Little-known but Important Fish is Getting Attention
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to Atlantic menhaden rules on March 5 at 7 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Rd., Portsmouth.
The public is welcome to attend and offer comments on the proposed rules.
The proposed changes to the menhaden rules were developed in an effort to provide greater opportunity for harvesters to catch the menhaden quota assigned to New Hampshire. The proposed changes include:
* Allowing certain sink gill net configurations to be used to catch menhaden.
* Allowing small, hand-drawn purse seines to be used for harvesting menhaden under certain conditions.
* Requiring menhaden harvesters to report certain events such as any entanglements with marine mammals or other gear as well as release of a purse seine catch of menhaden to New Hampshire Fish and Game within 12 hours.
Proposed changes to the menhaden rules were originally presented at a public hearing on Jan. 7. Further changes to the proposed menhaden rules have been developed based on public comments that were received, and the changes are significant enough to warrant a second public hearing.
Atlantic menhaden are an important source of bait for lobster harvesters and are managed by the Atlantic coast states under the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Last year, commercial harvesters only caught approximately 10 percent of the state quota for menhaden due to current gear restrictions. The intent of the proposed changes is to provide increased opportunity to harvest a larger percentage of the state’s quota consistent with conservation and management practices.
The menhaden are an important fish to the lobster industry and to the striped bass. New Hampshire is the only place this is being considered.
The Rutland Sportsmen’s Club had a statewide ice fishing derby with several hundred entering. Fish from anywhere in the state were caught and entered. There were cash prizes for the largest bass, northern pike, yellow perch and pickerel. The club has been doing this for 20 years, with the event growing every year. More and more people enter the $20 derby at a chance to win the $300 top prize in each category. There are four cash prizes in each division.
The perch division winner was Mike Wisniewski with a weight of 1.64 pounds. In the bass division, Matt Power won with a 6.66-pound fish. Alan Beauvais took the pickerel division with a 4.99-pound fish. Eric Kopacz claimed the pike division with an 18.3-pound, 40-inch catch.
A Last Chance Ice Fishing Derby will be held at the Fitchburg Rod and Gun Club at 985 Richardson Rd. in Ashby on Saturday, March 23. The event starts at 7 a.m. with an entry fee of $20. All state fishing laws are in effect. Prizes will be awarded for the largest bass and trout...
Alex Troiani writes that rainbow trout are the garbage fish, the McDonald’s of the freshwater game fish. We need more browns put in the Quabbin to make the fishery a real trophy place to fish. Rainbows just die when the water gets too warm. Brookies are always welcome but are almost never seen here.
He is referring to the fishery at the Quabbin Reservoir in the central part of the state. Massachusetts stocks mostly rainbows in all the waters in this state and it would be nice to see more browns placed here. Browns are harder to raise but it might be worth placing a few thousand more here and no kill until they are 18 inches...
Moose in the northern woods are still infested with ticks. A recent study in Vermont found a calf was dead and over 40,000 ticks were on the animal. This could well be the result of our warming climate. Oops, sorry Mr. President...
A Sportsmen’s Show will be held at the Milford Dome off Route 101 in Milford, N.H., March 8-10. Dozens of booths and seminars will be on tap. New Hampshire Fish and Game will be there selling licenses and a couple wardens from the TV show “Wardens” will be on hand...
The Townsend Rod and Gun Club will hold two boating safety courses. Sign up for the April 23 and 27 courses by calling 508-564-4961. This will be run by an environmental police officer and you will get a certificate upon completion of the courses.
Bill Biswanger’s email is email@example.com