Anglers in NH await opening day April 1

Anglers are expected to be out in force on April 1 for the start of the open-water fishing season on landlocked salmon/lake trout-managed lakes in New Hampshire.

After an exceptionally mild winter, there will be vast amounts of open water in the lakes region of New Hampshire for early season landlocked salmon anglers, according to N.H. Fish and Game.

On March 22 ice went out of Lake Sunapee, one of 15 lakes Fish & Game manages for landlocked salmon. The other managed lakes are: Big Dan Hole Pond, First and Second Connecticut Lakes, Conway Lake, Lake Francis, Merrymeeting Lake, Newfound Lake, Ossipee Lake, Big and Little Squam Lakes, Lake Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam Lake, and Nubanusit Lake.

Pleasant Lake in New London also is managed for landlocked salmon, but is classified as a trout pond, with a 2012 opening date of April 28.

“The mild winter kept ice-fishing pressure low, and this will likely translate to better opportunities for the open water angler,” said N.H. Fish and Game Large Lakes Biologist Don Miller.

Since 2011, only single hooks for bait while trolling are allowed on certain salmon/lake trout lakes, including Sunapee.

Because of the much-reduced snowpack, river flows should also be excellent for early April fishing. Fish and Game reports fall netting results reveal a strong age-3 year-class of salmon, which will dominate the catch.

To ensure the future of high-quality landlocked salmon fisheries, anglers must take extra care when releasing salmon, as the percentage of hook-wounded fish continues to be a problem.

Salmon Angler's Pledge

N.H. Fish and Game is encouraging anglers to take the Landlocked Salmon Anglers’ Pledge, a cooperative, volunteer effort to help sustain quality landlocked salmon fisheries in New Hampshire’s large lakes.  Learn more at

N.H. fishing licenses can be purchased online at, or from any Fish and Game license agent.  Annual resident fishing licenses are $35. Resident one-day licenses are just $10.  Annual nonresident fishing licenses are $53.  One-, three- and seven-day nonresident licenses are also available.

For more information, visit

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