2010 N.H. Trophy Fish Winners Announced

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Erik Bernard of Manchester caught the 2010 trophy haddock (10 lbs., 4.96 oz.; 31.50 inches long).

CONCORD, N.H. — Don Miller, Fisheries Biologist and Trophy Fish Program Coordinator, has announced the winners of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s 2010 New Hampshire Trophy Fish Program.  For a full list of winning anglers and their catches, visit www.fishnh.com/Fishing/trophy_fish_2010.html.

New Hampshire’s Trophy Fish Program provides anglers with excitement and recognition in 22 freshwater species and seven saltwater species categories for both kept and released fish. The program provides the opportunity for enthusiasts of all ages to receive recognition and gives biologists important information on the state’s fisheries over time.  While information on record fish dates back to 1911, the Trophy Fish Program was created in the 1970s.

“Over the years through the Trophy Fish Program we have received valuable data on fish populations not normally reported to us,” Miller said.  “And almost every year, a new state record is reported, which says a lot about the quality of New Hampshire’s fisheries.”

Kevin Soterion of Bedford, N.H., caught and released the 2010 trophy walleye (30 inches) in the Merrimack River.

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 is presented with a special certificate.  All ages and all legal methods of angling are represented.

Fifteen categories of “kept” species, and thirteen categories of “catch and release” fish were represented in the past year.  Winners for 2010 include a new state record winter flounder caught in Atlantic waters off the Rye coast, which weighed 3 pounds, 1.44 ounces and measured 19 inches in length.

Sean Dandurand of Pittsfield, N.H., caught and released this 24-inch 2010 trophy largemouth bass.

Carter Lavoie of Loudon and Maurice Duhaine of Hooksett both caught and released 28-inch-long Eastern chain pickerel and tied for top spot, while Michael Woods of Lisbon just beat out Joshua Robinson of Dalton for the largest kept smallmouth bass of 2010 from the same lake.  Both brought in a four-pound, four-ounce “smallie,” but Woods’s measured three-quarters of an inch more, giving him the win for 2010.  John Viar, a N.H. Fish and Game fisheries biologist in the Lakes Region, tied two existing records with his catch of a 9.5-inch long, 12.48-ounce pumpkinseed.  His father, James Viar, caught his record pumpkinseed in 2005, which tied the 1984 record of Marcel LeBel. Three fish with the same weight and lengths — spanning 26 years — and tied for State Record!

The fun of the Trophy Fish Program is not just for adults, either — three-year-old Jack VanPolen of Franklin caught the winning black crappie with a 2-pound, 8.48-ounce catch.  Way to go, Jack!

A listing of all entries, application forms, rules, records and winners from past years can be found at www.fishnh.com/Fishing/trophy_program.html.

For more information on fishing in New Hampshire, visit www.fishnh.com/Fishing/fishing.htm.