Fish and Game

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.

Wild Turkey
John Mizel / Flickr Creative Commons

 A New Hampshire wildlife biologist says that the spring turkey population appears to be robust, despite the record number of zero-degree days this winter.  Saturday marks the start of the annual Youth Turkey Hunt Weekend.  Turkey biologist Ted Walski says sightings of flocks of wild turkeys suggest they weren't affected by the frequently frigid winter.  He expects the spring turkey hunting season to be as good as or better than last spring, when hunters took 4,550 turkeys.  Turkey season for adult hunters runs from May 3 to May 31.

Karner Blue Male
aecole2010 / Flickr Creative Commons

A unique forest habitat in Concord that's home to the endangered Karner blue butterfly is getting a face-lift--and over $233,000 in funding --in an effort to increase the butterfly population.  The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is getting the money to help maintain and restore the pine barrens, a mix of small trees, grassy areas and sandy soil, much of which has vanished nationwide to development.  The current population on the refuge is just over 1,500 butterflies. The goal is 3,000.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife via Flickr CC

As the ice continues to recede on shallow lakes and ponds, dead fish might be washing up on New Hampshire shorelines, but state officials say that's not uncommon.

The Fish and Game Department and Department of Environmental Services say a number of dead fish recently were discovered along the shore of Hopkinton Lake, also known as Elm Brook Pool, in Hopkinton.

Bev Norton via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is warning people not to join in a current trend where teenagers dare each other to jump into frigid waters.

Funding Fish And Game

Apr 2, 2014
kittynh / Flickr/CC

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.

GUESTS:

New Hampshire residents have until Tuesday to report any wild turkey flocks they've seen in recent months.  The state's annual winter turkey survey, which started Jan. 1, runs through Monday.  Fish and Game biologists use the survey data to monitor the abundance and distribution of turkeys during the state's challenging winter months. Officials say turkeys generally travel in large flocks during the winter months and are highly visible.   Turkeys vanished from the state's landscape in the mid-1800s due to unregulated harvesting and loss of habitat from extensive land clearing.

A free workshop covering the basics of hunting wild turkeys is being held by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department next month in Holderness.   Dave Priebe, a hunter education instructor and Quaker Boy Turkey Calls pro staff member, will cover the basics of turkey hunting, turkey calling and turkey hunting safety at the event on Saturday, April 19. The workshop takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center.   Fish and Game wildlife biologist Ted Walski will talk about the natural history and behavior of wild turkeys.

Craig Taylor via Flickr CC

It may still be cold out, but the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is reminding people that all bobhouses must be removed from the ice by the end of the day on April 1, according to state law.

Lt. Heidi Murphy of the department's law enforcement division says the law is designed to ensure that bobhouses and their contents do not fall through the ice and become a hazard to boaters, or get left behind on shore.

Hudson Woman Dies In Snowmobile Crash

Jan 29, 2014

A 47-year-old Hudson woman died from injuries she sustained in a snowmobile accident near Pittsburg, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Pauline Robinson was injured Tuesday when her snowmobile struck a tree on an icy section of trail, said Conservation Office Matthew Holmes.

A helicopter flew her to the Central Maine Medical Center where she died about 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Although this crash is still under investigation, authorities believe that an unintentional hit of the throttle was the primary cause of this crash,” Holmes said.

While the legislature considers whether to allow a $25 hiker’s card that would eliminate any chance of being charged for a rescue, a Michigan man is fighting a $9,300 bill for the help he got in 2012.

Earlier this month a judge in District Court in Concord decided Edward Bacon of Northville, Michigan was negligent. That meant he should reimburse New Hampshire Fish and Game for the cost of his rescue from the Franconia Ridge.

Brady Carlson

New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say they plan to reduce the number of moose hunting permits issued this year in response to the continued decline of the animal in some parts of the state.

A legislative study group is floating the idea of imposing fees on canoes and kayaks in New Hampshire, but some lawmakers say the plan would sink like a stone.

Good Samaritan Almost Dies In Rescue Attempt

Aug 10, 2013

Two good Samaritans were involved in a dramatic rescue attempt at The Upper Ammonoosuc Falls in Crawford’s Purchase in the North Country Saturday that almost cost one his life, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The falls – not far from the Cog Railway – are well known for treacherous undercurrents.

According to Fish and Game about 4:30 a 15-year-old boy who was swimming got into trouble and began yelling for help.

Freddy Poisson, 36, of Haverhill, Massachusetts jumped into the water but was himself pulled under.

Three Snowmobile Crashes Saturday In North Country

Mar 10, 2013

There were three snowmobile crashes in the North Country Saturday, including two in which riders were injured, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The first involved 32-year-old Kevin Brigham of Brookline, New Hampshire who lost control of his snowmobile and struck an oncoming snowmobile, Conservation Officer Geoffrey Younglove wrote in a news release. Brigham suffered internal injuries in the crash on Trail 18 and was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Maine.

Hiker Rescue Bill Gets Hearing

Jan 31, 2013

Supporters and opponents packed a committee room for the first hearing on a bill that would charge a fee to anyone needing a backcountry rescue.The proposed law would be the first of its kind in the nation.

New Hampshire Fish and Game performs more than 150 rescues each year at a cost of $300,000. Right now, that’s funded by hunting and fishing licenses, and snowmobile registrations. But a new bill would make those needing assistance pay a portion of the cost.

Canadian Hikers Rescued from Mount Lafayette

Dec 31, 2012

Two Canadian men who were lost in the White Mountains overnight were rescued Monday afternoon after an extensive search by Fish and Game and a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

The two Canadian men had planned to climb Mt. Lafayette, a 4,000-footer in the Franconia Notch.

