October 28, 2020

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Old 04-13-2020, 06:58 AM
Hunter Dan's Avatar
Hunter Dan Hunter Dan is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: southern NH, originally central VT
Posts: 641
Default Stirring the $*** pot . . .

"Testing . . . testing . . . is this thing on??? Can you hear me? Is anybody out there?!?!?"

Just thought I'd pop over here to see if all the Facebook groups have "Corona'd(yes, that's a verb now) this forum!

And I have a discussion I'd like to start with anyone who might still be lurking here.

I've been out to my local south-central VT stream twice now. The first time was in late March and I got skunked. The second time was last week and I got into a bunch of cookie-cutter, tank-scrubbah 'bows in one spot, and got skunked in three other spots.

I've been fishing the same spots in south-central NH since moving here in 2006 and have been keeping records on the size and type of fish I've caught. Up until last year, the average size of the stocked yearling rainbows was around a foot, and the average size of stocked yearling browns/brookies was about 10 inches. Last year - and from my limited experience this season - the average size of the yearling rainbows is about 10 inches and the yearling brookies I caught last year averaged about 8 inches. And I didn't even see a brown in NH last year (had to go all the way to England to catch 'em) and I've yet to see a brookie or a brown, but I expect their size to be simiar.

QUESTION: WHY ARE THE FISH SO SMALL IN THE PAST TWO YEARS??? I emailed NH F&G's "fish guy" last spring about the size of the trout and he mentioned several reasons, including "an incident" at the Powder Mill hatchery and the fact that they "got a late start" on their trout rearing operation last year. But it appears for the second year in a row the trout are all dinks, again.

Mind you I'm mostly speaking of southern NH waters. I've been up north and caught some bigger fish - including last year. But that's understandable to some degree when you consider that waters are stocked from late March through late June or even early July in some areas, following a progression from south to north. So the "yearling" you catch north of the White Mtns in late June might have just been stocked, but would obviously be bigger than the "yearling" you caught in early April down south, because the northern "yearling" has had almost three more months to live and grow in a hatchery environment.

So what do you guys think is the REAL reason behind the rise of "dink-trout" in NH? Is it a question of funding? I know they having funding issues and I'm not about to wade into the debate over why that is. Is it simply that they don't have enough money/resources to raise bigger fish? Massachusetts certainly does - but again, they are a different state with a different concept of revenue generation.

I'd be interested to know what you guys think regarding the sudden drop in size of stocked trout in NH.
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