper water, turning the boat around like a toy. This fish was huge, powerful and in control. With the help of the Iceman we landed the pike. My best ever! 33 inches and on the fly to boot! So, you ask, where is the photo? Well, all of our great pike fishing -- including my monster -- was caught on tape. We were shooting a segment for the Wildlife Journal TV show (see http://www.wildlifejournal.tv for listings). You have a choice: Go pike fishing and experience it yourself -- or wait until the show airs next fall. Work, home and rain dominated most of the remaining days of the month. June is another story. We started the month off on Lake Massabesic in Manchester. I forget just how special the lake is. Right in the middle of New Hampshire's largest city is this piece of heaven. We had a fine time catching bass on topwater baits. This lake also has some great panfish, and rainbows too. With the weather pattern we're stuck in, you have no choice but to fish in the rain. This IS an advantage. First off, there is very little boat traffic; and the fish tend to be less wary in the rain. Personally, if I could pick a preferred day to go fishing it would be a warm, rainy day. This was the case last Friday, with light rain and air temps in the mid-60s. I had plans to meet two guys in Wolfeboro at 7:30. Well, they were late. I have this 30-minute rule, and after that I go fishing by myself. At 7:59, they show up! With a minute to spare, these two Beantown boys were raring to go fishing. The trick to having fun and being comfortable in the rain is to invest in good rain gear. We were on Lake Winnipesaukee by 8:05. Floating soft plastic minnow baits were the hot lure. We fished the deeper water, about 8-15 feet, adjacent to shallow rocky flats. Most of the fish hit when the bait was still. Most of the strikes were very aggressive. By lunchtime, we boated several fish and missed twice as many. Throughout the trip, we encountered giant schools of white perch. Was I ready to fish for them? No, but I sure did enjoy watching them. At one point I was looking at what I thought was the bottom of the lake -- until all the black spots moved in unison. We fished all day in the rain. There was very little boat traffic to speak of -- just two bass boats, marine patrol and the Mount Washington. The most important thing that came out this trip for my Boston buddies was that you do need to be in shape to fish. I hope those two have recovered. There is only one way to get in fishing shape. Go Fishing! --Mark P.S. It's the time of year when outdoorspeople want to keep the bug dope handy! We encourage you to protect yourself and your kids from insect bites. It's mostly for comfort, but there are a couple of extremely rare mosquito-borne diseases -- West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis -- you may have seen in the news. For information, visit http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/DHHS/CDCS/West+Nile+Virus/default.htm ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT - June 1, 2006 In today's report, fisheries biologist John Viar offers his timing and tackle tips for your next heart-pounding "bull" bluegill battle! FREE FISHING DAY -- Don't forget: This Saturday, June 3, is your once-a-year chance to take a new fishing buddy out on the water without a license. Enjoy the day! Info at: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2006/News_2006_Q2/Free_Fish_Day_051206.htm SPECIAL OFFER for FISHING REPORT READERS! For a limited time, subscribe to NH Wildlife Journal magazine for ONLY $10! You'll get a full year (6 issues) of stunning wildlife photography, stories about fish and wildlife, and plenty of wild places and practical tips to help you plan your next adventure. Look at sample articles or print an order form at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Shop/order_form_WJmag_special.htm. Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Introduce a friend to the pleasures of angling -- New Hampshire residents can now buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ACCESS UPDATE The following boat ramps, which had been closed because of flood damage, are now OPEN: Pleasant Lake - Deerfield Pawtuckaway Lake - Nottingham Fundy Cove Gorham Pond - Dunbarton Newfound Lake - Wellington State Park - Newfound These access sites are still CLOSED: Merrimack River - Lambert Park, Hooksett Merrimack River - County Complex, Boscawen Knights Meadow Marsh WMA - Webster (access road damage) Woodman Marsh WMA - Northfield (access road damage) ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS By John A. Viar, fisheries biologist, Region 2/New Hampton It doesn't only take place on some cobble street in Spain, but right in your own backyard, in the nearest waterbody you can probably throw a stone to. These bulls don't have horns and aren't likely to run you down in a narrow gauntlet, but they are every bit as feisty and remarkably strong for their size. In this case, the bulls are of the finned variety, "bull" being the term applied to an oversized male bluegill. They are aptly nicknamed because in specimens over 9-10 inches long, the males sometimes develop a hump in the forehead area -- hence a bull-like appearance (see photo in online version of this report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_reports.htm). Bluegills are members of the sunfish family (along with their cousins large and smallmouth bass, common sunfish/pumpkinseed, black crappie, and redbreast sunfish, to name a few) and can be found in many waterbodies statewide, particularly in central and southern areas. From small farm ponds to river backwaters and oxbows, to bays of large lakes, the adaptable bluegill is quite at home. In mid to late spring and early summer, depending on the particular size of and location within the waterbody, the "running of the bulls" begins in earnest with bluegill feeding heavily in preparation for spawning, which occurs when water temperatures approach 70 degrees F. An extremely popular species in much of the country, notably the Midwest, bluegill (and other panfish such as pumpkinseed, black crappie, and yellow perch) are finally catching on, pun intended, in the Northeast. If you are looking to introduce youngsters to fishing, the above species are the ticket -- relatively fast action is typically the rule, and they are eager and willing biters. And they don't call them "panfish" for nothing! Crispy deep-fried chunks of the above species will make your mouth water. But don't be fooled, by no means should bluegill or other panfish species only be considered beginners' quarry; indeed, an honest 10+ inch bluegill is a trophy in our neck of the woods -- a fish 10-12 years in the making, every bit as noteworthy as a 7-pound largemouth bass. When targeting this species, as much strategy and cunning is needed as with any other gamefish, which you will note when trying to catch quality-sized individuals on a consistent basis. On that note, at this time of year, the best place to find them is on inside edges of new weed growth, particularly near areas with a bit more sand/gravel substrate, where the bulls will prepare nests in colonies. As the summer moves on, the deep edge of weed lines and isolated rocky humps in as deep as 8-15 feet of water will produce the biggest bulls. A variety of methods will take bluegill, but in general, their small mouths limit prey items to the diminutive side - invertebrates such as aquatic insect larvae and small crayfish are favorites. Everything from the casual worm on a bobber to painstakingly finessed micro-sized tube jigs will work wonders, but again, to consistently catch larger individuals is challenging and will demand the best presentation for the conditions/time of year/time of day/host of other variables that make all fishing an enjoyable puzzle that is never quite solved. One of my favorite ways to catch big 'gills is with a 3-weight fly rod and mini-popping bug; add a "Hex" hatch on a calm early-summer evening and you are in for the time of your life. The hatch of this calorie-packed gargantuan burrowing mayfly brings up some of the biggest bluegills (as well as other species) you could ever imagine. Hook a 10+ inch bluegill on your 3-weight fly or 2-4 lbs. ultralight spinning outfit, and you're in for a treat that you will not soon forget. Bluegill use their dish-shaped body to their advantage while battling, and if your tackle is properly matched, they will fight every bit as hard as anything out there -- even the mighty smallmouth bass on similar tackle. Watch for the "running of the bulls" in a waterbody near you. Try it and you just might be surprised -- and hooked. Multi-species fishing will broaden your horizons, as well as help you to better understand your primary species of pursuit. Don't forget to bring the kids along, your own or others. Make memories that will last a lifetime -- and fishing partners that could last just as long. And don't forget the old saying, "Big things can come in small packages" -- the mighty bull 'gill proves this time and again. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301 N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT - May 25, 2006 This week, Kevin Sullivan brings news from the New Hampshire seacoast, where groundfishing is great and striper fishing is heating up; plus, a few fishing updates from locations around the state. ***SPECIAL OFFER for FISHING REPORT READERS! For a limited time, subscribe to NH Wildlife Journal magazine for ONLY $10! You'll get a full year (6 issues) of stunning wildlife photography, stories about fish and wildlife, and plenty of wild places and practical tips to help you plan your next adventure. Look at sample articles or print an order form at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Shop/order_form_WJmag_special.htm. Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Introduce a friend to the pleasures of angling -- New Hampshire residents can now buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> CASTING AROUND... Fisheries biologist Don Miller says that recent flooding in the Lakes Region is "just a memory... unless you happen to be standing next to one of the outlets of our large lakes! Extremely high lake levels and the need to drain them has brought fish into these areas like it was the first week of April! Action is fast and furious in these outlet areas. For Winnisquam, try the Winnipesaukee River (both the inlet in Laconia and outlet at Silver Lake/Tilton; and the lower Winnipesaukeee River through Tilton and Franklin). Look for landlocked salmon and rainbows in these waters. For Winnipesaukee, try the Merrymeeting River; and the outlet at Lakeport Dam (where it spills into Opechee Lake) for salmon and rainbows. These two examples don't begin to cover all the opportunities out there. All outlets of the large lakes have the same fisheries available right now!" According to fisheries biologist Gabe Gries, the fishing in the Southwest region of New Hampshire should be good this weekend. "Waters are starting to come down, and as the water clears up a bit, fish will be able to sight feed more easily and should be active. Try some of the deeper pools in rivers and streams for trout." Merrimack River flows are still at near-flood conditions, says anadromous-fisheries biologist Jon Greenwood, with the river being so high and silted that it's unlikely to provide favorable fishing conditions for the special brood stock Atlantic salmon program. Jon says, "According to our friends at the US Army Corps of Engineers, the present river flows will remain at these high conditions for another week, as their flood control projects are full and it will take a week or so before they can drain the excess flood water. Perhaps by next weekend the river will be down for some fishing to occur. It is likely that most of our brood stock salmon released at the end of April have been widely scattered; until we have lower flow conditions, it's unknown as to whether some of the salmon will be available. Water temperatures are unusually low for this time of year, which is good, so fishermen may have some salmon and trout fishing into June." ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> THE RAIN IS GONE AND THE FISHING IS ON AT THE SEACOAST By Kevin Sullivan, marine biologist, Region 3/Durham Despite the rain and flooding, this spring season has gotten off to a great start for the offshore groundfishermen on New Hampshire's seacoast. For those anglers choosing to ride one of New Hampshire's many charter or "head" boats -- or with their own boat large enough to make the 20-30 mile trip out to Jeffrey's Ledge -- the rewards can be great. During our head boat monitoring trips for the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey (MRFSS), and in interviews with anglers at local boat ramps and marinas, we have observed daily haddock catches of 15 or more fish per person. Some of these haddock are weighing in at over 6 pounds, but most are in the 3- to 5-lb. range. As usual, the haddock dominate the catches on most days, but usually one or two large cod are taken. I myself have already weighed a few Atlantic cod that tipped the scales over 12 pounds, and am seeing more Atlantic wolffish than in recent years, including one that weighed 13 lbs. and another that we were unable to weigh, but that would have easily been 18 lbs. For those anglers that prefer to stay on or at least in sight of land, the striped bass fishing has begun. As mentioned before, Fish and Game staff are always combing the beaches, boat ramps and marinas in search of saltwater anglers to interview and obtain information about their daily fishing trips. We've spoken with anglers who have already reported catching "schoolie" striped bass off the beaches and jetties in Hampton and Seabrook, and the "keepers" should be coming any day now. The heavy rains and floods that have displaced many of our state's residents have had a similar effect on striped bass. The high volume of freshwater has likely lowered salinities in the local rivers and harbors, causing striped bass schools to retreat; but don't waste too much time worrying, because they won't be gone for long. Take advantage of the downtime and oil your reels, re-spool your line and organize the tackle box so that when the rains stop you're ready to fish. The N.H. Fish and Game Department's Marine Division is always looking for volunteers to participate in our Striped Bass Volunteer Angler Survey. Participants are provided with logbooks to fill out information about each striper fishing trip they take and record length measurements of all the striped bass they catch. Information collected from the survey is used in the annual coastwide stock assessment for striped bass that is used for management. In addition, each participant's name is entered into a year-end raffle for a framed limited-edition striped bass print that is donated to Fish and Game by the Coastal Conservation Association of New Hampshire. If you would like to participate, please call or e-mail Kevin Sullivan at (603) 868-1095 or ksullivan@nhfgd.org. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> LET'S GO FISHING CLASS OFFERED IN KEENE Know anyone near Keene that wants to get started fishing? Tell them about our free Let's Go Fishing class coming up at the Keene Library (60 Winter Street). The four-part class starts next Wednesday evening, and is a great chance for individuals or families to learn everything they need to know to get started fishing this summer. The class meets from 6-8 p.m. on May 31, June 7 and 14; plus a June 24 field trip from 9 a.m. to noon to test out their new fishing skills. Kids are welcome, but must be at least 8 years old and accompanied by an adult. They'll learn basic techniques for fishing in lakes, ponds and streams, including casting techniques, fish ID, knot tying, care of the catch and outdoor ethics. Get started in a fun pastime the whole family can enjoy! Course is free, but pre-registration is required. To sign up, call (603) 352-0157. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT - May 18, 2006 Andrew Schafermeyer brings news from the Great North Woods, where water levels and temperatures are just right for trout fishing. Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Introduce a friend to the pleasures of angling -- New Hampshire residents can now buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> PLENTY OF WATER, PLENTY OF TROUT By Andrew Schafermeyer, Fisheries Biologist, Region 1/Lancaster Walking into the small convenience stores of Northern New England in May, one can generally predict the conversation. Between sips of coffee, topics will weave in and around the weather, turkey hunting, and fishing. With last week's rainfall, fish and turkey have taken a back seat and the main topic is the recent rain. While many parts of New Hampshire have received record totals, Coos County has experienced only an average spring rain event. Because of a low snow year, our rivers and streams are actually at a normal, healthy level for May. Hatchery trucks started sprinkling trout into northern waterbodies in early-April, which is two weeks earlier than the usual protocol. Water temperatures in our ponds are right around 50 to 55 degrees and current stream levels are perfect for fish and fishermen. In my travels, I have noticed that angling pressure seems to be down a little from last year at this time. Anyone with a basic understanding of math can calculate that more fish and less pressure should equate to some awesome fishing. So, what are you waiting for? Check out the New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing Digest for a list of waterbodies managed as trout ponds. This year, these spots are open to fishing from April 22 to October 15 and the fish have all winter to grow and get comfortable. A lot of big fish get caught before the stocking truck even gets there. Don't miss out on these awesome opportunities. The best time to catch big trout and a lot of trout is right now! Areas in the North Country with this type of management include Mirror Lake in Whitefield and Profile Lake in Franconia. One of the best ways to fish for hatchery fish in a trout pond is by trolling. This approach allows you to explore different depths and speeds. It seems as if hungry fish will hit almost anything. From flies to in-line spinners like Mepps, trout will almost always rise up to hit 'em. Be careful not to fish under them -- and change your speed if you don't find action right away. If the fishing gets slow, try something different. Try tipping a hook with a worm or Power Bait-type product. Remember your childhood and try a bobber and worm -- you may be surprised with the results. If you've ever wanted to try fly-fishing, there is no better place than a trout pond in May. Trolling streamers, or slowly retrieving nymphs and wooly buggers, can usually fool a freshly stocked trout. If you see fish rising, tie on a dry fly and cast it into the middle of the action. Even if you pick up a perch or fallfish, you'll enjoy the fight on a fly rod. Remember, as the summer wears on, trout fishing will get more difficult. Water will get warmer and lower and catch rates will decrease. Right now, in May, fish are the most abundant, temperatures are keeping them comfortable and active, and they haven't seen much pressure. If you take advantage of these early season opportunities, you should be rewarded with a memorable trout fishing experience. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. Weekly Fishing Report - May 11, 2006 The heat is on for New Hampshire anglers, whether you're trolling for salmon, catching bass on a popper, or floating the Merrimack to fish from canoe or kayak. Fisheries experts Ben Nugent and Matt Carpenter tell us the fishing in central New Hampshire is going great guns. Get out and enjoy! Get the latest stocking report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Introduce a friend to the pleasures of angling - New Hampshire residents can now buy a one-day license for just $10. Kids 15 and under fish free anytime. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ____________________________________ MULTI-SPECIES AND MULTI-SPORT FISHING By Ben Nugent, fisheries biological technician; and Matt Carpenter, fisheries biologist Mid- to late spring in New Hampshire can be an exciting time for the state's anglers. Current water temperatures and insect hatches are still providing plenty of surface action for trout and salmon. Northern pike and chain pickerel have already spawned in most parts of New Hampshire and are feeding heavily. White perch are well into spawning mode and the smallmouth and largemouth bass have the pre-spawn feedbag on. Recent reports have indicated monster white perch (up to three pounds) being caught in lakes Winnisquam and Winnipesaukee. Most of our recent fishing trips have involved trolling for landlocked salmon and rainbows in the early morning and then switching over for smallmouths around noontime. Squam Lake is one of our favorite waterbodies to fish with this method. Not only is there a good chance for catching big salmon, rainbows and smallmouths, Squam Lake offers a serene setting that is second to none. Loons, bald eagles, and ospreys can be your fiercest fishing competition. Catch rates for landlocked salmon at Squam Lake aren't as high as Lake Winnipesaukee, but fall netting data and recent reports indicate there are several five-pound-plus fish. At the online version of this report, see a photo of Ben with a landlocked salmon -- 24.5", 5.5 lbs -- he caught out of Big Squam Lake this year. TROLLING TECHNIQUES There are a multitude of different trolling techniques to try for salmon and rainbows. The most important thing to do is experiment. Increased insect activity has given these fish an alternative food source that makes finding an aggressive fish slightly more difficult. A fish finder can be an effective piece of equipment to identify depth contours, structure, and areas with smelt or other baitfish. The type of tackle to use trolling can vary by the hour. Live smelt can be drifted or trolled slowly over or through schooled-up baitfish. Flies and lures trolled at slightly faster speeds and various depths allow you to cover more water faster. Recent effective flies include the Maynard and golden marvels, copper shrimp and various smelt imitations. Hardware such as top guns, db smelt and stick baits can also be very productive. Flies and smelt trolled with a sink-tip fly line have been effective this year. Visit local bait shops to find out what tackle and depths have been working recently. BASS ACTION Smallmouth bass are becoming more active every day as water temperatures rise. Lakes and ponds do not warm evenly; so early in the season look for south-facing points, shallows and rocky areas around islands. Boulders, fallen trees, and overhanging bushes make great cover for bass. Slash baits, crank baits, jigs, and husky jerks with blue or yellow colors, moved slowly, can be effective for early smallmouth action. Since the bass might be a little sluggish this time of year, be sure to watch for fish following your lure right up to the boat. As spring progresses, insects and amphibians become more active. Bass begin looking more to the water surface for prey. This is a great time for top water fishing with poppers. For all those fly fishermen who focus on trout, you might want to try fishing for bass with a popper. Some anglers claim there is nothing better. There's nothing like a three-pound smallie on a five weight! Of course, it is important to remember that bass fishing is catch-and-release-only from May 15 to June 15 -- black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released unharmed at the site of the catch, and ONLY artificial lures and flies may be used. During this period, male smallmouth bass defend their nests from predators. PADDLE AND FISH The upper Merrimack River is an excellent opportunity to combine paddling easy rapids with a great day of fishing. For those of you who associate the Merrimack River with Manchester, you will find the upper section surprisingly scenic. The run from Franklin to Boscawen is a series of alternating riffles and flatwater. Rainbow trout favor the faster water sections. Fishing the areas immediately above and below the riffles may be the most productive. There is also the opportunity to catch brown trout and brood stock salmon in this section of the river. About 700 Atlantic salmon were released into the Merrimack River this spring as part of the Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program. These 2- to 12-pound fish helped provide the approximately 1 million fry (young salmon) that are stocked throughout the Merrimack watershed each spring. If you are lucky enough to hook one of these fish, prepare for the fight of a lifetime! Consult the Appalachian Mountain Club's river paddling guide for Vermont and New Hampshire for a description of the run and suggested access points to put in and take out a canoe or kayak. **************** Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- May 4, 2006 In today's report, fisheries biologists Gabe Gries and Michael Racine report on some nice catches and hot spots in the Southwest region of the Granite State. The fish stocking crews have been getting a serious workout, averaging 30 stocking events each day last week! Get the latest: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. New for 2006 -- one-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! The Brood Stock Atlantic Salmon Expo is this Saturday, May 6. For details, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/lets_go_fishing.htm. We've added a special "Ladies Only" Fly-Fishing Weekend to the schedule for May 20 and 21. See the end of this report for more info! Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> TROUT, PERCH, AND WALLEYE ARE THE CURRENT HOT BITES IN SOUTHWEST NH By Gabe Gries and Michael Racine, Fisheries Biologists, Region 4/Keene Thanks must go out to our hatcheries that have once again produced top-notch trout. Anglers have called and told us they can't believe the incredible colors of the brook trout and the size of the rainbows they are catching this year. Trout stocking got an early start this spring due in part to warmer than normal temps and minimal snow melt. Rain on the first weekend of trout fishing in designated trout ponds (Saturday, April 22) slightly elevated low water levels in lakes and streams. This week's rain helped water levels, too. Trout fishing is off to a fantastic start this year in Southwestern New Hampshire. Most reported trout fishing trips have been successful, whether they have been from ponds or streams. One lucky fisherman caught his limit on Swanzey Lake -- one of which he said "must have been 2 pounds" -- in only one pass around the lake. An 8-lb. brown trout was caught from Frenches Pond (Henniker) this past weekend. Even more impressive is that the last time this water body was stocked with browns was in 2002! That is one hefty holdover. Dublin Lake (Dublin) has started the season strong, producing many 3-fish brook trout limits for shore and boat anglers on opening weekend. One angler reported catching a 20", 4-lb. brook trout. Willard Pond (Antrim; fly fishing only) anglers have been catching lots of trout, including some 18-20" tiger trout that are running close to 3 lbs. Other trout hot spots include the Nissitissit River (Brookline), the Souhegan River and Granite Lake (Stoddard). A special ice fishing creel study was conducted on Laurel Lake (Fitzwilliam) during the past two years. A fall stocking of rainbow trout and brown trout, in addition to the spring stocking, was performed to increase the number of trout available for ice anglers. As expected, results suggested that fewer trout would have been harvested from ice fishing if fall stocking had not occurred. You may be asking: why we are talking about ice fishing in a spring fishing report? Well, we increased the total number of trout stocked in Laurel Lake by more than 700 last fall. Additionally, when winter finally came, the ice didn't last long and ice fishing pressure was down by about one third compared to 2005. So, there should be some nice holdovers left from last fall's stocking. Expect these holdover rainbows to be in the 17-19" range, and browns to be slightly smaller. Black crappie fishing this spring has been slow thus far, but should pick up as water temperatures continue to warm. Trips down to coves and setbacks off the Connecticut River have generally produced anywhere from 3-6 crappies per angler. Not huge catches, but a great way to get a few delicious fillets. ><> NH's BEST-TASTING FISH Everyone has their own opinions about New Hampshire's best-tasting fish. My personal favorite, edging out yellow perch and bullheads, are white perch. With a body shape looking like a cross between a golden shiner and a rock bass, the white perch seems designed to grow good filets. Fish ranging from 6 to 10 inches can be caught with some regularity and provide a generous bounty for the frying pan. A dense schooling fish, white perch can be found in both fresh and salt or brackish water. They prefer muddy substrate and shallow water except for spawning habitat, which is considerably rockier. Any fish over a pound is considered a trophy, but catching them in numbers usually compensates for individual size. Opportunity abounds, as catch rates can be great in open water or through the ice. Look for great white perch fishing in Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam as well as many stretches of the Connecticut River. Other hot spots include Spofford Lake in Chesterfield and Mascoma Lake around Enfield. They can be angled like any omnivorous panfish. Small jigs tipped with worms or grub-tails can be perfect. They can also be taken on small in-line spinners like Mepps or Panther-Martins. ><> HUNGRY WALLEYES Walleye fishing was its typical hit or miss in the Connecticut River as anglers lined the shores hoping for that 8-pounder. (Check out the online version of this report for a picture of a nice 6-pound walleye -- and the guy who hauled it in, Chris Lord of Claremont.) This spring-spawning member of the perch family becomes active in the spring with rising water temperatures. Spawning activity peaked as water temperatures reached the low 40s. Remember, the Connecticut River has a slot limit for walleyes. The rule reads as follows: "No person shall take walleye 16 to 18 inches; the daily limit is 4 fish, of which only 1 can be larger than 18 inches." There was a period of a few days below the Bellows Falls Dam where anglers were catching 15 to 20 walleye per trip. Unfortunately, we missed the hot bite, but a trip for us from shore landed a few keepers (12-15"). On that night, live shiners did better than crawlers, and chartreuse grub on a jig head worked the best. We were glad we got there early to get a spot, as the shoreline filled up fast. Although the walleye spawn is now over, fish are still congregated below Connecticut River dams and the mouths of tributaries -- and they are hungry! Catches will likely be slower than earlier in the season, but the chance to get a big walleye has never been better. We hope you enjoy fishing this year in the Monadnock/Upper Valley Region and don't forget to take a kid fishing anytime you can. We are always happy to talk to you about fish and fishing, so please contact us at Region 4 (603-352-9669; reg4@nhfgd.org) if you have any questions. For a list of popular waterbodies to fish for by species, please consult the Suggested Fishing Locations for the Monadnock Region/Southwest N.H, which can be found at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast/Locations_Southwest.htm. ><> "LADIES ONLY" FLY-FISHING WEEKEND: MAY 20-21, 2006 N.H. Fish and Game Headquarters, Concord, N.H. Fish and Game is sponsoring a "Ladies Only" weekend workshop about fly-fishing, designed specifically for women's learning styles. This program is a no pressure, fun and interactive environment for the first-time fly-fishers. This FREE weekend will cover the basics of how to get started with basic equipment, fly casting, knot tying, essential gear, proper care of equipment, safety and how to find those "hot spots" along New Hampshire's rivers and lakes. Expert instructors with New Hampshire Fish and Game's "Let's Go Fishing" program will prepare you to fly-fish on your own. Participants should bring their own or borrowed equipment. A limited number of rods will be available for casting. Waders are a plus, but not necessary. Please bring your own lunch. Registration is first-come, first-served and limited to 20 women. Go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/lets_go_fishing.htm for a print-and-mail registration form, or call (603) 271-3212 to request a form. No phone, e-mail or fax registrations will be accepted. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 27, 2006 Fishing friends! This week the fishing report brings you a roundup of events and fishing tidbits of interest. Regional reports return next week with a report from the Southwest part of the state. STOCKING: Please note that this week's stocking report has been delayed. We hope to have it posted on Friday -- please check the website tomorrow. FISHING FORECAST: If you haven't had a chance to look yet, check out the new Fishing Forecast at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast.htm. The regional forecasts include lists of suggested waterbodies to try! KIDS... under 16 fish free in New Hampshire. But you knew that, right? Have you invited a youngster fishing lately? SALMON BROOD STOCK: Jon Greenwood says it's been a slow start to the season, with many anglers only just getting out to the river for their first shots at the brood stock salmon. "Only have a few anglers have told me that they have caught a fish, and that has been slow, presumably as water temps are still cool ... the salmon need a little raise in temperature, usually low 50s to 60 degrees is ideal for the salmon to get really active and catchable," Jon says. "The water levels are considered low for this time and should provide excellent wading and shorebank casting. Catch should improve!" In the meantime... BROOD STOCK ATLANTIC SALMON EXPO: Saturday, May 6, 2006, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Fish and Game Headquarters on Hazen Drive in Concord. Free. Workshop for intermediate anglers with some fly-fishing experience; not beginners. No pre-registration necessary, just come! Important note -- a 2006 N.H. fishing license and Atlantic salmon permit are required. Morning session: concurrent workshops on basic equipment and needs, fly-tying patterns for Atlantic salmon, casting instruction and other special programs. Afternoon session: concurrent sessions including on-the-water fly-fishing, reading the water, introduction to rotational fishery, casting demonstrations and tactics for brood stock fishing success. Participants may take part in the morning sessions, the afternoon workshops, or both. Bring your own fishing rods, waders and rain gear. (A limited number of rods and reels will be available to borrow.) Bring your own lunch. Rain or shine event. Sponsored by the N.H. Fish and Game Department and the generous support of Trout Unlimited and fly-fishing outfitter W.S. Hunter. Our thanks to these sponsors! Details: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/lets_go_fishing.htm LET'S GO FISHING - LACONIA! May 2, 9, 17 and 20, 2006, at the Opechee Bath house off North Main Street at Opechee Park. The class consists of three evening classes from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. and one Saturday class to actually go fishing and put your new skills to the test. Presented by Laconia Parks and Recreation and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Learn basic equipment, fish ecology, responsible outdoor behavior, knot tying, fish identification, care of the catch, casting techniques and safety. The class is free of charge, but enrollment is limited; to register, call Laconia Parks & Recreation at (603) 524-5046. LET'S GO FISHING - MOULTONBOROUGH! May 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2006, at the Moultonborough Fire Station. The class consists of three evening classes from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. and one Saturday class to actually go fishing and put your new skills to the test. The course covers basic techniques for freshwater fishing, including how to catch fish, cast and tie knots; how to tell what kind of fish you've caught; and how to care for your catch once you've reeled it in. You'll also learn about fish ecology and angler ethics. Sign up today by calling Will Powers at (603) 476-5631. LICENSES: By now, you probably have your license! In case you don't... remember that you can get your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- and a moose lottery application, if you're so inclined -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. The new $10 one-day license for NH residents is an inexpensive way to introduce a friend to your favorite pastime. DEPTH MAPS: If you haven't seen them yet, it's worth a trip to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/bathy_maps.htm to check out our NH depth maps. We have maps of 150+ waterbodies -- the depth markings will help you figure out where those all-important dropoffs occur. FISH FILLET VIDEO: This is a new one for us --! We took a short (3 minutes) video of Mark Beauchesne showing the easiest technique for filleting a panfish. It's worth a quick watch if you need a fillet refresher. Thanks to Fish and Game media specialist Jason Philippy for preparing the video. Go to the fishing site and click on the image on the right-hand side: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm FISHING RULES HEARING: NH Fish and Game will hold a public hearing on its proposed 2007 fishing rule changes on Tuesday, May 2, 2006, at 6:30 p.m., at Fish and Game headquarters on Hazen Drive in Concord. All are invited to attend and offer their comments. Here are the proposals for 2007: * Eliminate the 15-inch minimum length for rainbow trout in Silver Lake (Harrisville) and Nubanusit Lake (Hancock/Nelson); and from April 1-September 30, increase the combined daily limit for rainbow trout and lake trout taken from these two waters to 4 fish, of which no more than 2 fish may be lake trout; * Open the season for fly-fishing ponds, as well as the section of the Connecticut River from the dam at Second Lake to the logging bridge on the Magalloway Road, to year-round fishing through open water; no ice fishing; and * Clarify the rule on hooks used for the attachment of bait. VOLUNTEERS: Are still needed to help stock Atlantic salmon fry in the Merrimack River Watershed and Northern N.H. For details, see http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2006/News_2006_Q2/Fry_stocking_040506.htm ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 20, 2006 This week, Let's Go Fishing coordinator Mark Beauchesne shares his enthusiasm -- and an enticing crop of early season fish tales to whet your appetite! NEW! The 2006 NH FISHING FORECAST is online. What do the fishing experts say is on tap for your neck of the woods? Check it out at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast.htm The stocking is fast and furious. Fish and Game staff stocked more than 80 sites last week! Fish stocking info: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. This Saturday marks the opener for trout and fly-fishing-only ponds. See http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2006/News_2006_Q2/Trout_Pond_Opener_042006.htm. After a morning on the water, stop by Discover Wild New Hampshire Day at Fish and Game in Concord! It's a great way to celebrate Earth Day. Don't forget to bring the kids: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2006/News_2006_Q2/DWNH_Day_041006.htm Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, anytime -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. New for 2006 -- one-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! This year's Brood Stock Atlantic Salmon Clinic is coming up Saturday, May 6. For details, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/lets_go_fishing.htm. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> YES, THEY CALL IT "FISHING" ... BUT THERE'S PLENTY OF "CATCHING" GOING ON IN NH! By Mark Beauchesne, Let's Go Fishing coordinator After a great ice-fishing season I usually struggle with the transition to open water, but not this year! We had our last ice fishing outing on March 30, and the next day the boat was in the water and we were catching crappies on the Connecticut River. Ice-out on the big lakes came quick this year. I think it caught many folks off guard. The reports coming back to me indicate that the salmon fishing is outstanding. Most of the fish are being caught before 9:00 am. On the big lake the "hot" lure is the D.B. Smelt. Try dressing one of these lures up with a touch of pink down each side -- nail polish or permanent marker will make this lure look even more like the real smelt that are in the lake. Our hatchery folks have been hard at work stocking the area rivers and streams. Over the past week I encountered many anglers enjoying the great river conditions. The Suncook and the Contoocook rivers are just perfect for wading. This is obviously not the normal condition we see in mid-April. Opening day for trout ponds snuck up on me again. Lucky for me, I work in Concord, and there are several ponds just minutes away for me to fish. Hot Hole Pond, Clough Pond, Archery Pond and Stirrup Iron Pond are a few favorites. My early season fishing has been great. Over the past week I fished for pike on the Connecticut River. Now, if you've read my reports before, you know that this is one of my favorite things to do. The rush I get when I hook up with one of these river athletes is indescribable. We had water temps in the 50s -- that was all I needed to know. Guide and good friend Curt Golder joined me for the first pike outing of the season. We had a blast -- we "jumped" three pike, hooked up several largemouth bass, hooked and landed pike on the fly. When selecting early season pike baits and flies, take into consideration the water temperatures. Anything less than 60 degrees, fish a fly or lure that has a slower action. Slow rolled spinner baits and minnow-type baits are a good start. Pike flies should be similar in action. Deceivers and rabbit strip flies are first on my list. Color selection is also very important. Choose a lure or fly that can be seen in the darker springtime water. Pike fishing is a blast! Just writing this has caused my heart to race and my hands to shake uncontrollably. (For more pike info and tackle tips, download my article "In Pursuit of Pike" from NH Wildlife Journal magazine at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife_Journal/WJ_mag.htm) For pure fun and unstoppable fish catching action, you have to go bluegill fishing. Oh, some of you may say, "sunfish are for kids." I say -- you're right! Young kids and big kids like me! Last week I spent just a few hours on Turtle Pond. The result was outstanding. I had the time of my life. The bluegill bite was on -- not the little pesky ones, either. I was onto the "bull gills" -- most of the fish were over 10 inches long and pushing 3/4 of a pound! I used a slip bobber and jig combination. By lunchtime the water had warmed up to 65 degrees. This really turned on the fish. The water condition was calm. I could see the fish finning on the surface. Some of the bluegills were taking insects on the surface. It was pandemonium! As soon as the jig sank, the fish would hit it hard. Now, on a 5 1/2 foot ultra light rod, these big bluegills really test my equipment. What fun I had. Next week I'm going at them with my five-weight fly rod. Get out there and go fishing today. You don't need the entire day, just an hour or two. Now you know they're biting, so go. Great fishing!!!! Mark Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 13, 2006 Fish and Game staff are stocking up a storm, with nearly 80 sites stocked last week! Hatcheries supervisor Bob Fawcett gives us the scoop. Fish stocking info: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. A note from the Great North Woods: Fisheries biologist Andy Schafermeyer reports that, because of the early spring, stocking will begin at least a week early this year. What more reason do you need to toss your gear in the back of the pickup and head to Coos County? VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: More volunteers are needed for stocking salmon fry in the northern parts of the Pemigewasset valley on April 24, 27, and May 2, 3, 8, and 9. Can you help? Call Vikki Leonard at (603) 271-2501. For more information, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2006/News_2006_Q2/Fry_stocking_040506.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. New for 2006 -- one-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. Fish NH and relax... we have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> MORE QUALITY TROUT HERE... STOCKING TRUCKS ARE ROLLING! By Robert Fawcett, Supervisor of Hatcheries New Hampshire Fish and Game's Fish Culturists and Conservation Officers are filling the gaps in the natural production capacity for trout -- with literally 200 to 250 tons of hatchery-raised trout (that's a million+ fish!) ready for stocking into the state's waterbodies. Faithful readers of this fishing report know that water temperature is one of the most important factors for fish. There's not much snow to melt and fill the lakes and streams this year, so low water levels are quickly warming up -- which means that stocking trucks have been rolling for several weeks now. Whether you fish in waters open to fishing year-round or you prefer trout ponds which traditionally open on the fourth Saturday in April (this year, April 22), the Inland Fisheries Division staff have been working to provide you with an excellent angling opportunity. The pre-season stocking of ponds is efficient, because fish and water can be emptied into waterbodies through chutes, with less stress to the fish than having to net the fish a second time (from hatchery pool into stocking truck, then truck into waterbody). A fish culturist's mission is to produce fish of the right species, size and timing to fill the gaps in the natural eco-cycle, to contribute to management goals for a wide variety of users, and restoration of self-sustaining native fish populations. If a waterbody has plenty of natural habitat capacity to meet all phases of a fish species' life cycle, then fish populations are self-sustaining and don't need to be supplemented with hatchery-reared fish. But where there are gaps in that natural habitat capacity, hatchery resources can fill the gap. "Room and board" provided by the hatchery stand in for natural habitat and food organisms. Hatchery staff nurture fish eggs through the fry and fingerling stages, until they're large enough to be released and survive in lakes, ponds and rivers. This helps the cycle complete itself, and allows New Hampshire's fisheries to remain productive. 2006 NH SPRING STOCKING PLAN: * 445,855 brook trout yearlings: 255,025 to streams, 190,830 to lakes and ponds. * 15,615 two-year-old brook trout: 5,740 to streams, 9,875 to lakes and ponds. * 1,760 "three-year-plus" brook trout (surplus brood fish): 630 to streams, 1,130 to lakes and ponds. * 277,440 rainbow trout yearlings: 110,785 to streams, 166,655 to lakes and ponds. * 129,600 brown trout yearlings: 88,940 to streams, 40,660 to lakes and ponds. * 5,000 tiger trout. Tigers are a cross between a brook trout and a brown trout, and have the potential to keep growing to a trophy size if not hooked and cooked at a young age. The brook trout are between 11 and 12 inches, the rainbows are 12 to 14, and the brown trout are between 10 and 11. There will definitely be some nice big rainbow trout surprises in the Southwest region again this year. Look for four-pounders, and maybe even larger, because some of the fish in the pond have evaded the seine for a number of years. Your local hatchery workers do a great job producing and distributing the large put-and-take trout you will have the opportunity to catch this spring. (See the online version of this report for pictures of the crew working on installing a huge sampler vault -- http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_reports.htm.) There's a lot going on behind the scenes to keep New Hampshire's fisheries healthy -- and anglers happy. