Saturday, June 2, 2012

NH man returns from climbing Mount Everest

NH man returns from climbing Mount Everest

 Joe Pratt's accomplishment comes at a time when there's renewed concern about hiking Everest. With more and more people attempting the challenging feat, there are now bottlenecks on the most treacherous portions of the mountain.

Two adults and four children rescued near Little Haystack in NH.

click for larger image
Conservation officers from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department responded to the Falling Waters Trail near the summit of Little Haystack Mountain at about 9:15 p.m. Friday to rescue two adults and four children. The hikers were Josie Rogers and Christopher Kangas, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont., and children ages 8, 6, 5 and 2.

This is a very scenic hike but during the wet season should not be hiked without the proper gear. This trail is very wet during the spring and the nights are still very cool. Hiking regardless of weather and even if only going on a day hike should include a change of clothes, dry socks and without a doubt a flashlight or headlamp so your hands can remain free.

Sample video of the trail they were on:

Friday, June 1, 2012

NH Weekly Fishing Report – May 31, 2012

Stocking report:


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><> North Country

June presents an unusual paradox for New Hampshire anglers. The weather is picture perfect, with warm days, cool nights, and plenty of daylight hours in between. The only negative variable in this equation is the insects that spring to life in these conditions. After a particularly successful evening on a trout pond Saturday, I had more black flies stuck in my hair than flies in my fly-box. Mosquitoes dined on my arms while I was tying knots, and landing a fish was a daunting task as I tried to do so while slapping at hungry deer flies.

I suppose that, without insects and their sometimes inconvenient life cycles, fishing may not be the intriguing sport that it is. Mixed in with the no-see-ums are the caddis flies and mayflies that trigger aggressivetrout strikes. For every application of bug spray, there are even doses of dry fly floatant. Biting insects are almost always aquatic at some point in their development and trout have no hesitation eating black fly or mosquito larvae. When they hatch in great densities, a fly-fisherman can be less than perfect when choosing an imitation. Pheasant tail nymphs will resemble an emerging insect closely enough to fool a trout that is gorging itself.

There is no magical time of day when biting insects take a break. An angler is a constant target and, sometimes, the only cure is landing a beautiful fish and forgetting the bugs. – Andy Schafermeyer, Fisheries Biologist

><> Lakes Region

A recent trip on Lake Winnisquam produced a couple small lake trout, it certainly didn’t help that a southeast wind was present that morning. I noticed a great deal of “junk” floating on the lake’s surface, by junk, I mean tree pollen, and flowers from assorted trees. It meant that lines had to be cleaned frequently of this debris. I noticed some male smallmouth bass still sitting on nests; the eggs should be hatching any day now as the lake temperature is near 68 degrees. The flow at Lakeport Dam is approximately 800 cfs (cubic feet per second), and this means there are still good opportunities at fishing the Winnipesaukee River in Laconia, and at Lochmere Dam, at the outlet of Winnisquam.

Fisheries biologists Matt Carpenter and Ben Nugent are nearing the end of stocking river herring into Lake Winnisquam. We will monitor the progress of this species, as the YOY (young-of-the-year) alewives grow throughout the summer and into the fall as they prepare to leave the system on their journey back to the Atlantic Ocean.

Aerial pond stocking will occur the week of June 11. JBI Helicopter Services of Pembroke, NH will again be guiding us across the landscape as we stock fingerling Kennebago strain brook trout into 48 remote, high elevation ponds. Approximately 110,000 fingerlings are stocked in this one-day event. If you have never fished these ponds, you are missing out on some fantastic fishing, in remote, wilderness settings.

Don’t forget that this Saturday, June 2, is free fishing day in New Hampshire. Take advantage of this day with a friend and enjoy the wonderful outdoor opportunities we have here. – Don Miller, Fisheries Biologist

><> Monadnock/Upper Valley

Water temperatures in our local trout ponds are more like mid-June than the end of May. Fishing at Dublin Lake last week showed a surface temperature of 69 degrees! Despite these earlier than normal warm temperatures, reports I have been getting point to good trout fishing.

The Cold and Ashuelot rivers have been stocked heavily with brook, brown and rainbow trout. Anglers are taking notice -- and are also taking home some heavy stringers in the past week. Beard’s Brook in Hillsborough is also producing some nice catches of rainbow and brook trout. Don’t forget about the area where Beard’s Brook and the North Branch meet in Hillsborough by the Chinese restaurant, as this area has always produced a few nice trout for me. Anglers have been having good luck on these streams using Powerbait, worms, and small inline spinners such as Mepps and Rooster Tails.

