Warm Water Fisheries in NH
Improving Warm Water Fish Habitat
The goal of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Warmwater Program is to use the best information available to sustain and improve warmwater fish populations through management and natural reproduction to provide recreational fishing opportunities in an ecologically sound manner.
The Warmwater Program meets its goals through the following objectives and projects:
- Conduct statewide warmwater population assessments
- Categorize warmwater populations based on population assessments
- Monitor bass tournaments via data collection and analysis
- Identify populations that may benefit from new angling regulations, forage fish introductions, or other management strategies.
- Evaluate any new angling regulations
- Conduct warmwater angler surveys
- Evaluate water bodies where habitat improvements/additions may benefit warmwater fish populations
- Monitor selected populations for baseline data to develop a time-series of information
- Perform young-of-the-year bass surveys
- Provide public outreach in the form of public presentations and technical assistance
- Interact and be responsive to anglers' desires for management direction
Warmwater Fish Sampling Data
The NH Fish and Game Department uses electrofishing boats and/or nets to sample black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) and black crappie populations in various water bodies throughout the state. From 1997-2017, 125 different water bodies have been sampled with some of these water bodies being sampled multiple times. Information collected includes species occurrence, catch-per-unit effort (number of fish captured per hour of sampling), length, weight, and scale samples (for examining age and growth). Similar information is also collected for non-bass species occurring in these water bodies and for other water bodies that contain walleye. This information allows fisheries biologists to ascertain the status of various warmwater populations throughout the state and to determine what populations may benefit from angling regulations, forage fish transfers, or other management strategies.
Bass Tournament Data
Organizers of bass tournaments held on New Hampshire waters are required to apply to the NH Fish and Game Department for a permit and also provide the Department with data in the form of a bass tournament summary sheet. These data are analyzed to examine angler effort, bass survival to weigh-in, and trends in catch rates and fish weight. These analyses allow the NH Fish and Game Department to make well-informed decisions regarding potential influences of bass tournaments on the state's black bass resources.
Surveys of young-of-the-year bass are conducted each year in Lake Winnipesaukee, the Connecticut River, Big Squam Lake, Spofford Lake, and Forest Lake (Whitefield). Locations on each water body are sampled for bass and length, weight and species information are collected. These annual surveys allow Fish and Game to track changes in the spawning success of these populations and also make predictions about year-class strength based on the size of young-of-the-year fish in the fall.
Transcript of video:
this is one of your first times out smallmouth bass fishing it is good we're gonna go over a couple different things and fishing different lures so I'm gonna put on a single worm hook a little Bend - it's called it off set rigging the plastic you don't want it to end up so it's sitting on the hook like that yeah there's a little cut right there just to kind of cut down some of the body we're in open water so I can even have this exposed a little bit more it just kind of flutters Sloat's fun fun bait to fish what I hope it's gonna turn on today something you enjoy it's very visual you get to see it showing me a cast at but I don't know if I can get there nope you're fine start working it
serious oh come back and eat it nice cast ahead of this fish twice didn't touch it didn't touch it and then he turned to face the shoreline God had him again look at this thing that's a female she's bloated with eggs oh he just chased it and left it alone I totally saw that one come lay out of the deep out of the deep water to eat that oh yeah
right in the top them off perfect so nice cool go
you know their ideal temperature ranges you know we're gonna say 50 to 75
you're gonna have to tell me if it's gonna keep it alive I'm not doing so well keep coming I've seen it it's gotten pretty bright out so maybe we should switch over to something that's kind of sink a little bit more of it looks a little bit deeper I'm gonna put on a little plastic warm for you okay this is a little bit more finesse when we cast it out let it sink well lift up so the bait comes up off the bottom let it fall back down naturally repeat
just keep that's worth the reaction this thing here you're doing fine yeah those one way you turn the other way nicely done
Oh oh my goodness wow that is the biggest best I've ever caught awesome what you hold it so excited mmm next to me just take your other finger that's okay mom yeah yep like right there everybody I'm very excited yes I'm gonna do it again I absolutely want to do is this a female she hasn't spawned yet she's still got a baby that fish is coming up out of deep water looking for a mate yeah oh my gosh
oh that's fantastic the color we selected is sort of an olive green what color is the bottom there I would say it looks all of green from here well if you were a little fish in here you wouldn't want to stand out so you want to blend in so same thing with your bait choice mm-hmm you want that to kind of be similar to the bottom there are exceptions here go catch me in on the fish okay done talking done let's do this go catch me another fish she says
see trial go sneak in here and land that fish boy yeah
yeah so are you
that's a male oh yeah you can tell the difference a little bit more drab not it's not as marked up mmm pretty yeah look at him looking right at me hi yep alright where did you go back go get your ladies see ya