CONCORD — The snow might be hanging on in much of the state, but April 1 is the day New Hampshire anglers have been dreaming about through the long, cold winter -- the start of open-water fishing on the big lakes that the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department manages for landlocked salmon and lake trout.
It looks like we will experience a late April "ice out" in the central Lakes Region, with North Country lakes a good week and a half after that. With the deep snowpack, tributary streams will benefit with increased flows, attracting spawning smelt, the prime forage fish for landlocked salmon. Fall netting (2013) revealed a strong, age-3 year-class of salmon in Sunapee and Winnipesaukee lakes, which will dominate the catch. There will also be some trophy-sized salmon available in Big Squam Lake," said N.H. Fish and Game Large Lakes Biologist Don Miller.
New Hampshire Fish and Game manages 14 lakes for landlocked salmon: Big Dan Hole Pond, First and Second Connecticut Lakes, Conway Lake, Lake Francis, Merrymeeting Lake, Newfound Lake, Ossipee Lake, Big and Little Squam Lakes, Sunapee Lake, Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake. Pleasant Lake in New London also is managed for landlocked salmon, but is classified as a trout pond, with a 2014 opening date of April 26.
Anglers should check out the Winnipesaukee River, which flows through the Weirs channel into Paugus Bay, and through the Lakeport Dam/Lake Opechee area. "Drop-down" salmon (and rainbow trout) are found throughout these river reaches. Other traditional areas include the Winnipesaukee River through Laconia to Dixon Point at Lake Winnisquam, and Lochmere Dam at Silver Lake. There is often a sizable piece of open water in Lake Winnisquam where the river drains into the lake. This water can be easily accessed by the N.H. Fish and Game boat access ramp, just upstream in Laconia.
The Newfound River in Bristol offers great fly-fishing-only water that can often produce drop-down rainbows and salmon. Additionally, several popular Winnipesaukee shore fishing locations exist at the Merrymeeting River (fly-fishing-only, barbless, catch and release), and the mouth of the Merrymeeting River as it enters Alton Bay, downstream of the famous stone arch bridge.
Other good sites to visit include the Long Island Bridge in Moultonborough, Governors Island Bridge in Gilford, Smith River inlet at Wolfeboro Bay, and Meredith and Center Harbor town docks. At these locations, everything from smelt, shiners and worms under a slip bobber to small jigs will take salmon, as well as rainbow trout.
To ensure the future of high-quality landlocked salmon fisheries, anglers must take extra care when releasing salmon, as the percentage of hook-wounded fish continues to be a problem. Hook wounded/scarred fish are significantly shorter and poorer in body condition than non-hook-wounded counterparts of the same age. Using rubber nets and proper release techniques (for example, don't "shake" fish off the hook), and releasing lightly hooked healthy salmon, while choosing to harvest previously hook-wounded fish, are ways to minimize the negative effects of hook wounding, thereby increasing the number of trophy salmon available in the future.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 09:05
HOLDERNESS — Squam Lake is the focus of a "destination" article in the latest issue of New England Boating magazine. The story was written by Ray Carbone, founder and CEO of Carbone Productions, LLC, of Laconia. Photography was supplied by local photographer Karen Bobotas.
The six-page story, named "Squam Song", extols the serene beauty of the lake made famous by the 1981 movie "On Golden Pond".
"Squam is gorgeous in every respect, no matter what the season... But boating on New Hampshire's second largest lake is not for everyone," the story reads. "For one thing, unlike nearby Winnipesaukee, it's not a place for cabin cruisers or cigarette boats." It's one of only three New Hampshire lakes that limits vessels with a "head and a bed", which eliminates spending a night on the water, it says.
The feature mentions bass, salmon and lake trout fishing on the lake as well as popular low-impact activities like enjoying the water on a skiff, kayak or canoe; hiking; and visiting the Squam Lake Natural Science Center and the Loon Center.
Local businesses receive prominent attention including the marinas on Little Squam and eateries like Walter's Basin, the Corner House Inn in Sandwich and the Common Man in Ashland.
Carbone said that the "Squam Song" feature is part of his company's new "Lakes Region Talks" initiative. In the coming months, Carbone Productions will be working with a select group of area businesses and organization to "spread the word" about everything that's great about being in the Lakes Region. The effort is to follow-up to "The Lakes Region of New Hampshire: Four Seasons, Countless Memories," the company's popular photo-essay.
For information about New England Boating or "Lakes Region Talks", call 603/520-6964.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 09:00
MEREDITH — Meredith Public Library's Master Plan Committee will be making a presentation about the Past, Present and Future of the Meredith Public Library on Wednesday, April 9 at 6 p.m. at the Meredith Public Library.
The library is facing many challenges including life-safety code, parking and accessibility issues. Before the trustees can plan for the future, they need to hear from the public about what they want from their library. All input will be recorded and it will be used to help the committee prepare a report for the Library Trustees. This report will help to guide the trustee's build a Library Master Plan. Refreshments will be served.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 08:56
LACONIA — Join Laconia Rotary Club for an All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, March 30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will take place at the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region located at 888 North Main Street, Laconia.
"We're grateful for the generosity of the community for making this event possible," said event chair and Laconia Rotary Club President Elect Pat Anderson, "Thank you to Café Déjà Vu, Contigiani's Catering, Doug Whittum, Kitchen Cravings, McDonald's of Meredith, Plum Crazy, Scott Ouellette of Canoe/O Steaks & Seafood, Stu Ramsey, Sysco Foods, Top of the Town Restaurant, Vista Foods, Water Street Café, and Woodshed Coffee Roasters for food and product donations."
Breakfast is $5 per person or $20 per family and includes pancakes, maple syrup, sausage, orange juice and coffee. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club for the purchase and renovation of their new home at the former St. James Church.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 08:49
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