SOUTHEAST N.H./MERRIMACK VALLEY FISHING FORECAST - 2009

You don’t have to travel far to catch trophy fish in southeastern New Hampshire
By Ben Nugent, fisheries biologist

Trout Fishing Opportunities
Sampling in October and November indicated that trout ponds in southeastern New Hampshire have the potential to hold and grow brook, brown and rainbow trout. Despite the popularity of trout ponds in this area, our nets showed plenty of fish that survived the hook, line and creel. These fish will be well acclimated to the pond and be a good complement to the trout already planned to be stocked in 2009. Current conditions are favorable to an early ice-out on the trout ponds, so our fish culturists and conservation officers should have ample time to stock these waterbodies before opening day (April 25). To identify trout ponds in this area, begin looking on page 25 of the 2009 Freshwater Fishing Digest.

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Other lakes and ponds that are stocked with trout which do not have a closed season include: Beaver Lake, Big Island Pond, Massabesic Lake, the Suncook Lakes and Tower Hill Pond. These waterbodies typically provide for both trout and warmwater fish angling opportunities. One can spend all day at these waterbodies by targeting a particular species and then switching techniques to catch a different species.

Rivers and streams should continue to be popular for early season trout fishing in this area. Over 80,000 brook, brown, and rainbow trout will be stocked as soon as conditions are suitable. Rivers receiving larger brook trout include: the Big River (Barnstead), Piscataquog River (Goffstown), Suncook River (Epsom), and Winnicut River (Greenland).

Warmwater Fishing Opportunities
Southeastern New Hampshire continues to be a popular destination for largemouth and smallmouth bass, black crappie, chain pickerel, bluegills, pumpkinseeds and white perch. Baxter Lake, Bellamy Reservoir, Jenness Pond, Massabesic Lake, Nashua River, Northwood Lake and Pawtuckaway Lake are some of the typical destinations for these warmwater species. Often, the Merrimack River and its several access points can be overlooked. An electrofishing survey in 2008 revealed quality sized smallmouth bass and the potential to catch trophy sized walleye in this region’s largest river near Merrimack and Litchfield. Although the walleye population is not well understood in this river, future studies may reveal more details about the distribution and status of the population.

Results of 2008 Trophy Fish Program
The Merrimack Valley Region and southeastern New Hampshire area were well represented in the winning entries of the Trophy Fish Program (click here to view list). The largest entered species coming from waters in this area consisted of black crappie (Bellamy Reservoir/Massabesic Lake), bluegill (Turkey Pond) brook trout (Clough Pond) and yellow perch (Wash Pond).

The Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Program
Close to 800 Atlantic salmon broodstock fish will soon be tagged and released. The spring stocking, which typically takes place in May, is dependent on flow levels. These fish will soon be the talk of the Pemigewasset and Merrimack rivers. These three and four year old fish average close to ten and eight pounds, respectively. Popular areas for this fishery in this region include the Sewalls Falls area (Concord) and below the Hooksett Dam. To find out more information about the brood stock salmon program, click here. Be sure to look for the broodstock fishing forecast in a future Fishing Report.

Parents of potential future anglers should keep their eyes on our list of children’s fishing derbies (click here). These derbies typically take place from April to June. The list is updated during the season and usually contains several derbies in southeastern New Hampshire. Derbies are a great opportunity to introduce children to the sport and develop another family activity.