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 6, 2006 We're back! Welcome to a new season of the NH Weekly Fishing Report. For past reports and all your NH fishing info, visit Fish and Game's fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm. This week, fisheries biologist John Viar kicks off the year with a report from the Lakes Region. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Stocking has begun! Fish stocking information: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish NH! New for 2006 -- one-day licenses for New Hampshire residents are just $10. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE WEATHER... By John A. Viar, Region 2 Fisheries Biologist You know the saying about New England's weather. As I look out the window today (April 4), last week's sunshine and veritable spring heat wave have been promptly replaced by wet snow falling sideways and the mercury struggling to hit 40 degrees F. Springtime in New Hampshire -- it's a wonderful thing. And what better way to celebrate it than to soak it all in (sometimes literally) on your favorite lake, pond, river, or stream. Mother Nature was kind enough to provide the rare treat of huge expanses of open water available for fishing on the April 1 large-lake opener; in fact, one of the four earliest ice-outs ever recorded on Lake Winnipesaukee was officially declared this Monday, April 3. It was clear many had taken advantage of the early opportunities this past Saturday. I could only gaze with wonder at the massive fleet of boats on Lake Winnipesaukee -- kayaks, canoes, aluminum 12-14 footers, center console striper boats, tuna boats (so they appeared), and everything in between - a cornucopia of craft plying the frigid 37-41 degree F waters for a shot at one of the "Big Lake's" famed landlocked salmon. Opening day/weekend results were as mixed bag as the recent weather. While some anglers reported little to no luck at all, others reported nice catches of anywhere from two to a dozen robust landlocked salmon in the 18-21 inch 2.5-3.5 lbs. range, with several in the 4+lbs. range, caught on everything from DB smelt spoons to traditional streamer flies (e.g. Maynard's Marvel), and an early season favorite, live smelt on sliding rigs. Typical for early season, most fish were caught from the surface to about 15 feet down, primarily trolling, with everything from planer board set-ups to simple monofilament flat lines 100-150 feet behind the boat. When the wind kicked in, drifting live smelt in the waves became very effective. The highlight of the past weekend had to be a monster 31 inch 8.5 lbs. landlocked salmon reported from the town docks at Meredith Bay (see photo at the online version of this report - http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_reports.htm); this fish was taken on live smelt by Bill Foren of Warren NH, proving just how effective fishing from shore/docks/bridge areas can be this time of year! Don't be fooled into thinking a boat is needed to catch some nice spring salmon. Also look for hot shore action in the Winnipesaukee River in Laconia, for salmon and rainbows, which dropped down from the lake during last fall's heavy rains. Some nice catches were reported at Lakeport Dam on opening weekend, with nothing more than a modest spincasting rod/reel combo. Although it can be challenging to "pattern" the fish at this time of year, finding warmer water (even a degree or two), windy shorelines, inside turns and bays, shallow flats near deeper water, tributary inlets, and pods of smelt (shallow this time of year as they are running shorelines and tributaries to spawn) are all keys to improving success. Once you find them, keep working the area. You can go from no fish to a half dozen in less than an hour, once you find them and offer a convincing presentation. Another large lake (e.g. Winnipesaukee, Big Squam, Winnisquam, to name a few) early-season opportunity that should not be missed is pre-spawn smallmouth bass fishing. While working several flats for salmon we hooked into some bronze beauties, which reminded me it was also time to get the bass gear out. Some of your biggest smallmouth of the year will come very early in the season, in surprisingly cold water. Work suspending stick baits with long pauses on drop offs near flats/bars warmed by the spring sun and you will not be disappointed. Or if still very cold water temps, try the "float and fly" trick (a quick online search will give you more details). And don't forget, trout stocking trucks are rolling. I have already heard great reports from rivers and streams in the southern tier of the state. Stocking is working its way northward with New Hampton/Lakes Region trucks rolling within the next week or so. Several central NH trout ponds will be stocked and ready for the April 22 Designated Trout Pond opener. I would highly suggest taking the kids to Saltmarsh Pond in Gilford for some early spring stocked-trout action. No matter what conditions Mother Nature throws at you this spring, get out and enjoy some time on the water or at its edge with family and friends. If the weather's looking wet and cold, or the fish aren't biting, remember...just wait a minute...it's soon to change. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 22, 2005 This week, Hatchery Supervisor Bob Fawcett gives us the lowdown on late-season lake and pond stocking and how that activity helps us count on a great ice fishing season ahead. Jon Greenwood offers tips on catching a big brood stock salmon this fall. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Check out fish stocking information from April-July at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. --------------- FALL STOCKING UNDERWAY By Robert S. Fawcett, Fish and Game Hatchery Supervisor Fish and Game stocks 26 New Hampshire lakes or ponds with trout in September or October. In all, we'll stock 6,237 rainbow trout, almost yearlings (8 or 9-inchers); 4,993 two year old rainbow trout (11 to 14-inchers); 2,820 eastern brook trout yearlings; 3,960 eastern brook trout Kennebago-strain fall fingerlings (3 or 4-inchers); 973 tiger trout (10.8-inchers); and 250 brown trout (13.6-inchers). Where are we stocking? The list of waterbodies managed using fall stocking, and species of trout stocked, can be found in the web-based version of this report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/Fishing_Reports/Fishing_Reports_2005/fishing_report_092205.htm. Fish are stocked in the fall for a variety of reasons: Most are intended to recruit into the winter ice fishery. The tiger trout take longer to reach a larger size at time of stocking for better survival and a more pleasing size fish for the angler. They are very difficult to raise successfully, because they are a cross between two different genuses and have poor initial survival in the hatchery. Those few that do survive have the potential to make up for that in growth to a trophy size with time. We also stock in the fall for research reasons -- to help the regional biologists answer questions about subsequent performance of the fish after they are stocked. Biologists mark the fish and then perform creel surveys to figure out what percentage of what fish are caught through the ice. So, if you contact Gabe Gries at Fish and Game's Region 4 office in Keene at (603) 352-9669, he will be able to tell you that 87% of the fish caught last winter at Laurel Lake in Fitzwilliam were from spring stocking and 13% were from fall stocking, and probably a whole bunch of other things, too. This data can be useful in making management decisions. Most of the fall stocking activity is simply to make sure you have the opportunity to catch some trout this winter. This is a change from years ago, when any trout caught in the winter ice fishery were just holdovers from spring stocking, and no special effort was made to stock for the ice angler. Many anglers look forward to ice fishing for trout in waters that remain open to the taking of trout year round. Make sure and check the N.H. Fishing Digest for which waterbodies remain open, or visit the Fish and Game website fishing page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm and scroll down to "All about trout" and click on the list of lakes and ponds, or rivers and streams, managed for trout without a closed season. EXCITING FALL FISHING FOR BROOD STOCK SALMON By Jon Greenwood, Coordinator, Merrimack River Anadromous Fish Restoration Program If you're looking for some challenging catch-and-release sport fishing while you're out enjoying the beautiful fall weather, head to the Merrimack and Pemigewasset rivers to hook the "King of Fish" -- Atlantic salmon. Fisheries statistics tell us that the success rate for catching salmon is higher in the fall than in the spring season, thanks to better wading conditions and cooler temperatures. This fall, Fish and Game will stock the Merrimack and Pemigewasset rivers with big salmon -- about 500 brood stock Atlantic salmon weighing from 3 to 8 pounds each. You might also hook into some of the brood stock salmon stocked last spring. Expect some great fishing by the first week in October, as the fall stocking will take place very soon. Note that the brood stock Atlantic salmon season runs year-round, but all salmon caught from October 1 through March 31 must be released immediately. Brood stock anglers need a New Hampshire fishing license and an $11 Atlantic salmon permit; both can be purchased online at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us, or from license agents statewide. (As of 2005, stamp and possession tags are not required for salmon anglers.) By buying a permit you're supporting a good cause: all proceeds from salmon stamp permits support the Merrimack River Anadromous Fish Restoration Program, created in 1993 by Fish and Game, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to help restore migratory fish populations to the Merrimack River watershed. The salmon being stocked this fall are surplus brood stock from the Warren Fish Hatchery. Brood stock salmon are kept to produce offspring, or "fry," more than a million of which are released each spring to in an effort to restore sea-running fish to the Merrimack River basin. After spawning at the hatchery, the brood stock fish are released in the Merrimack, creating the only managed salmon fishery in New England. The brood stock salmon released in the Merrimack give New Hampshire anglers an exciting recreational fishing opportunity. This fall, the large fish will be stocked in the Franklin-Bristol area. The first good spots to try for the big salmon are below the Ayers Island Dam in Bristol along the Coolidge Woods Road, the Profile Falls Recreation Area, the access site near the Smith River confluence and below the Eastman Falls Dam in Franklin. Because the fish are migratory, anglers should also try fishing downstream as the season progresses: in the Stirrup Iron Brook area, the Contoocook River at Boscawen, Penacook and Sewall's Falls Park, and below the dams at Hooksett and Garvins Falls in Bow. Find more information and an access map at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm. My gear recommendations for fly anglers include 7- to 9-weight rods with either floating or sink tip lines, depending on the height and speed of the river flow. While most fly anglers prefer heavy weight rods with 10-pound test line, nymph fishing with lighter gear has proven successful in catching big salmon. Recommended flies include traditional hair wing flies and streamers. Some patterns to try are green highlander, black bear green butt, cosseboom, soft hackle marabou and muddler minnow. As the season progresses, try the area below the Garvin's Falls dam in Bow to the Massachusetts/ N.H. border, which is open to both fly and spin fishing. The best areas include the section of the river just below the Garvin's Falls and Hooksett dams, where the river is fast flowing. Fishing success in these two areas is best angling from a boat. Excellent boat access is provided at Public Service of New Hampshire's ramp on the west side of the river in Bow and at the state-owned ramp on the east side of the river below the Hooksett Dam. Spin-casting anglers would do best to use medium to heavy 6-and-a-half to 7-foot rods with a minimum of 10-pound test mono line. Some of the lures recommended are: Little Cleo (chrome, chartreuse colors), Blue Fox Pixie, Trixie (silver, chartreuse), Rapala's CD model, and large in line spinners such as Mepps Aglia (nickel, green, yellow) and rooster tails. Remember that the use of lures for the taking salmon is by the use of an artificial lure having no more than ONE hook point! A solution for lures sold with treble hooks is to either cut off two of the hook points or replace the treble hook with a #6 bait holder hook. Brood stock salmon anglers can help the program by reporting their catch to Fish and Game; fishing diaries submitted by January 15 are eligible for a prize drawing. For a printable salmon diary and more on how to send in your report, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm and scroll down to the bottom of the page. So get out and enjoy New Hampshire's great fall fishing! -------------- FISHING NOTES: Did you know? Most of Fish and Game's funding comes from sales of fishing and hunting licenses and permits. Even if you're not planning to fish this year, you can support the important work of your Fish and Game Department by buying a fishing license. Pick one up at any NH license agent; or online, anytime, at www.nhfishandgame.com. Thanks for your support! PROTECT YOUR WATERS: Don't let invasive species ruin New Hampshire's waterbodies: Keep your gear and boats clean, and visit www.protectyourwaters.net/nh to learn more about what you can do to help keep out "aquatic hitchhikers." A USER-PAY, USER-BENEFIT PROGRAM Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. Visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 15, 2005 This week, fish habitat biologist John Magee offers a few early-fall fishing tips and an update on work going on to improve habitat for New Hampshire fisheries. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Fish stocking is complete for the season. Stocking information from April-July is available at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> HABITAT IS WHERE IT'S AT By John Magee, Fish Habitat Biologist September brings some great fishing opportunities in the Granite State. As the water starts to cool down, I tend to find smallmouth bass becoming very active near the mouths of rivers flowing into ponds and lakes. Although smallmouth bass can handle rather high water temperatures, they tend to prefer slightly cool water, say about 65 to 72 degrees F. Places I have been successful in September include the Warner River in the southwest corner of Webster (pay strict attention to the No Trespassing signs), the North Branch Piscataquog River in the Hopkinton-Everett Army Corps land in Weare (where we stabilized and revegetated the streambank), and the Contoocook River in Henniker. In any of these places, you may also catch chain pickerel and fallfish, and in the Warner River you may hook up with a rock bass. Don't discount the fallfish -- some are up to 16 inches and they fight well. They like the same habitat as trout, but they like warmer water. Rock bass are non-native and inva sive (in fact, smallmouth are too) so DO NOT move them to another waterbody. Generally what you are looking for is large rocks and fast-flowing water with pools nearby. I tend to fish with either topwater lures or streamer flies, and always catch something at this time of year. One of the best ways to ensure great fishing in New Hampshire is to improve habitat conditions for fish, so you'll be glad to hear that the Fish Habitat Program has been very busy this year. We surveyed fish habitat in several watersheds in northern New Hampshire, monitored water temperatures in them, and conducted fish surveys in the same streams and in the Cold River Watershed in the western part of the state. These surveys turned up some interesting finds. In the Cold River Watershed, we caught a few northern redbelly dace (Phoxinus eos) in some of the tributaries. This is the most southerly population of northern redbelly dace recorded in New Hampshire. The watershed appears to be filled with native minnows, slimy sculpin and brook trout, with a few brown trout and rainbow trout in the mainstem Cold River. We also found Atlantic salmon juveniles in most of the tributaries, indicating that some fish move into the tributaries after being stocked into the Cold River. We conducted fish habitat and fish surveys in the Nash Stream, Dead Diamond and Swift Diamond watersheds this summer. The Nash Stream surveys are part of a larger effort to determine what restoration activities would be most beneficial to the watershed as a whole. The Nash Stream watershed has undergone significant land use and water use changes. Forestry practices have historically made large clear cuts right up to Nash Stream and its tributaries. In 1969, the Nash Bog dam broke, sending a torrent of water down the stream that scoured out much of the stream and destroyed the trees living along its banks. Immediately after that, bulldozers straightened the stream and created large berms to keep the stream in its new straightened channel. Unfortunately, this removed much of the good trout habitat and created areas near the stream that are nearly devoid of vegetation even 35 years later. The forest in most of the watershed has recovered, and in 1980, about 90% of the watershed was purchased by the State of New Hampshire. It is now managed by the Department of Resources and Economic Development. Large trees now live along the banks of most of the tributaries and the brook trout populations in them appear to be healthy. The habitat of Nash Stream is still recovering, but very slowly. Our efforts will help the stream's recovery and ultimately, the fish populations in it will recover as well. The Dead Diamond and Swift Diamond work is part of a multi-year effort to determine the status of fish, primarily brook trout, in the watershed. Much of this work has been conducted in cooperation with and with funding from Dartmouth College, which owns land in the watershed. Nearly all the habitat in the tributaries and the mainstem have been surveyed, and in each of these, the fish community has also been surveyed. Because the watershed is relatively far from Fish and Game's regional office in Lancaster, some of the work was conducted over intense weekends where Fish and Game employees and dedicated volunteers camped out near the survey sites to get the job done. In another habitat restoration project, the Piscataquog Watershed Association (PWA) is spearheading an effort to restore and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the 181-acre designated "Prime" wetland known as Lake Horace Marsh in Weare. This wetland is in a "Natural River" section of the North Branch Piscataquog River, one of the 14 rivers in the Department of Environmental Services' Rivers Management and Protection Program. Currently, water levels in the marsh are controlled by the operation of the dam at the outlet of Lake Horace. The water is drawn down in October and refilled in mid to late May. The total drawdown is about five feet, which lowers the water level in the marsh about three feet. This has severely degraded the fish and wildlife habitat in this large prime wetland. The impacts likely include significant losses to spawning and rearing habitat for chain pickerel, black crappie and yellow perch; foraging opportunities for smallmouth and largemouth bass; and hab itat for forage fish species. The objective is to build a water control structure that will effectively isolate the marsh from the winter drawdowns on the lake. We are working with the PWA, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Dam Bureau and Watershed Bureau, the NH Department of Transportation, the Town of Weare and the Weare Conservation Commission on the project. The water control structure will be built in 2006 or 2007. So get out and enjoy the warm days, relative solitude and great action of early fall fishing -- while it lasts! ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 8, 2005 This week, Andy's gone poutin'! Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Fish stocking is complete for the season. Stocking information from April-July is available at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> HORNPOUT, CATFISH, BULLHEADS By Andrew Schafermeyer, Fisheries Biologist, Region 1/Lancaster Long before I became a biologist, I was a fisherman. This development was a classic example of boyhood evolution, as clear and honest as learning to walk, read or drive. It all began with a bobber and a can full of grasshoppers and, many years later, has led to passing everything I know to my own son. There have been many stops along this often-winding road. I've been to manmade ponds filled with bluegill, backcountry trout streams with a pack-rod, and even... well, maybe I'd better not tell my son everything... About the time I entered high school, my social life began to demand as much time as my recreation. This was not really a conflict with sporting events like baseball, but fishing was somehow different. One night, I convinced a few buddies to go fishing with me and our adolescence took a turn that would provide some of my fondest and clearest memories of fishing New Hampshire. Almost every Friday night after everyone got out of work, we'd grab our lanterns, fishing poles, and plenty of bait and meet for an evening of horn poutin'. We called them horned pout, catfish, and bullheads and, at the time, their true identity wasn't important. I now know that they are brown bullheads (Ictalurus nebulosus) and can be a sportfish as exciting as any bass or trout. Many anglers search them out at night, with a lakeside fire providing both illumination and ambiance. The approach may not seem scientific or specialized, but there are definitely a few tricks to successful bullhead fishing. What about tackle? Try a medium to medium-heavy action rod with six to ten pound test line on any type of reel. Specialty "Catfish Combos" exist, but these are typically for targeting fish greater than 8 pounds (brown bullheads rarely reach 2 pounds in New Hampshire). Terminal tackle can be covered with only a few non-lead sinkers and long-shanked or circle hooks. Extra hooks are a good idea -- you'll go through a lot. Some tools that make horned pouting easier are a pair of long nosed pliers and a sharp, stout knife. An entire book could be written about preferred bait for bullheads and catfish. In truth, bullheads are omnivorous and notorious scavengers, meaning they'll eat almost anything living or dead. I usually go with a delicate combination of stinky and sturdy. As a boy, I remember having bloodbaits and stink-bait dough balls offending enough to the nose that tackle boxes were never allowed in the house. After completing a cost-benefit analysis, I highly recommend beef liver. It has a smell that seems to permeate the water, is strong enough to stay on a hook, and a few bucks will get you enough to last through a long night. Hornpout presentation involves placing your bait in the path of a bottom-feeding scavenger and can be accomplished many ways. A dead set with nothing more than a hook and piece of split-shot can work. Sometimes a bobber or float can keep bait suspended enough to entice a strike. Once hooked, these fish can treat you to an exciting battle. They rarely jump but pull, tug, and race toward deeper water. After their careful removal from your line, hornpout can be released easily. They are some of our hardiest fish, and can actually survive out of water for several hours. If your goal is a fish dinner, these fish can provide some of the tastiest table fare of all freshwater fish. I prefer them fried in Italian bread crumbs with Tabasco sauce and black pepper. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- August 18, 2005 This week, odds & ends from here and there. Fantastic weather from Pittsburg to Pelham.... have you been on the water? Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Fish stocking is complete for the season. Stocking information from April-July is available at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. The most interesting recent NH fishing news is last week's landing of a pacu in Hudson by Jacob Wurm of Manchester. You may have seen pictures of the piranha-like pacu on the TV news... it's a native of South America and definitely doesn't belong in New Hampshire! (Check the online version of this report for a photo.) There's a reason why it's illegal to dump or introduce fish: they can throw an entire ecosystem off-balance in a short period of time. Remember, if you have an aquarium or ornamental pond, never release fish into natural waters. Visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/aquatic_nuisance.htm to learn more. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> NH FISHING ROUNDUP Summer's in full swing and most of our fisheries biologists are out doing research, so we've pulled together some fishing odds and ends from around the state. Seacoast: BRIAN SMITH is looking forward to the next few weeks, when big migrating schools of stripers start moving through New Hampshire's coastal region and feeding like crazy. Brian says in late August and through September he'll be out fishing in the early morning and late afternoon into evening. One favorite technique is to drive along the coast -- with a fishing buddy in the passenger seat, if possible, looking for bird activity out on the water. Terns and gulls will be feeding on baitfish (mostly juvenile menhaden or "bunker") that are getting pushed to the top by feeding schools of striped bass. Try driving Route 1A -- there are lots of pulloffs. When you see a "blitz," jump out and cast a few surface plugs, hook a few and drive on! Groundfishing action will also be ramping up with early fall -- try a party boat for lots of feeding cod and haddock. Southwest: GABE GRIES reports that stream and river levels in southwest NH are up quite a bit following the recent rain. Any time you go from having low water and hot weather to cool weather and cool rain -- the waters rise and cool quickly, making for unseasonably good trout fishing. Gabe says he's heard bass fishing is good right now too. The fish are still pretty deep -- especially smallmouths. Go deep! Lakes Region: KRIS HARMON polled her co-workers to get the latest fishing scoop. The big-lakes biologists have been out on our research boat, the Forager, doing fish surveys late at night. Waters are warm, which always brings out the, shall we say, dedicated anglers, but how tough can it be to "work" at your fishing skills? On lakes and ponds, warmwater fishing is always good, but if you have a boat (or a friend with a boat!), go deeper and you will find plenty of coldwater fish as well. The Region 2 officers report that there are still plenty of good stream fishing opportunities; the Mad, Baker, Pemigewasset and Newfound rivers all have many many pockets where you can find fish at this time of year. They also say the Saco, Androscoggin, Ammonoosuc, Swift, the Beebe, the Sugar and (of course) the Connecticut River are also worth checking out in late summer. The Lakes Region is not alone in having received good rainfall this year. Water levels are still up and the fishing is fine. In fact, Donald Robbins of Amherst caught a new state-record brown bullhead in the Merrimack River during the first week of August. This fish was 17.95 inches long and weighed 3 lbs. 4.8 ounces. Ken LaPage of Hopkinton caught and released a whopper black crappie -- 14.75" -- at Clement Pond in Hopkinton, and entered it in the Trophy Fish Program. Don't forget -- you only have a little while longer to take the kids fishing before school starts. Take your shoes off, dangle your feet in the water and catch a fish! ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FISHING NOTES WINNISQUAM BOAT ACCESS FACILITY Open House: Fish and Game will host an "Open House" on Saturday, August 20, from 9 - 11 a.m. at the Opechee Park Clubhouse in Laconia, giving the public a chance to learn about and offer their input on a proposed public boat access facility on Lake Winnisquam. The proposed boat ramp would be built on property owned by the State and the City of Laconia off Water Street. Visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us for information. DID YOU KNOW?: Just about all of Fish and Game's funding comes from sales of fishing and hunting licenses and permits. Even if you're not planning to fish or hunt this year, you can still support the important work of your Fish and Game Department by buying a license. Pick one up at any New Hampshire license agent; or purchase online, anytime, at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Thanks for your support! ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- August 11, 2005 The hot striper action is after-hours this time of year. Fisheries biologist Brian Smith takes advantage of the cover (and cool!) of night to find some great striper fishing. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Fish stocking is complete for the season. Stocking information from the last four months is available at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ____________________________ SATURDAY NIGHT STRIPER FEVER By Brian Smith, fisheries biologist, Region 3/Durham How did you spend your last Saturday night? At the movies or at home in front of the tube? Maybe you were out on a dance floor somewhere or at the local pub. If you're reading this, you're likely an angler, so I hardly need to remind you that Saturday night is a perfect time to head out fishing. This past weekend, I spoke with some striper fishermen who spent their Saturday night on the beach, fishing rods in hand, looking for big stripers. My equipment consisted of a measuring board, survey sheets, and a good attitude. Jessica Fisher from N.H. Fish and Game's Marine Division office and I were interviewing anglers as part of the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey. The next time you're faced with the tough decision of what to do with your Saturday night, go fishing! It is one of the most effective methods out there for catching huge stripers. I think the anticipation of catching fish at night may be enhanced because, after all, it's dark. You just don't know what's out there or when a hit will happen. For years, I've heard stories about catching big stripers at night, and this year I am finally going to try it. This method takes advantage of the increased activity of stripers that occurs under the cover of darkness, when the sun is not beating down on the water and when they move more freely into shallow water. Midsummer can be a tough time for most striper anglers. Live bait can become scarce when blues and dogfish are around. In August, the fish have set up shop, as opposed to the roving schools of hungry migrants we all got spoiled catching in June. Different conditions call for a new approach, so go fishing in the dark! NIGHTTIME IS THE RIGHT TIME If you are new to the sport or this technique, as I am, there are volumes of information out there to get you started. A quick Internet search for "night fishing stripers" yielded several informative articles and a great list of books. I'll list some of the basics here, but, as I've said in the past, don't discount the tried-and-true information you can get from local bait and tackle shops. New Hampshire offers a great coastline for shore fishing day or night. There are several beaches to explore for nighttime striper fishermen -- such as Jenness State Beach, North Hampton State Beach, Wallis Sands State Beach and neighboring rocks, Foss Beach, and North Beach in Hampton, to name a few. There are many turnouts along Route 1A between Portsmouth and Hampton that offer access to fishing opportunities as well. Some of these areas will be very hard to fish at low tide, so be sure to consult a tide chart prior to fishing. Most of the sand beach sites will be fishable at any tide. As far as the fish are concerned, I've had anglers swear up and down that they only catch fish on a rising tide, and others that only fish on falling tides and so forth. Some people just fish when they have the time and don't even worry about it. I think the best advice I can give here is to experiment. I would use caution with blanket statements where tides are concerned. This is often a site- and technique-specific issue that only time and experience will give you a true appreciation for. TACKLE UP! In terms of tackle, you'll want to have a surfcasting outfit of some description. There are many rods and reels that fit this bill, but in general you're looking at a rod somewhere between 7 and 10 feet long, with a reel that can hold about 200 yards of 20-lb. test line. This is a generic description that can be refined at a tackle shop based on any other fishing you may want to do. One rig to try consists of a lead slip sinker (1 to 4 oz depending on situation) rigged above a barrel swivel. On the other end of the swivel, tie a leader to a circle hook. Circle hooks are easy to use, because the fish usually hook themselves and they prevent gut-hooking, so they drastically reduce mortality of released fish. Let the fish run freely with your bait before you set the hook. With a circle hook, even when the fish swallows the bait, the hook will not catch in the gullet; it pulls out and catches in the lip and by design does not require a hard hook set. Finally, pick up some frozen mackerel or herring to cut into chunks for bait. Replace your bait every twenty minutes or so to keep it fresh. The best time of year for night fishing striped bass is right around the corner. Those big stripers will be gorging themselves on their way back south. What a perfect time to head out and enjoy a night of fishing! I hope to see you out there, good luck and good fishing. For more information and links to NH coastal charter/party boat companies, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast/FF05_Seacoast.htm. Did you know? Just about all of Fish and Game's funding comes from sales of fishing and hunting licenses and permits. Even though most coastal angling doesn't require a license, you can still support the important work of your Fish and Game Department by buying a fishing license each year. Pick one up at any New Hampshire license agent; or purchase online, anytime, at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Thanks for your support! ________________________________ A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- August 4, 2005 The Connecticut River is offering up some great fishing these days. Fisheries biologist Mike Racine gives us the highlights in this week's report. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Fish stocking is complete for the season, so the fish stocking report is now suspended until spring. (Don’t worry -- this FISHING report continues through September!) Stocking information from the last 4 months is available at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> TROUT, BASS, PANFISH, AND PIKE -- THE CONNECTICUT RIVER HAS IT ALL! By Mike Racine, Fisheries Biologist, Region 4/Keene Excellent fishing continues where the Cold River feeds into the Connecticut River in Walpole. Trout were rising everywhere and the banks were lined with fishermen. One man reported *almost* catching a 5 or 6-pound brown. Don't tell him that almost isn't good enough. His problem was that the brown just wouldn't fit in the net! The only option this fisherman had for this "mounter" was to attempt to grab the gills or tail and hope for the best. Well, the fish apparently was hoping for the best too and got away. Another spot to try for trout is a mile or two downriver around the Great Island Wildlife Management Area (also in Walpole). The Connecticut River never ceases to amaze me! It has an incredible forage (feed) base that feeds both the cold and warmwater fish species. I have already mentioned two hot spots for trout, but smallmouth bass are not nearly as selective in terms of habitat; you can fish for smallmouths just about anywhere! Daytime work with Fish and Game's electroshocking boat took us to Charlestown last week. The estimated minimum size smallie captured was about 13", average size was 15", and maximum size must have been just over 20". We turned over these beauties every 60 yards or so, and we traveled roughly half a mile. As we were not targeting bass, we easily lost count! We would either first run into schools of hundreds of minnows with the bass hovering nearby, or we would hit the bass first and in a matter of feet run into the minnows. Either way, predator and prey weren't separated by much distance! To date, our warmwater surveys have taken us from Rindge to Gilmanton, with several more waterbodies in store. The "young of the year" bass have already grown to nearly 2 inches. We have seen both largemouth and smallmouth, although largemouth are sampled more effectively. We captured and released a 6+ pounder from Rindge and have seen others like it. (See the web version of this report for a picture.) The big boys are around indeed! If you are interested in volunteering to help with these night surveys, or if you want more information on the program, please call the Region 4 (Keene) office at 603-352-9669. Thanks to those who have helped thus far. We could not do the surveys without you! The Connecticut River doesn't have just trout and bass. It also has superb panfish and pike fishing. These two extremes require much different equipment setups. Panfishing requires a light pole, light line (4-6 lb. test), and small jigs or spinners. Pike fishing, on the other hand, requires a stiff pole, minimum 20-lb. test line, a steel leader, and large lures. While panfishing, you may even get a surprise when the pike attack your catch! This pike found amongst schools of minnows and perch and was sampled and released in the Bellows Falls area. The daily limit for these monsters is one fish having a minimum total length of 28 inches. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FISHING NOTES ><> Pittsfield/Suncook R. Access Site Closed August 5-7 <>< Boaters and anglers should note that the N.H. Fish and Game Department's public access site on the Suncook River in Pittsfield will be closed for public safety reasons (related to the flight path of hot air balloons) August 5, 6, and 7 during the Pittsfield Rotary Club's annual hot air Balloon Rally at nearby Drake Field. ><> Did you know? <>< Most of Fish and Game's funding comes from sales of fishing and hunting licenses and permits. Even if you're not planning to fish this year, you can still support the important work of your Fish and Game Department if you buy a fishing license each year. You can buy one at any NH license agent; or online, anytime, at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Thanks for your support! ><> Protect Your Waters <>< Don't let invasive species ruin New Hampshire's waterbodies: Keep your gear and boats clean, and visit http://www.protectyourwaters.net/nh to learn more about what you can do to help keep out "aquatic hitchhikers" like milfoil and zebra mussels. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- July 28, 2005 These are the Bass Days of summer. Andy Schafermeyer and Brian Comeau offer some bass natural history to help you strategically locate and catch the next big one. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Fish stocking is winding down for the season, with a limited number of stocking locations last week; for the latest report, check http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> BASS FISHING BONANZA By Andrew Schafermeyer and Bryan Comeau, Fisheries Staff, Region 1/Lancaster One of the most exciting images for a New Hampshire angler is a rising fish. Whether it's a two-inch brook trout dimple or a thirty-inch pike explosion, fish on the surface can get your blood pumping. Last week, I had the privilege of this type of action in a local reservoir. While fishing a walk-the-dog style stickbait on the surface, action at dusk became frequent and exciting. Half of the fish turned out to be largemouth and half were smallmouth bass. After a lifetime of bass fishing, I'm getting better at distinguishing the two, from both a sportsman's and a biologist's point of view. The physical distinctions between smallmouth and largemouth bass are easy to see. Largemouth bass range in color depending on their environment, but are typically deep green to pale olive across their dorsal areas with paler bellies. They all have a black lateral line that runs from head to tail. Because of the bronze reflection of their scales, smallmouths are often called "bronzebacks." Although sometimes difficult to see, smallies have nine dark vertical bars on their sides and three that radiate from the eye. On a smallmouth, the upper jaw extends to a point directly below the middle of the eye. In contrast, a largemouth's jaw extends beyond the rear of the eye. All black bass are spectacular sportfish, but times do arise when an angler wants to target one or the other. In these instances, it becomes important to understand the differences in biology and preferred habitat. Smallmouth bass need habitat that combines food, cover, and access to deep or stratified water. Without all three, expect smallmouth to be infrequent. Largemouth can tolerate a wider range of habitat, including warmer temperatures; shallower, more fertile water; and clarity that smallmouth would avoid. In lakes and reservoirs, smallmouth concentrate around river or stream influxes or areas with windy currents. Largemouth can be found in gently tapered shorelines with less current. Both fish prefer similar cover with smallies favoring rocks and broken substrate and largemouth choosing wood, aquatic plants, and root masses. Both species of bass can be caught with many of the same methods. There are, however, small differences that can help improve catch rates depending on the waterbody or season. Smallmouth are most comfortable around substantial cover, and generally feed on the shadowed side of underwater structure. Largemouth can be free-swimming and feed around no apparent cover. More of a schooling fish, smallmouth tend to group by size, while largemouth school in staggered age classes. When targeting smallmouth, artificial lures two to three inches in length are a good start. Smaller (eighth-ounce) spinner-baits are also a good bet. Because of the clarity in preferred water, dark or naturally colored baits like my favorite grub-tailed jig can really bring smallies in the boat. A method to largemouth fishing is casting and retrieving more quickly. Bigger baits with more unnatural colors like yellows and pinks can sometimes do the trick. There is no use starting a debate as to which species of bass is the most fun to catch. I've had great trips catching both. The point is.....who cares! After a hard day at work, I'll take either one. ><> FISHING NOTES <>< ><> Did you know? Most of Fish and Game's funding comes from sales of fishing and hunting licenses and permits. Even if you're not planning to fish this year, you can still support the important work of your Fish and Game Department if you buy a fishing license each year. You can buy one at any NH license agent; or online, anytime, at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Thanks for your support! ><> Protect Your Waters: Don't let invasive species ruin New Hampshire's waterbodies: Keep your gear and boats clean, and visit http://www.protectyourwaters.net/nh to learn more about what you can do to help keep out "aquatic hitchhikers" like milfoil and zebra mussels. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- July 21, 2005 Despite the sizzling summer heat, there's a resurgence of fish activity on the Big Lakes. Biologists Don Miller and John Viar explain why in today's NH Fishing Report. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Fish stocking is winding down for the season, with a limited number of stocking locations last week; for the latest report, check http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FOR MIDSUMMER SUCCESS ON BIG LAKES -- TROLL AND JIG, AND WATCH THOSE SMELT! By Don Miller and John Viar, Fisheries Biologists, Region 2/New Hampton We hope everyone is enjoying the tropical heat wave that New Hampshire has been subjected to this summer (what a difference from the cool, wet spring)! The Lake Winnipesaukee surface temperature is currently 75+ degrees, but believe it or not, we are entering one of the most productive times for big-lake trolling. There are three major reasons why: the establishment of a solid thermocline (horizontal "layers" of different-temperature water); a burgeoning crop of young-of-the-year (YOY) rainbow smelt achieving such size as to be targeted exclusively by salmonids (salmon and trout); and salmonids on a pre-spawn feeding binge (remember these are fall spawners, so mid-late summer/early fall is actually pre-spawn feeding time!). In the last couple weeks we have treated ourselves to some trolling on Winnipesaukee and witnessed extensive surface activity by landlocked salmon and rainbow trout in the area off Welch and Diamond, and Mark and Timber islands, despite the warm surface temperatures. At dawn and dusk, and surprisingly even at midday, we have witnessed numerous salmon and rainbows slashing into schools of YOY smelt, driven to the surface in feeding frenzies. Most of the salmon appeared to be age 2 fish, approximately 15-16 inches; the larger fish seemed to be staying in deeper/cooler waters of the thermocline. Both age 2 and age 3 salmon, stocked as yearling fish about 6 inches long, have displayed some impressive growth -- thanks to our smelt supply (and importantly, sustainable stocking rates), which seems to be excellent again this year. We will be performing annual hydroacoustic (sonar) and trawl net surveys to monitor forage fish populations over the next month and a half. It has become apparent that in wet spring/summer years, our smelt benefit from better spawning success and food conditions in our large lakes. Surprisingly, we did not have much luck on small streamer flies imitating YOY smelt, which has been effective in the past. It is important to remember these YOY smelt are extremely tiny (only about 1.25 inches at the time of this writing), which can make "matching the hatch" quite difficult when the fish are keyed in. However, despite our "match-the-hatch fears," various spoons including DB Smelt, Mooselook wobblers, and smaller Suttons, 25-35 feet deep on downriggers, did produce fish; a touch of orange/red either as part of the color pattern or added (permanent marker or nail polish or one of the various sticker tapes available) seems to trigger aggression strikes. We boated some solid age 3 salmon (adipose fin clip) to 3.25 lbs. (see the web version of this report for a picture) and rainbow trout from 13-16 inches long; all of the fish looked nice and chunky! Lake trout to 22 inches were also in on the mix. Don's buddy Jim broke the orange/red "phenom" by hitting a nice fat age 3 salmon about 3.25 lbs. in size on a blue-green-silver DB smelt (Don was finally successful in netting this fish after a failed attempt at trying to extend the landing net handle!). We have heard of similar reports from anglers that mirrored our trips (that includes the various netting follies!). In Lake Winnisquam, Don has noted hundreds of YOY yellow perch cruising the shorelines in water as shallow as 6 inches. This is a great sight to see because our yellow perch are a native species to our big lakes and have experienced noticeable declines in recent history. ><> GETTIN' JIGGY <>< Don't forget this is a great time of year to vertical jig for lake trout in deeper basins of our large lakes; once you have some practice under your belt, you will be rewarded with much higher catch rates than horizontal trolling. We have had tremendous luck with solid fish in the 18-25 inch range, with an occasional bigger fish to about 7-9 lbs. in the mix, using "light" vertical jigging techniques (see last July's Fishing Report "Getting Vertical for Togue" at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/Fishing_Reports/Fishing_Reports_2004/fishing_report_072204.htm). If looking specifically for very large lakers (but less action), other techniques such as "slow-spinning" large live bait and "wrecking spoons" on wire will likely be more effective. Trout fishing is holding up well, with surplus trout stocking finally winding down. The Pemigewasset River is our all-purpose trout fishery in central New Hampshire, with brookies, browns and rainbows in the stretch of river north from Bristol to Woodstock. Trout ponds provide good results in the quiet evenings. The hex hatches are here and spotty at local ponds such as Sky, Spectacle and Upper Hall. Fishing just after a thundershower rolls through an area can be very productive. Smallmouth bass are in full summer patterns now, with most anglers reporting success in water as deep as 25-35 feet. As with most sportfish, early morning and late afternoon until dark are prime times for smallmouth bass. One of our favorite methods is fly-fished poppers over rock shoals late in the day -- in our clear waters, smallmouth will come a surprising distance for an easy meal, 20 feet or more. With the majority of quality-sized bass down even deeper, it certainly is not the most productive technique at this time of year, but there is nothing like a smallie smashing a popper. During midday, resort to drop-shotting and Carolina-rigging soft plastics near clouds of bait. ><> FISHING NOTES <>< DID YOU KNOW...? Most of Fish and Game's funding comes from sales of fishing and hunting licenses and permits. Even if you're not planning to fish this year, you can still support the important work of your Fish and Game Department if you buy a fishing license each year. You can buy one at any NH license agent; or online, anytime, at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Thanks for your support! PROTECT YOUR WATERS: Don't let invasive species ruin New Hampshire's waterbodies: Keep your gear and boats clean, and visit http://www.protectyourwaters.net/nh to learn more about what you can do to help keep out "aquatic hitchhikers" like milfoil and zebra mussels. