NH: Weekly Fishing Report – June 16, 2011

This weekly fishing report is provided by the New Hampshire Fish
and Game Department.

Stocking report:

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Taking a dad fishing for Father’s Day this Sunday? Good idea!

Fishing Camp: Know a kid age 10-16 who wants to learn how to
fish or improve their skills? Sign them up for the “Let’s Go
Fishing” week at Barry Conservation Camp (July 31-August 5). Cost
for the overnight week at camp is $475. Register at

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<> North Country

The North Country seems to be feast or famine this last week.
Once again the cool nights have deterred fish from moving and
feeding frequently but warmer weather yesterday flicked the switch.
I saw a great photo of a 5-year old holding a two-year old rainbow
from Pearl Lake. The 14-inch trout was no match for the length of
the boy’s smile while holding his prize. The lower portion of
Indian Stream fished well yesterday, and so did the upper
Connecticut. Stocking has been in full swing for the past month so
most waterbodies have been stocked at least once at this point. The
lower Androscoggin has been giving up some beautiful brown trout,
greater than 12 inches.

Weather is touch and go for this weekend, with thunderstorms in
Pittsburg predicted and sunny weather in Littleton. That’s the
surprise of the North Country; once you pass through Franconia
Notch it’s anyone’s guess. Check the weather first, but I bet this
weekend and next week are going to be hot fishing up north. Be the
first to head into one of the remote ponds for 2011. You may want
to check with the Regional Office
(http://www.wildnh.com/Inside_FandG/Reg_Office_directions.htm) as
some local roads washed out after the tremendous storms we
experienced this spring. Try Umbagog Lake for some fun with bass.
This time of year (post-spawn) can really be exciting. – Dianne
Timmins, Regional Fisheries Biologist

<> Lakes Region/White Mountains

We’ve just experienced a “throwback” to early spring here in the
lakes region of New Hampshire. Several days of low clouds,
rain/drizzle and a hard east wind (with temps in the 50s) haven’t
done much for fishing in this area. The water temperature in
Winnipesaukee is still hanging in the mid-60 degree range. Bass
remain on the nests in the open areas of the big lakes, while the
back coves, where temps may be slightly higher may see the fry
around the nests, are in the early stages of dispersal.

A recent electroshocking survey on Opechee Lake revealed several
bass (large and smallmouth) cruising the shorelines near the sites
of “old” nests. Sunfish nests were quite apparent also in the
shallow water in coves. It was interesting to find several
landlocked salmon still in the tailrace of the Lakeport Dam! This
is highly fishable water right now, because flows out of
Winnipesaukee are extremely low, 250 cubic feet per second (cfs).
The salmon were definitely excited by the current field! Also,
don’t forget that Opechee is a “destination” fishery for rainbow
trout as it is stocked annually with yearling rainbows. Opechee is
not a lake trout/landlocked salmon lake, therefore general rules
apply for the rainbows, 5 fish or 5 pounds, whichever is reached
first, with no length limit. There is a fine boat launch near the
southern end of the lake.

Trout ponds still afford some good fishing, although day-time
anglers will find the fish a bit deeper, while there are some fine
insect hatches occurring at dusk. White Pond (Ossipee)
(fly-fishing-only), White Lake (Tamworth) and Conner Pond (Ossipee)
are all beautiful ponds to fish in the southern White Mt. Area. And
don’t forget Duncan Lake (Ossipee), all feature some real nice
brook trout. Stream fishing is at its peak now, and water levels
are dropping, so don’t waste any time in getting out there!

Aerial trout stocking of our remote trout ponds will occur soon.
If you like to hike and enjoy a good meal of trout by the campfire,
try one of our 48 remote ponds this spring/summer, the experience
is memorable! – Don Miller, Regional Fisheries Biologist

<> Monadnock/Upper Valley

The recent weather pattern has been keeping trout anglers very
happy. Last week’s temperatures were really starting to warm water
temps up and stream flows were running at summer-time lows. These
cool temperatures and scattered showers will keep streams cool and
trout scattered and actively feeding. Now is the time to hit your
local trout streams before the summer heat comes in full force.

