Fish and Game staffing issues compound search difficulties

By BEA LEWIS, for The Laconia Daily Sun

New Hampshire Fish & Game Col. Kevin Jordan said three fatalities on Lake Winnipesaukee this weekend taxed the resources of his department that now has seven vacant conservation officer positions.
With a current staff of 32 statewide, none of whom work the same day, Jordan envisions a nightmare scenario involving multiple major incidents and not having enough personnel to respond.
“We’re the only game in town,” Jordan said, explaining that his agency has sole jurisdiction and the specialized training needed to handle emergencies on the state’s waterways, mountains and back country. The department is also tasked with investigating snowmobile and ATV accidents.
“It was a very concerning weekend,” Jordan said, of the seven incidents of snowmobiles breaking through the ice on Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Winnisquam that claimed three lives.
While he was quick to credit the members of the Alton, Gilford, Moultonborough, Tuftonboro and West Ossipee Fire Rescue Departments who aided conservation officers over the weekend, he wants the ability to fill his vacant positions.
Since 1989, the department has relied on a $1 fee collected for each boat, snow machine and ATV registered in New Hampshire that annually totals about $192,000 to fund its search and rescue operations.
From 2011-2015 search and rescue expenditures have eclipsed revenue by some $200,000. As a consequence of the financial shortfall, the department has been forced to sacrifice conservation officer positions, equipment, training and other safety related programs to cover the rising costs of rescues.
Col. Jordan was grateful for the assistance his agency received from area firefighters.
“These guys are a blessing. They have good common sense and knowledge of the lake,” Jordan said, of members of the Alton, Gilford, Moultonborough, Tuftonboro and West Ossipee Fire Departments.
While air boats need a skilled operator, as they are difficult to drive, Jordan said, the vessels provide the only safe platform when dealing with thin ice. West Ossipee trailered their air boat to the Lakes Region to aid in rescue and recovery efforts.
Also on Sunday, Meredith Fire-Rescue was called to respond to a Black Brook Road residence for a report of a 32-year-old man suffering from cold exposure after having fallen through the ice on Lake Winnisquam.
State police initially received a telephone call reporting that one snowmobiler had broken through the ice just east of Pot Island in Sanbornton shortly before 4 p.m. A second man riding with the victim on another snowmobile that became partially submerged was able to pull him out. The rescuer then told the wet man to take the remaining snowmobile and get to shore.
The victim went to a home at 210 Black Brook Road in Meredith, but declined to be taken to the hospital for treatment. He was too cold and exhausted to return to the ice to pick up his stranded friend, however.
New Hampshire Fish & Game personnel were able to retrieve the second man from the ice about 6 p.m., who reported via cell phone that heavy snowfall and high winds were creating white-out conditions and that he didn’t know which way to go to get to shore.
Saturday night, a snowmobiler sank his sled near the town docks in Meredith Bay. The docks are ringed in open water as bubblers have been installed to keep ice from forming and damaging the pilings. A recovery team that used air bags to raise the sunken machine, reported the incident to Meredith police on Sunday who in turn notified New Hampshire Fish & Game.
Earlier on Saturday, Meredith Fire Rescue was called to the ice of Meredith Bay to render aid to a man who had fallen and broken his leg while involved in horseplay with his brother.
Meredith Police Detective Corporal John Eichhorn said while traffic was plentiful as a result of the fishing derby “it was a peaceful weekend.”
Col. Jordan urged snowmobilers and anyone outdoors to be wary of ice conditions, which are variable due to a variety of factors including a water body’s size, temperature, depth, current and wind exposure which can affect ice formation. Snowfall that covered early ice acts as an insulator and prevents the ice from thickening.
If you break through the ice, don’t panic. Move or swim back to the place you broke through, lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard. This will help lift you back onto the ice. Roll away from hole until you reach solid ice.

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Rainbow trout carries Maine man to derby grand prize

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Grand prize winner Tim Guinard of Alfred, Maine (right); second place winner Martin Hughes of New Hampton (second from left); and third place finisher Ryan Ashley of Gilmanton (left) pose with Derby Chairman Tim Bergquist Sunday at the 38th annual Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby. (David Carkhuff/Laconia Daily Sun)


MEREDITH — Tim Guinard of Alfred, Maine, posted a photo on Facebook showing him holding his rainbow trout from opening day of the 38th annual Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby. The caption reads, "My 4.33 lb Rainbow that won Saturday. Hope it holds up today!"
On Sunday, not only did it hold up, but it won him the grand prize of $15,000.
Guinard gave out a cry of joy when his name was announced Sunday afternoon. He and the other top award winners joined Gov. Chris Sununu and Derby Chairman Tim Bergquist on the walkway. The three grand prize winners were based on the seven finalists with the heaviest fish caught over the weekend.
"I started ice fishing to be with friends and have something fun to do with my son. Never thought it would be worth $15,000," Guinard wrote. "Thank you to Scott, Rich, Aaron, Chris, Mike, Ethan and Jason!!! What a weekend, we won the Super Bowl of ice fishing derbies!"

Guinard said, "I'd also like to thank The New Hampshire Fish and Game wardens. We usually seem them every year we do the derby and they are always very nice and do such an amazing job on an extremely busy weekend."

Duane Barton of Andover came through with the heaviest fish, a lake trout weighing 10.57 pounds caught on Saturday.

The results are as follows:
Grand prize winner, for $15,000, Tim Guinard of Alfred Mills, Maine (Saturday's top rainbow trout, 4.33 pounds).
Second prize winner, for $5,000, Martin Hughes of New Hampton (Sunday top white perch, 2.72 pounds).
Third place winner, for $3,000, Ryan Ashley of Gilmanton (Saturday top cusk, 6.47 pounds).

