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I'm not convinced that the salmon problem is that dire. I fish 35 to 40 days per season; have been fishing winni all my life (55 yrs) and I didn't notice that big a difference last year. I fished every month last season and caught a bunch of healthy fish. I agree there have been more productive years but it has always been cyclical, from year to year. Maybe the fall netting process was flawed this year? I'm not sure what that actual process is aside from the Melvin netting etc. Anyway I think some people are doing a Chicken Little thing over the salmon and maybe the sky is not falling! I would increase the bag limit on lake trout, there are definitely way too many. Just ten years ago I would fish 4 or 5 days and get maybe two or three, now I'll catch fifteen or twenty in the same time frame-those are stark numbers to me! Also I fish solo 75% of the time and don't use any downriggers. Tourism-wise it's not good for NH. When I have a group of friends up I call Adrien, Travis, or Jason so we can all fish, and losing that would be a real bummer.
I would agree that 99.5% of the salmon we caught were healthy.Number of fish caught was not an issue.I also know that the 2008 stocker salmon that we caught were still not legal fish in september of last year.Just something else to think about.polebreaker
How about asking F&G not to make any major changes for 2011. The hatchery will promise to stock bigger salmon earlier in the season (No Derby this year)?
There will be no May Derby and the FishLakeWinni site will promote fewer rods and modest catch and release.
If the 2009 trapping results were a fluke than we will have reason and time to reevaluate the problem. That will be my recommendation to Director Normandeau and Biologists Miller and Viar. I think we may have a salmon problem but (other than severe hook damage) we aren't sure that we lack numbers of salmon (one sampling year?).
I don't want to put a fine group of guides out of business because the rest of us want fish wide spreads and catch double digit salmon. Neither do I want to hear from local fishermen who tell me that they pay for their license and should be allowed to catch and release as many salmon as they can. Ocean trawlers once said the same thing. Inland lakes are much more sensitive to overfishing than the Atlantic Ocean!
What do you consider modest catch & release ? I don't consider 69 salmon in one day modest, do you ?
I think 2 rods for single angler then 1 rod each additional angler up to 4 rods per boat max.Then I could live with the rest.Thanks Mark DeWolf.
The one area I myself don't like is the two lines per boat, I think that is crazy and F & G is going to lose a lot of $$$$$$$$$ in license sales, as well as local bait & tackle stores in and around winni as well as the other lakes. I'm also curious if this is being considered for all of the lakes that hold Salmon in N.H. Are they going to make these changes for the Conn. lakes and lake Francis in Pittsburg? If so they are pretty much gonna bankrupt the states most Northern town as fishing is one of the biggest draws to that area in the summer time. I have fished on one lake up in Canada that also goes into Vermont that has the 1 rod per angler rule, I do have to say I don't have a problem with that law, as when we go up there most times it would be nuts to have more then 3 lines in the water cause the rods are usually popping off left and right. I've caught 13" Salmon on this body of water, that make 3 1/2 pound salmon on winni look foolish when it comes to fighting them etc... Could it be the genetics of the salmon? Would a salmon bloodline from a different state possibly produce more robust salmon in our state? I know and agree that something needs to be done, but if it comes to only being allowed to fish with two lines on Winni???????? Then I'll most likely only get to see and talk to most of the people I know on here when I go to the spring gathering. Take Care God Bless LOL Dave
Wow...quite a varied response and as expected, lots of responses to the propose. Here's my response:
I have a hard time swallowing any defense of fish and game that states that their number one goal is to protect the fishery. We provide the revenue that drives their programs - yes they should protect the fishery but the purpose of protecting the fishery is for the present and future enjoyment of tax paying sportsman. That said, we as sportsman need to be aware of situations that threaten the sports we enjoy and be willing to change behavior to protect the resources we enjoy.
Two lines per boat proposal: as expected cut the deepest. Yes I will discontinue fishing for salmon once that is enacted. Mostly because I enjoy warmwater fishing so I will just turn my attention back to turkey hunting then hit bass once the waters warm. I will miss salmon fishing but its simply a personal decision to not spend the huge amounts of money it takes to keep my boat rigged for salmon and drag it up to the lake just to drag 2 rods. Maybe once or twice by myself but I can't imagine dragging my usual partners up there to share 2 rods. I think this will be a huge impact on the local economies in April and May and even early June...that "between seasons" time where money will simply dry up.
