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I think it would still kill the recovering economy in the area surrounding the lake of choice if anything pick a lake and make it barbless catch&release only(trophy lake) .02 more.
I think they need to seriously stop the trolling on Salmon lakes once the lake temperture reaches what the biologist suggest is detremental to the fish's release and survival. Salmon, Rainbows, and Lake trout can be fished by jigging, this would reduce the pressure by reducing the rods used and number of fisherman. Different seasons apply for bass, the state should be able to do something for the fish their stocking. Just my two cents. Roland
here is my thought, do away with the 1/3/7 day license on salmon waters. either the state gets more money to stock salmon and manage them, or less fisherman going after them on their one week vacation. does anyone think a real angler from out of state would not just buy a full license for the year, i carry a mass, nh, and me, and sometimes vt just about every year.
I'm no expert but if there is a need for additional regulation to save the fishery, how about a split season like for waterfowl with an early and late season? Theoretically, this would give the salmon/trout a break from the pressure in the middle of the summer when the water is warm? Folks can still troll for other species although not sure how to prevent one from catching/releasing a salmon in this case other than depth or something? I also like the slot limit idea...
We have been beating this horse for almost 2 years.
I think we have done and are doing what we can just by being aware that we need to treat our quarry with care. We are doing what we can and F&G is on top of it. To keep hashing it over and over is nauseating. That's just my .02. Doesn't mean I don't care any less than anyone else, just think we are just knocking our heads against the wall right now. Last thing I want is more regulation and restrictions unless need be. We have our laws and regulations I say let it play out, at years end we will know more. If changes need to be made hopefully it is just tweaking, not full scale "HOPE AND CHANGE"...How did that work out for ya???????
I guess I'm not a real angler. I'm only there a week, so I only get a 7 day license. Silly me.
I'd pay it, but how many would? How many one day out of staters that go out with guides would pay $52 for one day of trolling? On top of the guide fee.
How many 1,3, and 7 day out of staters actually even bother trolling for salmon? I'd argue that the majority, by far, of the one weekers are fishing for bass. I think your idea would actually cost Fish and Game dollars. If I want to give extra money to NH Fish and Game, I can donate to the Wildlife Legacy Donation or contribute to the non game donation. Both of which are easy to do online. I pay as much for my 7 day license as NH residents pay for their season license. If you want to generate more money for Fish and Game, raise the license fee across the board. Add a salmon stamp fee, if NHFG thinks a price hike will scare the bass guys away. There are all kinds of better creative ways to generate money for the hatchery program and salmon fishery in general. If you don't feel your giving enough, march right down to NH Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH. Hand them as big of a check as you want. I'm sure they'll take it.
The bottom line is I don't think the 1,3, and 7 day out of staters are the ones that are hurting the salmon fishery in NH. Too much hook wounding... then cut the season down and eliminate derby's. Outlaw treble hooks. Shorten the season. All these things would reduce mortality rates and hook wounding. The state could limit how many guides can fish the salmon lakes. Just by the volume of fish they catch, salmon are bound to be hook wounded by a larger percentage by guides then the weekend salmon troller and far more than the out of state vacationer that trolls for a week.
You want Winni to be a trophy lake, then stock less salmon. You said it yourself, it's a put and take fishery. Put in less and limit how many you can take out. Raise the minimum length on what can legally be taken. Raise the limit on how many lake trout you can take home per day. Turn the Winni Derby into just a Lake Trout tournament. Way too many lakers in Winni competing for smelt with the salmon.
Make the tough choices and you can manage any salmon lake in NH however you want. The problems in Winni are not neccessarily the same problems in Squam or Sunapee. The first thing you have to figure out is what you actually want to fix or do. Is it lower hook wounding or is it to turn Winni into a trophy lake? Or is it just to make sure the vacationers pay more?
If you truly want a trophy fishery again. Kill the derbies and stop ice fishing.
I don"t think number"s of salmon will ever be a problem.As long as fish and game can find enought salmon to spawn. They will stock as many per acre as the feed and the other factor"s so the salmon wiil grow.I feel that one age class should not be taken.I think it should be the 3 year olds. Should be the slot. And they should all be released. So there will be a much better chance of catching a four or five lb salmon.Even if this is only done on Winni.Again my thoughts. I think most of the three year olds are keeped. Which makes it hard to get a four or 5 year old.
