N.H. Weekly Fishing Report - September 17, 2009
This week, fish culture operations supervisor Bob Fawcett reveals this fall's trout stocking locations. Also, Matt Carpenter, fisheries biologist with the Anadromous Fisheries Restoration Program, gives us a preview of exciting fall action fishing for brood stock Atlantic salmon.
Purchase your fishing license online (click here!) or from any Fish and Game license agent.
Mark your calendars for the National Hunting and Fishing Day Expo and NH Tour - Saturday, September 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit www.wildnh.com/expotour.
FISH STOCKING: Stocking is complete for the season. Check the stocking page (click here) for sites stocked in 2009.
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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 find lists of waters that remain open to the taking of trout year round on the Fish and Game website:
Rules for waterbodies with special regulations are listed in the N.H. Freshwater Fishing Digest, available from license agents or on the Fish and Game website.
During the fall of 2009, 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 2009 (please note that the list below is the plan for 2009. There are many more N.H. waterbodies open for year-round fishing than are included on this list):
Fish Culturists inventory their fish as they set up for winter, and make adjustments as they head into fall, having inventoried what they have and having calculated the number needed to meet the target for stocking next spring, based on past performance data. They let it be known, and the regional fisheries biologists plan a surplus-stocking schedule for the fish declared surplus, and they are distributed and released.
Fish and Game has also issued permits for private release of trout into select waters managed for trout with no closed season (in the Isinglass, Cocheco, Lamprey, and Exeter rivers). The fly anglers are purchasing fish and stocking them for recreational fishing enjoyment.
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: This brook is closed year round to all fishing from the prominent large rock area to Sagamore Rd. There may be returning true salters, plus the surplus brood stock will be stocked out after egg taking, to recruit into a winter fishery.
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 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will stock the Merrimack basin with about 800 brood stock Atlantic salmon, averaging about 2 to 3 pounds. The two-year-old fish, which we stock in the fall, are smaller than the 3- and 4-year-olds, which we put out in the spring -- but the tradeoff is that fishing conditions are usually better in the fall. Salmon are in no hurry to leave the river as the water temperature cools and lower average flows provide better access for anglers.
Fisheries statistics suggest that the success rate for catching salmon is higher in the fall than in the spring season. The brood stock Atlantic salmon season runs year-round, but all salmon caught from October 1 through March 31 must be released immediately.
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. Find more information and an access map at www.fishnh.com/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm.
Best bets for anglers are 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 at the Fish and Game website.
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 (click here to go to online licensing site) 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.
Brood stock salmon anglers can help the program by reporting their catch to Fish and Game. Please call me (Matt Carpenter) at 603-271-2612 with any questions, comments, or just to share your fishing experience. We are always interested in your feedback on the brood stock program.
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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