CONTACT:                                       
Matt Carpenter: (603) 271-2501
Vikki Leonard:  (603) 271-2501       
Andy Schafermeyer: (603) 788-3164
Jane Vachon:  (603) 271-3211
March 26, 2008

Volunteers Needed to Help Stock Atlantic Salmon Fry

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is looking for volunteers to help stock millions of inch-long salmon fry into the Merrimack River basin; several rivers and streams in the Upper Connecticut River watershed in northern New Hampshire; and the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire's Connecticut River watershed.

The stocking plays a vital role in restoring runs of salmon to New Hampshire's waterways.  Fry released in these river systems and their tributaries stay in the rivers for about two years before migrating to the ocean.  When the salmon are about four years old, they will try to return to these rivers to spawn. 

If you can lend a hand with the Merrimack River watershed effort, call Vikki Leonard, N.H. Fish and Game Inland Fisheries Division, at (603) 271-2501 or email fish@wildlife.nh.gov.  Please leave your name, address, telephone number and which days you might be available. Volunteers will release salmon fry in the Merrimack River watershed on April 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 29.  Another batch of fry will be released in the Merrimack watershed on May 1, 13 and 16.  Approximately ten volunteers are needed for each day of stocking.

More than half a million salmon fry will be stocked in northern New Hampshire.  If you can volunteer to help with efforts to stock fry in the Upper Connecticut River watershed, contact Andrew Schafermeyer, N.H. Fish and Game Fisheries Biologist, at (603) 788-3164 or email andrew.schafermeyer@wildlife.nh.gov for meeting times and places. There will be opportunities for six days of volunteer stocking (including one Saturday) in the Upper Connecticut River watershed during the first two weeks of May.  The upper part of the Ammonoosuc River from Bretton Woods down to Littleton will be stocked with salmon fry on Friday, May 2 (meet at Foster's Crossroads Store in Twin Mountain at 10:00 a.m.).  The second day of stocking will be Saturday, May 3 (meet at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Littleton at 9:30 a.m. and proceed downriver). 

The Mohawk River will be stocked on Tuesday, May 6 (meeting 10:30 a.m. at NHFG Region 1 office in Lancaster).  On Wednesday, May 7, salmon fry will be stocked in the Gale River, Israel River and the Little River (meeting at Foster's Crossroads Store at 10:00 a.m.).  On Thursday, May 8, the Wild Ammonoosuc River will be stocked (meet at the Wildwood Picnic Area on Route 112 in Easton at 9:30 a.m.).  On Monday, May 12, Nash Stream will be stocked (meet at the N.H. Fish and Game regional office in Lancaster at 10:30 a.m.).

Over half a million Atlantic salmon fry are also stocked each spring in the Monadnock region in southwestern New Hampshire's Connecticut River watershed.  Additional volunteers are not generally needed for this effort, which involves seven days of stocking in late April and May.  The contact for stocking in this area is Gabe Gries, Fisheries Biologist, N.H. Fish and Game, at (603) 352-9669 or gabriel.gries@wildlife.nh.gov.

Many individuals and groups take part in the fry stocking effort, including state and federal fisheries personnel, conservation organizations such as Trout Unlimited, and other interested citizens.  Volunteers carry the inch-long salmon fry to release points along rivers and streams in the watershed.  They should be prepared for an all-day commitment and rigorous walking with buckets of water and fish.  Waders, hip boots or old sneakers are recommended footwear for stocking.  You may get wet, so bring extra socks and sweatshirts, etc.  Stocking will take place rain or shine.  Pack a lunch and drinking water, waders or hip boots and be prepared to spend the whole day on the river.
 
For more information about the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program in New Hampshire, click here.

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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