No boats with motors over 25 HP. no pontoons or swimming either. How do you think that would go over in Winni? Quabin is a resivour winni isn't. so you really can't make that analogy Just my opinion. to be fair lets compare apples to apples. I'm just sayin..........
P.S. corker of a salmon.
Maybe we "the concerned fisher people" should form some type of organization an allince perhaps to help with this issue.
John I am aware of the NH Salmon alliance inception and subsequant failure my post was somewhat sarcastic but still had a point,there was work to be done for the fishery.It seemed that after the proposed changes were to the Alliances liking nobody cared(this might not be the correct word) and any future organization will not be taken seriously by F&G so we have what we have now because we did what we did then. I was a member so I bear part of the responablity.
I think I've mentioned before that one thing that we are an interested group of salmon fisher"people" need to consider is that any solution we propose that affects a specific group of us more than the rest of us is going to get strong resistance from that group. Whether that group is ice fisherman, derby goers, guides, or fisherman that can and do hit lakes almost everyday of the week for the season...the solution that will work best means all those groups are affected similarly.
A slot limit is one solution that would affect everyone the same...though it would be interesting to see how that works at the derby because you would need to catch the biggest salmon UNDER the max allowed length. I also like the idea of lowering the daily limit to 1 fish AND raising the minimum size to 18" together. If you can only keep one fish, many of the 18s and 19s would go back...these are your two year olds. Also it would add some gamesmanship to the derby because once you keep a fish to get it weighed...you are done for the day (rods up). That means if you catch a 22, you have to decide if you want to weigh that fish (that most likely won't get a prize or put it back. consequently all those 22s that are weighed but don't qualify for a prize in the past will in the future be put back thus lowering derby mortality.
Anyhow...once again I am thinking out loud. I am up for any solutions that improve the QUALITY of the fishery (size and numbers) - but like many of you, if I feel I am singled out by another group out for their interests at the cost of mine, I would fight that effort tooth and nail. So when thinking of recommendations, consider the viewpoint of the other fishermen. I'm sure there is a solution where we all give a little but nobody is asked to give up the sport the way they enjoy it.
Of course I could be completely wrong...
Just to add some more fire here, has anyone heard of any proposed changes by the NH F&G?
Maybe the Salmon alegence would need to be revived.
Perhaps we can help Winni without actually doing anything to it... Maybe there should be a concentration on bringing other lakes BACK to salmon lakes. If you could catch some decent salmon in Winnisquam, Newfound, Sunapee, etc. then it would pull some of the pressure off Winni. But, since the salmon numbers have dwindled on those other lakes, the increase in fishing on Winni has grown. We can't expect to have only one lake in the state that puts out decent quantities of salmon and expect that resource not to get raped. People go where the fish are. Simple as that. Give them other choices again.
That's been said before and I think it's the best approach maybe someone else saying it will make more of an impact.
This subject has been gone over many, many times which shows me that people care. I would like to address a few things that I have noticed and some of my thoughts. First off, and in my opinion most importantly, Winnipesaukee is a numbers lake and will continue to be as long as that is what we the New Hampshire licensed fisherman and women want. It is not possible with the fertility of Winnipesaukee for it to really be both a numbers lake and a “Trophy” lake. Winnipesaukee simply does not have the food to sustain such a fishery. So if we want say, four pound Salmon in the lake we would need to proclaim our desire strongly for this in numbers to Fish and Game. We also all need to know what a four pound fish is because I hear a great deal of Anglers catching these fish all the time when in reality they have boated a two and half pound 20” Salmon. What happens is we catch so many small fish that when we finally get a 3 pounder it looks HUGE! As John said, really for Winnipesaukee to be a “Trophy” Lake we would need to stalk less fish this would give the Salmon more food and thus they would grow much faster the flip side would be slower catch rates.
Another huge problem that we face is stalking our Salmon very small. This year’s 2 yr olds that are not hooked wounded are still only 16” some that have hook wounds are only 14-15”s. This is two/four inches under the goal of 18 “s by age two, a Lake that is already managed for numbers. (NOT GOOD!) We really need to figure out a way to stalk our Salmon bigger or we will continue to have the problems we do with the amount of pressure that Winnipesaukee has. This year’s Salmon that went in were better than the “problem” year but still not where we want to see them!
Unfortunately shutting down the lake for a month or two is simply not feasible. So we must look for other ways to improve the lake if we all feel that the lake needs improving. Again there are many who are very happy going out catching 16” two year olds all day.
