Thursday, May 18, 2017
Time for Change
"When trout are stocked anywhere, they practically stay in the shape of the bucket until they are all fished out."
This was one of my friend's observations while we were reminiscing about trout fishing. This is unfortunately the case with fish stocking the way NH Fish and Game does it. More and more, stocking seems to pander to bait boys who are just there to "limit out." Most of the stocking involves dumping fish in at major crossings and leaving them to the parade that follows the trucks. This is fine in many of the smaller rivers where survival is minuscule to nonexistent anyways (leave these places to the bait boys!) but is pointless in larger freestones or tailwaters where there is a LOT of good water that trout can inhabit. I think stocking of these rivers should be conducted by bucket brigades or float stockings. If volunteers are needed for these stockings, ASK for help, I know many willing fly anglers (including myself) who would be willing to help out. In lieu of the state's efforts, some private groups such as the Pittsburg Anglers Association and Three Rivers (which I know uses state fish) work hard to improve opportunities for fly anglers. I also feel that the rivers listed below should be subjected to a 2-3 fish daily limit (rather than the traditional 5) to preserve quality fisheries. The 2-3 fish limit should be implemented in areas that don't fall under strict catch and release or other regulations. They are as follows:
Piscataquog River (and all branches)
Ashuelot River (and all branches)
Sugar River (and all branches)
Pemigewasset River (and all branches)
Diamond River (and all branches)
Ammonoosuc River (all all branches)
Upper Ammonoonus River
New Hampshire has many amazing fisheries and a lot of potential. I know Fish and Game stocks to appeal to the people that buy licenses but they should realize that FLY ANGLERS also purchase licenses. If the reputation of the state's fisheries go up due to stricter regulations and management, then out of state license purchases will go up which will help funding, you see where I'm going with this, right?
On another note, I've recently learned that the DFW has stocked the Nissi and Squannie without notifying Evening Sun Fly Shop. For those who don't know, Charles Shadan of Evening Sun Fly Shop organizes volunteer groups to assist the DFW in the stocking of these two rivers. This helps foster an intimate connection between the angler, the fish, and the stream since these fish are spread out in all the amazing holding spots and anglers can see the fish that they may soon land. I was very disappointed to learn that volunteer stockings wouldn't take place this year since I was hoping to finally participate. Talk to the DFW and voice your complaints. Any thoughts on this matter are appreciated since this is a very controversial post. Thanks for the read.