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- July 14, 2005 The fish have been biting in the Monadnock/Upper Valley region lately, from the looks of Fisheries Biologist Gabe Gries' report this week. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm for the latest fish stocking report. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> BOUNTIFUL BASS, FAT RAINBOWS AND MORE: ANGLING ACTION HOT IN MONADNOCK/UPPER VALLEY REGION By Gabe Gries, Region 4 Fisheries Biologist Fishing this past month in Southwestern New Hampshire has been great! Reports from anglers (and our own fishing experiences) have detailed some great fishing trips for everything from bass to walleye to trout. Bass fishing also continues to be excellent in Southwestern New Hampshire. There have been reports of nice bass being caught in Warren Lake (Alstead), Highland Lake (Stoddard), the Connecticut River (Hinsdale, Charlestown, Claremont), Lake Monomonac (Rindge) and Thorndike Pond (Jaffrey; think 4 lb. smallmouth). So far this year, I have fished the Connecticut River (Walpole), Chesham Pond (Harrisville), Rockwood Pond (Fitzwilliam) and Pearly Pond (Rindge) -- both accessible by jon boat or canoe -- and Laurel Lake (Fitzwilliam), and I've had great days on all these waterbodies. Speaking of Laurel Lake, the smallmouth and largemouth populations in this lake are numerous, with most fish being less than 15 inches long. This particular population would benefit from some harvest of some 10-12 inch bass, so if you like catching lots of bass and taking a few home to eat, this is the place to go. A friend of my recently bought a trout/salmon trolling boat, so I have been doing more trout fishing in lakes than in past years. We've had good luck on Silver Lake (Harrisville), Granite Lake (Stoddard), Dublin Lake (Dublin) and Swanzey Lake (Swanzey). The rainbows are exceptional this year; especially in Swanzey Lake, where you can barely get your hand around some of them, they are so thick. Still on the list to fish are Spofford Lake (Chesterfield), Nubanusit Lake (Hancock), Whittemore Lake (Bennington), Willard Pond (Antrim) and Mont Williams Pond (Weare). Abundant water in most of our rivers and brooks should prolong excellent trout fishing far into July. Tops on my list to fish in July are the South Branch Ashuelot River (Troy/Marlborough), Upper Ashuelot River (Surry/Marlow), Cold River (Alstead/Acworth), Beards Brook (Hillsborough), Nissitissit River (Brookline) and the Souhegan and Contoocook Rivers. As an added bonus, surplus trout from the Milford Hatchery have recently been stocked in some rivers and lakes throughout southwestern New Hampshire. Although harder to fish for than in the spring, walleye and black crappie can still be caught in abundant numbers, if you take the time to find them. Deeper sections of the Connecticut River are the place to go for summer walleyes. Target these areas by drifting over them slowly while jigging plastics tipped with a small shiner or nightcrawler. Crappies can be caught the same way, just downsize your rods and tackle. Anglers also have success targeting crappies by slowly trolling small jigs and spinnerbaits in and around deep holes in local lakes and ponds. For a list of local waterbodies that hold crappies (and other sport fish), please check out our suggested fishing locations at http://www.nhfg.net/Fishing/fishing_forecast/Locations_Southwest.htm. Additionally, depth charts for selected waterbodies are available at http://www.nhfg.net/Fishing/bathy_maps.htm. Please help stop the spread of aquatic nuisance weeds by removing all vegetation from your boats and canoes when leaving a waterbody. We hope you enjoy fishing this year in the Monadnock/Upper Valley Region and don't forget to take a kid fishing anytime you can. We're always happy to talk to you about fish and fishing, so please contact us at Fish and Game's Region 4 office in Keene (603-352-9669; reg4@nhfgd.org) if you have any questions. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- July 7, 2005 This week's report comes from Matt Carpenter and Ben Nugent of Fish and Game's Fisheries Division, who've been capitalizing on recent insect hatches up north. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com.  Go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm for the latest fish stocking report. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> TURN A HATCH INTO A CATCH By Ben Nugent, fisheries biological technician and Matt Carpenter, fisheries biologist Don't put away that trout gear just yet. The amount of rain that we've received in New Hampshire has kept river flows at near spring levels. Thermoclines (layers of water of varying temperatures) have been established in lakes and ponds, but surface action in the early morning and evening for all salmonid species can still be very successful. The stage is set for a productive trout angling experience for these next few weeks. The hex is on! Hex hatches have been reported in several of the rivers, lakes, and ponds up in the north country. The sizes of these Hexagenia limbata entice even the larger fish to crash the surface. The adult mayfly hatch begins at dusk. At this time, little finesse is needed to imitate the mayfly struggling from its shuck. Several emerging or cripple replications can be used. The nymph stage of this mayfly spends the day hidden in mud. As the sun begins to descend, the nymph begins feeding. Try using weighted nymphs fished with a jigging motion near the bottom.  Early July can be one of the best times to fish the upper reaches of the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire. The skies around upper Andro in New Hampshire have recently been filled with hatches of alder flies (zebra caddis flies). All fish species in the river (browns, rainbows, brookies, salmon and smallmouth bass) take advantage of this all-you-can-eat buffet. Recent weather patterns may have pushed back the hatch a little longer than usual, so you might want to drop by a North Country fly shop or outfitter for hatch updates and fly suggestions.  Anglers do not have to leave New Hampshire to experience remote fishing at its finest. If you are willing to hike a little, there is the opportunity to encounter pristine ponds with minimal fishing pressure and plenty of surrounding wildlife. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department aerially stocks brook trout fingerlings in more than 50 remote ponds throughout New Hampshire. Although reared in a hatchery, these fish, known as the Kennebago strain, offer the beauty and challenge of wild brook trout. Matt LaCroix, a new member of our seasonal staff, has been fishing remote ponds since he learned to walk. He likes to carry up a float tube and a fly rod and camp out for a weekend. A recent expedition resulted in an 18-inch beauty. He would not give away the name of the pond where he made his most recent trip, but he claims the fishing "does not get any better." There is a list of remote ponds on the New Hampshire Fish and Game website -- visit http://www.wildlife.stat e.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm and scroll down to "all about trout" for lists of waterbodies managed for remote, wild, and quality trout. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FISHING NOTES Did you know? Most of Fish and Game's funding comes from sales of fishing and hunting licenses and permits. Even if you're not planning to fish this year, you can still support the important work of your Fish and Game Department if you buy a fishing license each year. You can buy one at any NH license agent; or online, anytime, at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Thanks for your support! What's on the web? Been a while since you checked out the Fish and Game website? We've got all kinds of fishing info for you to use and enjoy -- from suggestions on where to fish to depth maps to stocking reports and pictures of anglers with their latest catch. Give it a fresh look at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us. Protect Your Waters: Don't let invasive species ruin New Hampshire's waterbodies: Keep your gear and boats clean, and visit http://www.protectyourwaters.net/nh to learn more about what you can do to help keep out "aquatic hitchhikers" like milfoil and zebra mussels. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- June 16, 2005 Today's fishing commentary comes to us from the Great North Woods, where summer fisheries worker Cory Vander-Heyden has been fishing cold and warm waters with, well, cold and warm results! Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm for the latest fish stocking report. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FISHING IN THE NORTH COUNTRY By Cory Vander-Heyden, seasonal fisheries staff, Region 1/Lancaster Heavy rain and high water is all we seem to hear about this spring. Along with rain come cooler water temperatures and increased runoff, causing muddy water. Rain can be a great factor when fishing for trout: trout are usually turned on to feeding just before rainfall, because the rain cools the water. There's a downside, too -- heavy rain can cloud water, lowering visibility for the trout. Water temps have remained cold later into the spring months than usual; this should keep the trout feeding and very active. With the sun finally breaking through, the warmer weather triggers the hatching of many insects. Successful anglers will be the ones who properly match their lures to what the trout are feeding on -- and feeding they will be. In the last two weeks I've been on Mirror Lake (Whitefield) and Fish Pond (Columbia), both two-tier fisheries. A two-tier fishery is a body of water that contains both warm water and cold-water species. The trout were bubbling up like butter on a hot skillet toward the evening... unlucky for me, I only brought my bass gear. This brings me to the next fish to report on, the elusive bass, largemouth or smallmouth. The colder water temps proved to make the bass sluggish and less aggressive in the early spring months. Moore Reservoir on the Connecticut River, which usually provides great river smallmouth fishing, fished very slowly the first time out. I was wearing several layers of clothing, and expecting to see an iceberg float down anytime. This isn't exactly the weather bass fisherman are looking for, but I was still able to pick a few up, fishing soft plastics slow and in deeper water. Soft plastics have been doing very well; I would recommend throwing them instead of crank baits and spinner baits, which are generally fished by a faster steady retrieve. But feel free to experiment if things seem difficult. Even if the fish are lethargic because of the temperature, they will be more likely to hit a lure that more resembles something in their natural diet. Consistency has been good -- we've boated bass every time we've been out. Two weeks ago, Forest Lake (Whitefield/Dalton) was not producing like it had been, but the good news is that the hot spell we had over the weekend warmed the water up considerably. A co-worker, Bryan Comeau, said he picked up well over a dozen fish in less than four hours fishing a local pond in Whitefield recently. The bass are still on holding beds (nests) now. The bass are guarding future populations, so be very careful when landing your fish. A damaged bass may not return to its bed, and the eggs will have no protection from predators. The catch-and-release season that protects spawning bass will be over this weekend, but it's still a good idea to practice good ethics when catching fish at this time, like proper hook set and gentle release. If you do catch a bass off its bed, it may be a good idea to move on so you don't overstress the fish. Recasting on the same bed may result in catching the same fish twice, harmfully affecting their reproduction. Don't give up on trout fishing -- it will remain strong throughout the summer. New Hampshire Fish and Game provides an excellent stocking program that runs through midsummer, and even into fall in some places. If you're a bass fisherman, just be patient, the warmer weather is returning and the fishing is starting to look up. Enjoy the season. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FISHING NOTES SOUTHWEST NH BOATERS: The Sand Pond boat ramp in Marlow will be closed for repairs June 22 - July 15. PROTECT YOUR WATERS: Did you hear about the Zebra Mussel scare? That was one CLOSE CALL! Don't let invasive species ruin New Hampshire's waterbodies: Keep your gear and boats clean, and visit http://www.protectyourwaters.net/nh to learn more about what you can do to help keep out "aquatic hitchhikers." BECOMING AN OUTDOORS-WOMAN There are still a few slots left in the fall B.O.W. workshop, Sept. 9 through 11. For information and a registration form, visit http://www.nhbow.com. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- June 2, 2005 In this week's report, Lakes Region fisheries biologist Don Miller claims that spring is finally here. He says last month's erratic weather definitely mixed things up a bit, but there's great fishing to be had throughout the state. And some welcome sunshine on tap for the week to come -- hooray! BONUS: Mark Beauchesne (Let's Go Fishing coordinator) reports on his week's fishing adventures -- see below. Don't forget -- this Saturday (June 4) is Free Fishing Day in New Hampshire -- fish free without a license! It's the perfect day to get a new fishing buddy into the game, or to take a child fishing for the first time. National Boating and Fishing Week begins on the 4th, too. For information, go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2005/News_2005_Q2/Free_Fishing_Day_05.htm. Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- at http://www.nhfishandgame.com.  Go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm for the latest fish stocking report. And tune in to WNDS-TV Channel 50 for the new "Fishing Buzz," bringing you one minute of the best New Hampshire fishing each week! The report will air throughout the broadcast schedule, but we'll let you know if a specific air time is set. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE! By Don Miller, Fisheries Biologist, Region 2/New Hampton The calendar reads late May/early June, so it must be springtime in New Hampshire, right!? Mother Nature's cruel joke foisted upon anglers this "spring" has been the unseasonably cold temperatures and wet, downright soggy conditions that have plagued the northeast for the last three weeks. These conditions have affected fisheries in a variety of ways.  The white perch runs that were heating up in early May are just now turning back on. Lakes Winnisquam and Waukewan are great choices for some tasty perch in the 1.5-lbs. size range. Try the inlet area to the Snake River on Waukewan and the Winnipesaukee River in Laconia for Winnisquam white perch (also try the dam tailrace area at Silver Lake, Tilton).  In a normal spring, smallmouth bass would be well on their way to raising new broods by now. This year, due to the cold lake temperatures, bass nesting has been chaotic at best with abandoned nests and re-nesting occurring even at this late date. Although the catch-and-release season for bass is from May 15 to June 15, use common sense this year when angling in areas where bass nesting may occur long after the catch-and-release season ends. Trout ponds are the "hot" item now and reports have been excellent from various ponds throughout central and northern sections of the state. Cool water temps and anticipated hatches should really turn on the trout in these ponds. Remote stocked ponds in the central section/southern White Mountains are producing brook trout in excess of 16 inches long! This is considerable growth! These fish are the "new" Kennebago brook trout strain, stocked via helicopter as fingerlings each spring. (See the online version of this report for a photo of one of these stockies, all grown up now at 18".) The original Kennebago brook trout were obtained from the state of Maine in recent years. New Hampshire now has its own Kennebago broodstock line that produces fertilized eggs for our remote pond and quality trout programs. These ponds are worth the hike! If you happen to be fishing a remote pond in the coming days and see a helicopter approaching, give a wave and thanks to the crew for a job well done -- and a hearty thanks to the crew at New Hampton Hatchery, who make it all happen; they are to be commended since this strain is very difficult to raise in a hatchery setting. For a list of New Hampshire's remote stocked ponds, see this link: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/trout_remote.htm Reports from trollers on the "big lakes" are mixed, but a few hefty lake trout (10 lbs.) have been caught recently. As many experienced trollers (and all anglers, for that matter) are well aware, east/northeast winds do not make for catching frenzies! However, landlocked salmon can still be caught high in the water column, with the current Lake Winnipesaukee surface temperatures running in the low- to mid-50s. Top Gun and DB Smelt spoons, as well as streamers, are working on salmon and the occasional rainbow trout. The trick is to hit the water early, 5 to 7 a.m. is definitely the best "window of opportunity." Look for big-lake trolling to become more consistent as the thermocline sets up and the fish turn on to young-of-the-year rainbow smelt. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> I know this is not my week to report -- but I have too much to hold back! Now is the time for topwater bass action! We fished ponds and the big lake this week. The name of the game was topwater fishing. Poppers and floating stick baits were the key to drawing ferocious strikes. These fish are hungry. Water temps are finally in the high 50s to low 60s -- ideal for the fly rod. Popping bugs, sneaky Pete and deer-hair poppers are my "go to" flies this time of year. Pike, walleye, perch and smallmouth -- the Connecticut River is fishing fantastic right now. Last weekend we fished for all of these species, and wouldn't you know it, they all cooperated. Pike on the fly is just too much fun. They'll hit lures also. In-line spinners, buck tail spinners, floating stick baits and jigs worked well for us. Walleye and bass all came on the jig head with a curl-tail grub. We went to Willard Pond for trout -- the tiger trout (cross between brook and brown trout) there are pure muscle. A few smallmouth thrown in for good measure -- works for me! This weekend, in my opinion, your best bets are the streams and rivers. The flow is closer to normal and the fish have had very little pressure over the past two weeks. This is great for anglers -- take a walk and explore that new section of the river you have been meaning to try. Use spinners and spoons in the deeper pools, and try drifting worms in the faster water. My fly selections for this weekend include: elk-hair caddis, dark Cahill, gray-body dry fly, quill Gordon, nymphs for certain hookups, black bead-head woolly bugger, bead-head hare's ear (bigger than normal), pheasant tail, prince nymph, caddis emergers. There is no doubt in my mind with the warmer temps coming this weekend we will have the best conditions for fantastic fishing! Don't forget to take a friend with you. Free fishing day is Saturday, June 4. Great fishing!!! Mark ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- May 26, 2005 As a dismal weather week draws to a close, Fish and Game's Doug Grout offers encouragement to seacoast anglers.... THE STRIPERS ARE COMING! Buy your fishing license, salmon permit or moose lottery application (DEADLINE 5/27) online, any time! Visit http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm for the latest fish stocking report -- nearly 190 stocking events last week. Announcing a fantastic new resource for lake and pond anglers: depth maps for 130+ waterbodies in New Hampshire. Be the first to check 'em out at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/bathy_maps.htm. Go to the Fish and Game website for more on these upcoming events: MAY 28: Fish Hatchery Open Houses JUNE 4: Free Fishing Day; National Boating and Fishing Week begins Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> COD AND HADDOCK ARE THE LATEST COASTAL CATCH; STRIPED BASS TO COME By Doug Grout, fisheries biologist, Region 3/Durham Haddock and cod fishing have been very good this spring; that is on the few days that the weather has cooperated. April catches were dominated by haddock with some cod, redfish, cusk, and wolffish thrown in. May has seen more equal numbers of cod and haddock. One party boat trip that Marine Division staff surveyed had each passenger catching 10-20 keeper size haddock (>/=19 inches). The largest haddock we weighed was about 8 pounds and the largest cod tipped the scales at just over 10 pounds. We also have received reports of cod in the 30-40 pound range being caught this spring. The past couple of weeks we have observed the first stripers being caught in New Hampshire's coastal rivers as they chase the river herring upstream during their spawning migration. There also have been scattered reports of mackerel showing up in the coastal waters. Of course this past week has been a bust for coastal fishing with seven straight days (and counting) of driving rains and near gale force winds. If we can just get the weather to break for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, fishing should just explode on the New Hampshire seacoast. For you striper anglers, we are always looking for volunteers to participate in our Striped Bass Volunteer Angler Survey. Participants are provided with logbooks to fill out information about each striper fishing trip they take and record length measurements of all the striped bass they catch. Information collected from the survey is used in the annual coastwide stock assessment for striped bass that is used for management. In addition, each participant's name is entered into a year-end raffle for a framed limited edition striped bass print donated to Fish and Game by the Coastal Conservation Association of New Hampshire (http://www.ccanh.org). If you would like to participate, please call or e-mail Doug Grout at 603-868-1095 or dgrout@nhfgd.org. For more information and links to NH coastal charter/party boat companies, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast/FF05_Seacoast.