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Suggested Fishing Locations: Southeast NH/Merrimack Valley
American Shad Merrimack River and Salmon Falls River.
Black Crappie Bear Hill Pond & Spruce Pond (Allenstown), Merrimack River (Franklin to Hooksett), Big Island Pond (Derry), Massabesic Lake (Auburn), Pow Wow River (East Kingston), Greenwood Pond & Country Pond (Kingston), Scobie Pond (Londonderry), Pawtuckaway Lake (Nottingham), Arlington Mill Reservoir (Salem), Angle Pond (Sandown), Canobie Lake (Windham), Ayers Pond (Barrington), Bellamy Res. (Madbury), Willand Pond (Somersworth), Turtletown Pond (Concord), Brindle Pond (Barnstead), Wheelwright Pond (Lee), Winkley Pond (Barrington), Contoocook River, and Hoit Road Marsh (Concord).
Bluegill Big Island Pond (Rockingham), Massabesic Lake (Auburn), Lamprey River (Deerfield, Northwood), Hood Pond & Beaver Lake (Derry), Scobie Pond & Kendal Pond (Londonderry), Arlington Mill Reservoir (Salem), Cobbetts Pond (Windham), Brindle Pond & Lily Pond (Barnstead), Deer Meadow Pond (Chichester), Horseshoe Pond (Concord), Kimball Pond (Dunbarton), Swain Pond (Barrington), Bellamy Reservoir (Madbury), Contoocook River (Broad Cove), and Crooked Pond (Loudon), and other small warmwater ponds.
Brook Trout (EBT) Suncook River (Barnstead to Pembroke), Baboosic Brook (Merrimack), Archery Pond (Allenstown), Sanborn Brook (Chichester), Little Suncook River (Epsom), Clough Pond (Loudon), Hothole Pond (Loudon,Concord), Soucook River (Loudon,Pembroke), Big Island Pond (Derry), Massabesic Lake (Auburn), Exeter River (Sandown to Exeter), Exeter Res. (Exeter), Lamprey River (Deerfield to Durham), Lucas Pond (Northwood), Stonehouse Pond (Barrington), Isinglass River (Barrington, Strafford), Beaver Brook (Derry to Pelham), Winnicut River (N. Hampton to Greenland), Beaver Lake (Derry), Canobie Lake (Salem), Isinglass River (Barrington,Strafford), Big River (Barnstead, Strafford), Catamount Pond (Allenstown), Barbadoes Pond (Madbury), and Berry Brook (Rye).
Brown Trout Suncook River (Barnstead to Pembroke), Beaver Brook (Derry to Pelham), Big Island Pond (Derry), Exeter River (Sandown to Exeter), Lucas Pond (Northwood), Massabesic Lake (Auburn), Bow Lake (Strafford), Lamprey River (Deerfield to Durham), Little Suncook River (Barnstead to Pembroke), Little Suncook River (Epsom), Merrimack River (Concord), Soucook River (Epsom to Pembroke), and Pleasant Lake (Deerfield).
Hornpout Hoit Marsh (Concord), Turtletown Pond (Concord), Turkey Pond (Concord), Morril Pond (Canterbury), Harvey Lake (Northwood), Bow Lake (Northwood), Pawtuckaway Lake (Nottingham), Kimball Pond (Dunbarton), Beaver Lake (Derry), Powwow Pond (Kingston), Onway Lake (Raymond), Swains Lake (Barrington), Merrymeeting Marsh (New Durham), Ayers Lake (Barrington), Country Pond (Kingston), Upper & Lower Suncook Lakes (Barnstead), and Arlington Mill Reservoir (Salem).
Carp Merrimack river and Nashua River.
Chain Pickerel Arlington Mills Res. (Salem), Suncook Lake (Barnstead), Lily Pond (Barnstead, Pittsfield), Blake Pond (Pittsfield), Sanborn Pond (Loudon), Heads (Lakins) Pond (Hooksett), Turkey Pond & Turtletown Pond (Concord), Gorham Pond & Kimball Pond (Dunbarton), Deer Meadow Pond (Chichester), Stumpfield Marsh (Hopkinton), Hood Pond (Derry), Jenness Pond (Northwood), Freeses Pond & Shingle Pond (Deerfield), World End Pond (Salem), Kendall Pond (Londonderry), Cobbetts Pond (Windham), Lily Pond (Somersworth), Mendums Pond & Ayers Pond (Barrington), Bellamy Reservoir (Madbury), Pawtuckaway Lake (Nottingham), and Taylor River (Hampton).
