New Hampshire Fish and Game and the Division of Parks and Recreation are offering two free fly-fishing workshops in the North Country. Officials urge interested anglers to register soon, as these workshops fill up fast. A two-day workshop will take place June 7-8 at Coleman State Park in Stewartstown. A second workshop is offered by the Haverhill Recreation Department June 28-29. The workshops are open to anglers age 13 and up, although those 13-16 must be accompanied by an adult. Designed mostly for first-time fly fishers, the weekend workshops cover the basics of equipment, fly casting, stream ecology, knot tying and how to find the top spots in the state's rivers and lakes. Visit fishnh.com for more information.
Striped bass are starting to arrive in New Hampshire's coastal waters, and the state wants to figure out how many are out there. To help state and federal fisheries biologists assess the status of the population, the state Fish and Game Department is asking anglers to participate in an online survey. Participants are asked to measure each striped bass they catch. The survey is the only method the department currently has to get length measurements on fish that are released. There's been a survey since 1993. It can be found at http://www.fishnh.com/marine/striper_survey.html .
After a brief delay, New Hampshire Fish and Game department trucks have been heading out to stock the state's lakes and ponds with trout. Saturday is opening day for the state's designated trout ponds. Fish stocking generally occurs from mid-March to early July, but it didn't start until the last days of March this year because spring conditions were slow to arrive. Inland Fisheries Chief Jason Smith says with cold, high waters from melting snow, it will be a few weeks before rivers and streams are at "fishable'' levels.
This agency does much more than serve hunters and anglers, it’s also involved in search and rescue, land conservation, and habitat management. Despite all these responsibilities, hunting and fishing license fees are the main revenue source. Now, some in the Statehouse are taking hard look expanding that base - to hikers, canoers, and the many others who enjoy the great outdoors.
As anglers dust off their tackle boxes, it's a great time to make sure that all the lead is out. Decades of research by the Loon Preservation Committee in Moultonborough has proven the toxicity of lead fishing tackle to wildlife. One lead sinker an ounce or less in weight can kill a loon in a matter of weeks. Loons swallow grit and pebbles that help to grind up food, and sometimes there's a sinker in the gravelly mix. Fishermen lose a lot of sinkers.