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. Weekly Fishing Report -- May 19, 2005 This week, fisheries biologist Gabe Gries brings fishing news and hotspots from the southwest region of the state. IMPORTANT NOTE FOR FANS OF BIG SALMON: We're told that the brood stock Atlantic salmon will all be released by tomorrow (5/20/05)! Water temperatures are just right, and it's the perfect time of year to try for these special fish. Permits are $11. For more information on the program, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm. Buy your fishing license, salmon permit or moose lottery application online, any time! Visit http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Get the latest fish stocking report -- more than 150 stocking "events" in NH last week -- at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Check the Fish and Game website for more on these upcoming events: MAY 28: Fish Hatchery Open Houses JUNE 4: Free Fishing Day; National Boating and Fishing Week begins JUNE 10-12: Fly-Fishing Weekend in Berlin Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> IN SOUTHWEST NH, TROUT ARE FAT 'N' SASSY By Gabe Gries, Fisheries Biologist, Region 4/Keene If this spring is any indication of what awaits anglers during this summer and fall, all I can say is, "Hold on!" Despite lots of rain, cold, and a bit of warm weather thrown in here and there, the fishing in southwestern NH has been great during the past month or so. A father and son team (Andy Jones and his 10-year old son Kyle) got the ball rolling by landing a 39.5-inch lake trout on April 17 (see http://www.nhfg.net/Fishing/big_fish.htm for a picture). If that picture doesn't encourage you to take some kids fishing, I don't know what will. Speaking of trout, Dublin Lake (Dublin) is once again producing some nice brook trout, including a 20" fish that was stocked into the lake two springs ago. Shore anglers are doing as well, if not better, than boat anglers this spring. Fish are being caught on night crawlers and power bait. Trolling can also be productive during this time of year at water depths from 10 to 30 feet. (It can also be exasperating, as I can attest after trolling for three hours without a hit... as they say, that's why it's called "fishing," not "catching"!) Anglers fishing Silver Lake (Harrisville) report catching and releasing 20-30 rainbow trout on some days. Milford Hatchery staff have once again outdone themselves. I was at the hatchery about a month ago to clip fins on trout for a study at Swanzey Lake, and the girth of the rainbow trout is unbelievable. These fish looked like footballs and average about one pound apiece. Some of the fish are so large that it was impossible to get my hand around them to clip a fin. In addition to fishing for rainbows at Swanzey Lake (Swanzey), I would suggest trying your luck at Center Pond (Nelson), Gilmore Pond (Jaffrey), Spofford Lake (Chesterfield), Ashuelot River (Surry, Gilsum, Marlow), Cold River (Alstead, Walpole), Warren Lake (Alstead), Firehouse Pond (Bow), Frenches Pond (Henniker), Souhegan River (Greenville, Amherst), Contoocook River (Bennington, Hillsboro), and Franklin Pierce Lake (Hillsboro). The walleye fishing in the Connecticut River was excellent this year. I heard of many fish being caught from 16 to 28 inches. Although walleye should be getting near the end of their spawning season, the fish are still around and are hungry. Good fish are still being caught below the Bellows Falls Dam in North Walpole and around the mouths of tributaries to the Connecticut River. The black crappie fishing has been hit-or-miss this spring, due largely to the alternating hot and cold weather we have been having. The crappies started schooling around shore in the Connecticut River setbacks about a month ago, and some days you can catch one on nearly every cast while other days you are lucky to get a bite (just ask my friend Ed who has been frustrated more than once this year). However, as we continue to get more consistently warm temperatures, the crappies should come in in full force to spawn. Black bass anglers have experienced a similar situation to those fishing for black crappies, as the bass fishing has been hit or miss. I have had reports of some big largemouth being caught in the Connecticut River setbacks and some nice fish caught in Pool Pond (Rindge). With the warmer weather approaching, the bass fishing should quickly be heating up. We hope you enjoy fishing this year in the Monadnock/Upper Valley Region and don't forget to take a kid fishing anytime you can! We are always happy to talk to you about fish and fishing so please contact us at Region 4 (603-352-9669; reg4@nhfgd.org) if you have any questions. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- May 12, 2005 This week we get Ben Nugent and Matt Carpenter's take on what's looking good from sea to shining.... pond! Ben and Matt work in Fish and Game's Fisheries Division in Concord. Get the latest fish stocking report -- nearly 150 stocking "events" in NH last week alone! -- at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. A few events coming up: MAY 18: Fishing rule public hearing in Concord -- For information, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2005/News_2005_Q2/Rules_Hearing_050605.htm MAY 22: Law Enforcement Career Day -- If you know a high school junior or senior or a college student who may be interested in a career as a Conservation Officer, tell them about it! More information is at our website (click on "employment" -- students should register by phone before 5/18). MAY 28: Fish Hatchery Open Houses -- Come see how we grow those fish! JUNE 4: Kicking off National Boating and Fishing Week, FREE FISHING DAY!! -- Will you be taking advantage of this opportunity to cultivate a new fishing buddy? Buy your fishing license, salmon permit or moose lottery application online, any time! Visit http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> SURF 'N' TURF By Ben Nugent, fisheries biological technician and Matt Carpenter, fisheries biologist ><> First, the surf: By this time last year, people were catching big striped bass at the head of tide on the coastal rivers. Each year the stripers follow the river herring up river and gorge themselves where the herring congregate behind the dams. This year the water temperatures have been unusually low, which has delayed the herring run. It won't be long before the blueback herring and alewives are swimming up the fish ladders by the thousands. This is the only time of year when your chances of catching a legal-sized striped bass from shore are at least as good as your chances of catching one from a boat. The two most popular spots are below the dam at the Lamprey River in Newmarket and along the Cocheco River in Henry Law Park, near downtown Dover. Some people use herring for bait, but most use artificial lures. Ask a local what's been working recently. This is a good time of year to try for groundfish off the coast. If you don't own a boat you can charter a boat with a small group, ride a party boat, or, if you're lucky, find a friend to take you out. While it can be hit or miss out there, people have been taking home more than their fill of haddock and cod. If you wait too long you'll have to contend with the tourists and the dogfish. We have also heard that the winter flounder have been biting south of the border (that is, waters off Massachusetts). Apparently the best approach is to use a sea worm for bait and form a chum line that drifts over a mussel bed. I have never tried this, but there are some mussel beds in Little Harbor that might just be a perfect place to prove me wrong. Check the mussel beds at low tide so you know how to position your boat when the tide comes in. ><> And now, the turf: Fishing for brook trout in small mountain streams is always on our list of fishing opportunities in May. Now is the time to hit these brooks and streams, before the black flies become unbearable or vegetation along stream banks gets too thick. Stream fishing can be productive all day long and challenges anglers of all ages and skill levels. Don't avoid a stream just because it's not on Fish and Game's stocking list; several wild brook trout populations are present in streams throughout New Hampshire. Get out and explore. Along with the delicious fish, don't forget to bring home all your rubbish. There's nothing more unattractive than a submerged worm container or a mass of tangled line in the bushes. Try perfecting your roll cast in the west branch of the Upper Ammonoosuc River (Berlin), Nash Stream (Stratford/Stark), and the Wild River (Beans Purchase). Take advantage of lakes and pond that receive generous amounts of brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout. The hard work from our hatchery staff can be seen at the end of fishing lines in hundreds of waterbodies in New Hampshire. Akers Pond (Errol), Mirror Lake (Whitefield), Stonehouse Pond (Barrington), Streeter Pond (Sugar Hill), Webster Lake (Franklin) are just a few examples of lakes and ponds which can offer angler success. These waterbodies are easily navigated by a small boat or from shore and can be fished with a variety of flies, spinners, and live bait. Reports of some real horses caught have come from Airport Pond (Whitefield) and Saltmarsh Pond (Guilford). The appetites of smallmouth and largemouth bass are heating up with water temperatures. Nothing can beat post-spawn fishing for smallmouths. Early morning or evening topwater fishing, with poppers, jitterbugs, and soft plastic jerk baits, can be explosive and rewarding. Try using rods and lines with lighter weights to experience the strength of these fighters. And don't forget that May 15 - June 15 is catch-and-release and artificial lure/fly only for smallmouth and largemouth bass. We're counting down the days when the action will be hot at Moore Reservoir (Littleton/Dalton) and Umbagog Lake (Errol). Moore Reservoir also offers the possibility of catching the next state record northern pike. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- May 5, 2005 Dianne Emerson, fisheries biologist, checks in from cool North Country waters this week. If you're heading in that direction for some fishing action, you might want to check out our new "Great North Woods Shorebank Fishing Guide" brochure -- download it at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us or call (603) 271-3211 to request one by mail. There were 130+ stocking "events" in NH last week -- not too shabby. Get the latest fish stocking report at: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license, salmon permit or moose lottery application online, any time! Visit http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> SOME LIKE IT COOL By Dianne Emerson, fisheries biologist, Region 1/Lancaster It all started at about 4 a.m. when I awoke to frost-covered windows. Was I dreaming or had I missed the summer and gone back to fall? What about fishing???? Then I realized as my eyes cleared the calendar clock was still reading May 1. I hadn't missed spring and summer fishing -- but it sure was chilly outside at 30 degrees F. The spring up here in the North Country was very quick and dry for the most part. Water flows in the brooks and streams were way below normal. Now the pattern has switched, we have had a lot of rain and cold nights. This weather pattern has raised havoc with the smelt, a popular forage species, during their spawning runs. Christine Lake in Stark has a healthy smelt population and those fish avoided the brooks this year all together. The brook temperature and flows never met their criteria. They spawned under the ice in the lake. The smelt in Cedar Pond and Big Millsfield Pond spawned a week late. It was in the 60s for two weeks and in the 30s the next. Runoff happened this year when the ground was still frozen, hence the high fire warnings. The good news is the weather is back on its normal spring course. The nights are still cool, which makes for great early morning fishing, as well as less stressful stocking (for the fish that is)! The Conservation Officers and regional biologists have been running the trucks daily putting fish out. We started the third week in April up north to insure safe water temperatures, and have been going ever since. Stocking is a very busy time of year for all of us, especially the hatcheries. Sometimes these employees are completing three plantings a day to provide the opportunity of a lifetime to an angler. Be patient and thanks these guys and gals when you bump into them, they are working hard for you! Maybe you will be lucky and get one of these beauties on your line. See what some of the breeders from last fall look like -- go to the online version of this report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/Fishing_Reports/Fishing_Reports_2005/fishing_report_050505.htm. Nice colors! A few anglers have already visited Cedar Pond in Milan and turned up some nice browns and rainbows. The rivers are always great producers this time of year and through the summer. Some large brown trout have been caught in the Androscoggin and the Connecticut. Some large brookies and 'bows too! Don't forget that the trout ponds opened on Saturday, April 23 this year (always the fourth Saturday in April). The cool nights have prolonged snowmelt in some of the remote mountainous areas, so be smart and use caution when venturing. Throw on a smelt imitation or a lake chub pattern. These are your primary forage in a lot of the pristine waters in northern NH. Good luck and dress warm. Also, the pike fishing has started to soar in the Partridge Lake drainage (Littleton/Lyman). Make a deal with yourself and set aside a day for you! NOTE TO READERS: If you haven't seen this year's Fishing Forecast yet, the Region 1 crew has a slew of suggested places to go on your next North Country trip. Check it out at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 28, 2005 Today's report comes to us from Mike Racine in Fish and Game's Keene office, who's been fishing the southwest corner of the state. We just posted a bunch of new regional fishing information. Check out the New Hampshire Fishing Forecast at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast.htm For the latest fish stocking report, go to: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license, salmon permit or moose lottery application online, any time! Visit http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you’re looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> TRY FOR TROUT IN SOUTHWEST NEW HAMPSHIRE By Mike Racine, Fisheries Biologist, Region 4/Keene Trout fishing is well underway throughout the state. Hatchery trucks have been rolling since early April stocking our streams and ponds with brookies, rainbows, and browns. Region 4's stocking targets for brook trout are 9,500 fingerlings, 75,000 yearlings, 650 two year olds, and 80 three year olds. We also put in over 32,000 yearling brown trout, over 57,000 yearling rainbow trout, and approximately 2,000 tiger trout. Beginning in 2005, the daily harvest number of brook trout in Dublin Lake in Dublin has changed from a "5 fish or 5 pounds, whichever limit is reached first," to a daily limit of 3 fish (with no weight limits). The management decision backing this move were discussed in New Hampshire Wildlife Journal’s March/April 2005 issue and in the Hawkeye’s April issue. Basically, the change was made to manage Dublin Lake as a quality fishery. The lake has incredible forage leading to high brook trout growth rates. We hope that decreasing the daily harvest limits of 5 trout to 3 trout per day will lead to increased numbers of holdover trout, and thus larger fish for the following year. We expect this transition to take several years to come into fruition. Beginning in 2004, we started to stock trout into Franklin Pierce Lake in Hillsborough. Last years stocking of brown trout will continue and be supplemented with rainbow trout as well. The relatively new and underutilized trout fishery should be producing some nice fish this spring, summer, and into next winter (especially if the browns are able to take advantage of the stunted white perch population). Another new place to try to fish for trout is the lower Ashuelot River in Winchester. We began stocking brown and rainbow trout there in 2003. Although long regarded as being an extremely polluted river, the Ashuelot has rebounded and, in places, offers trout excellent habitat, water and very abundance food resources. Reports indicate that trout stocked in past years are surviving the winter and brown trout in these sections have the potential to reach sizes up to 5 lbs within a couple years. This section of the Ashuelot is a great place to fish, whether you want to use a fly rod or spinning gear. Use big lures or flies that imitate minnow or crayfish and hold on. The smelt run in Dublin Lake and Nubanusit Lake in Nelson were excellent this year. As John Viar’s report last week noted, these runs are not the end-all be-all in determining the abundance of smelt. However, these fish are excellent forage for trout and salmon and seeing them in such numbers always makes one excited about the great fishing to be had. Check out the new regional fishing forecasts for some new waterbodies to try! Go to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_forecast.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 21, 2005 Today's report is courtesy of Lakes Region fisheries biologist John Viar, who spent his most recent day off "fishing for science" so he could tell you what's happening out there! Fish and Game staff are busy stocking waterbodies, primarily in southern New Hampshire until northern waters warm up. More than 100 stocking "events" took place last week! For a full list of waterbodies, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Buy your fishing license, salmon permit or moose lottery application online, any time! Visit http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ANATOMY OF AN ICE-OUT... By John A. Viar, Region 2 Fisheries Biologist Much anticipated and eagerly awaited, ice out was officially declared on Lake Winnipesaukee on Wednesday, April 20, 11:33 AM -- when the MS Mt. Washington could make all of its ports. But for most early season anglers, ice out is anytime the smallest craft can negotiate even the tiniest pocket of water. Spots like southern Alton Bay, Wolfeboro Bay, and northern Meredith Bay have seen action for some time. Open-water availability changed dramatically the afternoon of Sunday, April 17, when 70-degree temperatures and a northwest wind (finally!) simultaneously melted and blew out ice on many of the major bays and lake proper. I was fortunate enough to witness this event while fishing in a bay on the southern "side" of the lake. The same area we bashed through shards of old ice and new skim ice at 6:00 AM was completely ice free (not just drifted away but gone) by 4:00 PM -- and once the wind kicked in, the actual ice removal in this particular area took less than 45 minutes! Warm temperatures obviously help, but give me the wind any day in helping to remove that stubborn ice pack! We had luck earlier in the morning "donut-trolling" live smelt in a pocket of water about 100 acres in size, catching three nicely-conditioned salmon in the 20-21 inch range. Now, with our favorite bay iced out before our very eyes, and a water temperature of 39 degrees, we moved in and continued slow-trolling live smelt with the wind, catching another five salmon in the same size range, including a double while trolling only two rods -- a great way to celebrate "ice out"! Many reports have been fielded of success with everything from live bait (smelt) to streamer flies (e.g. Maynard's Marvel) and spoons (e.g. DB Smelt). Since surface water temperatures rose dramatically with the unseasonably warm weather (as high as 46 degrees in some protected bays during Wednesday's calm, downright hot weather), artificials were as effective as live bait. Hard to believe ice-out trolling in T-shirts, but it was the norm the past couple days. Today's cold front (Thursday, April 21) should moderate things a bit. Look for a large age class of three-year-old salmon this season in Lake Winnipesaukee, which are currently 18-20 inches and nicely conditioned (you may see some very thin, ragged-looking males in your catch; this is common in spring as some males, often called "black" salmon, have wintered in the tributaries after last fall's spawning, instead of returning to the lake and feeding -- thus their body condition/appearance suffers compared to "healthy" fish). By late summer/end of the season, these three-year-olds will be very nice fish in the 22+inch category! Also of note, look for Big Squam Lake to produce some very nice salmon this year -- this lake is back on track and actually produced the largest average salmon (20 inches), as well as some well-conditioned large individuals, during last fall's netting activities (see the online version of this report for a picture of a Big Squam male in spawning condition/color from fall 2004 netting). And if you really want a challenge and shot at trophy salmon, try Newfound Lake -- they are there but only a select few have unlocked this lake's secrets. As far as smelt runs we were able to monitor this spring, Winnipesaukee, Newfound, and Winnisquam were excellent. Data collected from these runs (e.g. length, weight, age classes) provides insight into these populations. Although an indicator, tributary spawning is not the "be all, end all" governing overall smelt abundance, as smelt also spawn on shoal areas within the lake. Annual hydroacoustic (sonar) and trawl net surveys provide invaluable information and are another key component in monitoring smelt/forage fish abundance. Smelt are critical forage (food) fish for landlocked salmon, and their abundance determines annual salmon stocking rates. Speaking of salmon stocking, with help from department-wide fisheries staff and volunteers (thank you all!), we have just finished fin clipping approximately 45,000 yearling salmon, which will soon be stocked into New Hampshire's thirteen lakes managed for this species. This process allows us to quickly age the salmon during fall netting activities, and provides crucial information (e.g. body condition, growth, and abundance by age-class) needed to effectively manage these fisheries. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 14, 2005 The fortunetellers of weather say we've got another superb, sunny early-spring weekend on the way. How lucky is that for us fishing fanatics! Today's fishing report includes the first stocking report of the season, and some insider information on activities at New Hampshire's fish hatcheries or "fish culture facilities" from the hatchery supervisor himself, Bob Fawcett. Buy your fishing license, salmon permit or moose lottery application online, any time! Visit http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. Fish stocking started last week and the trucks are rollin' out! Last week's stocking locations (April 4 - 8) -- by county and town: CHESHIRE, CHESTERFIELD, SPOFFORD LAKE CHESHIRE, JAFFREY, GILMORE POND CHESHIRE, SWANZEY, CALIFORNIA BROOK CHESHIRE, TROY, SHAKER BROOK HILLSBOROUGH, BENNINGTON, WHITTEMORE LAKE HILLSBOROUGH, BROOKLINE, NISSITISSIT RIVER HILLSBOROUGH, BROOKLINE, SPAULDING BROOK HILLSBOROUGH, GREENVILLE-AMHERST, SOUHEGAN RIVER HILLSBOROUGH, HANCOCK, HUNTS POND HILLSBOROUGH, LYNDEBOROUGH-WILTON, STONEY BROOK HILLSBOROUGH, MERRIMACK, BABOOSIC BROOK HILLSBOROUGH, MERRIMACK, SOUHEGAN RIVER HILLSBOROUGH, MILFORD, SOUHEGAN RIVER HILLSBOROUGH, NEW BOSTON, PISCATAQUOG RIVER, SOUTH BRANCH HILLSBOROUGH, PETERBOROUGH, OTTER BROOK HILLSBOROUGH, WILTON, SOUHEGAN RIVER Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> GROW THE FISH, TRANSPORT THE FISH, STOCK THE FISH... THEN, FISH! By Robert Fawcett, Hatchery Supervisor What are the hatchery staff up to these days? The Berlin Hatchery Fish Culturists recently brought one of their stocking trucks down south to the Concord headquarters garage, where they could get it inside and rewire the four aeration motors on their Peterson live fish transport system with new solenoid switches. And, Milford fish culturists discovered that one of their motors had frozen up on their large tank truck, so they borrowed a replacement from Powder Mill Hatchery, since Milford did not have one of the large-size aerators on hand. All hatcheries were contacted to find out their status for back-up aerators, and a requisition was filled out for four Fresh-Flo aerators to replace the back-up aerators we used to get our stocking trucks ready to roll. Whether or not you have a clue what I am talking about, it boils down to this: We've been hard at work all year to raise literally tons of trout -- now it's time for us to stock them and you to enjoy! The trout stocking trucks started to roll out of Milford and Powder Mill hatcheries a week and a half ago now. Our MASTER PLAN for the season is to stock designated numbers of catchable-size trout (below) into selected waters managed for trout using hatchery-raised fish. (Surplus fish, not included in the table, are stocked according to the best professional judgment of regional biologists.) The target calls for 869,815 of these "put-and-take" fish. Streams Ponds Total Eastern brook trout ------- ------- ------- Yearlings 255,140 189,935 445,075 2 year olds 5,740 9,850 15,590 3+ year olds 630 1,130 1,760 Rainbow trout yearlings 111,735 166,155 277,890 Brown trout yearlings 89,240 40,260 129,500 Tiger trout 5,000 5,000 Fifty-three percent of the trout will be released into rivers and streams. Forty-seven percent will be released into lakes and ponds. There are usually surplus fish, because fish culturists want to make sure we err on the positive side, rather than be short of the production target, and because we have brood fish populations we manage for Eastern brook trout and brown trout egg needs. Rainbow trout eggs are imported. Brood fish become surplus to our needs when they have passed their prime age for eggs, or sperm: females usually after their second or third spawning, and males after their first spawning, to conserve on space. We use cross-generational paired mating (younger males and older females). Other, smaller fish are stocked, too, and allowed to grow to catchable size in New Hampshire's waterbodies. The fish are not fed prior to being transported to keep them from getting "car-sick" -- they travel better when they have not been fed. In other hatchery news, we're carefully watching and managing the feed that we give the trout. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recently tested our high-quality Canadian 4mm Vigor Grower Fish Feed as part of a widespread testing program for bovine spongiform encephalopathy -- BSE or "mad cow" disease. (We have an approved import permit because our vendor uses no beef or beef products in their feed, so we do not consider it to be a risk situation.) The feed must be held intact until the FDA gives us the green light, so we were scrambling to get one month's worth of feed special-ordered, and moving feed on hand around the state to where it was needed in the meantime. We usually order feed based on near-future needs -- for efficiency and because it has a shelf life of only 90 days. We simply cannot hold feed for a month, unless we have other feed to use for the trout... the trout have this habit of eating regularly most every day! If you're weak of stomach, you might want to skip this next item, which is very interesting but is basically about fish waste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of reissuing National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permits for our six fish hatcheries. Discharge of cleaning water solids from our hatcheries is not permitted. Hatchery supervisors have studied, taken examination, and obtained Wastewater Treatment Operator Certification. We are now using our new red NUHN vacuum pump trailer systems (see the online version of this report for a picture), which arrived in mid-winter, to vacuum out the waste from our fish rearing containers, and storing it until we can land-apply the fish manure on agricultural land. Each discharge pipe must be permitted, sampled and tested, so we are consolidating pipes to reduce the number of discharge points for monitoring. New Hampton Hatchery and Powder Mill Hatchery will be sites of mini "big digs" for pipe work t his July, after spring trout stocking is completed in the southern part of the state. The pH limit is 6.5 to 8.0, which we are violating because of naturally occurring pH, so we must conduct a study for a year to have our limit adjusted to meet naturally occurring pH ranges. Obviously, raising fish is a highly technical task, and it's becoming more and more regulated and difficult. But we have resilient and hard-working people getting it done, in spite of obstacles. (For more behind-the-scenes hatchery information, visit last year's hatchery report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/Fishing_Reports/Fishing_Reports_2004/fishing_report_041504.htm.) I think there is still a lot of ice yet to melt in some ponds. I could hardly believe how much ice there was on Silver Lake just a few weeks ago, when I was ice fishing there for lake trout. It was thicker than the handle on my skimmer was long. From watching other people's ice augers, I'd guess it was between two and three feet thick. I caught a laker. It was not as big as I thought, it just got caught aft of mid body and felt bigger than it was. I also saw a beautiful dark-colored Milford Hatchery rainbow, and a wonderful smallmouth bass. I remembered to use sunscreen, but I did not wear sunglasses to protect my eyes, so they got pretty sore. I was plenty relaxed by the time I got home. A wild turkey was gobbling around dawn, when I got there, and there was a good view of Mount Monadnock in the distance. Spring is really here, and only a little more than a week before the season begins on trout ponds.... Bob ><> VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR SALMON FRY STOCKING IN APRIL AND MAY <>< NORTHERN NH/Upper Connecticut River watershed: May 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 16. Contact Andrew Schafermeyer, Fisheries Biologist, (603) 788-3164 or aschafermeyer@nhfgd.org. INFO: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2005/News_2005_Q2/Salmon_Stock_North_040705.htm CENTRAL NH/Merrimack River watershed: April 19, 20, 21; and May 4, 10,17, 19, 24, 25. Contact Vikki at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord, (603) 271-2501 or fish@wildlife.state.nh.us. INFO: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2005/News_2005_Q2/Salmon_Stock_Merrimack_040705.htm ><> JONES POND NOTE <>< Jones Pond, a fly-fishing-only pond located within the Jones Brook Wildlife Management Area in Middleton, will not be stocked with trout during the 2005 season because of serious structural integrity issues with the pond's earthen outlet dam, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department reported today. INFO: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2005/News_2005_Q2/Jones_Pond_041305.htm ><> BROOD STOCK SALMON FLY-FISHING EXPO MAY 7 <>< Fly anglers: improve your skills at a free Brood Stock Salmon Fishing Expo on Concord, Saturday, May 7. INFO: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2005/News_2005_Q2/Brood_Stock_Expo_041205.htm ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- April 7, 2005 We're back! In our first fishing report of the spring season, Let's Go Fishing coordinator Mark Beauchesne lays out his own ambitious fishing itinerary for the season. What's on your fishing schedule? Buy your fishing license and salmon permit online, any time -- http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Moose lottery apps are available, too. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. P.S.: Fish stocking just started this week. Our first stocking report of the season will be released next Thursday. Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> MANY WATERS TO FISH... BETTER GET STARTED! By Mark Beauchesne, Let's Go Fishing coordinator A long, successful ice fishing season has come to a close. What a year we had! Big lakers taken all over the state. Great panfish action, along with plenty of rainbows through the ice. Now, with the ice gear stored, it's time to get ready for open water. If you have to ask, "What's the big deal about getting ready for the upcoming fishing season?" -- you need to go fishing more often. I could go on about getting your gear ready for the season. But, I decided instead to write about my own plans for a season on the water. (Editor's note: Check out Mark's early-season report from last year for more on preparing your gear and your brain for the season: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/Fishing_Reports/Fishing_Reports_2004/fishing_report_040804.htm) Early spring, I'll be fishing any open water I can find. I have to make the trip to Ellacoya State Park. Standing waist-deep in icy water casting for salmon and rainbows is the official kickoff to the open water season for me. The boat comes out a week later. The first trip will be a shakedown cruise, with some fishing thrown in for good measure. Late April to mid-May is pike fishing time. The Connecticut River now calls to me in my sleep. My dreams are filled with visions of three-foot long pike chasing my fly. If you are new to pike fishing, you will soon learn why this toothy fish is so exciting! We focus on the oxbows and setbacks. Often when pike fishing we encounter big yellow perch, bass and walleye. That is the best thing about fishing the river in the spring -- you never know what you will catch next. This year, I will fish for trout more often. I will be float tubing the ponds around the state. Willard Pond (Antrim) is on the list, along with Smith Pond and Millen Lake in Washington, Stirrup Iron Brook (Salisbury/Boscawen), Hot Hole Pond (Loudon) and of course the North Country ponds. Most of these ponds are less than two hours from Concord. What does that mean? Well, that means even on workdays I'm on the water by 7:00 p.m. I have the best part of the day to fish. Quite often during the week I'm the only angler out there. Stream fishing for trout has been ingrained into my being. Sure, I talk and write about fishing for warmwater fish like the smallmouth and pike. But, I know the outstanding river and stream fishing we have in New Hampshire. You probably know about the great rivers in the North Country -- the Connecticut, Ammonoosuc, Saco, Androscoggin -- they're all awesome. Well, we also have some wonderful rivers not too far from Concord. Right in Concord is the often-overlooked Soucook River. Growing up in town, a good portion of my youth was spent fishing this river. Then there is the Suncook, and the Merrimack River is a must-fish. The Contoocook River is a classic -- great insect hatches along with plenty of opportunities for the spinfisher. I will find the time to knock off a number of smaller rivers, too -- the Souhegan, Piscataquog, Smith and Blackwater rivers, and Shedd Brook. The word around here is that we will be having a banner salmon season on the lakes. When the biologists get excited about the fishery, you know it's going to be good. I'm planning a couple of salmon trolling trips for sure! I have planned several camping trips to Lake Umbagog, too. I can't wait! This lake is wonderful. Wildlife and great fishing, combined with the peace and serenity of the North Country. Remembering what happened last July, when I witnessed an incredible hex hatch, I will not be without a selection of dry flies. If my timing is right I will be doing more than watching the insects, I will be hooking the fish that eat them. Be sure to take time out this season to fish with your friends and family. Great fishing !!! Mark ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2005 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  .H. ICE FISHING REPORT -- March 4, 2005 Hello, N.H. fishing fanatics! We know you've missed hearing from the N.H. Weekly Fishing Report this winter, but hope you've gotten out with your family and friends to enjoy the state's fantastic ice fishing. It may be March already, but some of the season's prime ice fishing days are yet to come, with deep ice, great fish, and warm sunny days. Do keep in mind that ice conditions will be changing as the weather warms, and play it safe by checking ice conditions before you go out. In April we'll be revving up the N.H. Weekly Fishing Report, giving you a chance to hear firsthand where the spring fishing's hot. Don't miss a minute of the action: buy your fishing license online, anytime at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. In the meantime, we wanted to give you a few tempting tidbits from this year's continuing excellent ice-fishing season. Enjoy! NOTE: For pictures, visit the online version of this report at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/Fishing_Reports/Fishing_Reports_2005/fishing_report_030405.htm. We've also got some great new stuff up at the Big Ice Fish page -- http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/big_ice_fish.htm. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> HAPPY ICE ANGLERS IN SOUTHWESTERN NH By Gabe Gries Region 4 Fisheries Biologist and Warmwater Project Leader Ice anglers have been doing well in southwestern New Hampshire this winter. Silver Lake (Harrisville) has been producing a lot of nice rainbow and lake trout, while anglers are catching rainbows in Granite Lake (Nelson/Stoddard). Additionally, large numbers of brown and rainbow trout are being caught in Laurel Lake (Fitzwilliam). Other locations to try for trout through the ice included Gustin Pond (Marlow), Warren Lake and Newell Pond (Alstead), Deering Reservoir (Deering), Franklin Pierce Lake (Hillsborough), and Horace Lake (Weare). Good locations for warmwater species include Highland Lake (Stoddard/Washington), Island Pond (Washington), Contoocook Lake (Ringe/Jaffrey), Lake Potanipo (Brookline), Crescent Lake (Acworth), and Drew Lake (Hopkinton). The Connecticut River setbacks (Hinsdale to Hanover) are producing some nice black crappies, yellow perch, pike and walleye. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> STAGE SET FOR GREAT NORTH COUNTRY ICE-FISHING By Andrew Schafermeyer Region 1 Fisheries Biologist Right in the heart of ice fishing season, we got our first real snowstorm up north. Since early January brought us some super-cold days, and late January followed up with warm, sunny weather, it seems as if Mother Nature has followed a recipe for great ice fishing conditions this season. The stage is set....the rest is up to you! In the North Country, pan-fishermen did well early and the action will probably pick up again in mid- to late-March. Recently, we've seen that big pike are being pulled through Connecticut River setbacks and reservoirs. Don't overlook opportunities to catch fall-stocked rainbows in places like Streeter Pond and Martin Meadow Pond. Not much will entertain a family more than finding a nice, accessible warmwater pond and setting a pile of tip-ups. Bass, pickerel, and perch will eat almost any bait and keep flags tripping all day. Look for opportunities like this at South Pond, Burns Pond and Partridge Lake. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> BIG LAKES REPORT By John A. Viar Region 2 Fisheries Biologist ***March Madness -- Ice Style! Talk of early ice-out in the Granite State has certainly been quelled, with a series of cold fronts, snowstorms, slush, and re-freezing events which have actually added to the ice packs in most areas of the state -- but that means some fabulous March ice fishing conditions! As the sun's rays shine down from higher and higher angles, comfortable conditions for a day on the ice are more frequently encountered, and like clockwork, many species, such as the mighty lake trout (AKA "togue") once again become ravenous after a perennial mid-winter lull. *** Winter Means Big Togue Time Despite the mid-winter slow down (aforementioned post-front conditions have not helped), overall, the 2005 ice-fishing season has been "Big Togue Time," as several behemoths have been iced across the state. The largest confirmed to date comes from a lake in the southwestern corner of the state; Chris Wesoja of Webster NH manhandled a 37.5 inch 21.35 lbs. monster on 2/19/05 -- exciting yet scary when you have to start wondering if the fish is going to fit through the hole! Since this catch, there was a report the same angling party landed another trophy in the 17 lbs. range! I bet there are a few stocked rainbow trout swimming around that are breathing a lot easier now! Word has it that Jim, at Morse's Sports Shop in Hillsborough, nearly fainted when the 21 lbs. specimen was lifted from the cooler at his shop! Only three days prior (2/16/05), Bob Mosher of Northfield NH fought a long, tough battle with a 34.75 inch 16.44 lbs. beast finally exiting a hole in the central Lakes Region; we were able to examine this particular fish and found extremely large vertebrae in the fish's massive stomach. Earlier this winter (1/15/05), David Heath of Warren NH iced a 36.75 inch 14.98 lbs. togue in the North Country, on 4-lb. test! Another North Country laker in the13 lbs. range has also been reported. It is nothing for lakers of these sizes to eat fish half their own length! Although the sentiment "big bait, big fish" is well-deserved, and can pay off, using cut sucker bait on bucktail or airplane jigs can still trigger big fish and give you a better shot at modest-sized fish, if a bit more action is your goal. Also, don't be afraid to fish higher in the water column with airplane jigs tipped with smelt -- especially with the aid of a fish finder. Escaping the jig by reeling up when lakers approach can trigger fish which otherwise would not hit -- appeal to their predatory instincts! It is no secret chumming (such as with pieces of shiner, smelt, sucker) is an effective way to call lake trout into your general area (this is legal in New Hampshire). But when lakers get picky during post-front/mid-winter conditions and won't touch bait which is weighted (like on a bucktail -- too heavy and "blocky") near your chum pile, try floating down a very lightly weighted (BB shot or two, none if shallow enough) small strip of sucker on a plain hook -- on a jig rod or tip up -- the weightlessness and mixing/dropping with chum on the bottom can sometimes do the trick when nothing else will. Use of a fish finder and/or camera is invaluable -- it has been said before, but I don't think I would head out without at least one of these tools. Look for lake trout appetites/attitudes to improve through March, as they chase pre-spawn smelt into near-shore flats at tributary inlets and other shoal areas. One last tip -- although any day you can fish is a good day to fish, if pos sible time your trips with cloudy, pre-front conditions (especially moving in from the south), as this is when lake trout and many other species most actively feed. Although super-sized lakers can and have been taken in smaller water bodies (including some of the specimens mentioned above), some of New Hampshire's most consistent producers are Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam, Newfound, and First Connecticut lakes. ***Warmwater Species Heat Up Don't forget about those ultralight jigging rods and tip-up sets. Despite the frigid temperatures under the ice, increasing day length and late ice conditions cause many warmwater species to stir -- "spawn is not that far away, must start eating again"! The same black crappie and bluegill that stubbornly refused even the tiniest offerings in midwinter now slam into the most basic presentations, folding that noodle rod in half. Smallmouth and largemouth bass, along with those lurking torpedoes, chain pickerel, come dangerously close to spooling your tip-ups after smashing those large golden shiners dangled enticingly under tip-ups (grab a quick photo if conditions warrant and then please release large predatory pre-spawn fish!). Some good central New Hampshire water bodies to hit for late-ice mixed-bag warmwater species are Pemigewasset and Wickwas lakes in Meredith, shallower bays of Lake Winnipesaukee, Hawkins Pond in Center Harbor, Lees Mills Pond in Moultonborough, and Sun cook lakes in Barnstead. Contact your regional fisheries biologist(s) for local recommendations, and introduce a youngster to ice fishing -- there is no better time than March for comfort level and action! ***The Great Rotary Fishing Derby A mid to late winter ice fishing report would not be complete without mentioning the 26th Annual Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby, which was held February 5 and 6. Over 5,800 participants enjoyed the mildest, sunniest conditions anyone associated with the derby could recall. Although not prime fishing conditions for most species, there were still some impressive fish registered. The 2005 winner board hasn't been posted yet, but you should be able to find it soon at the Meredith Rotary site http://www.meredithrotary.com. Some highlights included the entry of a 10.14 lbs. cusk/burbot -- 1 lb. shy of the state record, nice quality-sized rainbow trout in the 3-4.5 lbs. range, and jumbo white and yellow perch with maximum sizes of 2.78 and 1.77 lbs. respectively! (For pictures, visit our Big Ice Fish page at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/big_ice_fish.htm.) Keep an eye out for more Fishing Reports once the spring season gets underway, and of course we'll be bringing you updates on stocking action as the trucks get rolling. In the meantime, great ice-fishing! ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2004 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. January 31, 2005--Well, we've finally experienced a weekend of good  weather and ice conditions for ice fishing, with inland spots actually  having less snow to worry about than the coastal areas. Both fish and  fishermen responded to these circumstances, with some outstanding  catches of saltwater smelt and favorable reports on lake trout and  crappy fishing. On the flip side, there's some pretty bad news facing Sebago Lake  anglers and the fisheries managers. Dave Garcia, at Naples Bait on Long  Lake in the Sebago region, reports another big northern pike coming from  Sebago Lake, a fish that has decimated the landlocked salmon fishing in  other lakes in Maine where it's been illegally introduced. "The fish was rumored to be a thirteen-plus pound female and it was  loaded with eggs," Dave noted. "So now it seems just about a certainty that pike have populated the  lake. We've had pike caught from several areas in the lake. This one was  the first one to be caught in the Sebago Station area while a half dozen  or so others were taken in the northern portions of Sebago Lake." (In the Belgrade Lakes Region, illegal introduction of northern pike  has just about done-in the salmon population in Long Pond, once one of  the best landlocked salmon fisheries in Maine. Last year's test netting  by the biologist staff there ended with only one salmon showing in their  nets. Salmon catches are non-existent by anglers!) Garcia was enthusiastic about the fishing on Long Lake near his  shop. "There's been some nice brown trout being caught here. Most of  them are taken on live shiners fished right near bottom. The last one we  saw was 24 inches and weighed close to four pounds. Over at Kezar Lake  in Lovell, there's been some fast fishing for togue (lake trout) with an  occasional keeper-sized salmon being taken. Thomas Pond in Casco  continues to produce some quality brook trout since the season opened." "If you want to catch some eating-sized smelt, my suggestion would  be to try Trickey Pond right here in Naples. Fish in the 45-50 foot  depths with a small, number 12 size hook baited with a tiny piece of  worm or a number 2 size Swedish Pimple with a little bait--worm or cut  smelt. Replace the treble hook on the Swedish Pimple with a small single  hook," he instructed. Some good news came from a phone call from Carroll Cutting at  Jordan's Store in East Sebago. "As far as you can see from here, there's  ice. It's finally caught. We had an ice-boater out on the ice checking  depths of from six inches in near shore to about four inches a mile out.  Remember that this lake always has pressure ridges and other thin ice  areas that are extremely dangerous." Craig Bergeron, at Saco Bay Tackle, reported that some of their  fishermen had been catching some nice togue in the 90-foot depths of  Sebago Lake "These guys all use cut sucker strips fished on Airplane  Jigs with some of their treble hooks removed. Craig had received some good news about the mid-coast Maine fishing.  Some of his friends had fished at River Bend and James Eddy in the  Dresden area. Two anglers ended up with a five-gallon bucket of smelt  while a party of three anglers also had a full five-gallon bucketful!  Craig had also done some sea clam gathering after last week's  northeaster, with a bucket full of shucked clams to his credit! While Sharon James at James Eddy Smelt Camp Rentals had stories  about some full buckets of smelt, she also noted that "It was weird. One  shack would be catching them one after another while another party two  shacks down weren't having any luck. That's how it's been going this  year," Sharon lamented. Dave Ganter, at Kittery Trading Post's fishing department, can vouch  for that. He fished in a friend's smelt shack on the Kennebec River in  Dresden with very little luck. Dave did say that he'd had a friend stop  in at the store who'd taken a seven-pound brookie while fishing Parker  Pond in the Waterville area. This party had taken a couple of other  decent brookies along with that monster. Maine's Region A (Southwestern Maine) Fisheries Biologist Staff sent  us this information: "Sub-zero temperatures and a storm a week has  finally made me concede that winter is definitely here. With cold  temperatures and an increasing snow pack, angler activity remains  light. However, the intrepid angler with a decent ice shack can still  catch those elusive trout as Biologist Jim Pellerin reports from the  Range Ponds. Several fat rainbow trout in the 16-18 inch range as well  as a seven pound togue were harvested this past Saturday. Moderate  size brown trout were also reported on Crystal Lake in Gray and on  Canton Lake." "In other news, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and  Wildlife is partnering with Sportsman's Alliance of Maine to launch the  "Classic Salmon Initiative" in which trophy class land-locked salmon  fisheries would be created. Region A has chosen Kezar Lake in Lovell as  the focus of this initiative. Under this management plan, attainment of  a trophy salmon fishery on Kezar Lake would consist of an increase in  the number of 3 and 4 pound class salmon with the production of a few  larger fish in the mix." "Regulations that increase the average size of salmon while  protecting the forage base of smelt to maximize growth potential would  be the basis of this initiative. Pending public comment and peer  review, one or more of the following strategies is being considered for  Kezar Lake: Continue suspension of lake trout stocking to reduce  predation pressure on smelt. Eliminate recreational harvest of smelt to  leave more smelt in the lake available for forage. Liberalize the  regulations on lake trout to increase their harvest and reduce predation  on smelt. Adopt a high maximum length limit on salmon to ensure  escapement of quality fish while limiting the size of the salmon  population. Reduce salmon stocking rates of salmon to maintain salmon  growth rates. We will post more information as we more fully develop  this management package." "The creators of 'Triptracks', which is the online version of our  volunteer fishing log program, have compiled the results of a recent  survey. The survey indicates that most users are happy with the service  and would recommend it to a fishing friend. Most users use the service  because they wish to contribute to the management of Maine's fisheries."  "A big "thank you" to those contributors from Region A! It also  indicated that over half the contributors are fly anglers and that  almost half the contributors fish 40 or more days a year. That's more  that 1/10 of the year spent fishing. What a life! To contribute to the  Triptracks online fishing logbook go to www.triptracks.com. The service  is free."  Paul Johnson, Regional Fisheries Biologist in Maine's Region E  (Moosehead), filed this report with us by email: "Over the past weekend,  extremely cold weather, combined with yet another storm of this young  century to the south, helped put a damper on fishing activity in the  Moosehead Region. On Saturday, Jeff Bagley encountered very few  parties, and even fewer fish, in his route on Moosehead Lake from the  Greenville HQ up to Lily Bay and back. To the north, Albert Hall and  Steve Sutton braved the sub zero temperatures in locating a dozen  parties in the Rockwood area and behind Kineo. They did find fishing to  be quite a bit better on their half of the lake, where they examined 20  lake trout, 2 cusk and a brookie. As we observed last year, ice fishing  on the northern part of Moosehead has been faster than on the southern  half of the lake. No theories about this yet, but I am sure one will  come to us before the season is over. It will be interesting to see if  this trend continues this winter after the weather moderates and more  people get out and about to fish." "The results of our food habit studies so far indicate an increase  in the occurrence and number of smelts in the stomachs of Moosehead Lake  fish this winter. Reports from fishermen about their fish "spitting up  smelts" agree with our findings. Whenever possible in examining fish  stomach contents we measure individual smelts." "This year, we are finding a high proportion of fish less than 3  inches in length, yearling smelts that were spawned in 2004. Smelts  appear to be abundant lake wide, a sign that smelt spawning success  improved in the areas where they spawn naturally throughout the lake."  "Word reaching us from the small ponds open to ice fishing in the  Greenville area, as well as waters like Branns Mill Pond and Manhanock  Pond to the south, indicates that our fall stockings of adult brook  trout are generating more than a little excitement. Derek Nisbet sent  us a photograph of the brook trout he caught at Prong Pond. I'll let him  tell you about it"--"We got out on the ice just before 3:00 on Friday  (January 14), and caught the fish at about 3:30. Chad Cray from Torsey  Shores guide service did everything but pull in the fish, so I can't  take all the credit. Chad was drilling holes in water about 4 feet deep,  claiming that this was good brook trout water, and I must say that I was  a bit skeptical at first. I'm also ashamed to say that I was "that guy"  who's putting in traps while others are drilling and ladling holes, but  the crew I was with insisted (I was a guest). While putting in my second  trap, one of my companions alerted me that the first flag was off. It  was the first flag of the weekend, so there was some excitement.  Although I insisted that my friend take the flag, he claimed that it was  bad luck to pull another man's trap (a philosophy he might need to  reconsider in the future). If it were my brother and I, claim to the  flag would have been decided with speed and possibly fists, but this was  a kinder crew. I'm more accustom to salmon, where a tip-up's spin could  generate enough power to light a small cabin, and this fish was only  taking what it thought necessary. I waited about a minute before setting  the hook, assuming that I had a perch or whitefish. After the set, there  was no doubt that it was sizeable. I haven't kept a fish in years, but  couldn't resist the opportunity to get some pictures and possibly a  mount. If the picture had audio, you would hear some colorful adjectives  being used to describe the fish...we were pretty excited!" "We went on to catch some more nice brookies, but nothing in the  same class as this one. I had the fish weighed at Indian Hill in  Greenville. It was 20 1/2 inches and 4.27 pounds...more than 2 pounds  less than another brookie that had been caught this year in the same  place! Kudos to the state for providing such great fishing  opportunities!" (Biologist Paul Johnson ended: "Thanks for the report,  and for your kind words, Derek! Nice Fish!) This report was edited for  brevity. Chad Woodward, at Kittery Trading Post's fishing department, was  trying to gear up for this coming weekend's Greater Meredith (NH) Rotary  Fishing Derby by checking out his favorite rainbow trout waters at  Winnipesaukee Lake. Chad said that he and his brother fished two days  and only had one hit, this coming from a nice landlocked salmon that are  not legal to catch and keep in New Hampshire. He'd just called his  brother by cell phone when we talked to him. His brother and friends  were fishing Pine River Pond in Ossipee and had over two dozen nice  crappy out on the ice, this by seven o'clock this morning. They also had  caught a couple of decent bass. "We've got some friends that have been doing exceptionally well on  Lake Winnisquam in Laconia, NH for lake trout. Each trip out they seem  to end up with four of five nice lake trout. They use Airplane jigs with  cut suckers, removing all but two of the regular hooks," Chad noted. Paul Garland, at Hot Spot Outfitters in New Durham, was gearing up  for a big weekend with the statewide derby coming up. "This derby is for  fish caught statewide, but the big money is on the tagged rainbow trout  that are only stocked in selected waters. A partial list of the tagged  rainbow places include Lake Winnipesaukee, Wentworth, Winnisquam,  Wakewan, Ossipee Lake, Bow Lake and Lake Francis. Check with the derby  registration people and get their updated, complete list." "One of the favorite spots to catch rainbows at Lake Winnipesaukee  is off the Ellacoya State Park in the sandy shallows. Another spot is  Ossipee Lake, where two of the winning fish have been caught in recent  years. Remember that salmon are off limits! You can win a prize for just  about any other species with a large fish. Most of the lakes are frozen  and safe. We don't suggest travel with cars or trucks. Even the safe  lakes will have places where the currents will create thin ice spots  which are extremely dangerous." At Lake Winnisquam, Harold at Martel's Bait and Tackle reported some  good lakers being caught. "We saw a 28 incher just caught up near  Collins Brook. We've heard of other big lakers--one that weighed nine  pounds and three others in the seven-pound range near Belmont Brook.  Occasionally a nice rainbow trout is also taken." George Taylor, at Taylor's Trading Post in Madbury, reported that  limit catches of smelt were the rule at the Oyster River in Durham.  "It's been great. The fishing has been a lot better there than the other  rivers. There's been some fishermen out on the Lamprey River in  Newmarket but it's been slow there," he ended. END Because of the inherent time restrictions of gathering fresh, up-to-date  information, editing and producing this report in a timely manner,  occasional errors or marginal information may slip by us. We try our  hardest to provide accurate information. We urge readers to use this  report as a tool to increase their fishing pleasure and not to rely on  as their sole resource. First or second hand information is offered by  fishing guides, commercial fishing charters or party boats, bait and  tackle dealers, well known successful anglers and state and federal  fisheries and natural resource law enforcement officials. We also  welcome and use reports forwarded to us by fishermen that use this  report. --Kittery Trading Post Fishing Report Editor N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 30, 2004 Well folks, this is it for 2004! We hope you've enjoyed this season's fishing reports. Thanks for reading, and for sharing the enjoyment of fishing with your family and friends. And a special thanks to our contributors and helpers for bringing us fishing news and tips throughout the spring and summer -- you're the best! Thank you: Mark Beauchesne, John Viar, Don Miller, Dianne Emerson, Andy Schafermeyer, Gabe Gries, Mike Racine, Brian Smith, Jon Greenwood, Scott Decker, Bob Fawcett, Dick Prunier, Bryan Comeau and Cory Vander-Heyden. Of course, fishing isn't over for the season, as you'll see below. Buy your fishing or hunting license online, any time -- http://www.nhfishandgame.com. And we'll see you on the ice in January! Fish New Hampshire and Relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> It's the FALL FISHING ROUNDUP!! ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> MARK BEAUCHESNE weighs in from CENTRAL NH: "This being our last report does not mean that the fishing is over. No way. This week the bass fishing on the big lakes was outstanding. Hooked many fish on topwater baits. The bass are putting on the feed bag for the winter -- many of these fish were just full of smelt and other baitfish like yellow perch. This feeding frenzy has just begun. "I also fish for pike on the Connecticut River. We were surprised by aggressive smallmouth bass. We boated several pike. The big ones have not come on yet. With river temps still in the upper 70s, I think another week or so and the pike fishing will really take off. Spinner baits and topwater baits work well on the river. Big flies like the pike bunny, along with diving flies "popped" on the surface, brought violent strikes. "Hey, ice fishing is just around the corner. Before that comes, get out and fish New Hampshire. Great fishing!!!" ><> In the GREAT NORTH WOODS, ANDY SCHAFERMEYER advises: "Don't miss out on some fall opportunities as our hatchery technicians complete their fall stocking of late-season rainbows. Intentions are to cover ponds that will get ice-fishing pressure -- many of which are open to the taking of trout year-round. These two-year-old fish range from 12-15 inches, weigh more than a pound each, and are sure to put a nice bend in a fly rod. "Cooler water temperatures make the stocking process less stressful on the fish and catch rates should increase immediately after. Fish should be near the surface most of the fall and a successful method will range from trolling to casting a dry-fly-line or shallow-diving lure." ><> From the SOUTHWEST, MIKE RACINE reports: "Bass fishing has been spotty but fish should begin feeding more as fall continues in preparation for a sluggish winter. Don't put away your bass rod yet. "Reports have indicated good trout fishing. Major streams and rivers to try are the Connecticut River, the mouth of the Cold River, and further upstream, the Ashuelot River, the Souhegan River and the Contoocook River. At this time of the year the trout will be more difficult to catch as chances are the remaining trout have seen a spinner or two. The season closes October 15." ><> And BRIAN SMITH brings words of wisdom from New Hampshire's SEACOAST: "Our fishing season is winding down along with the temperatures. As the leaves change, take advantage of some of the best cod and haddock fishing of the season. Get out and catch some fish to put in the freezer for the winter ahead. "Striped bass are making their annual southern migration toward warmer waters. Fishing has been hit or miss. If you can find a school, the fishing can be spectacular. Look for bird activity and fish breaking the surface. This time of year, the stripers are often feeding on juvenile menhaden. Try small baitfish imitations or surface plugs for your last chance striper fishing until next spring. Good luck, great fishing, and stay warm this winter." ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2004 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 23, 2004 Sorry for the delay in getting this report out. This week, it's our semiannual brood stock salmon update from Merrimack River fish guru Jon Greenwood, who says the opportunities this fall should be excellent! Please note that next week's fishing report, a statewide fishing roundup, will be the last for the season. Buy your fishing or hunting license online, any time -- http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. The Stocking Report is done for the season. For stocking information through August 6, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Fish New Hampshire and Relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> CATCH THE FALL COLORS AND A BIG ATLANTIC SALMON By Jon Greenwood, Merrimack River Anadromous Fish Restoration Program Coordinator Between cool weather and lots of rain this spring and summer, New Hampshire's rivers have remained pleasantly chilly for the coldwater species that live there. Now that fall is here, one of New Hampshire's most exciting fishing experiences is again "heating up" -- though it never totally cooled off because of that nice water! So, if you're up for some challenging catch-and-release fishing, head to the Merrimack River for a chance at catching the "King of Fish" -- Atlantic salmon. In the next few weeks, we'll be stocking 400 of these whopper fish into the Merrimack basin: about 100 brood stock Atlantic salmon weighing from 10 to 12 pounds and another 300 fish weighing from 2.5 to 8 pounds each. Until you hook into one, I'm not sure you really know how big that is! They put up a huge fight. This fall, the salmon will be stocked in the Franklin-Bristol area. Good spots to try fishing for them are below the Ayers Island Dam in Bristol along the Coolidge Woods Road; the Profile Falls Recreation Area; a new access site located near the Smith River confluence; and below the Eastman Falls Dam in Franklin. Because the fish are migratory, try fishing downstream as the season goes on -- including near Boscawen, Penacook and Sewall's Falls Park. If you don't know where to go, download an access map at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm. The success rate for catching salmon is higher now than in spring, because of better wading conditions and cooling temperatures. Use traditional salmon flies, or trout streamers like Grey Ghosts, Mickey Finns or any patterns that imitate small baitfish. Fly casters should use 8 to 10 pound test line and a 7, 8, or 9-weight rod with floating line. Help us out by reporting your catch; fill out the fishing diary you get with your salmon stamp and submit it to us by January 15 to enter a prize drawing. Notable: Outdoor writer Bill Carney and others have recently reported seeing -- and catching -- some of the salmon that were stocked in early summer! Typically, these Atlantic salmon would have migrated to the ocean a couple months ago; we expect that they stuck around because of the favorable water conditions. The presence of these holdovers means even more fish out there for anglers this fall. The brood stock Atlantic salmon season runs year-round, but all salmon caught from October 1 through March 31 must be released immediately. Don't forget, you need a 2004 N.H. fishing license and a $10 Atlantic salmon stamp, available at selected license agents and at Fish and Game's Concord headquarters. Even if you don't end up getting to go fishing for brood stock salmon this year, the salmon stamp sales help fund the Merrimack River Anadromous Fish Restoration Program, so, it's a good cause. (If you didn't know, this 11-year-old program is a partnership between Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working to restore migratory fish populations to the Merrimack.) Starting in 2005, brood stock anglers will be able to buy their salmon stamp through Fish and Game's online licensing system. The fish being stocked this fall were raised in the Nashua National Fish Hatchery; they are surplus brood stock salmon no longer needed for the restoration program. The brood stock salmon are kept to produce offspring, or "fry." Each spring, we release about a million of these fry, in an effort to restore sea-running fish to the Merrimack River basin. After years of spawning at the hatchery, the large brood stock salmon are released in the Merrimack watershed. It's the only managed Atlantic salmon fishery in New England. If you're planning to eat any of the brood stock salmon you hook before the catch-and-release-only season begins on October 1, note that a special consumption advisory is in place for these fish: a limit of one-half meal (four ounces) per month is advised for adults. Children age 15 and younger should not consume brood stock salmon. A lot of folks have been asking us about the future of the Atlantic salmon restoration program. I'll be honest: there are some uncertainties. We do know that the Nashua hatchery will remain open and there will be enough funding to continue the program through at least this time next year, though possibly at a reduced level. When we learn more, you'll read it here in the N.H. Fishing Report! Great fall fishing, everyone! See you on the Merrimack. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2004 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301.  N.H. WEEKLY FISHING REPORT -- September 16, 2004 This week, fisheries habitat expert Scott Decker offers news about the recent dam removal in Henniker, plus early signs of habitat improvement in the Dead Diamond river system. Buy your fishing or hunting license online, any time -- http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Know someone who might like to sign up for the Fishing Report? Send them to http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/join_mail_list.htm. The Stocking Report is done for the season. For stocking information through August 6, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm. Fish New Hampshire and Relax... We have what you're looking for. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> DAM REMOVAL CREATES NEW FISHING OPPORTUNITIES ON THE CONTOOCOOK By Scott Decker, Inland Fisheries Program Supervisor Anglers venturing to the Contoocook River just west of Henniker will find a new stretch of water to fish this fall. The 10-foot-high, 137-foot-long West Henniker Dam was removed from the river during July this year. The dam was constructed in 1935 and was used to divert river flow to a canal that fed the Contoocook Valley Paper Company's mill. The mill was shut down in the early 1980s and the mill building was demolished by the town for public safety reasons in 1997. The removal has restored a half-mile of riverine habitat that is now wadeable under certain flow conditions. The substrate that was exposed after the impoundment was removed looks very much like the river upstream, a mix of deep runs and riffles interspersed with cobbles and boulders. This type of habitat provides excellent cover for gamefish, primarily rainbow and brown trout as well as smallmouth bass which are in plentiful supply. During the media event, when the initial breech of the dam occurred, I talked with a local angler who spoke highly of the brown trout in the river. He mentioned catching several 20+ inch fish in the stretch of river above the special regulation area (see page 44 of the 2004 New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing Digest for regulations), which is located a short distance upstream from the dam. The removal was made possible through a funding partnership involving New Hampshire Fish and Game, NH Department of Environmental Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, FishAmerica Foundation, Trout Unlimited, American Whitewater, and the Town of Henniker. The West Henniker Dam is the fourth dam to be removed in the state for the purpose of habitat restoration since 2001. Fish and Game's fisheries habitat fund will continue to support river restoration through selective dam removal in the future. A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH I recently spent a day in the Dead Diamond River system working on stream-gauging station calibration. The Diamond system offers some interesting fishing opportunities in a scenic part of the state. Primarily located in the unincorporated township of Second College, which is owned and managed by Dartmouth College, the watershed includes the mainstem Dead Diamond, and numerous branches including the Swift Diamond, Little Dead Diamond, and the East, Middle, and West Branches of the Dead Diamond. The stream habitat, degraded by years of indiscriminate logging, is slowly recovering thanks to new management philosophy guided by Dartmouth Woodlands Manager Kevin Evans, who is taking more of a "watershed concept" approach to forestry on the "The Grant." Waters of The Grant are not stocked and are managed primarily for wild brook trout. Other than Dartmouth students, faculty, and alumni, vehicle access by the general public is not allowed on The Grant, however it is open to hiking and mountain biking. For more information on The Grant, check out http://www.dartmouth.edu/~opo/secondcollegegrant. ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> FEDERAL AID IN SPORT FISH AND WILDLIFE RESTORATION A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm. -- Copyright 2004 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. 
 

 

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