Fallfish Numerous medium to larger sized rivers.
Largemouth Bass Brindle Pond & Lougee Pond & Suncook Lake (Barnstead), Lily Pond (Barnstead, Pittsfield), Chestnut Pond & Odiorne Pond (Epsom), Crooked Pond (Loudon), Deer Meadow Pond (Chichester), Gorham Pond & Kimball Pond (Dunbarton), Heads (Lakins) Pond (Hooksett), Horseshoe Pond & Turkey Pond (Big) & Turtletown Pond (Concord), Merrimack River, Morrill Pond (Canterbury), Wild Goose Pond (Pittsfield), Angle Pond (Sandown), Arlington Mill Reservoir (Salem), Beaver Lake (Derry), Big Island Pond (Atkinson, Derry, Hampstead), Canobie Lake & Cobbetts Pond (Windham), Harvey Lake & Jenness Pond (Northwood), Massabesic Lake (Auburn), Pawtuckaway Lake (Nottingham), Pow Wow River Pond (East Kingston), Great Pond (Kingtson), Ayers Pond & Mendums Pond & Swain Pond (Barrington), Wheelwright Pond (Lee), Willand Pond (Somersworth), Country Pond (Kingston), Bellamy Reservoir (Madbury), and Turee Pond (Bow).
Northern Pike Massabesic Lake (Auburn) and Powwow Pond (Kingston).
Pumpkinseed Most lakes, ponds and medium to large rivers.
Rainbow Trout Salmon River & Hunkins Pond (Sanbornton), Suncook River/Lake (Barnstead to Chichester), Little Suncook River (Epsom), Clough Pond (Loudon), Hothole Pond (Loudon/Concord), Soucook River (Loudon, Pembroke), Exeter River (Sandown to Exeter), Exeter Res. (Exeter), Winnicut River (N. Hampton to Greenland), Lucas Pond (Northwood), Massabesic Lake (Auburn), Big Island Pond (Derry), Beaver Lake (Derry), Lamprey River (Deerfield to Durham), Canobie Lake (Salem), Isinglass River (Barrington,Strafford), Baboosic Brook (Merrimack), Archery Pond (Allenstown), Isinglass River (Barrington, Strafford), Beaver Brook (Derry to Pelham), Bow Lake (Strafford), Beaver Brook (Derry to Pelham), Pleasant Lake (Deerfield), and Willand Pond (Somersworth).
Rock Bass Nashua River and Contoocook River.
Smallmouth Bass Suncook Lake (Barnstead), Hermit Lake (Sanbornton), Merrimack River, Rocky Pond (Loudon, Canterbury), Massabesic Lake (Auburn), Big Island Pond & Beaver Lake (Derry), Jenness Pond (Northwood), North River Pond (Northwood, Barrington, Nottingham), Onway Lake (Raymond), Phillips Pond & Angle Pond (Sandown), Sunset Lake (Hampstead), Northwood Lake (Northwood), Pawtuckaway Lake (Nottingham), Arlington Mill Reservoir (Salem), Canobie Lake & Cobbetts Pond (Windham), Country Pond (Kingston, Newton), Greenwood Pond (Kingston), Scobie Pond (Londonderry), Bow Lake (Strafford), Mendums Pond & Ayers Pond (Barrington), Wheelwright Pond (Lee), and Cocheco River (Dover).
Walleye Contoocook River and Merrimack River.
White Perch Suncook Lake & Brindle Pond (Barnstead), Gorham Pond (Dunbarton), Eel Pond (Rye), Massabesic Lake (Auburn), Big Island Pond (Derry), Northwood Lake & Harvey Lake (Northwood), Pleasant Lake (Deerfield), Pawtuckaway Lake (Nottingham), Arlington Mill Reservoir (Salem), Bow Lake (Strafford), Wheelwright Pond (Lee), Ayers Pond (Barrington), Willand Pond (Somersworth), Contoocook River, Merrimack River, and Harvey Lake (Northwood).
Yellow Perch Nearly all lakes, ponds and medium to large rivers.

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