For Fish & Game, it's Salmon SundayNovember 10. 2017 6:27PM
TUFTONBORO -- If you're around Lake Winnipesaukee today, you'll have a chance to get a close-up look at the life cycle of one of the most prized fish of New Hampshire's big lakes, the landlocked salmon.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is hosting its annual "Salmon Sunday" today from noon to 2 p.m. at Pope Dam in Melvin Village. Pope Dam is nine miles north of Wolfeboro on Route 109.
During the event, fisheries biologists will be busy harvesting, or "stripping," eggs and milt from adult salmon. Standing knee-deep in the cold water of the Melvin River, scientists expertly relieve the colorful adult female salmon of their eggs by stroking their stomachs. Milt from the male fish is obtained in the same way, and mixed with the gold-colored eggs to fertilize them.
Fish and Game staff will be on hand to answer questions about salmon, the egg-stripping process, and the stocking program that ensures these beautiful fish continue to be available in the lakes for anglers to catch.
Salmon Sunday is a "rain or shine" event. Dress warmly.
Underwater photographer Bob Michelson, of Braintree, Mass., is scheduled to be at the event displaying images depicting the underwater life of Atlantic salmon. Michelson will be available to answer questions about his observations of this species in the wild, as well as about scuba diving and underwater photography.
Michelson has been a certified scuba diver and underwater photographer for almost 40 years. His work has been published widely, and his video footage and programming have aired on national networks. Michelson has donated many of his fish collection images for use on the Fish and Game Department's website for education/outreach efforts.
While the focus of today's event is fishing, Fish and Game wildlife biologists have completed another important annual project - banding ducks.
The effort to attach hundreds of metal bands to ducks throughout the state is part of a project conducted in U.S. states and Canadian provinces throughout the Atlantic Flyway in August and September.
The objective is to provide survival rate data that is used in combination with data from a variety of other sources to determine annual hunting season regulations in the spring.
Each metal band has a unique sequence of numbers, and biologists record the species, age, and sex of each duck before it is released.
At the end of the season, all the data are submitted to the Bird Banding Lab at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md.
Duck hunting season resumes statewide on Nov. 22.
When a hunter bags a duck with a metal band, or a wildlife viewer reads the band through a spotting scope, they are asked to report the information to reportband.gov or by sending the information to: Bird Banding Lab, 12100 Beach Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708. (A phone number inscribed on the band has been discontinued.)
"Please take the time to report your bands," urges Wildlife Biologist Jessica Carloni, the Fish and Game Department's waterfowl biologist. "A substantial amount of effort went into putting these markers on, and band reports provide important management data."
This year, a total of 1,037 ducks were banded in New Hampshire during the project - the most in the 29 years of the program.
For more information on waterfoul hunting, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/waterfowl.html.
To learn more about fisheries management, visit www.fishnh.com/fishing/fisheries-mgt.html.