By Don Miller, New Hampshire Region 2 Fisheries Biologist, New Hampton
The Lakes Region offers incredible ice-fishing, but after a long winter even the most ardent angler begins to whisper the question "When will the ice be out?" A most anticipated event is ice-out, as landlocked salmon anglers greet April 1 by casting from icy docks and shorelines, and paddling canoes and johnboats around small openings in the ice, underneath bridges, and stream mouths of our salmon lakes.
Lake Winnipesaukee is our premier salmon water. Last fall's netting survey revealed an average salmon of 20 inches long and better than 3 pounds. Thirty-five percent of the catch consisted of salmon three years and older, which translates to an abundant age class of four and older salmon this year. Other good bets are Newfound and Winnisquam lakes, where salmon and lake trout are in fine shape, thanks to an abundance of rainbow smelt for forage.
The trout angler will find good stream fishing opportunities on the Smith, Newfound, Winnipesaukee, Pemigewasset and Baker rivers. Late summer and fall stockings in these streams should provide good early season fishing. Please consult the Freshwater Fishing Digest for specific rules on these streams.
Pond fishing for brook trout is available throughout the region. For the fly-fishing enthusiast, here is a sampling of pretty good fishing destinations: Saltmarsh Pond in Gilford, Sky Pond in New Hampton and Upper Hall Pond in Sandwich.
Call the Region 2 office in New Hampton at 603-744-5470, because we love to fish and we'll help you plan your next fishing trip.
For more New Hampshire fishing information visit New Hampshire Fish and Game online.