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New Hampshire

Freshwater Fishing

Welcome to 2021-22 New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing

Lakes and Rivers Galore

I am new to Fish and Game, but I was born and raised in New Hampshire and have spent a lifetime working in the outdoors of our Granite State. I grew up with my friends ice fishing for lake trout and cusk on the hard waters of Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Winnisquam with my father and his friends. Or we would be off with another father to catch bass or pickerel through the ice on a local pond. When school let out and summer started, my friends and I would spend our nights catching hornpout for breakfast. Today our youth have many more ways to spend their time, but there is no replacement for some good quality time spent fishing as a family. And don’t forget to involve your children’s friends too.

We are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful state that includes nearly 1,000 fishable lakes and 12,000 miles of rivers and streams. Popular coldwater species include brook, brown, and rainbow trout, lake trout, and landlocked salmon. For those who prefer warm water, New Hampshire offers small- and largemouth bass, pickerel, black crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch among others. Whether you are an expert or a novice, fish from a boat or from shore, or enjoy casting or fly fishing, there is truly something for everyone when it comes to angling in the Granite State.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler, a lapsed fisherman, or someone who has thought about fishing but haven’t yet, why not make this the year to try something new? Take the kids fishing and pass the sport on to a new generation—children under 16 fish for free. Don’t forget our free fishing days on January 16 and June 5 in 2021, when anglers do not need a license to try fishing.

Our hatchery staff stock over a million trout as well as landlocked salmon for your fishing enjoyment each year. The healthy fisheries we have today are the result of conservation efforts here at Fish and Game dating back to 1865, when the State Legislature established the Commission on Fisheries to reverse the trend of rapidly depleted species around the state. Because of careful management from raising and stocking fish to stream restoration and watershed conservation to population testing and assessment, fishing opportunities abound.

Also thanks to our Public Boat Access Program, guided by the Public Water Access Advisory Board, or PWAAB, there are more than 140 Fish and Game boat launch sites around the state. Construction and maintenance of these facilities is supported in part by the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program.

So get outside, be safe, and happy fishing!

Scott R. Mason

Executive Director

N.H. Fish and Game Department