N.H. Weekly Fishing Report - May 6, 2010
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Broodstock salmon program: NH Fish and Game is stocking big broodstock Atlantic salmon into the Merrimack and Pemigewasset rivers in Bristol, Franklin, Concord and Bow. More than 400 broodstock salmon will be released this spring. It’s the only managed Atlantic salmon river fishery in New England. Info & access map: www.fishnh.com/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm
Stocking report 4/19-4/23: www.fishnh.com/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm
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Saltwater Angler Registry: www.countmyfish.noaa.gov
We had some crazy April weather here in the North Country last week, with some locations receiving over 10 inches of snow! The squalls continued through the week, ending on Friday. Saturday was back to normal air temperatures, but the fish are still lethargic. The water temperature in most river locations is still below 50 degrees. There has been some great bass fishing to be had at both Jericho and Umbagog Lakes. The trout ponds were stocked for opening weekend and we have been hearing really great things. Check our list of stocked waterbodies, as well as the Suggested Fishing Locations. This time of year is the perfect time to educate a new angler. Fish are active and hungry. So be sure to bring a friend! – Dianne Timmins, Regional Fisheries Biologist
The bass are in spawning mode now in the big lakes….remember, they are raising (and guarding) the future of the bass fishery! Although catch and release for bass doesn't begin until May 15 through June 15, this spring, all events in nature are running at least two weeks ahead of schedule! Try the drop-offs with jerk baits for non-spawning bass, there are plenty that don't nest each year!
Salmon fishing is still strong, try fishing down to 20 feet as the morning wanes. Red ghost flies are one of my favorites for salmon! Brook trout ponds are very active, as you will notice that in addition to midge hatches, the black flies are out in force! – Don Miller, Regional Fisheries Biologist
Things are starting to happen in the warmwater fish world. Local lakes and ponds are warming up quickly with the hot steamy weather we had this weekend; the water temperature in Skatutakee Lake in Harrisville rose from 48 degrees last Thursday to 59 degrees on Monday! Anglers at some of the smaller ponds are reporting water temperatures as high as 62 degrees. This increase in water temperatures will have the bass and other warmwater fish moving around in the coming week, so get out there. I fished Forest Lake in Winchester on Saturday and observed numerous big schools of golden shiners, bluegills and black crappies. The big bass that should have been located nearby eluded me, but I know it is only a matter of time. Remember the catch and release season (artificial lures only) season for black bass (smallmouth & largemouth bass) runs from May 15 to June 15.
Trout anglers are reporting good catches at Dublin Lake (Dublin), Spofford Lake (Chesterfield), Silver Lake (Harrisville), Stone Pond (Marlborough), and Otter Brook in Sullivan/Keene. – Gabe Gries, Regional Fisheries Biologist
Southeast NH/Merrimack Valley
Anglers who have been anxiously awaiting the release of the Atlantic salmon broodstock into the Pemigewasset and Merrimack rivers will be happy to know that the stocking process has begun. Both river flows and temperatures are ideal right now to catch these fish, which top out over 15 pounds. These fish can be very exciting on the end of a fly rod. You don’t need traditional salmon flies to catch them, either; larger versions of flies used to take trout will work. I have heard that flies with “a bit of green” in them work well. Be sure to have an Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Permit, and familiarize yourself with the regulations for fishing for them. More information about this program can be found here: www.fishnh.com/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm. – Ben Nugent, Regional Fisheries Biologist
The annual river herring run has begun in New Hampshire and there are large numbers of alewives reaching the dams along the Cocheco River in Dover and the Lamprey River in Newmarket. Some of the first, and sometimes fattest striped bass we see each year caught in our waters come this time of year near the base of the dams. The most popular technique is to use a lighter rod with a “flutter” hook to land a herring. The herring is then hooked on a larger rod with little to no weight at all and live-lined in the river. Remember, a legal-size striped bass is 28 inches in New Hampshire, 2 fish limit per day. Also, anglers are not allowed to take river herring on Wednesdays. Schoolies have been reported caught around Hampton and in the Merrimack River. – Kevin Sullivan, Marine Biologist
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