April 1st marked the opening day of the fishing season for landlocked salmon and lake trout on 15 New Hampshire lakes. The fishing season is expected to begin slowly due to a late winter cold snap, followed by recent snowfalls.
With the increased snowpack, increased flows are expected from tributary streams, which in turn attracts spawning smelt, the prime forage fish for landlocked salmon.
According to N.H. Fish and Game Large Lakes Biologist Don Miller, sampling in the fall of 2012 indicated good numbers of age 2+3 year-classes of salmon in Big Squam and Winnipesaukee lakes. In addition, age 3 salmon should be available in Sunapee Lake.
New Hampshire Fish and Game manages 15 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, Winnisquam Lake, and Nubanusit Lake.
Pleasant Lake in New London also is managed for landlocked salmon, but is classified as a trout pond, with a 2013 opening date of April 27.
Several New Hampshire rivers also contain trout and salmon. A popular trout fishing area is found along the Winnipesaukee River, which flows through the Weirs channel into Paugus Bay, and through the Lakeport Dam/Lake Opechee area.
Other trout fishing areas include the Winnipesaukee River through Laconia to Dixon Point at Lake Winnisquam, and Lochmere Dam at Silver Lake.
The Newfound River in Bristol contains fly-fishing-only water that can often produce drop-down rainbows and salmon.
A number of Winnipesaukee shore fishing locations exist at the Merrymeeting River (fly-fishing-only), and the mouth of the Merrymeeting River as it enters Alton Bay, downstream of the famous stone arch bridge.
Other 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.
To ensure the future of high-quality landlocked salmon fisheries, New Hampshire Fish and Game advises anglers to take extra care when releasing salmon, as hook-wounded fish continue to be a problem. Using rubber nets and proper release techniques are ways to minimize the negative effects of hook wounding.
For more information, visit www.fishnh.com
source: New Hampshire Fish and Game