Fisheries Biologist and Trophy Fish Program Coordinator Don Miller has announced the winners of the 2013 Trophy Fish Program. A listing of all qualifying entries is posted on the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s website at http://www.fishnh.com/Fishing/trophy/2013.html.
In addition to Trophy Fish winners, four new state records were set in 2013: black sea bass (1 lb., 3.50 oz.; 14.25″ length, caught in Portsmouth by Shane Conlin of Hampton); common carp, bow harvested (41 lbs., 0.04 oz.; 40.50″ length, caught in Hinsdale by Kevin Martin of Hinsdale); common white sucker (3 lbs., 12.64 oz.; 20.75″ length, caught in Center Harbor by Timothy Moore Jr. of Portsmouth); and northern pike (26 lbs., 9.44 oz.; 44.50″ length, caught in Dalton by Kevin Phelps of Monroe, NH).
New Hampshire’s Trophy Fish Program provides the opportunity for anglers of all ages to receive recognition while providing biologists with important information on the state’s fisheries over time. While Fish and Game collected information on record fish as far back as 1911, the Trophy Fish Program began in the 1970s.
“These anglers are our extra eyes in the field – we have received valuable data on fish populations not normally reported to us,” Don Miller noted. “In addition, almost every year a new state record is reported to us. That says a lot about New Hampshire’s fisheries. Climate change has also resulted in shifting ocean temperatures, allowing more mid-Atlantic species to move into the Gulf of Maine. For example, in recent years, we have seen new records set for black sea bass, grey triggerfish and tautog.”
All successful applicants receive a “Trophy Fish” shoulder patch for submitting their catch information. Then, each February, the person who caught the largest fish in each species category, kept or released, is presented with a special certificate. There are 21 freshwater and seven saltwater species categories for both kept and released fish. All ages, all legal methods of angling, and all areas of the state are represented each year. Fly-fishing, ice-fishing, bait casting and spin casting, trolling and even bow harvest (a method permissible only for carp and suckers) are also represented.
Of the 81 Trophy Fish Program entrants, 13 of these lucky anglers were under 20 years old. And these kids are some serious anglers! Four year-old Leela Frascone of Goffstown came in second with her 2 lbs., 14.08 oz. “brookie” caught from the Piscataquog River in Goffstown. Seven-year-old Carter Lavoie of Loudon, NH, and nine-year-old Patrick Breslin of Newton, NH, each won their categories: Carter for a released black crappie measuring 16.5 inches in length from Turtletown Pond in Concord; and Patrick for his kept black crappie, which weighed in at 2 lbs., 8 oz., taken out of Purgatory Pond in Dunbarton Avery Traffie, a fifteen year old from New Ipswich, won with his 11 lbs., 13.68 oz. brown trout caught at Whittemore Lake in Greenfield. His catch measured 26.50 inches!
Thirteen categories of “kept” fish were represented in the past year, as well as thirteen categories of “catch and release” species. The released landlocked salmon category saw a two-way tie between anglers working opposite ends of Lake Winnipesaukee. Only 16 species of freshwater fish were represented this year, out of the 21 possible, and some categories saw only one entry. There are lots of opportunities for anglers of every age.
“The Trophy Fish program provides recognition, not just for the hard-core seasoned anglers,” Miller noted. “You don’t need a big boat and expensive equipment for bragging rights. Over the years, plenty of winners used simple bait on a line. ‘Newbies,’ families, folks who haven’t touched a pole in years – anyone can get hooked on fishing.”
A listing of all entries, application forms, rules, records and winners from past years can be found at http://www.fishnh.com/Fishing/trophy/index.html.
Logo courtesy New Hampshire Fish and Game Department