CONTACT:
Gabe Gries:  603-352-9669
Michael Racine: 603-352-9669 
Jane Vachon: 603-  271-3211
March 14, 2008 

Fish and Game to Survey Walleye Catch

KEENE, N.H. -- Walleye anglers, keep an eye out for New Hampshire Fish and Game Department fisheries biologists, who will be on the Connecticut River this spring (2008) conducting a creel survey for walleye.  Survey sites will be at Bellows Falls tailwater (Walpole, N.H.) and the Vernon Dam tailwater (Vernon, Vt.), where spring walleye angling pressure and walleye spawning activity is traditionally high. 

Surveys will be conducted every weekend and on two weekdays starting mid-March and continuing through late April/early May, in order to cover the majority of the walleye spawning run. 

"Expect to see us there," said Fisheries Biologist Michael Racine, based in Fish and Game's Region 4 Office in Keene.  "Our goals are to document different aspects of the walleye fishery on the Connecticut River, including angler effort and satisfaction, the size distribution of catch, and catch and harvest rates.  Please take time to talk to us - you will be helping the walleye fishery."

Current walleye regulations on the Connecticut River include a daily limit of four fish, of which only one can be larger than 18 inches; no fish between 16 and 18 inches may be harvested.  These regulations were imposed to increase walleye size, after previous walleye creel surveys had documented an overabundance of shorter walleyes in the Connecticut River.
 
"By allowing anglers to harvest smaller-length walleyes, we hope that the younger age classes will be thinned out, allowing the growth rate, and thus size, of the rest of the population to increase," said Racine.  "Now it's time to find out if this strategy worked, and we're excited to see how the fishing experience may have changed in the last few years."

Biologists will summarize fishing activity and success on a weekly basis beginning the last week of March.  As soon as they become available, updates will be posted; click here for the walleye creel survey page that will carry these updates.

For information on the study, contact Gabe Gries or Michael Racine, N.H. Fish and Game Region 4, 15 Ash Brook Court, Keene, NH 03431; phone 603-352-9669; or email gabriel.gries@wildlife.nh.gov or michael.racine@wildlife.nh.gov.

Highly prized for the table by sports anglers, walleye are a member of the perch, not the pike, family.  They are sometimes mistakenly called "walleyed pike."

Click here for strategies for catching walleye in southwestern New Hampshire throughout the year, from Fisheries Biologist Gabe Gries.

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