- Associated Press - Sunday, August 10, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game is asking anglers fishing in the Squam Lakes to immediately release any largemouth and smallmouth bass that were radio-tagged as part of a state study.

The bass will have a thin wire protruding from their underside and a yellow numbered tag near their dorsal fin.

The goal of the three-year study is to determine the percentage of bass returning to Big Squam Lake after being caught, weighed in and released in Little Squam Lake. It will also measure and how long it takes the fish to do so.

A permanent antenna and receiver in the Squam Channel will record when tagged bass pass by on their way back to Big Squam. Bass will also be manually tracked via boat in Little Squam.

Both lakes are a popular destination for bass tournaments and recreational bass anglers. The department says if most of the bass released in the Little Squam don’t return to Big Squam, it could lead to increased competition for food and habitat.

State rules don’t allow anglers to catch fish in one water body and release them into another. Because there is currently no available weigh-in location on Big Squam for larger bass tournaments, these tournaments typically weigh in on Little Squam.

By law, bass are then required to be taken back to Big Squam for release. Such travel threatens bass survival in hot weather and creates boat congestion.

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