CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department completed its annual aerial stocking of remote trout ponds Friday. Every year, Fish and Game contracts a helicopter to stock remote ponds, from the Sunapee Region to Pittsburg. During this one-day event, nearly 50 remote ponds are stocked with brook trout fingerlings from the New Hampshire Fish and Game operated hatcheries.
The stocking of remote ponds in the back-country of New Hampshire provides a unique angling opportunity for those anglers seeking a true wilderness experience. Serene remote ponds not only produce beautiful brook trout with high catch rates, but also give the outdoor enthusiast an opportunity for wildlife viewing, hiking, camping, or just simple solitude. Many of these remote ponds are located off popular hiking trails. As with any hiking excursion, please follow safe hiking guidelines (visit www.hikesafe.com).
As fishing season heats up, trout fishing at a remote pond is a great way to seek refuge from the crowds and enjoy some of the White Mountains’ best fishing. Anglers generally can backpack a float tube and waders, or simply wade from shore. Early spring water temperatures can still be fairly cool, so if you have insulated waders, bring them to keep warm in the cool water.
Brook trout that have spent all winter under the ice become voracious as the first insects start to hatch, and surface activity with small nymphs can be frenetic. By early June into July, many of these ponds will provide good surface activity due to abundant mayfly hatches.
Fish stocked last June will have reached 5-6 inches in most areas, with 2-year-olds reaching 8-inches or more, and 3-year olds often reaching 10 or more inches. In fact, the fishing in these picturesque remote ponds is one of New Hampshire’s best-kept angling secrets. High catch rates and lack of pressure generally provide positive results.
A few of these remote ponds are designated as “fly fishing only,” so be sure to check the regulations prior to your trip. For the list of remote ponds that are stocked, visit www.fishnh.com/fishing/trout-aerial.html.
Aerial trout stocking is made possible through fishing license sales and Federal Sportfish Restoration dollars. A grant and funds from the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire supported this program in recent years. If you wish to make a donation to help fund the program, go to: www.nhwildlifeheritage.org/donate for ways to donate and mark your donation “Aerial Stocking.”