I encourage all fishermen to:
-go to single barbless hooks
-use rubber nets
-keep only fatally wounded fish
-move around...if one area is red hot, enjoy it but don't pound it to death...try another spot.
I hope fish and game will wait one season to see if there is positive effect from voluntary action as well as the cancelling of the derby and the new attention the hatchery is putting into releasing larger fish. This very well could be an over reaction that takes weeks to implement but YEARS to repeal.
I hope the Winni Derby folks reconsider their derby. They could make changes such as 20 inch minimum entries for salmon and make the top prizes for lake trout not salmon. The Winter derby folks should also bear some responsibility (I read on another site of one fishing party hooking 20+ salmon while targeting rainbows)...they too could still have their derby but take away the rainbow prizes and give prizes for other species that don't hook salmon as 'by-product'.
Increased revenue will not help...they are not going to built bigger and better hatcheries with salmon stamp revenues.
Guides will lose their living with these rules. I feel badly for them as they have a passion for this sport that can not be denied and their ideas should be listened to...it is in their best interest to protect the fishery.
No live bait for trolling may result in less fatal hooking and cut some pressure.
This could get very emotional...remember - we're all in this together and all want the same thing despite the prism we see our world through. Lets act together and show strength and resolve to make sure the RIGHT decisions are made for today AND tomorrow.
I too am very concerned about the 2 rods per boat suggestion, but I also know that one method of negotiation is to distract the other party with a topic that is very emotionally charged and thereby lead the person to agree to your original but unstated agenda. We may be all yelling about 2 rods and F&G could say, OK, 5 rods per boat but could do something else that would have even more impact. Do not lose sight of ALL of the issues, for we may get manipulated into something that is worse.
I hope that I am wrong, but my BS detector has been going off ever since I first saw this list. I am not a trusting man,
Hi Mark, I admit I have nothing scientific to back this statement...I just found that when I use live bait, I find the fish are more likely to swallow the bait deep. I'm moving slower so the fish has more time to get the bait down before "finding the hook" and the bait tastes like something they want in their bellies. I could be wrong....like many, I'm just throwing ideas out there, and like many, it's just the view from my perspective.
Herman - this is a good compromise idea and makes sense to me also..
I hope everyone can maintain the this level of intrest as the hereing draws nearer and keep up with any curent info post here,not just say well they'll(F&G)never do that or they (F&G)can't do that.They will and they can,once they do something it's very hard to undo it!The buck law in NH is just one example of something that was going to be temporary 30years ago!!!BARRY
People are freaking out!! #2 makes no sense its a definition not a rule?? #3 says you CAN use live bait just one per line!! #7 also says you can still use live bait you just cant keep caught fish alive which I see no need for anyway! Stop freaking out!
Anyway 1 line per angler, barbless hooks, and rubber nets would be my idea. Also stop the welfare checks and maybe these guys that fish all day will be forced to work! A salmon stamp would increase revenue but would not stop people from fishing for rainbows and hook wounding salmon. Unfortunately I believe our fisheries just cant keep up with our growing populations and technology!
I have avoided stating my opinion on here because I'm afraid everybody will be firing torpedos at my boat next time out. One thing that never gets any mention here----Stop all the ****ed tournaments!!!! I mean ALL tourneys. Warmwater species too. Go fishing if you want to, but dont invite 3000 more people to join you. Just stopping the two big salmon/trout derbies would do much more for the salmon fishery than limiting rods per boat or shortening the season.
OK, I stuck my neck out----please kill me quick---I hate pain.
I kind of had to laugh at the person who wrote the remark about Welfare Checks, I'm all for helping those in need with my tax dollars, but if you are receiving welfare or any other type of state/federal help, You should be required to undergo drug/alcohol screening just like most of us have to at our regular jobs. Man do I think you would see a complete turn around of all assitance programs, Get caught once for drugs etc... you have to go for weekly urinalyisis testing, get caught a second time??????? Lose your assitance all together. Just my .02 but I bet that would almost take this country out of debt and clear up the deficit big time!!!!!!!!! Again just my .02 Take Care God Bless LOL Dave
A few people have mentioned "one line per angler" vs "two lines per boat". As with most solutions there are victims of the solution and benefactors. The benefactors are:
-guides who regularly take out 4 people (plus them selves) will mow have a chance to make a living
-big boat guys who regularly bring our 4, 6, or 8 guys and will be able to continue dragging lots of lines (which was identified as one of the causes of the problem)
The victims are little boat guys:
-"we" can't fit more than 2 or maybe 3 guys in our boats...this solution for us is the same as "two lines per boat"
...just showing you the other perspective. 4 lines per boat seems a lot more "reasonable" and everyone is treated the same regardless of boat size with out going over board with an 8 or 10 line spread and guides would still be able to catch enough fish to win charters.
