Your Fisheries Habitat Fee
New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing
Restoring and Conserving Fish Habitat in New Hampshire
When you buy a fishing license in New Hampshire, $1 of your license fee goes into the Fisheries Habitat Account. This account has funded many restoration and land conservation efforts over the years. Typically, it funds about 10-20% of completed fisheries habitat projects.
To meet the goal of providing diverse fishing opportunities, the Fisheries Habitat Program restores and conserves habitat. For fish habitat restoration projects in streams and rivers, fisheries managers have learned from a body of large scientific studies that fish populations do best when their habitat is most like that which would naturally occur, so our projects mimic natural processes.
That typically means we are restoring riverine processes, things that create diverse habitats such as riffles and pools, with a particular focus on the restoration of instream wood, which has largely been removed from our rivers and streams. Instream wood is a natural part of streams and rivers. It forms deep pools and creates excellent shelter for all sizes and species of fish. It also can help reduce the nutrient load moving downstream; microbes such as bacteria and fungi live in the complex structure of instream wood (logs, sticks and leaves), and they use a large amount of the nutrients dissolved in the flowing water.
The Habitat Program conducts restoration projects with many partners across the state, representing the spectrum of conservation interests. Excellent relationships with our partners are vital to the successful completion of these high-priority projects. Typically, the program provides technical assistance, scientific analysis and recommendations to projects, and sometimes funding from the Fisheries Habitat Account.
In 2016, we conducted restoration work at Nash Stream in Stark/Stratford/Odell; Indian Stream in Pittsburg; Warren Brook in Alstead; and Falls Brook in Swanzey. The Nash and Indian Stream projects were both started by Trout Unlimited and have been going on for several years because of the sheer size of the projects and watersheds. The Warren Brook project was spearheaded by many partners, including the Cold River Local Advisory Committee, and has restored the stream channel and the floodplain of a section of Warren Brook. The Falls Brook project removed a culvert that created a barrier for fish. Many partners worked on the removal and constructing a new stream crossing that provides unhindered fish (and turtle!) passage on this important wild brook trout stream, while also greatly reducing the risk of damage by floods.
Are you a Landlocked Salmon Angler?
Anglers can help to conserve our landlocked salmon fishery through responsible catch-and-release angling practices, including the use of rubber nets, careful removal of hooks, and minimizing the time fish are held out of water. By pledging to be a dedicated steward of New Hampshire’s limited landlocked salmon fishery, you can make a real difference in sustaining this valuable resource. Check fishnh.com for more info and download a brochure.