New Hampshire Wildlife News
by Certified Wildlife Biologist, Eric P. Orff

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

It's ice fishing time in NH. And year end wrap up.

Thursday 12/31/2009

We've got ice. Early ice at that. My son was home for Christmas and we didn't waste any time getting out on the ice fishing with friends and family. Fresh water fishing that is on the local ponds as even the larger local lakes were not trustworthy yet. But we had 11 inches of ice on the first pond we fished a couple days before Christmas. And what a day it was. The flags were popping one after another. In fact we had a hard time setting in 8 tip-ups as the ones we had in kept flagging. There were four of us on the ice that morning. In the three hours we fished we had over thirty flags. It was a mixed bag of fish from pickerel to large mouth bass and yellow perch. We had a grand time of it and not one we will soon forget. That same afternoon we hit a different pond with my son's best friend and his 4 year old son. Here again we had good numbers of flags with mostly bass coming up through the ice. As always all fish were released.

I have kept a diary, nearly daily since I went to work at the NH Fish and Game Department in the fall of 1976. And even after my retirement in June of 2007 I have kept it up. Here are thirty some years of every day of my life. From about every animal I handled or even saw, to people I met or worked with, to family happenings, such as when a child was sick or lost a tooth. Details of my life are etched on paper way better than any memory could hope to capture. Just reading a few lines from a day opens a whole window into so much more I can remember from that day. In the last few pages of each year I have generally noted some of the highlights of the year.

So lets look in my diary for some of the highlights of 2009:

1) "Lots of snow in January. Twice as much as last year."
2) No snow in February until the very end of the month.
3) The Great Recession that began in 2008 hits bottom on March 9th.(according to the stock market)
4) The pile of snow on my front lawn from plowing my driveway finally melted away on the afternoon of April 15th.
5) Nice warm dry spring through May. The local dairy farmer cut his hay two weeks early. Leaves came out on the trees by the first week of May, days early.
6) Big chill in June. Cold and record rains into mid July. My garden was put on hold for a month. The local farmers corn stopped growing.My furnace was running much of the month of June.
7) One heat wave for the year in mid August. I had not put in my air conditioners until then.
8) A dry mild fall. But an early frost compared to recent years with a frost hitting my garden September 20th.
9) November was exceptionally warm, running 8 degrees above average for the month.
10) Record high of 64 F on December 3rd, then the BIG Chill hit December 9th. Near zero on the 19th.


Previous Note

Mother Nature tucked the Suncook River in for the winter under a white sheet of ice last night.

read the note

If you like this compilation of NH Fish and Game reports, history, and knowledge, please consider donating to keep the website updated and active. Thank You.