Some comments that I think will most certainly help the fishery are. Possibly a slot limit (a bit torn here), improve other Salmon lakes and continue the awareness and proper handling of fish!
I have mixed emotions here because as I feel a slot limit might help our program by insuring a good number of fish to yield eggs from. Some might say this will cause more hook wounding and they are right that is why we need to handle them correctly so that we have a good number of quality Salmon for the program to flourish. The slot size should be managed around the average 3 year old in inches. The flip side to the slot is if you start to get a large number of 20-22” salmon that are all beat up and hook wounded you can really hurt the forage base as these fish will pound the bait and never grow. The real and best answer is to have educated anglers who keep the wounded fish and let the quality go. So I guess I’m up in the air on this one….
Improving the Salmon fishing in other lakes will NO DOUBT help with the overall pressure on the big Lake. I’ll throw a curve ball here and also add Brown Trout to the mix. Browns grow faster than Salmon, are a more hardy fish and a ton of fun to catch as they can invoke a real challenge. We should put these in more New Hampshire lakes. The problem here is our Salmon are cheap and easy for the State the Browns however we would have to buy.
Handling the fish properly has been discussed time and time again and is very important; we must also release the quality fish and let the BIG HEALTHY ones go. I know many Anglers who let go all but the big fat healthy ones. “Cherry Picking” is the best way to ruin a put grow and take fishery if your goal is to catch any quality 4# Salmon at all! Here is where the slot limit may shine because you will force by law people to put those fish back however again what if too many become beat up and destroy the forage base. This is why we all should understand what a quality three year old fish is and put that fish back and ALWAYS harvest hook wounded fish even if you have to give the fish away! If we leave the seconds and take the best what does that leave us with???
Pressure is not always such a bad thing. I say this because many say the word pressure like it’s a swear word. If Winnipesaukee was a secret than one day if the State lost funding or something and were going to stop stalking the lake who would fight for the program? We want people to fish, we want pressure we just need to find ways to manage it all.
The pressure is here to stay. The Sate puts fish in and advertises that they stalk our New Hampshire waters so anglers will come buy licenses and enjoy the resource. We need to find ways to spread the pressure, fix the small stalking of Salmon problem, decide what we want to catch for quality, adhere to the Salmon Anglers pledge, never cherry pick and enjoy our beautiful State!
That’s my one dollar and two cents worth…
i would take more brown trout stocking over rainbow stocking anyday, harder and more challenging to catch and much more rewarding when you land a big one. never been a fan of rainbows, too easy to catch
Craig's idea about bringing Winnisquam, Sunapee, and Newfound up to their salmon potential, seems like a no brainer to me! A solution that IMHO would not negatively impact anyone fishing Winni? That being said, I don't have too much knowledge on any of those three lakes. Does anyone know why they don't have the quantity of salmon they used to? Is Sunapee supposed to be a trophy lake? Are they able to sustain an adequate smelt population? Is it a cost and/or quantity of stocking salmon issue?
I also like the brown trout idea! As mentioned, they would have to be purchased. And their is the identity issue, which I know exists. Unfortunately, it is a lot to expect today, to have all anglers educate themselves or pay attention while someone tries to educate them. Haven't checked this year but brown & salmon identification was always in the rule book with illustrations. I wonder if there is a lack of hatchery space to grow out browns? I am not sure, but I would guess the state's hatcheries are maxed out for the stocking they do at present.
To rephrase the slot limit I said 3 year olds. But the slot would have to go buy length.Like John said it would be too hard to figure out.Winni can handle the pressure. If we could just get some four and 5lb salmon out of winni.It would take some of the pressure.Off some of the other salmon lake"s. Where there a better chance to catch a trophy Salmon. Because that"s the way they are managed. But might a week of fishing or more to do so. None of the other lakes will hold up to very much pressure.But it would be hard to make any changes. Unless most of the group could agree on any proposal. Then maybe fish and game would listen.There are just too many good thoughts.
I have said this before but I will throw the turd in the pool again. Voluntary Restraint.
Catch less fish.
Fish less hours.
Target lakers for half of your fishing day.
All three of these would lessen hook wounding.