A few days ago I fished a local pond that is managed for brook
trout, except I was fishing for smallmouth bass. It was a cold,
damp day, but the bass were on fire. Fish were post-spawn and
actively feeding (these fish could also have been fish in the
population that didn’t spawn this year). In four hours of fishing
we caught around 30 bass. Wacky-rigged worms, shaky-head worms, and
tubes fished along near shore drop-offs with scattered rocks was
the ticket. I need to get out and fish more of these smallmouth
ponds and lakes in the next couple of weeks before water temps
really warm up and the smallmouth head out to deep water for the
summer, which makes them more difficult to locate and catch. –
Jason Carrier, Regional Fisheries Biologist

<> Southeast NH/Merrimack Valley

As with our counterparts in the Monadnock/Upper Valley area, who
are working to increase spawning success of American shad in the
Connecticut River, we are charged with the same restoration program
within the Merrimack River watershed. To date, around 700 pre-spawn
American shad have been released in the upper portions of the
Merrimack River in Boscawen and Concord. This section of river has
been identified as suitable spawning habitat, a location once
thought to be utilized freely by American shad before impoundments
restricted access here. These shad are initially trapped at the
fish lift in the Essex Dam (Lawrence, Mass.). The Connecticut River
inherently has a more productive shad migration than what has been
observed in the Merrimack River. As of this week, over 244,000 shad
have been counted in the Connecticut while slightly over 11,000
shad have been counted in the Merrimack.

On a positive note, the Atlantic salmon returns for the
Merrimack River are at near record numbers. Between 1982 and 2010,
records indicate the best return year was 1991 with 332 Atlantic
salmon returning to the Merrimack River. As of this week, already
315 salmon have been trapped at the Essex Dam. We expect to
continue to see Atlantic salmon being trapped for at least three
more weeks. These fish are utilized for future egg production to
sustain the restoration of the species. This year, some Atlantic
salmon will be tagged and released in southern New Hampshire to
monitor habitat selection and evaluate efforts to establish a more
natural form of reproduction and restoration.

Earlier this month, the second annual McQuesten Brook and Pond
cleanup was held in Manchester and Bedford. Many thanks are owed to
the staff from the Department of Environmental Services, NH Rivers
Council, the city of Manchester, NH Fish and Game, and volunteers
from the Anheuser Busch and the Manchester Fly Fishing Association.
Despite a cleanup occurring last year, I was amazed at the amount
of trash and litter still found. For example, 18 tires, 27 trash
bags, a full size heating oil tank, 3 propane tanks, and 2 shopping
carts, amongst much more was collected this year. Both McQuesten
Brook and Pond are important urban habitats for countless fish and
other species associated with aquatic habitats. – Ben Nugent,
Regional Fisheries Biologist

<> Seacoast Area

I often get strange looks when I tell people that I’m a
vegetarian. “You work with recreational fisheries and you don’t eat
fish!?” I know, it’s a bit odd. It’s not that I have an ethical
problem with eating animals; it’s simply that I don’t like meat.
This fact does make me a bit of an oddity but it also makes me a
great fishing partner (please, take mine!). My fishing preferences
are also affected by my aversion, as mackerel fishing is my
all-time favorite. Most people think of mackerel solely as a bait
fish, they catch a few macks in preparation for their striper
fishing. While striper fishing is fun, unless they are hitting hard
my attention span is much too short for the effort that this prized
fish demands. When the mackerel are in, they will hit on any small
shiny lure, but mackerel jigs and mackerel trees are most commonly
used. As I am only interested in the fishing, there is no reason to
catch more than one at a time so I will use a single lure as
apposed to the

tree. They are a small fish — but as they are related to the much
larger tuna, they put up a good fight for their size.

Great Island Common in New Castle is a popular and highly
productive spot for mackerel; anglers have been having good results
there recently. You could also try the jetties in Rye or Hampton;
the jetties at Fort Stark and Odiorne Point are seemingly
underutilized as well.

Mackerel fishing, it’s not just for kids (but kids like it too)!
– Becky Heuss, Marine Biologist

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