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how do we know these fish are rare the fish are in their and their not getting caught .7 or 8 yrs ago I caught a 4.87lb salmon in the derby which I though would have came close to winning the derby but their was at least 12 to 15 salmon over 5 lbs and 2 or 3 that were over 6 lbs.the fish I caught would have won the derby the last 3 or 4 yrs.I think their are many reasons why the fishery has slowed like over fishing many more boats, lot more charters, people taking fish every time they go out, technology, and other things I am sure. just my 2 cents but maybe the charter guys that do 2 trips a day with 4 or 5 people on board taking 10 salmon home could try a different lake like squam ,sunapee, newfound,merrymeeting and other lakes. also the more lines you have out catching 20 to 30 fish a day has to contribute to some of the hook wounding and kill off. my 2 cents "Reel it in"
With all the pressure in Winni. The only way I see trophy salmon in Winni. Is take some of the pressure off. Or just stock Salmon when they are 3 to 4 lbs. If they can be grown that big in a hatchery. If you want a trophy salmon. I don"t think Winni is the place to go. You would have a better chance at some of the other salmon lakes.
It would be cost prohibitive to raise fish in a hatchery to 3 pounds. I agree with you guys on fish size, not much fun catching smaller 2 lb fish. I have reduced my fishing time by 1/2 because of it. I think if you were to stock Browns in other lakes and they grew to decent size that might help reduce some pressure but there are also alot of guys that just want to pursue salmon. Part of the reason Winni draws so much pressure is for that reason. It has been the most successful salmon producing lake for decades in the local area. Maine offers some salmon fishing but never was able to put up fish at the rate Winni did and you had to travel much further to get them. Everyone went to Winni to catch them and it is easily accessible to Massachusetts. It offers good depths in a very wide range of areas. The smaller lakes, while some are deep, have tighter areas of deep water and people would congregate in them which likely could lead to other issues if one developed into a hot spot.
While I agree that raising larger fish is probably cost prohibitive, with rainbows and browns (and atlantics), hatcheries raise and keep "brood stock" fish that are absolute monsters then release them after their productivity drops so that fishermen can have a chance at these bohemoths. Why couldn't they reserve a tank for 100 or so landlocks to grow to trophy size (and to make and collect eggs) then release these monsters into the lake? Again...not raising all 8 # fish but instead raising SOME big fish for both egg production and to trophy release.
I was a bit ashamed to pick the scab off this topic but it was getting to me in that I am having a solid but not exceptional season and others have posted decent numbers so I was wondering if the single sampling that was done may have not truely represented the state of the fishery. Statisticians require large sample to get reliable results and I thought one netting may not have been enough to raise the warnings we were getting. Now that they are raised, I agree that we should keep them up another year or two...it can only help the fishery PLUS we get the bonus of many fishermen now being more responsible with the resource.
One thing I did find interesting in this response is there is definitely a difference in fishery goals among responders. Some want big fish even if the cost is less fish...some want a reliable fishery for producing average fish. I guess if I ever caught a 7 or 8 pound fish, I might push hard for another but all I've ever known are 2-4 pounders so my itch is scratched.
I've fished the Finger Lakes in NY quite a bit and that's where I got my desire for bigger fish. Same goes for Champlain. In my opinion, nothing we have in NH can compare. I'm at the stage of my fishing life where I would much rather catch larger fish, even if it means fewer of them. I do however realize that others prefer to catch numbers of smaller fish. I just wish we could have a better balance between the two. As the saying goes, "to each his own."
I only get up to your beautiful lake twice a year for the derby's. Even i can see the decrease in the size of the fish. Over the years of doing the winni derby we have gone from maybe catching a couple of fish and having them be large enough to check in, to catching a very good number of fish but all smaller. Just look at the sizes of the winning salmon from the winni derby.
do you think all the complaining about no fish small fish got the fish and game to say ok lets change the rules and all of a sudden everyone said o no where screwing our selfs. all of a sudden im seeing post the fish are big and healthy fat no hook wounds lol just a thought