The $500 winners on Saturday included black crappie, 2.49 pounds — Bryan Couth, Moultonborough; cusk, 6.47 pounds, Ryan Ashley, Gilmanton; lake trout, 10.57 pounds — Duane Barton, Andover; pickerel, 5.23 pounds — Jessica Lievens, Belmont; rainbow trout, 4.33 pounds – Tim Guinard, Alfred, Maine; white perch, 2.67 pounds, James Symonds, Barnstead; yellow perch, 2.16 pounds — Tyler Dascoulias, Conway.

The $500 winners on Sunday included black crappie, 2.63 pounds — David Young of Boylston, Massachusetts; cusk, 5.88 pounds, Robert Haywood, Pittsburg; lake trout, 7.06 pounds — Lincoln Devaney, Newport; pickerel, 4.26 pounds — Tom Sharp, Deerfield, Massachusetts; rainbow trout, 3.85 pounds – Keith Laurencell, Deerfield, N.H.; white perch, 2.72 pounds, Martin Hughes, New Hampton; yellow perch, 1.59 pounds — Kevin Brown, Gilford.

The $100 drawing winners on Saturday included Winnipesaukee Area Brew Crew, Meredith; Robert Clark, Marlborough; Scott Delibac, Merrimack; Paul Gallagher III, Worcester, Massachusetts; William Conn, Rutland, Vermont; Stephen Ratte Sr., Raymond; Troy Baxter, Barrington; David McLaughlin, Hooksett; Stan Pascucci, Derry; Michelle Gray, Danville; Farren Mion, Glenville, New York; Myles Muin, Concord; Lorrie Wright, Hill; Daryll Issac, Portsmouth.

The $100 drawing winners on Sunday included Ken Young, Meredith; Tristan Smart, Moultonborough; Ben Nagy, Barrington; Ronald Allaire, Litchfield; Jon Stesienko, Lebanon, Maine; Paul Belville, Mirror Lake; Karl Lindroth, Hebron, Connecticut; Kevin Robbins, Franklin; Brian Allen, Meredith; Robert Queen III, Milford; Stephen Malagodi, Windham; Matthew Palmer, Millis, Massachusetts; Travis Jones, Northwood; Jim Schreib, Hudson; Tom Daniels Sr., Tilton; David Trudeau, Auburn; Tim McDermitt, Danvers, Massachusetts; Anthony Trevena, Lisbon; Joshua Druin, Loudon; Robert Grant, Henniker; Laurence Capiano, Melrose, Massachusetts; Monica Thiebault, Chester; Glen Clark, Goffstown; Chris Feddern, Brookfield; Kevin Perkins, Wolfeboro Falls; Scott Duquette, Fitchburg, Massachusetts; Zach Merchant, Clinton, New Jersey; Steven Reynolds, Derry; Christine Hartshory, Amherst; Kyle Cummings, Elkins; Kristopher Bean, New Hampton; Mike Baker, Arundel, Maine.

The $5,000 drawing winner on Saturday was Tyler Damon of Sandwich. The $5,000 winner on Sunday was Keith Lizotte of Rollinsford.

Bradley Roth of Alexandria won the raffle for a portable bob house donated by Northern Fabrication Solutions in Tamworth. The bob house is valued at approximately $3,400.


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Dan Lago of Warren, Connecticut, admires the fish board at the 38th annual Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby. (David Carkhuff/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Tim Guinard of Alfred, Maine, celebrates upon learning he won the $15,000 grand prize at the 38th annual Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby. (David Carkhuff/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Grand prize winner Tim Guinard of Alfred, Maine, left, and second place winner Martin Hughes of New Hampton, right, pose with Gov. Chris Sununu at the end of the 38th annual Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby. (David Carkhuff/Laconia Daily Sun)

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A Valentine’s love note from a century ago


MOULTONBOROUGH — Valentine's Day cards have a long tradition, extending back hundreds of years. Today about 190 million of them will be exchanged in the United States alone, almost all them commercially produced, with some well-worn and time tested sentiments expressing love and affection.
Vintage Valentine's Day postcards are popular collector's items and the sight of several of them in a large box of postcards at the Concord Antique Center prompted Pat Nash of Moultonborough to purchase four of them on a recent visit.
"I didn't look at the handwritten messages on the back, but when I got home and read one of them I thought that it was so cute that it needed to be shared," said Nash.
One of the cards, mailed from Springfield, Massachusetts, on Feb. 14, 1910, to Miss June Howard of South Londonderry, Vermont, contained a drawing of a sled and a poem, written by a man named Lawrence, which expressed his desire that she be his Valentine:
Upon this little sled you see
There's only room for you and me
The coast is clear and sledding fine
Hop on be my Valentine
What is also unique is that another of the Valentines bought by Nash, which was postmarked 1909, was also sent by the same man named Lawrence to Miss June Howard of Rutland, Vermont.
Nash said that the Valentine's cards were contained in a box of post cards which a 95-year-old man from the Concord area had brought in to the antiques center. She said that she is hoping that publication of the story about the cards will lead to some relative of the woman who received the post cards to fill in the details of her life.
"The cards are so adorable. And the poem is just priceless," she said.
Nash, who retired three years ago from Vista Foods in Laconia, where her husband worked for many years as the meat cutter, handled customer service at the store for 10 years. She and her husband ran October Farm Market in the shopping center where Hannaford's is now located, from 1995 to 2003, and before that managed the E.M. store in Meredith.
"When Vista bought the store from Peter Dole, Associated Grocers contacted us and asked my husband and I to come there and work. Every year he got an award from Associated Grocers because he ordered over a million pounds of meat from them," she recalled.
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Pat Nash shows the four Valentine's Day postcards that she bought recently in Concord. Two of them were sent by the same man to June Howard of Vermont in 1909 and 1910. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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