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I am not sure of the confusion on the "cocky" employee myself? I know the guy I talked to (don't want to divulge more info on him) was not derogatory in any way towards his (former ? ) boss and mentioned that he had two more (newer) bosses since last fall or winter. He was positve about what the hatchery was producing. "Confidence" in their management seems like a "stock" answer for a company or state run outfit. No pun intended on "stock"????? :). Hope all is well at Powder Mill and they put in all quality fish in future stockings.
I took the word "cocky" in the same context as you just explained it. I remember his original quote. I can not say exactly when I read it, as I am chronologically challenged. Perhaps we can say he was confident versus "cocky"? I believe the change in water temp was critical to help prevent disease (cooler water). This was resolved when they moved the intake pipe deeper in to Merrymeeting. I was also told that they are cleaning the raceways more often to discourage the same. They have improved or added to their settling (manure) ponds and their manure moving or spreading arsenal to lower man hours and become more efficient. To me, these are all sound decisons to help improve the health of the hatchery fish and therefore the fisheries they are released in.
Good luck with Squam. It can be a big asset to NH's Salmon lakes.
I'm also concerned about Squam's future salmon fishery. I don't put the time in that John does (who does), but 2010 was the first year I got salmon skunked on Squam. That was four and half days of fishing. In past years, John would show me what I was doing wrong at the end of the week and put us on the salmon. Not this year. At least the rainbows were biting.
Hopefully the hatchery guy can back up his bravado? Last year this board was consumed with the decline of Winni. It looks like Winni had a resurgence this year. Hopefully Squam can have a similar resurgence in 2011.
Do you think predation has taken the 2009 year class? What predators in Squam could do that? Spike in lake trout? Smallmouth? Disease?
I had a average Spring on Winni...maybe less fish but bigger average size. I am going to dedicate myself to identifying year class this coming spring.