Hearing Set for Proposed Rules on 2009 Freshwater Fishing; Bass Tournaments

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CONCORD, N.H. — Freshwater anglers take note: The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, June 18, 2008, at 6:30 p.m., at Fish and Game headquarters on Hazen Drive in Concord, regarding proposed changes in the regulations affecting 2009 freshwater fishing in New Hampshire and the application procedure for bass tournaments.

N.H. Fish and Game is proposing the following changes to the fish rules for 2009:

  • Prohibit the use of bridle shiners for use as live bait for fishing;
  • Allow the use of cusk fishing devices on the following additional waterbodies:  Merrymeeting Lake (New Durham), Waukewan Lake (Meredith), Lovell Lake (Wakefield), Wentworth Lake (Wolfeboro) and Ossipee Lake (Freedom/Ossipee);
  • Change the fishing regulations on Bryant Pond and Derby Pond from trout water rules to general fishing rules;
  • Close the tributaries to Lake Sunapee from October 16 through May 31;
  • Lengthen the open season for fishing in the section of the Contoocook River in Henniker and a section of the Sugar River in Kellyville to November 30 (currently ends on October 15);
  • Allow the taking of black bass (smallmouth and largemouth bass) with no creel or size limits on a section of the Diamond River in Second College Grant;
  • Eliminate a pathogen from fish inspections for fish importation and correct a reference to another rule; and
  • For bass tournament rules, clarify requirements relative to immediate release of bass after measuring and weighing.

Another proposed rule being discussed at the hearing would amend the process for applying for bass tournaments.  Because of the number of applications for bass tournaments that are received on a first-come, first-served basis, Fish and Game is proposing an application process that would allow applications to be submitted beginning October 1 for the following calendar year.  Those applications will be assigned a computer-generated number that would be used to give preference to applications when multiple requests are received for the same date and waterbody.  This will provide more equity to bass tournament applicants and eliminate the need for applicants to line up a day or two in advance to submit applications.

The complete fishing rulemaking notice forms, with original and proposed rule language, may be found at www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Legislative/Notices_summary.htm.

Written comments on the proposed changes may be submitted by June 30, 2008.  E-mail to comments [at] wildlife [dot] nh [dot] gov (please put “Comments on Fishing Rules” in subject line); fax to (603) 271-1438; or mail to Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. 

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.