General & Interesting Information


Trolling for Landlocked Salmon, Lake Trout and Rainbow Trout / April 1- September 30

Fishing Trout Ponds / April 25 - October 15

Fishing Rivers and Streams / January 1--October 15

Size/Bag Limits:

Trolling in the big lakes / Landlocked Salmon 15", Lake Trout 18", Rainbow Trout 15"
A total of two fish. One of each or two of any one, but never more than two.

Trout Ponds and Rivers & Streams / 5 fish or 5 pounds, whichever comes first.

Note: These are the general rules, however there are special rules which effect certain bodies of water. You should check the NH Fish & Game " Blue Book " for any special rules which govern certain fisheries. (opens in a PDF file)

You can also check the NH Fish  & Game website for details about certain water bodies.

Other Info:

It is illegal in New Hampshire to use lead weights less than one ounce while fishing. Click HERE for a brochure in a PDF file that explains the law in full detail.

Tips for safely releasing fish can be found HERE. (opens in a PDF file)

Click HERE for a Freshwater Fishing Brochure put out by the NH Fish & Game Dept. This brochure, which opens in a PDF file is full of helpful information about freshwater fishing in New Hampshire. Places to fish, handicap accessible fishing spots, boat launches and loads of other helpful information.

The above diagram shows the fin anatomy of an Atlantic Salmon. The Landlocked Salmon found in our New Hampshire lakes is of the same species of Salmon,  and shares the identical Latin scientific name of Salmo salar Linnaeus. Salmo meaning the leaper (from the Latin word Salire, to leap).  In nature,  Atlantic Salmon become "landlocked" as a result of forces such as earthquakes, mudslides or other natural phenomenon that block their path back to the sea. If a lake has sufficient rivers and streams feeding it where conditions are right, then spawning is possible without a migration to sea and a complete life cycle can occur inland (see diagram below) . The lakes in the NH Lakes Region are all glacier lakes formed during the last ice age, and are deep and cold. The indigenous Native American Indians who lived here regularly caught salmon as area history is reported.

The picture above is of a Rainbow Smelt. Smelt are the primary forage fish for Landlocked Salmon, and without a viable population of smelt, the salmon cannot survive. Other game fish in our lakes like Lake Trout and Rainbow Trout will accept other forage fish, but generally speaking the salmon will not. The smelt is considered an ocean species that swims up freshwater rivers to spawn. They have become naturally landlocked in many areas and can easily exist without returning to sea so long as there are feeder streams for them to spawn in the spring. A cold and deep glacier lake makes for a nice faux sea and will support a good smelt population so long as they are not over pressured by predators like salmon or even man. Every year, some lucky angler hooks in to a landlocked salmon that runs 7-8 lbs. or bigger. This would not be possible without a healthy smelt population, as there would be no hold-over fish that would survive in the lake year to year. The NH Fish & Game Department does an excellent job of managing our lakes to make sure that the lakes are well stocked with a sufficient number of salmon, but not too many that they would jeopardize the smelt population with over predation.

Another interesting fact that many people do not know is that Rainbow Smelt and Salmon are in fact cousins. They are all members of the trout family, or in Latin terms
Salmonidae. There are nine fish species in New Hampshire that belong to this family, some of which are indigenous. Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Smelt and Landlocked Salmon are the most common. You can tell the family resemblance by the adipose fin which is on the fish' back, just before the tail (see salmon diagram above). Of fresh water species, only members of the trout family have an adipose fin.


Here are four short video clips of Rainbow Trout rising in a stream sipping food off the surface.

They were filmed underwater and are fun to watch.

CLIP 1     645 KB

CLIP 2     561 KB

CLIP 3     641 KB

CLIP 4     207 KB

Requires Windows Media Player to view.

All in the Family...





Again, let's talk about family resemblances. Pictured above are the four most common trout sought after by anglers in the lower 48. On the left are Lake Trout (also known as Touge), and Brook Trout. Shown on the right are a Rainbow Trout and a Brown Trout. Notice anything different about the two on the left versus the two on the right ? While they are all part of the general trout family (Salmonidae), the Brook and Lake Trout are members of the sub-species called Char, while the Rainbow and Brown are not. A member of the char family can be distinguished because it has light spots on a dark background, while trout have dark spots on a light background. That is why you will find species like Brookies and Lakers indigenous to the northern part of the US and Canada, because they like colder temperatures.