Hunter’s corner: Open fishing time arrives in New Hampshire

For the Monitor
Published: 5/16/2016 2:42:35 AM

There are a couple of important fishing dates that are coming that may be of interest to you. The first date is New Hampshire’s free fishing day, June 4. On Free Fishing Day you can fish anywhere in New Hampshire, in fresh water or salt water, without a fishing license. This day is open; both residents and non-residents may participate. All other fishing regulations must be followed, including season days and bag limits.

With nearly 1,000 fishable lakes and 12,000 miles of rivers and streams, your first stopping point is to pick up a copy of the New Hampshire Fresh Water Digest. The Digest contains a full listing of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams that have special rules governing use.

The next June dates to pay attention to are the 24th through the 26th. These are the dates for the Intermediate Fly Fishing Weekend for women. The “Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Intermediate Fly Fishing weekend” will take place at Coleman Estates at Coleman State Park in Stewartstown. Participants must be 18 years of age or older. The print and mail application is available at nhbow.com. The workshop fee of $275 is due with the application and includes program materials and two nights’ lodging at Coleman Estates at Coleman State Park. Only mailed applications will be accepted. Attendees must supply their own fly rod and reel. A fishing license is not required during scheduled class time, but it would be a good idea to have one.

Taught by Let’s Go Fishing and Becoming Outdoors-Woman instructors, this workshop is for women who have some fly-fishing experience and want to become more independent fly anglers. The session will explore the finer points of casting, reading the water, selecting flies and what you do when you catch a fish (playing, landing and releasing). Participants will have the opportunity to fish for trout on Little Diamond Pond.

The application deadline for the 2016 moose hunt is May 27. I put off completing the application until I picked up the 2015 Wildlife Harvest Summary, which contains a lot of nuggets of information, especially on moose and deer. At one point in time the success rate really drove my picks, but given the reduction of permits, it is no longer key.

Another interesting factor is the method of taking. One hundred percent of the 74 moose harvested were taken by rifle. No other method was successfully used. H 2 N, H 2 S, L and M produced zero kills. On the other hand, C 2, F, H 1, I 1, I 2, J 1 and J 2 rewarded permit holders with 100 percent success. The key to a successful moose hunt is and has always been pre-season scouting, and/or hiring a competent guide.

A 1 and A 2 that have been affected by the tick menace are the latest cause for a decline in the number of permits issued. The real bogeyman here is the excessive number of permits issued over the years. There has yet to be a solution offered to solve the tick problem. With Maine and New Hampshire studying the problem, maybe there is hope on the horizon. But then again maybe not.

As for my picks this year, they will be restricted to no more than six WMUs. Gaining hunting access and extricating a downed moose are at the top of my list.

This weekend, eight of us went fishing in Winnipesaukee and enjoyed the hospitality on Naswa Resorts. We were greatly disappointed on the cancelling of the Winni Derby and are curious as to the real reason for the cancellation. Fishing reports show that the salmon are in great shape this year and our expectations are that we will be boating some quality fish. In addition for the normal prizes based on weight size, Naswa offers prizes for the prettiest fish and ugliest fish. The audience chooses the prettiest and ugliest fish. My award last year was for the smallest.

NH Fish and Game and the UNH Cooperative Extension are seeking volunteers to help restore habitat for the endangered New England cottontail rabbit on Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon in Barrington. Volunteers will plant native shrubs that the rabbits use for shelter.

“This will be a great opportunity to spend a morning outdoors and do good work for the benefit of an endangered wildlife species here in New Hampshire,” said UNH Cooperative Extension Wildlife Outreach Coordinator Haley Andreozzi.

Visit newengland.stewdshipnetwork.org, or call Andreozzi at 862-5327.

The rabbit relies on dense shrubland habitat (thickets) to survive. More than 100 wildlife species also use this type of habitat. Volunteers will be planting 250 shrubs on a site that was recently cleared to manage for New England cottontail habitat.

(Bob Washburn can be reached at hunterscorner@aol.com.)


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