Fish and Game Take Trout to the Skies

Trout literally took flight this month, as the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department delivered fingerling fish to some of the state’s most remote waters. Every year in June, a helicopter hired by Fish and Game stocks remote ponds from Sunapee to Pittsburg. During this one-day event, which this year took place on June 13, some 48 remote New Hampshire ponds were stocked with brook trout fingerlings raised in Fish and Game’s New Hampton Hatchery.

The stocking of remote ponds in the backcountry of New Hampshire provides a unique opportunity for anglers seeking a true wilderness experience. While the trout delivered during the current year by air are small, those stocked last June should have reached 5-6 inches in most areas, and 2-year-old fish may reach 12 inches or better.

“It’s time to grab your float tube, a light-weight fly rod and rubber boots and pack a lunch for a day on a remote pond,” said Fish and Game Hatcheries Supervisor Jason Smith. “Brook trout that were stocked last year should be well into their summer diets of mayflies. Evening trips in late June and early July can private dry fly enthusiasts one last great opportunity for catching fish on the surface. As we get into July, even these high elevation ponds will heat up enough to where many of the trout will seek thermal refuge in the deeper waters.”

For an exciting, in-depth look at the experience of aerial stocking, check out this Associated Press video from this year’s helicopter trip:

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, be sure to follow hiking safety guidelines.

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, check the Fish and Game website.

The aerial trout stocking program is made possible through fishing license sales and with assistance from the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire. To contribute to this effort, visit their website and designate your donation for aerial trout stocking.

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