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New Hampshire

Freshwater Fishing

Freshwater Fishing

Freshwater Smelt

Bag Limits and General Rules

The daily bag limit for smelt is 2 quarts liquid measure of whole (head and tail intact) freshwater smelt in the 24-hour period between 12 noon one day and 12 noon the following day. Persons taking freshwater smelt must at all times keep their individual take in separate, unbreakable containers marked with their name. A person cannot take smelt while using a boat propelled by mechanical power.

Season for Taking Smelt by Angling

From June 16 through March 14, smelt may be taken by angling only, except in Trout and Fly-Fishing-Only ponds, which are open June 16 through Oct. 15. Tributaries are closed to smelt angling March 16–June 15. Tributaries closed all together October 16–December 31.

Season for Taking Smelt with a Dip Net

From March 15 through April 30, smelt may be taken by means of a dip net not over 18 inches in diameter, between the hours of sunset and 12 midnight. Only the following waters are open to the taking of freshwater smelt by dip net:

Pond/Lake Name


Deering Reservoir


Manning Lake/Guinea Pond


Pea Porridge Pond


Rust Pond


Sandy Pond


Suncook Lake


Sunset Lake/Places Pond

Alton, Gilmanton

Webster Lake


Stream/River Name


Bearcamp River (From Tamworth/Ossipee town line to Ossipee Lake)


Mascoma River (From Canaan/Enfield town line to Mascoma Lake)