CONCORD, NH – You can fish in many of New Hampshire’s managed trout ponds starting on the fourth Saturday in April, and this year’s opening day is April 27. These waters include designated trout ponds, fly-fishing-only ponds, and those managed under the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Wild Trout Program. Ponds managed under wild trout regulations are open only through Labor Day, while the waterbodies managed for other trout species close on October 15. These waters are managed specifically for trout and offer anglers the chance to experience exciting fishing in some of the Granite State’s most scenic surroundings.
Ponds managed for trout may be stocked with one or more species, including brook, rainbow, and brown trout, with various age classes present in the waterbody.
“These trout ponds are often the best waters in a given area for a variety of reasons,” said New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Fisheries Biologist Dianne Timmins. “Excellent habitat, limited species predation, low angling competition, and the fact that these ponds are closed to ice fishing allow them to produce large fish that challenge the trout fishing enthusiast. Given the better water conditions last year, we are expecting some great fish to be had out there!”
Clough Pond in Loudon, French Pond in Henniker, Lucas Pond in Northwood, Mount William Pond in Weare, Dublin Lake in Dublin, Barbadoes Pond in Madbury, Mountain Pond in Brookfield and Airport Pond in Whitefield are a few of the generously stocked early season hotspots where opening day trout are often taken.
Many popular ponds are found from the Lakes Region north to Pittsburg. They include Echo Lake in Franconia, Russell Pond in Woodstock, Conner Pond and Duncan Lake in Ossipee, White Lake in Tamworth, Perch Pond in Campton, Saltmarsh Pond in Gilford, Spectacle Pond in Groton, Back Lake in Pittsburg, and Little Diamond Pond in Stewartstown.
It could be a late ice-out in the northern portion of the state due to accumulating snow received this past winter and late spring. Ice fishing is never allowed in trout-managed waterbodies, which means you can’t fish from the ice or anything supported by the ice even after April 27.
Anglers looking for a true wilderness experience will enjoy visiting one of the nearly 50 remote trout ponds that Fish and Game annually stocks with fingerling brook trout via helicopter and backpack hike ins. These are listed at www.fishnh.com/fishing/trout-aerial.html. Flat Mountain Pond in Sandwich, Cole Pond in Enfield (fly fishing only), Butterfield Pond in Wilmot, Peaked Hill Pond in Thornton, and Black Pond and Lonesome Lake in Lincoln are just a sampling of these delightful ponds, where fingerling brook trout can often measure over eight inches by their second growing season.
Archery Pond in Allenstown, which has a wheelchair-accessible casting platform, and Stonehouse Pond in Barrington are two popular fly-fishing-only ponds that will be well stocked for the opening day. Further north, some excellent fly-fishing-only ponds include Upper Hall Pond in Sandwich, Sky Pond in New Hampton, and Profile Lake in Franconia. Check the NH Freshwater Fishing Digest for special regulations on these waters at www.fishnh.com. In addition, White Pond in Ossipee and Coon Brook Bog in Pittsburg offer excellent opportunities to “match the hatch” throughout spring and early summer.
“Trout are prized by anglers because fishing for them is one of the traditional rites of spring, and they are beautiful,” Timmins said. “Whether your passion is a multi-colored brook trout, a leaping rainbow, or the determined fight of a brown, there’s a trout pond within a reasonable driving distance to challenge your skills.”
For a list of trout ponds and fly-fishing-only ponds in New Hampshire, as well as a description of special rules that apply to certain ponds, consult the New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing Digest, available online at www.fishnh.com/fishing/publications.html or from any Fish and Game agent where you buy your license.