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New Hampshire

Freshwater Fishing

Lakes & Ponds: General Rules

General Fishing Rules for Lakes & Ponds

Species

Season

Bag Limits & Minimum Lengths

Important Notes

Black Bass

(Smallmouth Bass & Largemouth Bass)

Jan. 1 to March 31

2 fish daily limit; only 1 fish >16 inches.

See exceptions for Clement Pond/Joe Silvia Lake, Grassy Pond, Gregg Lake, and Warren Lake.

April 1 to May 14

2 fish daily limit; no length limit.

May 15 to June 15

Catch and release only.

Artificial lures and flies only.

June 16 to June 30

2 fish daily limit; no length limit.

July 1 to Dec. 31

5 fish daily limit; no length limit.

Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and their hybrids

Open water (ice-out to ice-in)

5 fish or 5 pounds daily limit, whichever is reached first; no length limit.

Many waterbodies with trout have special rules— General & Special Rules. Designated trout ponds and fly-fishing-only ponds open the fourth Saturday in April and close Oct. 15. Lake Trout and Salmon Lakes are closed to taking trout from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. Designated wild trout ponds open the fourth Saturday in April through Labor Day.

Through the ice

2 fish daily limit; no length limit.

Designated trout ponds are closed to ice fishing.

Lake Trout

Jan. 1 to Sept. 30

2 fish daily limit. Minimum length 18 inches. Daily bag limit for lake trout and salmon is 2 fish (2 lake trout, 2 salmon, or 1 of each).

Lake Trout and Salmon Lake rules are on General & Special Rules.

Stinson Lake (Rumney) and Tarleton Lake (Piermont) are examples of General Rules Waters that have lake trout.

Landlocked Salmon

April 1 to Sept. 30

2 fish daily limit. Minimum length 15 inches. Daily bag limit for lake trout and salmon is 2 fish (2 lake trout, 2 salmon, or 1 of each).

Most waterbodies with landlocked salmon are designated as Lake Trout and/or Salmon Lakes; see General & Special Rules. Taking landlocked salmon from Oct. 1 through March 31 is prohibited.

Chain Pickerel

No closed season.

10 fish daily limit; no length or weight limits.

See illustration on Fish Identification.

Northern Pike

No closed season.

1 fish daily limit; minimum length 28 inches.

See illustration on Fish Identification.

Walleye

No closed season.

2 fish daily limit; minimum length 18 inches; no weight limit.

See Interstate Waters for walleye regulations in the Connecticut River.

White and Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, Sunfish, Horned Pout

No closed season.

25 fish each species daily limit; no more than 50 fish total combined; no length or weight limits.

Rock Bass

No closed season.

No daily limits; no length or weight limits.

Carp

No closed season.

No daily limits; no length or weight limits.

In addition to angling and ice fishing, carp may be taken by bow and arrow with a cord attached from the Connecticut River, Merrimack River and Mascoma Lake.

Cusk

No closed season.

No daily limits; no length or weight limits.

Can be taken by all legal methods (angling, trolling, tip-ups). For approved cusk fishing device waters, see Ice Fishing.

River Herring

No open season.

American Shad

No closed season.

Catch and release only.

Lake Whitefish

Jan. 1 to Sept. 30

2 fish daily limit; no length or weight limits.

Round Whitefish

No open season.

All Round Whitefish must be immediately released.

Smelt

For smelt angling rules and waterbodies open to the taking of this species by dip net, see Freshwater Smelt.

Suckers

No closed season for angling, ice fishing or traps.

No daily limits; no length or weight limits.

Suckers may be taken for personal use with two traps, not more than 50 inches long, 30 inches wide, with an opening no smaller than 3½ inches in diameter. All traps or holding boxes will have the name and address of the owner.

March 1 to May 31

No daily limits; no length or weight limits.

Suckers may be taken by hand dip nets not over 18 inches in diameter, drop nets not over 48 inches in diameter, spears or bow and arrow with cord attached. Suckers taken by spear or bow and arrow must not be left in, or adjacent to, the body of water.