Don Miller, (603) 744-5470
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211
February 23, 2012
2011 N.H. Trophy Fish Winners Announced
CONCORD, N.H. -- The winners of New Hampshire's 2011 Trophy Fish Program have been announced by Don Miller, Fisheries Biologist and Trophy Fish Program Coordinator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The program gives fishing enthusiasts of all ages an opportunity to receive recognition, while providing biologists with important information on the state's fisheries over time. The Trophy Fish Program was created in the 1970s, although the state's record fish information dates back to 1911. "Over the years, through the Trophy Fish Program, we have received valuable data on fish populations not normally reported to us," Don Miller noted. "And almost every year, a new state record is reported, which says a lot about New Hampshire's fisheries."
All successful applicants receive a "Trophy Fish" shoulder patch. Then, each February, the person who caught the largest fish in each species category is presented with a special certificate.
There are 22 freshwater species and seven saltwater species categories for both kept and released fish. All ages and all legal methods of angling are represented.
During 2011, 15 categories of "catch and release" species and eleven categories of "kept" fish were represented in Trophy Program entries, and five state records were set. It was notable that of the 75 entrants, 19 anglers (or 25%) were under 20 years old. And these kids are serious anglers! Eight-year-old David King of Manchester caught a 9-pound, 3-ounce, 33-inch long cusk while ice-fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee. Nine-year-old Christopher Richardson of Springfield, N.H., set a new record for channel catfish when he reeled in his 11-pound, 3.52-ounce fish from the Connecticut River.
Eight-year-old Mary Elaine Algeo of Rindge brought home a trophy largemouth bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 8.64 ounces and measured 22.25 inches in length, from Pearly Pond in Rindge. Nineteen-year-old Molly Metivier of Keene trolled Willard Pond in Antrim and came up with a state-record tiger trout weighing 3 lbs., 8.64 oz. and measuring 20 inches in length.
Greg Whitmore of Barrington and Steve Whitmore of Hooksett both caught and released 25-inch-long Eastern chain pickerel a month apart on the Lamprey River and tied for top spot in their category.
A new state record for pumpkinseed was set and matched this year. Back in 2010, John Viar, a Fish and Game fisheries biologist in the Lakes Region, tied two existing records with his catch of a 9.5-inch-long, 12.48-ounce pumpkinseed. His father, James Viar, had caught his record pumpkinseed back in 2005, tying the 1984 record of Marcel LeBel. Three fish with the same weight and lengths – spanning 26 years – had tied for State Record! But in March of 2011, Fish and Game’s Mark Beauchesne broke the long-standing tie with a new state-record pumpkinseed out of Lake Winnipesaukee, weighing in at 13.6 ounces. The story doesn’t end there! John Viar came back in November and again tied the record with his own 13.6-ounce pumpkinseed from Lake Winnipesaukee.
A complete listing of all entries, plus links to application forms, rules, records and winners from past years can be found at http://www.fishnh.com/Fishing/trophy/2011.html.
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