But they lost their way late Sunday afternoon due to fog, high winds and blowing snow, says Dany Daigle of Quebec, one of the hikers.

“We found a big rock and sleep under it. We tried to make a fire and our matches didn’t work. And our water froze.”

BurningQuestion via Flickr Creative COmmons

Hikers could be charged for their  rescues even if they didn’t do anything wrong under a bill being filed by the NH House’s top republican.

Currently much of the money for rescue operations carried out by New Hampshire Fish and Game comes from fees such as licenses for hunting, fishing and snowmobiles.

Only those guilty of the most reckless behavior risk having to pay for their rescues.

But rescues cost about $300,000 a year, says Major Kevin Jordan, of Fish and Game.

Nashua Man Rescued In White Mountains

Oct 14, 2012

A Nashua man who was trail running in the White Mountains was rescued Saturday after he fell and was injured.

Kevin McDonald, 48, slipped and injured his knee on the East Pond Trail, according to Lt. James Kneeland of New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Kneeland said two hikers came across McDonald and one went for help while the other remained with him.

McDonald was helped off the trail by Fish and Game officers and members of the Pemi Valley Search and Rescue.

An Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter was used Saturday morning to lift an injured, 285-pound hiker off Mount Adams, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The man, Jason Baker, 43, of Chicago, dislocated his knee  on Mount Adams and about 7:30 Friday evening his two companions called 911 for help.

The trio was in a remote area and Fish and Game Lt. Douglas Gralenski said since they were properly equipped to spend the night on the mountain they were told to wait for a rescue in the morning.

An Injured Hiker And 4.4 Miles Of Trail

Aug 24, 2012
NH Fish and Game

It took almost two dozen volunteers to carry an injured woman out of the White Mountains late Thursday, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Mary Jean Mork, 61, injured her leg on the last day of a five-day trip from Franconia Ridge to the Zealand Road in Bethlehem.

Her husband, Michael Donahue, went to the Appalachian Mountain Club hut for help because there is no cellular coverage in the area. The AMC huts have high-powered radios.

New Jersey Family Rescued In White Mountains

Aug 15, 2012

A New Jersey family was rescued from the White Mountains early Wednesday morning, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The couple and their 31-year-old son called 911 for help about 9 p.m. after they found their small light wasn’t enough to safely follow the Old Bridle Path Trail, said Lt. James Kneeland.

Conservation officers reached the family about 11:15 and had them off the mountain just after midnight.

Kneeland said the family didn’t allow enough time to follow the trail and failed to have proper equipment to cope with the unexpected.

Four Rescues In the North Country Over The Weekend

Jul 15, 2012

There were four rescues in the North Country over the weekend, requiring good, old fashioned ground pounding, the use of an ATV and an Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter, according to a news release from Fish and Game Region 1, which is based in Lancaster.

The first occurred on Friday evening about 10:30 when a Florida family called for help from the Jewell Trail on Mount Washington. Their problem: The batteries on their only flashlight were drained.

Fish and Game responded to two calls for help over the weekend in The White Mountains, one involving a five-year-old who fell and hit his head and the other a woman suffering a sudden illness.

Both, however, turned out to be minor problems.

The first call was Saturday for a 36-year-old woman from Hawaii who was reported to be seriously ill on the Franconia Ridge Trail, according to a release from Lt. James Kneeland.

Injured Boy Rescued On Mount Washington

Jun 25, 2012
N.H. Fish and Game

A 15-year-old was carried off Mount Washington Monday after he fell and injured his leg, according to a news release from Fish and Game.

Conservation Officer Matt Holmes said Michael Hery of Peabody, Massachusetts, was heading down the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail Monday morning when he fell.

Hery was traveling with his father, Peter, and a friend and the father went to the AMC’s Lakes of the Clouds hut for help.

Employees of the hut then helped the youth get back to the hut where his leg was put in a splint.

Two adults and four small children were rescued Friday night in the White Mountains after they became lost and were trying to light the trail with a cell phone, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Lt. James Kneeland said about 9:15 p.m. Fish and Game was notified that the group has used a cell phone to call for help.

The group was composed of Josie Rogers and her husband, Christopher Kangas, of St. Johnsbury, Vt.  They were with their four children, ages eight, six, five and two.

A Massachusetts woman who became lost near Pittsburg was rescued last night, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The woman, Sharon Matthews, 49, of Warwick, Mass., was reported missing about 4:30 Sunday by her  husband after she failed to return from a hike to look for moose antlers.

About 8 p.m. a plume of smoke in South Bay Bog was spotted by Conservation Officers Chris Egan, Adam Cheney and Pittsburg Police Chief Richard LaPoint.

Matthews was reached about 40 minutes later sitting next to a fire with her dog at her side.

Black Hawk Rescues Heat Victim From 4,000 Footer

May 27, 2012

Warm weather over the weekend and climbing a 4,000 footer in the North Country was a bad combination for a Penacook man.

 NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Early Sunday afternoon hiking companions of a 51-year-old man used a cell phone to call for help.

Lt. James Kneeland of Fish and Game said the problem was apparently heat related.

“Dehydration, heat stroke. Something along those lines to the point where he was losing, in and out of consciousness.”

New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say they had to rescue three hikers and a dog over the weekend.  The hikers ran into trouble on Little Haystack Mountain in Grafton County.  NHPR’s Chris Jensen has more.

(Jensen) A 29-year-old Manchester man used his cell phone late Saturday to call for help after it got dark before he could finish hiking down from Little Haystack Mountain.

And he lacked a flashlight.

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