Fish and Game options for warmer weather
CONCORD – Because of recent unseasonably warm weather, many New Hampshire lakes and ponds have little, if any, ice cover, including the large lakes in the state’s Lakes Region, such as Winnipesaukee, Big and Little Squam, Newfound, Winnisquam and Sunapee.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department notes that these and other lakes managed for landlocked salmon and lake trout were closed to all open-water angling as of Dec. 31. Through March, only ice fishing is permitted for all legal species as conditions permit.
Designated trout ponds, managed specifically for trout, were closed to all fishing (including ice fishing) on Oct. 16 and will reopen on the fourth Saturday in April.
For anglers wishing to continue fishing lakes and ponds, a number of options remain in waters managed under General Fishing Rules (no closed seasons) for warmwater (bass, pickerel, perch) and/or coldwater (brook, rainbow and brown trout) species.
Seasonal cold predicted in the near future will finally begin to, or further cover, such water bodies with ice.
Anglers seeking additional open-water winter fishing opportunities should also consider rivers and streams, most of which reopened statewide Jan. 1, including some of the notable Lakes Region "tail-water" fisheries.
The Fish and Game Department suggests anglers always consult the Freshwater Fishing Digest (www.eregulations.com/newhampshire/fishing/freshwater) before heading out. Contact regional fisheries biologist and/or conservation officer for more information.