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Re: Salmon Numbers Look GOOD

I compared the numbers from Squam, Sunapee and Winni from the fall netting in 2009 to that of 2010 and the numbers look good. All three lakes have an increase in mean weight and lengths. Weights were up a 1 full pound in Winni and the length increased by a full inch and a half. Squam still showed the possibility of a giant with the largest fall netted fish pushing over 9 lbs. Hook wounding dropped in squam and sunapee but rose 6 percent in Winni so be careful with those released fish. Looks like whatever fish and game did to help the problems on the lakes "perfect storm" is working and moving in the right direction.

I'm sorry to rain on your parade, but all that glitters is not gold.

Don't know much about the other lakes but I was at a few of the fall nettings at Squam. Squam (probably Sunapee too) future is very bleek at best. In the entire netting (I think 5 pulls over a month) only three 2 and 3 year old Salmon were netted, that's right "3". The majority of the net counts are supposed to be 2 and 3 year olds.

So where are the 2008 and 2009 stockings, they haven't been showing up in the creel surveys last two seasons and not in the nets.

Last year there were less than 5 yearlings caught on The Barge and less than 10 rumored all season, including the ones I caught. Good news is "2" yearlings were taken in the nets and they were growing well, 14". Yearlings rarely show in the nets at allso maybe a glimpse of hope ???

All that said, it looks like we will be fishing Squam for about 150 four and five year old Salmon
in the entire lake. So if you are lucky enough to get a Salmon at all, yes chances are it will be a nice one, a wall hanger perhaps.

Squam has been producing some nice Bows thanks to F and G adding surplus Bows the past two years, to make up for the lack of Salmon, but I doubt there will be many/any surplus Bows this year due to the probem at Milford hatchery vandilism. Suanpee does not get any Bows stocked at all, so only Lakers and Salmon can be caught there, it's been a very good "Laker" lake past few years, Salmon have been scarce..

Winni still has the numbers, because of the huge mother loads put in, more of the small stocked fish were able to survive. Many yearlings were caught last year (more hook wounds for Winni) by all who fished Winni, so there is good evidence that there will be plenty of Salmon in the lake. Some things never change.

Hook wounding went down considerably in Squam and Sunapee because not many younger fish (1,2 and 3 yr olds) were not there to be caught.

Bottom line, the small size of stocked Salmon the past 3 years have been good food for all predators in the lakes, we HOPE this year yearlings are bigger, at least 9 or 10 to a pound, 7 or 8 would be allot better.

We will see next week when we do the fin clip at Powder Mill Hatchery, by the way they are still looking for more people to help.

Big John
"who's not smiling yet"

Re: Salmon Numbers Look GOOD

NH Fish and Game forgot to mention all that information in their press release. :) per usual

Re: Salmon Numbers Look GOOD

They dont want to discourage anyone and it's no secret they would be very happy if less people fished Winni. But most of the other lakes in fact are in allot worse shape than Winni as far as Salmon go and have been for a few years now. The full netting results are public record and quite an extensive report, too much to put in the "long" press release they put out, probably bore most folks, I don't think there was any intent to decieve anyone.

Winni Salmon size and hook wounding are still a problem and they did show that. No Derby last spring looks like it made a huge improvement in Winni size, soon to be undone with this spring Derby and hook wounding is still on the rise. The other bigger Lakes (Squam, Sunapee and Winnisquam) all have problems of their own resulting in declining Salmon populations. Good news for Winnisquam, the smelt population is coming back.

Last years yearlings will make a huge difference in all the lakes if they took well, but it dont look good from last years creel results ???? This years batch is undersize from last report I got, so much for the new guy giving you "whatever size you want", raisin Salmon is allot more difficult than any other Trout I've found out.

Sorry for the doom amd gloom, but as with everything else, things can change, for the better we hope.

Big John

Re: Salmon Numbers Look GOOD


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