Scott Decker, (603) 271-2501
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211  
December 20, 2007

N.H. Fishing Rule Changes for 2008

CONCORD, N.H. - As the start of the new year approaches, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department wants anglers to be aware of several administrative rule changes that will take effect in 2008. 

"These new rules don't reflect major statewide changes for anglers," said Scott Decker, Inland Fisheries Program Supervisor for N.H. Fish and Game.  "However, the use of certain types of fishing gear has changed - the use of cusk fishing devices will be limited to specific waterbodies with cusk populations and the use of a gaff to take fish in any fresh waters of the state is now prohibited.  It's also important for anglers who fish certain waters to be aware of specific changes affecting those waterbodies." 

The following 2008 administrative rule changes affecting anglers take effect January 1:

Use of Cusk Fishing Devices:  The use of cusk fishing devices is restricted to the following waters: First Connecticut Lake, Second Connecticut Lake, Third Connecticut Lake and Lake Francis (all in Pittsburg); Newfound Lake (Bristol, Alexandria, Bridgewater, Hebron); Silver Lake (Madison); Big Squam Lake (Holderness, Center Harbor, Sandwich, Moultonboro); Little Squam Lake (Holderness, Ashland); South Pond (Stark); Sunapee Lake (Newbury, New London, Sunapee); Lake Winnipesaukee (Alton, Center Harbor, Gilford, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonboro, Tuftonboro, Wolfeboro); and Winnisquam Lake (Belmont, Sanbornton, Laconia, Tilton, Meredith).

Use of a gaff: Use of a gaff (a hand-held metal hook used on large fish) to take fish in any fresh waters of the state is prohibited. 

Manmade Openings:  This rule clarifies the definition of  "manmade opening" to mean a hole in the ice made by an ice-cutting tool, including, but not limited to, augers, chisels and saws.  Manmade openings shall not include areas that remain ice-free because of current and movement created by dock aerators and similar devices.    

Diamond River (Second College Grant): The fishing rules on the Diamond River, from the Dead Diamond River and Swift Diamond River confluences down to the mouth at the Magalloway River confluence will change to catch-and-release regulations.  This means there is no closed season, all fish must be immediately released; only single-hook artificial lures and flies can be used; and, all hooks must be barbless or have all barbs pinched.

Dublin Lake (Dublin): The daily limit for brook trout caught from Dublin Lake will be modified to 3 fish or a total of 5 pounds of fish, whichever limit is reached first.

South Pond (Stark): The minimum length for lake trout will be reduced from 18 inches to 15 inches.

Umbagog Lake: The portion of Umbagog Lake north of a straight line between Molls Rock; Errol, N.H.; and the red post between Spillman and Glassby Coves, Magalloway Plantation, Maine, is closed to ice-fishing.

Interstate waters between New Hampshire and Maine:  The ice fishing season for all species except salmon will run from January 1 to March 31 in these waters.   

Lower Kimball Pond in Chatham, N.H., and Fryeburg, Maine:  During the open season, smelt can be taken up until 12 midnight. 

Horn Pond and Salmon Falls River in Wakefield, N.H., and Acton, Maine:  The northern terminus of Horn Pond will be delineated by signage in Wakefield, N.H. and Acton, Maine. The upper reach of the Salmon Falls River in Wakefield, Milton, Rochester, Somersworth and Rollinsford, N.H., and Acton, Berwick and South Berwick, Maine, will be defined as beginning at the outlet dam of Great East Lake (also known as State Line Canal) and extending to a point downstream marked by signage delineating the northern terminus of Horn Pond.
Salmon Falls River in Wakefield, Milton, Rochester, Somersworth, and Rollinsford, N.H. and Acton, Berwick and South Berwick, Maine: The open water season will run from January 1 to December 31.

For more information on New Hampshire fishing rules, consult the 2008 New Hampshire Fishing Digest (to download, click here and on the blue publication cover) or from license agents across the state.

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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