Lt. Bruce Bonenfant: (603) 271-3127
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
January 9, 2007

Open Water on Salmon and Lake Trout Lakes Is Off-Limits to Anglers; Unsafe Ice Conditions Prevail

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department advises anglers that lake trout and salmon lakes in the state that have not frozen over because of unseasonably warm weather conditions are not open for fishing. Fish and Game regulations state that from January 1 through March 31, fish may be taken from these designated lakes by ice fishing only.

"It can be confusing for people, because it's so unusual for us to have open water on these lakes this time of year," said Lt. Bruce Bonenfant of Fish and Game's Law Enforcement Division. "But the regulations clearly state that only ice-fishing is allowed on lake trout and salmon lakes during this time period. You can't fish the open water in these lakes - either from a boat or from the shore - until April 1."

Bonenfant noted that the entire waterbody does not have to be frozen over to meet the regulation; if coves have formed ice that is thick and safe enough for ice-fishing, anglers may fish through manmade holes in the ice on these areas. Anglers are advised that treacherous ice conditions prevail throughout the state, however, and extreme caution should be used.

"Even in parts of the state that have experienced freezing temperatures, it hasn't been cold enough long enough for the ice to be considered safe," Bonenfant said. "We're all eager to get out and do some fishing, but please play it safe."

Rules on Lake Trout and/or Salmon Lakes in New Hampshire can be found on pages 18-19 and 22-23 of the 2007 N.H. Freshwater Fishing Digest, (click here and on publication cover to view, or pick up a copy from any Fish and Game license agent. Lakes and ponds designated as Lake Trout and/or Salmon Lakes are noted in the listing of "Lakes and Ponds with Special Rules," which begins on page 25 of the Digest.

To download the publication "Safety on Ice," click here and on the publication cover.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.

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