N.H. Fish and Game's Region 2 Office
Serving the Lakes Region and Central New Hampshire
By Region 2 staff
Central New Hampshire and the Lakes Region are served by Fish and Game's Region 2 Office in New Hampton. Regional fisheries, wildlife and law enforcement staff are vital to the management and protection of local natural resources and wild places. The continued abundance of fish and wildlife to provide recreational opportunities for the Lakes Region and Central New Hampshire -- and income for related businesses -- is dependent on services currently provided by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Following is a sampling of of some of the services and benefits we provide in this region of the state:
Public outreach is an important part of Fish and Game's mission, and the regional office in New Hampton serves more than 80 towns, from Littleton to Chatham and Lempster to Farmington. The staff provides outreach in one of New Hampshire's most popular and rapidly growing areas, handling thousands of office visits, emails, phone calls and questions each year. Topics range from municipal requests for assistance in locating deer wintering areas, calls for help dealing with nuisance wildlife, to questions from tourists planning vacations in the Lakes Region.
Fish and Game's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, located in Holderness, is the only facility of its kind in the state and offers unique opportunities for outreach and learning. (Click here to learn more about Owl Brook.)
Regional biologists gather extensive data, invaluable to every town wanting to protect their fisheries and wildlife heritage. On a statewide level, these efforts affect how Fish and Game sets seasons and rules to keep wildlife and fisheries populations at sustainable levels. Without regional staff and facilities, it would be difficult to accomplish the annual sampling, monitoring and enforcement to protect those very things that are a defining feature of the Lakes Region and Central New Hampshire.
Each year, regional fisheries biologists conduct annual surveys of forage (food) fish like rainbow smelt, giving Fish and Game its best information on the capability of each lake to support and grow the game fish so popular with anglers. Fisheries biologists currently are able to sample nine major lakes in central New Hampshire over a two-month period. Without this data, Fish and Game would be far less able to set appropriate fishing limits.
In addition to monitoring levels of forage fish, regional biologists survey populations of landlocked salmon, lake trout and rainbow trout populations in large lakes like Winnipesaukee, Newfound, the Squam lakes and Sunapee. They assess brook trout populations in streams and ponds, survey spawning rainbow smelt in lake and pond tributaries and study population levels of warmwater species (such as largemouth and smallmouth bass) in our lakes and ponds. These efforts are needed in order to provide fishing opportunities that bring significant economic benefits to area businesses, including hotels, restaurants and tackle shops.
Regional wildlife biologists in central New Hampshire and the Lakes Region conduct waterfowl banding and annual surveys of ruffed grouse, turkey, mourning dove, waterfowl and woodcock populations. The statewide programs for moose management and pheasant stocking are coordinated from the regional office in New Hampton.
Wildlife staff also implement habitat management grants and initiatives, maintain wood duck nesting boxes, monitor white-tailed deer wintering areas and survey the region's fall mast production -- the acorns, beechnuts and apples that provide essential food for much of our wildlife. Gathering this information enables N.H. Fish and Game to sustain habitat and wildlife populations, providing opportunities for hunting as well as for viewing and enjoying wildlife.
Fish and Game's office in New Hampton houses the only full-service veterinary diagnostic lab in the state, which enables biologists to monitor and diagnose existing and emerging aquatic diseases statewide. This facility monitors fish health practices and recommends appropriate treatments; provides state and nationally mandated inspection services of sport and bait fish; advises on aquatic animal health issues; and provides disease outbreak and testing services to the agency and public. The fish pathologist laboratory at New Hampton serves both the state's wild fishery and six New Hampshire State Fish Hatcheries, which are operated by Fish and Game and annually produce over a million catchable-sized trout. Three of these hatcheries are located in central New Hampshire -- the Warren, New Hampton and Powder Mill Fish Hatchery in New Durham.
Two Fish and Game Law Enforcement districts are based in the regional office, with 13 field Conservation Officers and two supervising Lieutenants. They enforce fish and wildlife laws and snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle regulations in a large area of central New Hampshire and the Lakes Region, and are ready at a moment's notice to coordinate emergency rescues ranging from injured hikers to lost Alzheimer patients. Staging equipment in a regional setting allows the kind of rapid response that saves lives. Fish and Game's nationally acclaimed hikeSafe program, a cooperative project with the White Mountain National Forest, is coordinated from the regional office.
The central location of the office in New Hampton makes Department resources accessible to both the public and municipalities. Fish and Game staff provide technical information and guidance to land use planners, conservation commissions, consultants and the public at large. Landowners, state, federal and town municipalities rely on Fish and Game regional staff to help them learn how to manage their lands for the benefit of wildlife.
Regional biologists and officers also work cooperatively with federal, state, local, and diverse nonprofit natural resource organizations, including New Hampshire Audubon, Trout Unlimited, The Meredith Rotary Club and the Squam Lakes Science Center.
The real New Hampshire advantage is our abundant natural resources -- the fisheries, the wildlife and wild lands that contribute so much to our high quality of life. The N.H. Fish and Game Department, a complex organization with an ever-expanding set of duties and mandates that benefit all New Hampshire's citizens, is an important steward of these resources in central New Hampshire and the Lakes Region.
New Hampshire Fish and Game's Region 2 Office is located at 200 Main Street in New Hampton. For more information about Fish and Game activities in this area, contact Reg2@wildlife.nh.gov or call (603) 744-5470.
Staff at Fish and Game's Region 2 office:
Fisheries Biologists: Don Miller and John Viar
Wildlife Biologists: Kristine Rines and Karen Bordeau
Law Enforcement District Chiefs: Lt. James Goss and Lt. James Kneeland
Executive Secretary: Kristin Harmon