Just my .02
I love the brown trout idea. I have stated this idea on this site in the past and it doesn't seem that a lot of people agree with. That's too bad because I honestly feel that Browns could grow to 6-8 lbs. much easier than a salmon could grow to 4-6 lbs in our larger lakes. They are a much hardier fish and there is no disputing it. Also, they are not tied into smelt as their primary food source. Big Browns will go after perch and crayfish just as they do smelt. We have plenty of both in nearly every lake in NH.They are also more adaptable. Look at how they've begun to feed on Gobies in the Great Lakes, which now is a major food source for them. I've heard the argument that they look too much like salmon and that's why F&G is hesitant to put them in salmon waters (keeping a salmon accidentally through the ice thinking it was a brown). Sorry, but I don't buy it. If people can't tell the difference, then maybe people need to educate themselves better. I've mentioned this before and it bears repeating; there is no law that states NH must stock salmon in all of its prime, larger lakes. Diversify these fisheries. I also agree with the other post. I'd much rather have the chance to catch a giant brown than a decent sized rainbow anyday.
On a side note, I'm actually surprised this topic has resurfaced this year because I've had my best year size wise in Winni in quite some time.
I'm still glad to see that so many people have a genuine concern for our state's fisheries.
Will Browns reproduce in our lakes or would they be netted and stripped like Salmon,or bought every year?
What about kokanee? Pros and cons? Expensive to raise,cheap to raise,they rave about them out west. Fin to. Arch? What food do they eat? Can they held and reproduce in different type water than salmon water????
I may be wrong but I think Browns may reproduce in Ossippee. For the most part, I think we'd have to rely on stocking them to get the type of fishery that most people would want. I say take some of the money from stocking 8-10" trout in rivers/streams that can't sustain them by July. Put this money in Browns, and stock them in our larger lakes.
Tourism! While I don't think trout/Salmon fishing is the main reason folks come to our state it is a nice added attraction that sees big bucks spent. As you all know especially in this day and age you cater to those folks to get those dollars and that is what nfg does, it's business. It's no coincedence that big fish and records are coming from other waters with much less pressure than our largest lake that gets pounded. There in lies the anwser but how do you get there? Quick search shows me Winni holds 4 current state records Cusk 2007, white fish 1974, white perch 1986 and fall fish 1991. How does Winni with so much potential not have a salmanoid species on the list? Is it the lake? The management? The people? pollution?
Choices to be made... keep it numbers or go big? My opinion is go big. There are many other options if you feel the need to reel fish after fish in and not just salmon in many other lakes. BIG LAKE should be BIG FISH! I truly think the option of browns has to be looked at though as a much more sustainable fish with more potential given what we have to work with in Winni. What to do?
There are lakes in N.H managed for Browns.A lot that I know are smaller lakes. Like Webster, Bow Lake. But a couple bigger ones come to mind. Massabesic and Lake Francis.I have never really heard of any large Brown"sCaught in these lake. But you can catch plenty in the 15" range. I know Massabic used to be loaded with shiners. And should be the best bet to catch a large brown.Don"t know if a trophy Brown lake would be possible.But it would be great to have a few.
Thanks for starting a great thread.
You are right on the apples to apples comparison. But you forgot to mention among all of the other regulations the PITA requirement of have to have your boat disinfected for the Q at an additional cost of $30. ;-)
There doesn't appear to be an easy solution to your original question. But there are many good viewpoints / thoughts expressed here.
Expounding on a couple of those ideas...
Setting up a trophy brown trout fishery possibly in lakes other than Winni would help ease the pressure on the big lake. But F&G has to provide decent access to fishermen. For example Cobbetts pond in Windham has a decent population of large browns fed by alewives but is only accessible to ice fisherman. But homeowners locked it down from non-landowner boats.
Another example comes to mind is Pleasant Lake in New London from what I am told that has a very healthy population of trophy LL salmon but again no public access.
Maybe spending some of those F&G dollars to purchase land for public access (a nice state beach & campground brings in more $$$) will help create better fishing for the whole state.
It doesn't make sense to me for the state to stock a body of water without providing public access.
Again just my .02
I could not agree with you more about the state stocking lakes and ponds that do not supply public access. That is all I'm going to say on that,because I don't want to get kicked off this site so I will just leave it at that.
I thought there was a law stating a water body over X size had to have public access? Actually ossipee lake gives up some nice browns now and then even though it's not managed for them. I'm still in shock and 8lb laker came from there and I have spent the last 10yrs on that lake!