CONTACT:
Gabe Gries:  603-352-9669
Jason Carrier: 603-352-9669  
Jane Vachon: 603- 271-3211
March 25, 2009 

Fish and Game Surveying Walleye Catch

KEENE, N.H. -- Walleye anglers, be advised that New Hampshire Fish and Game Department fisheries biologists will be on the Connecticut River this spring 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 from late March through April or early May, in order to cover the entire walleye spawning run. 

"Expect to see us there," said Fisheries Biologist Jason Carrier, 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 your catch, and catch and harvest rates.  Please take time to talk to us - your cooperation will help 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 put in place to increase walleye size, after previous walleye creel surveys 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 Carrier.  "We look forward to working with you to document if this strategy is working."

Biologists will summarize fishing activity and success on a weekly basis, beginning in late March. Visit www.fishnh.com/Fishing/fisheries_management/walleye_survey.html to see some great photos of N.H. walleye caught in 2008, plus frequently asked questions about walleye fishing. As soon as they become available, 2009 weekly creel updates will be posted.

For information on the study, contact Gabe Gries or Jason Carrier, 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 jason.carrier@wildlife.nh.gov.

Learn more about walleye angling strategies at a free talk by Fisheries Biologist Gabe Gries on Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m. at New Hampshire Fish and Game Department headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, N.H.  Admission is free; no preregistration is required.  Gries will present the basics of fishing for walleye through the seasons, and explore the life cycle, habits and habitat of this mysterious fish.  Interesting fact:  Highly prized for the table by sports anglers, walleye are actually a member of the perch, not the pike, family. 

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.  Visit www.fishnh.com/Fishing/fishing.htm for online license sales and more information about fishing in New Hampshire.

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