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Fish Stocking Starts in Time

Concord (ap) — After a brief delay, New Hampshire Fish and Game department trucks have been heading out to stock the state’s lakes and ponds with trout.

Saturday was opening day for the state’s designated trout ponds. Fish stocking generally occurs from mid-March to early July, but it didn’t start until the last days of March this year because spring conditions were slow to arrive. Inland Fisheries Chief Jason Smith said with cold, high waters from melting snow, it will be a few weeks before rivers and streams are at “fishable” levels. Many trout species are reluctant to bite until the streams reach temperatures in the mid-40s.

The state’s six trout hatcheries produce nearly 1 million catchable-size trout per season. In the southwest region, the Milford hatchery is known for growing “the big ones,” and officials say it has a slight advantage over other facilities because well water provides favorable growing temperatures for trout year-round.

In June, fingerling brook trout raised at the New Hampton hatchery will be stocked by helicopter into remote ponds in the White Mountains.

The stocking program is funded by fishing license sales and federal Sport Fish Restoration funds.