hey big john
if one guy alone can't have 2 lines out i'm going to switch to waterskis. or beer.
will you go out solo on the barge ...............on the days you are alone............if you can only put one line in the water. a lot of gas for an almost certain skunking on squam ?
i guess i hope for , as a comprimise, at least one angler = 2 lines, 2 or 3 anglers = 3 lines. More than 3 anglers = 4 lines.
are there any changes effective this year ?
I don't think they'll take affect this year because they have to publish them in the Fishing Digest which is already out. Although nobody can guarentee they won't publish an addendum with rule changes, I don't think that is likely.
It would be a shame if they pass these rules that take affect in 2011 and this fall they get 500 3# salmon at Melvin and then say "oops, it wasn't the pressure, it was just an off year and hatchery changes made the difference"...2011 would already be ruined.
I'm hoping "the sky is falling" crowd back off and say "lets see if fishermen self-regulating and hatchery changes make a difference for a few years before enacting sweeping reforms to current laws".
While fishermen will be a vocal demographic in communicating with Fish and Game and the legislature, I'm hoping the local merchants in the local communities foresee this affect on their businesses and speak out also. If they do not, I will 100% make efforts NOT to buy ANY thing around the lake from April-June. (I always try to buy some supplies when I travel up there to bring some money in locally)
Well said Floydo. I'm with you !
Mike F is making the most sense. 2 lines per angler with a maximum of 4 lines per boat. Everyone should be able to live with this and still catch fish and not feel like they're wasting their time and money. This wouldn't affect the solo angler and still allow charters and those who fish on larger boats to put out a decent spread. F&G are you listening? Before you tick off everyone adopt what was stated above and I think there would be less resistance to these changes.
Also,I must mention one other thing that has always bugged me. Why the insistence on having these 10 lakes managed for salmon? Why not make 3-4 of these lakes into trophy brown trout fisheries. I'm not saying which ones. Let the experts figure out which of these lakes would be best suited for browns and just do it. My fondest memory and best fight I ever had in this state was that of a 7 lb. brown about 8 years ago while trolling. Sadly, I realize this was probably the last time I would be lucky enough to hook into one of these brutes in NH. I've caught salmon close to 5 lbs. in the "good ole days" and I still say the fight that brown gave me was far superior in every aspect. Think of it; browns don't rely so heavily on smelt, chow on crayfish, would gorge themselves on young perch and are more difficult to catch than salmon. All this adds up to big fish! Who wouldn't want to get the chance to tangle with an 8 lb plus brown in this state? Is anybody else on board with this idea?
I second the motion to investigate the possibility of Browns, not necessarily in Winni but somewhere!
One of the Lakes is already stocked with Browns. Lake Francis in Pittsburg.They have been stocking browns in that lake for quite a few years. But ive never heard any one catching any very big browns.Just in the rivers.
John looks like its going to be a challangeing year. Not hearing any thing from fish and game, About whats going on is making me nervous. Now there not coming to the gathering. Don"t sound good to me. Hows the shoulder and knee.
Just to clarify what I said earlier. I would like to see browns go into one of the larger lakes in the state (for example Merrymeeting,Ossippee,Newfound) where they truly have the chance to reach trophy size.I'm not saying which lake in particular, F&G should decide that. Dedicate 3-4 of the so called "salmon lakes" and try and make them trophy brown fisheries. Make it the only trout species stocked. People could then fish these lakes for browns or lakers. Why do salmon have to be stocked in all these lakes? Is this a law I'm unaware of? Lastly,the state must designate some of these lakes as "trophy lakes" and put in slot limits to protect the fish so they have a good shot at growing large. Stock larger fish in these lakes (1.5-2 lbs)and protect them.Lake X in NH is stocked by a private association with big browns from the get go. I used to catch them over 4 lbs out of here every year until word got out and now this lake gets absolutely hammered and the fishing has gone way downhill. It's too small of a lake to support this kind of pressure. The point I'm trying to make is if you stock big fish to start in a larger lake, you have a much better chance at growing even bigger fish. Don't make every lake follow the put and take mentality. If you fish to catch dinner then these lakes obviously wouldn't be high on your list. That's okay, go to a lake designed for you to harvest fish to eat (ie... put and take lakes). I'm not trying to tick anybody off. I just think there are plenty of waterbodies in the state that could be managed differently to suit different angler's interests.
