N.H. Weekly Fishing Report -- June 12, 2008
This week, fisheries biologist Ben Nugent reports on current fishing conditions and research goings-on.
FISH STOCKING UNDERWAY! CLICK HERE for most recent stocking chart.
For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, click here to visit Fish and Game's fishing page.
Purchase your fishing license online (CLICK HERE!), or from any Fish and Game license agent. Why not bring a new fishing buddy on your next trip! Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H.
Fishing Rule Hearing: NH Fish and Game will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, June 18, 2008, at 6:30 p.m., at Fish and Game on Hazen Drive in Concord, regarding proposed changes in the regulations affecting 2009 freshwater fishing in New Hampshire and the application procedure for bass tournaments. Click here for info.
Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for.
Fabulous Forage Makes Fish Fat and Finicky!
With all the options for a successful fishing experience at this time of year, it is difficult to write about one particular waterbody or species. Water temperatures are still cool enough for early morning and evening surface action for trout and salmon, and we're starting to see the post-spawn feed pick up for both largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Recent fishing trips targeting smallmouth and/or largemouth bass -- including Northwood Lake, Umbagog Lake, and several smaller lakes in the central part of the state -- have resulted in respectful catch rates and some quality-sized fish. Soft plastics, either Carolina or wacky rigged, fished with patience and tight to shore have been effective. Topwater fishing continues to be effective throughout the day, but particularly when the sun begins to set or right at dawn.
The insect activity at this time of year can make fishing for trout and salmon slightly challenging. With all the forage sources in the water, these fish can afford to be finicky. Because of this, a slightly lower catch rate now may be compensated with larger fish in the near future. One of the football-shaped rainbows I caught trolling Lake Winnisquam last weekend was filled to capacity with large flying ants, wasps and beetles.
While many Atlantic salmon broodstock anglers are reporting multi-fish days, there should be ample fish remaining to provide a good chance of catching one. Warming river temperatures mean limiting dry fly action to dusk and dawn and subsurface tactics for most of the day. These fish may begin to nose into tributaries that enter the Merrimack and Pemigewasset rivers to find thermal refuge (cooler water). Good days have been reported at Sewalls Falls, downstream of the Franklin Hydro facility, and the Coolidge Rd. section in Sanbornton.
The field season is underway for many of the Fish and Game staff. Here are some examples of what we're doing.
The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture
American Brook Lamprey Mapping Project
Unlike the sea lamprey, the American brook lamprey is small and non-parasitic, and spends its entire life in fresh water. The brook lamprey has two distinct life stages. This fish spends its juvenile (ammocete) stage burrowed in the stream substrate, filter feeding in way similar to a mussel or clam. During the ammocete stage, the fish lacks eyes and teeth. After 4 to 5 years the fish develops into an adult during the fall season. Here, eyes and teeth are readily visible. The species spends the winter in the stream not feeding. During the following spring, the species uses its teeth to move small stones in order to construct a redd (nest) within slightly faster parts of the stream. The species then spawns and dies shortly after.
Aquatic impacts such as excessive sedimentation, barriers to migration (i.e. perched culverts), and the removal of riparian vegetation along streambanks threatens the future sustainability of the species. In 2006, a watershed wide survey was initiated to identify specific locations of where the species is present. We anticipate completion of the approximately 16-mile-long survey this year. Locations where we have found the fish will be passed onto local planners, road designers, and conservation organizations. We anticipate working with these groups to develop a watershed management plan that does not necessarily stop development but ensures that it occurs in a more environmentally conscious way.
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. Click here to learn more.
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