N.H. Weekly Fishing Report -- April 16, 2009
In today's report, fisheries biologist John Viar and Don Miller check in from the Lakes Region, where early-season anglers are already out in force.
STOCKING TRUCKS ARE ROLLING! Check the stocking page (click here) for last week's stocking sites.
DISCOVER WILD NH DAY is this Saturday 4/18 in Concord! Bring the kids for a fun-filled day. Click here for info and schedule.
POWWOW POND: Fish and Game's boat access facility at Powwow Pond in Kingston, N.H., is closed to trailered boat launching until further notice because of silt and debris issues at the site related to adjacent bridge construction. Cartop access is still available. We'll let you know when it re-opens.
Purchase your fishing license online (click here!) or from any Fish and Game license agent. Don't forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H.!
Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for.
Ice Out - Lines In!
After a second good ol' fashioned winter providing another tremendous ice fishing season, a somewhat early ice-out -- declared on Lake Winnipesaukee April 12 (with much open "fishable" water available even earlier) -- came as a welcome surprise to many. Nearly all other large lakes in the central Lakes Region are ice-free or nearly so at the time of this writing. Pelting rains and heavy northwest winds, always welcome weather events to those anxiously awaiting ice-out, helped the ice make a speedier than normal exit -- especially on Winnipesaukee, where nearly the entire Broads opened before many smaller bays.
Despite a slight reduction in salmon size at Winnipesaukee, some solid results have been reported to date, in terms of quantity -- along with some nice bonus rainbow trout. The "drop-down" fisheries such as Lochmere Dam/Silver Lake and Lakeport Dam/Opechee Lake have been outstanding. This gives shoreline/wading anglers a great shot at both landlocked salmon and rainbow trout, and even the rare lake trout that has wandered out of our large lakes through dams/spillways/water release events. Everything from live bait (worms, shiners, smelt), generic nymph/invertebrate patterns (e.g. wooly bugger), classic streamers (e.g. grey ghost), and egg patterns (particularly during the upcoming sucker runs) will take these fish. Although the weather pattern has been drier of late and is predicted to continue, a future slug of rain/wet weather will extend these fisheries further into the season... we all know the saying about New England weather... Get out there and enjoy these fish, quite literally at your feet!
Of special note, please use care when unhooking and releasing salmon (or other species). We've been finding evidence that hook wounds can decrease salmon growth and quality. 27% of Winnipesaukee salmon exhibited moderate to severe hook wounds -- this percentage has increased annually over the past four years. The negative effects of hook wounding have affected the overall quality of this popular fishery. To minimize hook wounding, consider the following:
Use extreme care when unhooking and releasing fish.
Use rubber or other "fish friendly" landing nets.
All hook styles and sizes can cause damage.
If you're keeping fish, keep the wounded ones.
Two items of interest, which are often requested from the Region 2 Office:
1. Recent netting results from four salmon lakes:
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions (email is best - email@example.com). Get out there and enjoy the annual rite that is ICE OUT...it was a long winter, you deserve it!
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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