For ponds, both Gustin (Marlow) and Newell Pond (Alstead) are producing some excellent brook trout, as is Smith Pond (Washington). Whittemore Lake (Bennington) has been giving up some fat rainbow and brook trout as well. A friend of mine relayed to me that the last couple weeks at Willard Pond (Antrim; fly fishing only) have been great. As he put it, “emerging insects, a North wind, and hungry trout make for a great combination on Willard.” There have also been some big smallmouth bass caught in Willard during the past week or so.

Finally, I received a report that anglers are already starting to catch walleye in the Connecticut River by trolling large crankbaits such as Reef Runners. – Gabe Gries, Fisheries Biologist

><> Southeast NH/Merrimack Valley

Anadromous fish species have begun to appear at the fish lift at the Essex Dam in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Already around 100 Atlantic salmon and 5,000 American shad have been counted at the fishway. Once our efforts to transfer river herring to Winnisquam Lake are over, we will begin moving American shad from Lawrence upstream to the Merrimack River in the Boscawen/Concord area. The same principles associated with transferring adult river herring are found with the movement of American shad. The mature adults trapped at lower sections of the Merrimack River will be trucked to more ideal spawning habitat upstream. The adults will leave shortly after spawning, while the hatched juveniles will spend the summer months in this stretch of river before returning to the Atlantic in the early fall. The juveniles will be utilized as a seasonal forage source in the river, benefitting several different sport fishes. – Ben Nugent, Fisheries Biologist

><> Seacoast Area

Well, the groundfishing has been slow this past week, but as the river herring runs slow, stripers are moving back down river and anglers are catching stripers in the Piscataqua and the bay. Mackerel are being brought in by the cooler full, most of these coming from the Piscataqua as well.

Winter flounder have had a really slow season so far, and it doesn’t seem to be picking up. One of our biologists took a flounder trip this past weekend down in Rye Harbor; he fished for 4 hours and only got 1 bite. I guess any day where you get to bring home dinner can be considered successful, even if it is a little disappointing. – Becky Heuss, Marine Biologist

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 "Round 8 Fishing Rod Rack"

FEDERAL AID IN WILDLIFE AND SPORT FISH AND RESTORATION: A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program. Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. To learn more:

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CONCORD, N.H. -- Young wildlife is in the news these days, as two young bear cubs, orphaned when a vehicle collision killed their mother, were caught and taken to a wildlife rehabilitator after days of anxiety about their fate. While this is a heart-warming story, it's worth noting that in most circumstances, if you encounter young wildlife – even young animals that appear to need help – the kindest and safest thing to do is to leave them alone and let nature take its course.

Reports have already begun coming in to Fish and Game and local wildlife rehabilitators from people who have picked up young animals, often mistakenly thinking they are orphans. "Picking up fawns, baby raccoons or young animals is an error in judgment," says Fish and Game Lt. Robert Bryant. "People think they're doing a good deed, but they are often removing the animal from the care of its parents and potentially exposing themselves to the risk of disease. In particular, your actions may result in the animal having to be euthanized for rabies testing."

Young wild animals (including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians) typically have their best chance of surviving when they are in their own natural environment, says Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Kent Gustafson. What should you do if you find a young animal? "Give wildlife plenty of space and leave them alone and in the wild, where they belong," he said. If in doubt, report the location of the animal to N.H. Fish and Game by emailing or calling 603-271-2461.

Gustafson explains that seeing a deer fawn alone, for example, does NOT mean that it is orphaned or that it needs your help; it is normal for a doe to leave her fawn alone while she goes off to feed in the early morning and evening hours. In many cases, the doe will not return until nightfall.

"Fawns are not defenseless creatures. Their cryptic coloration, tendency to stay perfectly still and lack of scent are all adaptations that help them survive," Gustafson said. Does are easy for predators to detect because of their size and scent, so they keep a distance from their fawns, except during brief nursing bouts, so that predators don't key in on them. If sympathetic people repeatedly visit a fawn, it only serves to prolong the separation from the doe and delay important feeding.

"This hands-off and keep-your-distance policy also applies to bear cubs and moose calves," Gustafson continued. "It’s also worth noting that sows and cows can and do actively protect their young. In any case, if you're lucky enough to see a deer fawn, bear cub, moose calf or other wild animal, count your blessings and leave the area."

