N.H. Weekly Fishing Report -- May 7, 2009

In today's report, tips and hotspots in southeast NH from fisheries biologist Ben Nugent.

This week's stocking report has been delayed -- please check the Fish and Game website on Friday for an update. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Word today from Mike Racine that the Powwow River cartop access site in Kingston has re-opened.

SUNAPEE ACCESS HEARING: A public hearing on a wetland permit application for Fish and Game's proposed Wild Goose boat access facility on Lake Sunapee in Newbury will be held Weds., May 13, 2009, at 7 p.m. at the David W. Sherburne Gymnasium at 561 Route 11 in Sunapee. The hearing is before the N.H. Department of Environmental Services Wetlands Bureau and will address potential wetlands impact of the project on bank and lakebed. Click here for info.

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.!

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Coldwater, warmwater -- something for everyone this month in southeast NH
By Benjamin Nugent, fisheries biologist

New Hampshire's designated trout ponds have been open for two weeks now. These ponds have already received a lot of fishing pressure, but don't be discouraged! Not only do these ponds typically receive multiple stocking events during the year, but surveys indicate that some ponds have a large quantity of trout swimming around from previous years.

Opening weekend reports varied greatly. Some anglers quickly filled their creels, while others had lower catch rates. The recent multiple search and rescue operations by Fish and Game Conservation Cfficers have delayed some stocking, but efforts are being made to get fish out as quickly as possible. The bright sun accompanied by record heat and the large insect hatches could explain why some trout were slower to the hook.

Popular trout ponds in southeastern New Hampshire include: Barbadoes Pond, Clough Pond, Exeter Reservoir, Hothole Pond, and Lucas Pond. These ponds have regulations that allow for any legal fishing method to be used. Worms, shiners, powerbait, and smaller inline spinners are popular. Archery Pond, Hoyt Pond and Stonehouse Pond are fly-fishing-only trout ponds.

Anglers should note that some fish have been issued a left ventral fin clip in some southeastern waterbodies. Brown trout stocked into Clough Pond, the Cocheco River, and Massabesic Lake will have the lower middle fin on the left side of the fish (looking down on the fish) removed. In future fish surveys, these fish will help provide us fisheries folks with data explaining the year class's growth rates and survival.

Mid-spring is an opportune time to catch a variety of warmwater species. Largemouth bass, white perch, yellow perch, black crappie, bluegill, and pumpkinseeds seek out warmer areas to forage and prepare for spawning. A change in water temperature by a degree or two can make all the difference in whether these species are present or not. Often, they can be found in less than a few feet of water. Presentations of swimbaits or small jigs with tubes held about a foot below the surface can be effective. A small bobber can help suspend your presentation and also provide a good visual indication of a strike. This visual cue is helpful, because these species can have a somewhat lethargic bite during this time of year. I once thought that bobbers were something to be used only by beginners, but lately I'm finding them to be very valuable.

Another effective method that worked well this past week was using a moderate sink-tip line and fly rod. Slowly retrieving streamers at slow but erratic retrieval speeds was proven to be successful. I stuck with brighter (orange, red, and/or white) and mid-sized streamer patterns and found frequent strikes.

The entire allotment of over 700 broodstock Atlantic salmon has been stocked into the Merrimack and Pemigewasset rivers. A permit to target these fish can be purchased at any New Hampshire Fish and Game license agent. Additional information about this program can be found at: www.fishnh.com/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm. Several of these fish are in excess of fifteen pounds. They have been stocked at three primary locations: Sewalls Falls (Concord), below the Franklin Hydro Dam, and throughout the Bristol/Sanbornton area.

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Walleye creel survey - final update for the season

Do you know any 10 - 16 year olds looking for something fun to do July 5-10? Check out Aquatic Adventures Week at Barry Conservation Camp in Berlin, NH. Novice anglers learn the basic skills and equipment needed to start fishing, while campers with more experience work on improving their fishing skills and explore the finer details of the angling world. $450 fee includes lodging, food, instruction and equipment for the 6-day session. CLICK HERE for details & registration info.

Kayak Fishing Weekend Workshop for Women - June 12-14, at Purity Spring Resort in Madison. This "Beyond BOW"  workshop is for experienced kayakers with some spin fishing experience. The cost of $275 includes instruction, program materials, use of some equipment, most meals and lodging at Purity Spring Resort. Click here for more info.

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