CONTACT:
Don Miller, (603) 744-5470
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211 
February 24, 2010
         
2009 N.H. Trophy Fish Winners Announced

CONCORD, N.H. -- Winners of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s 2009 New Hampshire Trophy Fish Program have been announced, with trophy certificates in 19 categories going to winning anglers for the year, and two standing state records tied or broken.  For a full list of winning anglers and their catches, visit www.fishnh.com/Fishing/trophy_fish_2009.html.

The state record for pumpkinseed is now a three-way tie.  Fish and Game fisheries biologist John Viar's catch of a 9.5-inch, 12.48-ounce pumpkinseed was exactly the same weight and length of the record pumpkinseed caught by his father James Viar in 2005, as well as the original record set by Marcel LeBel in 1984.  "It's interesting that in the span of 26 years, the record pumpkinseed catches are exactly the same," said Fisheries Biologist Don Miller, who monitors the state's trophy fish and record fish programs.  "It may be anatomically impossible for these fish to grow larger than that in New Hampshire."

A saltwater record for tautog (blackfish) that had stood for a decade was broken twice in succession in 2009. Angler Graham Oakes of Derry first beat the record with a 4 pound, 3.8-ounce fish that was 19.25 inches long.  The new record was surpassed four days later by angler Roland Groux of Hampton, whose 21.75-inch tautog tipped the scales at 8 pounds, 10.08 ounces.  The previous state record tautog, caught in Great Bay in 1999, was 3 pounds, 12.48 ounces and 18.25 inches in length.

"We had some gorgeous rainbow trout this year, some over 5 pounds," said Miller.  Two anglers tied for trophy status in the caught-and-released rainbow trout category with fish that were 23 inches long. One trophy rainbow was caught in the Newfound River in Bristol, the other in the Salmon Falls River in Wakefield. "New Hampshire is really producing some quality rainbow trout, and that indicates that our lakes and streams are providing good habitat that is allowing them to put on the size," said Miller. 

The record for black crappie was almost toppled by Christopher Perkins of Alexandria, N.H., who caught the trophy 2-pound, 12.32 oz.; 16.5-inch fish in Lake Winnipesaukee.  His catch was just half an ounce shy of the standing state record.

Lots of nice largemouth bass were reported this year, many over 21 inches long. "That's a big bass!" said Miller.  "It shows that there's a good population of largemouth bass throughout the state, and the fishery is doing quite well." Waters that produced trophy submissions ranged from lakes the size of Winipesaukee to small 30-acre ponds, proving that "you don't need a big fancy boat to catch these fish; you can catch them from a kayak in a small pond or river," said Miller.

New Hampshire's Trophy Fish program provides recognition for both kept and released fish in 22 freshwater species and seven saltwater species categories.  For more than forty years, the Trophy Fish program has given angling enthusiasts of all ages the opportunity to receive recognition, as well as providing biologists with important information on the fisheries over time. 

Verified state records date back to a 25.5-inch, 9-pound brook trout caught on Pleasant Lake in New London in 1911. A list of state records for various species is available on the Fish and Game website at www.fishnh.com/Fishing/NH_state_record_fish.htm.

Trophy Fish applications must be received within 30 days of the catch.  All successful applicants are awarded a Trophy Fish shoulder patch. Anglers who caught or released the largest fish in each species category are presented with a certificate suitable for framing.  All ages and legal methods of fishing are eligible. 

Interested anglers can find application forms, guidelines for minimum weights and lengths, and instructions for entering the program on the N.H. Fish and Game Department website at www.fishnh.com/Fishing/fishing.htm.  The website also provides stocking information, depth maps for many lakes and ponds, fishing publications and more.

Get in on the action yourself this year -- buy your fishing license online anytime at www.fishnh.com.  Whether you’re after a trophy fish or a relaxing day with family and friends, get out and fish New Hampshire – we have what you’re looking for.

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