N.H. Weekly Fishing Report -- September 18, 2008
This week, Matt Carpenter, fisheries biologist with the Anadromous Fisheries Restoration Program, gives us a preview of exciting fall action fishing for brood stock Atlantic salmon; and fish culture operations supervisor Bob Fawcett reveals this fall's trout stocking locations.
ANGLERS: Do you get NH Wildlife Journal magazine? For a limited time, new subscribers can take advantage of Fish and Game's current "Wild Deals" offer. Just $25 gets you the 2009 N.H. Fish & Wildlife calendar AND a two-year subscription to N.H. Wildlife Journal magazine (new subscribers only please), plus a free issue of the magazine -- a package valued at $32.90. For details and an order form, visit www.wildnh.com/wilddeals.
There are still a few spots left in the Intermediate Fly Fishing Workshop for women September 26-28 at Purity Spring Resort in Madison, N.H., so spread the word. Registration form and course description are at the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman website at www.nhbow.com or call (603) 271-3212.
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.
For past fishing reports and all your NH fishing info, click here to visit Fish and Game's fishing page.
Fish stocking is done for the season. CLICK HERE for previous stocking information.
Brood Stock Atlantic Salmon Offer Exciting Fall Fishing
Anglers looking for some challenging catch-and-release sport fishing while they're enjoying the fall foliage should head to the Merrimack and Pemigewasset rivers to hook the "King of Fish." October and November are prime months for fall Atlantic salmon fishing in New Hampshire. Expect some great salmon fishing by the first week in October.
This fall the NH Fish and Game Department will stock the Merrimack basin with 830 brood stock Atlantic salmon, averaging about 2.5 pounds. These fish are a little less than 3 years old and they are in excellent condition. With the cool water temperatures, these fish will be in no hurry to leave the river, so there should be plenty of opportunities for a memorable fishing experience.
The success rate for catching salmon seems to be higher in the fall than in the spring season, most likely because of better wading conditions and cooler temperatures. The brood stock Atlantic salmon season runs year-round, but all salmon caught from October 1 through March 31 must be released immediately.
To fish for brood stock salmon, anglers need a current New Hampshire fishing license and an $11 brood stock salmon permit; both are available at www.FishNH.com or from license agents statewide. 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 brood stock salmon will be stocked this fall at two sites -- below the Eastman Falls Dam in Franklin and the Ayers Island Dam in Bristol. The first good spots to try for the brood stock 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); below the Eastman Falls Dam in Franklin; and the public boat launch behind the Franklin High School on the Winnipesauke River. Because the fish are migratory, anglers should also try fishing downstream as the season progresses, near Boscawen (in the Stirrup Iron Brook area), Penacook (at the mouth of the Contoocook River), at the Sewall's Falls Recreational Park in Concord and below the Garvins Falls Dam (Bow) and the Hooksett Dam. Get more information and an access map at www.FishNH.com/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm (click here).
Brood stock salmon anglers often use traditional salmon flies or trout streamers such as Grey Ghosts, Mickey Finns or any patterns that imitate small baitfish. Fishing with spinning gear is allowed in the section of the river below the Garvins Falls Dam in Bow. Anglers should review the special regulations for brood stock salmon available on the Fish and Game website.
Brood stock salmon are kept by the US Fish & Wildlife Service 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.
Fish and Game's programs for restoring anadromous fish, managing and researching fisheries and teaching people about aquatic resources are made possible in part by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program, funded through purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels.
Trout Stocked for Winter Anglers
Winter anglers in New Hampshire will have some trout stocked especially for them once again this fall. New Hampshire Fish and Game stocks trout every year during the fall months, mostly to bolster the winter ice fishery, which should translate into some exciting action for winter anglers this year.
Anglers going after trout can get lists of waters that remain open to the taking of trout year round:
Rules for waterbodies with special regulations are listed in the N.H. Freshwater Fishing Digest, available from license agents or click here to download (PDF file).
During the fall of 2008, Fish and Game will stock trout into a total of 24 New Hampshire lakes and ponds managed for trout with no closed season -- putting in more than 11,230 rainbow trout, 6,000 Eastern brook trout yearlings and 2,950 brown trout.
Following is a list of New Hampshire lakes and ponds that will be stocked during the fall of 2008 (please note that the list below is the plan for 2008. There are many more N.H. waterbodies open for year-round fishing than are included on this list):
Improved Eastern brook trout survival at Powder Mill Hatchery this year has resulted in 400 surplus two-year-old brookies. When they're setting up for winter, fish culturists inventory their fish, and calculate the number needed to meet the target for stocking next spring based on past performance data. When there are extras, the regional fisheries biologists create a stocking plan for the surplus fish, which are then distributed and released.
Berry Brook is stocked in fall and spring with sea-run brown trout. Open season is from August 16 through March 1, from the Bracket Road bridge to the beginning of the prominent large rock area upstream, restricted to single-hook artificial lures and flies. Note that this fishery is closed year-round from the rock area downstream to Sagamore Rd.; this is to protect any true salters that may return, as well as the 126 surplus brood stock fish, each 4 years old, which will be stocked after their eggs are taken.
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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