- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - After a successful growing season, New Hampshire’s fish hatcheries are getting ready to distribute nearly 1 million catchable-size trout to waterbodies across the state.

With spring conditions arriving earlier than usual, some of the state’s southern ponds already have received their fish, though most of the stocking happens in April. Jason Smith, chief of the Fish and Game department’s Inland Fisheries Division, said it will still be a few weeks before river and stream conditions are suitable for trout stocking because most species don’t bite until water temperatures reach the mid-to-upper 40s.

“We don’t want to stock streams too early because cold water early in the season does not present suitable conditions for trout stocking, and insects and other forage is limited until water temperatures rise a few degrees,” said Smith. “We’re fortunate to have conservation officers in the field that monitor water conditions almost continuously as part of their daily patrols. They do a great job making necessary adjustments to the trout stocking to provide the best angling opportunities possible.”

The state’s designated trout ponds open April 23. Fishing on smaller streams follows from south to north, and officials say a good rule for them is to follow the black flies as they move north.

New Hampshire has six fish hatcheries that provide trout to different areas of the state. One of them, the New Hampton Hatchery, provides fingerling brook trout that are carried by helicopter to 47 remote ponds in the White Mountains. The Milford hatchery has a reputation for growing “the big ones,” which officials attribute to well water that provides favorable growing temperatures year round.

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