ive caught plenty of browns in ossippee and have seen some really nice sized ones. picked one up just under 4 pounds during the derby. rainbows brookies, salmon, its one of those lakes your not sure what you have til you get it in. i like browns in a lake because the big ones are just that much more difficult to catch, rainbows to me are a waiste of money for the state, they probably put them in because they are easy to catch. big browns in conway as well, swing by the dam in mid november and you will see some monsters spawning, dont know if they take, but they try anyways
Good post fishlessman. I've caught some nice browns out of Ossipee as well. I'd like to see it be the primary trout species stocked there as well. Stock all browns and forgot about the salmon and rainbows and we could possibly have a trophy fishery there. The only problem is if it were the only large lake in the state to offer a trophy brown fishery,word would get out and it would get hammered into oblivion. Make 3-4 lakes like this, spread out the pressure, and who knows what the results could be. Until it's given a fair shot, we'll never know.
youve probably seen me post this before but i dont like rainbows stocked in nh. i know another smaller lake that had a nice smelt population and was producing huge browns, not many, but up into the 9 pound range. then they started adding bows, too many bows, and the big browns are just about gone. wont mention the name of the lake as it certianly cant take the pressure.
My opinion on some of this as a NH fisherman is.....
4 This is absurd, between fishermen traveling, dodging tourists on the water and license fees it sure makes it sound like they don't want anyone to fish.
5 I strongly believe this one should be debated, what about guides? Do they want to shut down the guides? Maybe one line per person on the boat up to 6 lines max.
7 Can someone clarify this one, I am a frenchman and I just don't get it, no culling allowed?
Have a great day and hopefully a great season.
The following are the proposed rule changes:
1. A cast of artificial flies means no more than 3 flies attached to a line....
2 trolling means angling by trailing a line from a watercraft/vessel being propelled by mechanical wind or manual power....
3 when trolling only one artificial bait or one fly or one tandem fly or one bait shall be used per line.
4 10 waters managed for trout and salmon.... From April 1 through September 30
reduce the bag limit to one lake trout or one salmon or one brook trout....
5 from April 1 through December 31 no more than 2 lines per watercraft can be used while trolling these ten defined waters.
6 increase the daily bag limit for silver lake in Madison to the four fish bag limit.
7 prohibit the possession of live freshwater fish with exception of tournaments as well as allowed for bait.[/quote]
Liza here from F&G. Thanks for the very civil conversation and your ideas on how to improve the salmon fishery!
Since it's not been made totally clear, the "proposals" that went to the F&G commission were not the final proposals - they were concepts brought to the meeting for further discussion and input from the commissioners. At this point, the proposal ideas are still in draft form. When final text for the initial proposals are ready, they will then go through a rigorous public process, which includes a public hearing and comment period.
Then, after consideration of comments heard during this early drafting stage for rules, we'll be able to tell you more. Please rest assured that the 2-line restriction is NOT under consideration.
As more information becomes available and the initial proposal is developed, public hearing and comment period dates are set we will post it on the F&G website and I'll try to remember to put links here as well. It's my understanding that our fisheries chief, Steve Perry, will be at the fishlakewinni.com gathering on Sunday to answer questions.
NH Fish and Game
All this concern about 2 lines per boat. Talk about going off half cocked.
Well maybe it was not all in vain. Maybe F&G got some insight as to our concerns and saw some good recommendations from our group.
Thanks to checking in with us here Liza. It's also great that Steve is coming to the Gathering.
There were some ideas proposed here on this forum that might also merit consideration from F&G when reviewing proposals.
Thank you Liza for the update! Just what the Dr. ordered!
Thanks for the thanks :)
Your insights are indeed appreciated. No doubt that the next round of proposals will benefit from this good conversation.
I must say I'm impressed that F&G is keeping an ear open to concerned anglers and replying on this site. Any thoughts on a trophy brown trout fishery being established here in NH?(see previous posts) Thanks again for your reply.