Robert Fawcett, (603) 271-2501
Scott Decker: (603) 271-2501
Gabe Gries, (603) 352-9669
January 12, 2007
Many New Hampshire Waters Open for Fishing Year-round;
Trout Stocked for Winter Anglers
CONCORD, N.H. -- Many of New Hampshire's waterbodies are open to the taking of trout and other fish year round, whether anglers are fishing through man-made openings in the ice or in open water. Only certain lakes -- those designated as "Lake Trout and Salmon Lakes" by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department -- are restricted to ice-fishing-only from January 1 to March 31. The unseasonably warm weather will make ice conditions vary greatly, so play it safe and make sure the ice is thick enough before you venture out on it. In addition, designated Trout Ponds are closed until the fourth Saturday in April.
Winter anglers in New Hampshire have some trout stocked especially for them. New Hampshire Fish and Game stocks trout every year during the fall months, mostly to bolster the winter ice fishery. Last fall (2006), Fish and Game stocked a greater number of fish into more waterbodies than are usually stocked late in the year. Before Fish and Game began stocking fish in the fall several years ago, any trout caught in the winter ice fishery were holdovers from spring stocking.
For anglers specifically going after trout:
- click to find a list of lakes and ponds that remain open to the taking of trout year round; and
- click for a list of rivers and streams open to the taking of trout year round.
Rules for waterbodies with special regulations are listed in the N.H. Freshwater Fishing Digest, available from license agents or click here and on the publication cover to view online.
During the fall of 2006, Fish and Game stocked 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 (EBT) yearlings and 2,950 brown trout.
Following is a list of New Hampshire lakes and ponds
managed as a "two-tier" fishery (i.e., bass and trout) with
no closed season that were stocked during the fall of 2006 (please note
that many more N.H. waterbodies are open for year-round fishing than are
included on this list):
Beaver Lake, Derry
Massabesic Lake, Manchester
Opechee Lake, Laconia
Waukewan Lake, Meredith
Winona Lake, Center Harbor
Chocorua Lake, Tamworth
Wentworth Lake, Wolfeboro
Crystal Lake, Gilmanton
Akers Pond, Errol
Cedar Pond, Milan
Martin Meadow Pond, Lancaster
Sunapee Lake (Little), New London
Stinson Lake, Rumney
Pearl Lake, Lisbon
Laurel Lake, Fitzwilliam
Mirror Lake, Woodstock
Gustin Pond, Marlow
Newell Pond, Alstead
Warren Lake, Alstead
Big Pea Porridge Pond, Madison
Webster Lake, Franklin
Tewksbury Pond, Grafton
Little Dan Hole Pond, Ossipee
White Lake, Tamworth
Fall stocking is welcomed by winter anglers, but it also contributes to biological research done by Fish and Game. Biologists mark the fish and then perform creel surveys to determine what percentage, of various species, of fish are caught through the ice. For example, fisheries biologist Gabe Gries in Fish and Game's regional office in Keene has documented, from Laurel Lake winter creel survey data, that 13.7% and 26.7% of the winter trout harvest from Laurel Lake for 2005 and 2006, respectively, was made up of fall-stocked rainbow and brown trout. This kind of information is useful in making management decisions about the fishery.
Purchase or renew your New Hampshire fishing (and hunting)
licenses soon, so you won't miss out on this winter's fishing action.
New Hampshire licenses for 2007 are available online (click
here for online license sales), or from license agents statewide.