Only qualified people with special rehabilitator permits, issued through N.H. Fish and Game, may take in and care for injured or orphaned wildlife. Improper care of injured or orphaned wildlife often leads to their sickness or death. For example, under NO circumstances should anyone feed a fawn. Improper foods such as cow's milk invariably lead to severe diarrhea (scours), which is usually fatal. Unless you have rehabilitator credentials, it is illegal to have in your possession or take New Hampshire wildlife from the wild and keep it in captivity. For a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators, go to

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bushes humorous return to White House

Published on May 31, 2012 by CNN
Former president George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush bring humor to the unveiling of their official White House portraits

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sights and Scenes Salem NH Memorial Day Parade 2012

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

©Dave Peatfield

Threatening Legislation Could Overturn Park Service Mandate To Protect America’s Heritage; Allow For Hunting, Trapping And Recreational Shooting In National Parks

New analysis reveals true impact of HR 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act, to the National Park System

WASHINGTON--(ENEWSPF)--May 29 - According to a new legal analysis released today by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), national parks across the country are at risk from legislation that would change the fundamental purpose of the National Park System. Instead of protecting and preserving our national heritage and wildlife, most of the 397 units of the National Park System would be permitted to allow hunting, trapping and recreational shooting. The legislation has been touted as a tool to prioritize hunting and shooting on Forest Service and BLM lands, but it goes far beyond this goal by including the National Park System. If enacted, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act (HR 4089) would be offensive treatment for our national treasures and the Americans who cherish them.

“This bill is a Trojan horse that, contrary to the claims of its boosters, would fundamentally alter the most basic protections in our National Park System and is a litigator’s dream,” said Craig Obey, senior vice president for government affairs at the National Parks Conservation Association. “Every national park site is at risk, from Yellowstone to Gettysburg to the Frederick Douglass house.”

As one of the greatest threats in modern times to the statutory regime governing management of the National Park System, the bill passed by the House includes an oddly written “exemption” for national parks and monuments, but ignores the many designations of national park units such as national historical parks, national military parks, national memorials, etc. Moreover, the exemption for national parks and monuments is written so as not to ‘require’ their opening. The effect of this language would be that hunting would be permitted, where currently these activities are prohibited unless authorized by Congress.

“Today, hunting, trapping and recreational shooting are prohibited throughout the National Park System except in places where they have been specifically authorized by Congress. Under this bill, the law regarding such uses would no longer be closed unless opened, but would instead be open unless closed,” said Obey. “National parks were set aside to protect the wildlife that roam and historic sites that preserve our nation’s history—not for using some of America’s most valued treasures as target practice.”

The legal analysis conducted by the law firm of Arnold & Porter, LLP, also finds that the bill would force national park managers to undertake lengthy and potentially costly analyses in order to justify closing park units, yet would open those units without any such analysis. For example, park managers would need to use the “best science” to justify prohibiting paintball games on the hallowed ground at Gettysburg. In a time of budget austerity, the National Park Service would be required to conduct lengthy, costly analyses to justify continuing to prohibit activities that common sense says should be prohibited in solemn places where so many Americans lost their lives in battle, or simply allow those activities because they lack the resources to conduct the requisite analyses.

Further, the legislation would also require the Park Service to permit the use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) anywhere they are needed to provide access for hunters to engage in trapping, shooting, hunting or fishing activities. It has long been recognized that ORVs cause serious environmental damage and interfere with the experience most visitors have at national parks.

“There are plenty of public lands where recreational shooting and sport hunting are a reasonable and appropriate use[s], but those lands do not include national parks, historical sites, or any unit of the park system where they’re not already permitted by law. There is no reasonable justification for including the National Park System in this legislation,” said Obey. “Those who think this bill is just about hunting opportunities haven’t read it. And if they’ve read it, they ought to re-read it.”

Now the bill has moved to the Senate and its advocates are working aggressively to get it to the Senate floor. NPCA is encouraging the public to contact their Senators to prevent this threatening legislation from damaging our National Park System. Take action here:

To view a copy of the legal analysis, completed by the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP, please visit:

NPCA is a non-profit, private organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing the U.S. National Park System.

At National Parks, where are all the young people?

"If we do not do a better job of inviting young people to the national parks and providing the funding to be able to do that the parks will become less relevant," said Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association.

Visit the full story and slide show here: