Mike Racine, (603) 352-9669
Scott Decker, (603) 271-2501
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211
December 18, 2006

New Fishing Rules for Nubanusit and Silver Lakes Start January 1

CONCORD, N.H. -- Starting January 1, 2007, new fishing rules take effect in two lakes in southwestern New Hampshire -- Nubanusit Lake in Nelson/Hancock and Silver Lake in Harrisville. The rules are already in effect for Granite Lake in Stoddard.

As of January 1, 2007, the rules for these lakes will be as follows:

  • From January 1 to March 31: Fish may be taken by ice fishing only. The lakes are closed to the taking of landlocked salmon. The combined daily bag limit for all trout species, including lake trout, is two fish. The minimum length limit for lake trout is 18 inches. There is no minimum length for brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout or their hybrids.

  • From April 1 through September 30: The combined daily limit for lake trout, salmon, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and their hybrids is four fish, of which no more than two fish can be lake trout and/or salmon. The minimum length limit is 18 inches for lake trout and 15 inches for landlocked salmon. There is no minimum length for brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout or their hybrids. Yellow perch may not be used as bait.

What's new in these rules: Previously, there was a minimum length of 15 inches for brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout or their hybrids in these waterbodies. Now there will be no minimum length for these species. Also, the daily bag limit for salmon and trout during the open water season has increased from a combination of two fish to a combination of four fish, with a total of no more than 2 lake trout and/or salmon taken as part of the four-fish combination (2 lake trout OR 2 salmon OR one of each).

"We made this change at the request of the public," said Mike Racine, a fisheries biologist who works in Fish and Game's regional office in Keene. "The new rules are more in balance with the stocking regime and rainbow trout growth patterns. Most fish stocked are just under the former 15-inch limit, and fish in these waterbodies weren't growing to legal size."

Angler diary data provided to Fish and Game for both Silver and Nubanusit lakes from spring through September in 2004 and 2005 revealed that rainbow trout that were of legal size under the old rules (more than 15 inches in length) made up a very small percentage of the total catch.

"Under the new rules, all size rainbow trout in these waters will be legal to keep," said Racine. "However, anglers do need to be aware that we are NOT changing the 18-inch length limit for lake trout and the 15-inch length limit for landlocked salmon."

Fish and Game stocked landlocked salmon into Nubanusit Lake last spring (2006). Anglers are reminded that all salmon caught during ice fishing must be released immediately by cutting the line. "This winter, rainbows and salmon will be about the same size in these lakes, so make sure you know the difference between your salmonids!" cautioned Racine.

Although brown trout are not currently stocked in either of these waterbodies, click here to download a physical description of how salmon differ from trout, or pick up the palm card, "Know the Difference between Salmon and Trout" from New Hampshire Fish and Game offices or call 603-271-3212 to request.

For more about fishing regulations in New Hampshire, consult the Freshwater Fishing Digest (click here and on the publication cover to right).

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