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It seems like everyone is suggesting that the solution to the poor fishery in Winni is to make us all cut back on fishing. That’s like saying the perfect fishery would have no fishermen at all. I disagree.
Fish and game is financed by fishermen to maintain a solid fishery in our lakes. They have failed. Instead of dealing with the problem as it developed, I commented in 2005 that the fish size was dropping drastically; F&G has let the fishery crash and now appears to be looking at knee jerk reactions for the solution. Are they playing behind the scene and trying to create a ground swell of support for some half baked ideas? Anyone that suggest Charter fishing is a problem does not understand the great service charters do for the fishery and the fishermen and the benefit we all share. These Captains need to stand up and fight for their rights, not sing the F&G’s “it’s the fishing pressure” song. Anyone that suggests the Winni Derby was the problem is saying that the problem is the fishermen.
Suggesting hook wounds as the problem for smaller fish is misdirection. IF 30% of the fish are hook wounded and therefore do not grow than why are the other 70% skinny?
I can’t believe fish and game allowed that picture of the disfigured fish to be printed in the Union Leader. What was the motive? That was probably the worse hook wound they had photographed. What power they gave to the anti group with that picture. Now, the uneducated are accusing us of “hurting“the poor fish and calling for all fishing to be stopped. The lake front owners that do not like fishermen have gained another foothold. What was to be gained by such an emotional and inflammatory picture? The gain for F&G was to put the blame for the poor fishery on the fishermen, the Winni Derby and the Charter boats rather than accepting it as their failure. Fishermen were insulted by what that picture suggested. They could just as easy have said the fishery may be suffering from shoreline development.
F&G must correct this problem or they must find competent mangers than can correct it because their failure has hurt NH drastically. How long will we wait to hear the solution? Are they going to keep floating anti-fishing ideas like fewer lines or shorter seasons to see the reaction or are they going to come up with a solid professional plan? The current policy not only has failed but has succeeded in encouraging NH fisherman, both resident and non-resident, to pursue salmon in VT, ME and other states.
You can't say fish and game is totally at fault though. Fish and game is basically broke how cam you fix a problem like this without proper funding, create a salmon stamp, or raise license fees, I have no problem with this but many would and I think that fish and game fear this as it could lead to fewer sales
Let’s face it and admit there are too many Salmon in Winni and it’s not directly Fish and Game’s fault. We all wanted a high catch rate in Winni, otherwise why do we all brag about numbers, instead we should be bragging about fish size. They only gave us what we wanted, which is their job.
Stopping the Derby will help the fish wound problem, but will it help the fish size, overall it should help some ?????
We all know there are too many Salmon in the lake, but it’s a taboo subject, nobody wants to go there, it’s good to hear some folks talking about it finally.
Fish and Game biologist are scientist, they know their job well, where they fell short is allowing public opinion and wants of the fisherman to dictate what they do instead of listening the net results. And why not, they work for us, we pay them.
The net results and forage counts and other factors are a guide as to how many fish a body of water can hold, I think Winni has been crying for less fish for years.
Simply cut the stock rate and I’m sure fish size will improve by itself and that I don’t think takes a scientist to figure out..
Someone wrote "the fishery should be made to handle the pressure instead of adjusting the pressure to the fishery". I wonder if that's possible, be nice instead of cutting back people from fishing.
Be interesting how many agree with the fact there are too many Salmon in Winni.
Same goes for lakers there is just too many
I agree 1 million percent. Less fish= more baitfish, more baitfish= bigger fish. I know they say bait is not the problem but I feel it's part of the problem. You should see the bait balls that show up on my fishfinder when I'm out on the Finger Lakes. They are unbelievable. I've fished Winni a long time all over the lake and have never seen anything remotely close. This will result in lower catch rates but improve the overall size of the fish. I'm in favor of this but I know others are not. Thanks for sticking up for the solo angler in a previous post. One line per angler would simply be a waste of time for solo anglers. What if I want to establish a pattern of what's working on that particular day? If I'm alone and only have one line I and I give each method (top, leadcore,rigger) 1 hour to produce, I could on some days be three hours into fishing before I figure out what's working. I usually fish in 3-5 hour chunks so for me that would be a waste of time. One line per angler would be terrible, and steer me away from fishing for salmon/trout in NH. 3 lines per boat, regardless of # of anglers, would be a decent compromise to all involved. Lastly, I would really like to see F&G take some of the larger salmon/trout lakes and manage them for trophy browns. A hardier fish, tougher to catch, and not as limited with their diets. All this could add up to bigger fish. I'm not saying do this in Winni, but there's no rule that every salmon/trout lake must be managed for salmon. Diversify the fishery throughout the state for both the warmwater(pike, musky, walleye) and coldwater fisheries(more browns)and this could help take some of the pressure of Winni and meet the needs of a wider range of anglers.
NH Fish and Game has always been reactive instead of proactive on all of their programs. Its really too bad for a lot of the wildlife in NH