John Viar, Inland Fisheries Biologist
March 29, 2021
Concord, NH – The winners of the 2020 Trophy Fish Program have been announced by Inland Fisheries Biologist John Viar of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Two state records, 80 entries in over 29 categories, and lots of smiles suggest that anglers were out in full force over the past season.
New Hampshire Fish and Game has maintained a list of record-setting fishing successes going back to 1911 when A. Val Woodruff’s 9–pound, 25.5–inch brook trout was caught in Pleasant Lake in New London, NH. Woodruff’s record still stands 110 years later, but 2020 did see one long-standing record smashed.
Weighing a jaw-dropping 37 pounds, 10.4 ounces, the 42.125-inch behemoth lake trout caught in Big Diamond Pond in West Stewartstown, NH, shattered a 62-year standing record in the state by more than 9 pounds. Lucky angler Thomas Knight of Meredith, NH, held a new record throughout all of New England with this catch. Another lake trout of note was also taken this year, weighing more than 27 pounds, by Cory Stillings of Meredith, NH. A new record-sized channel catfish was taken from the Connecticut River in Chesterfield, NH, tipping the scales at 15 pounds, 5.28 ounces, garnering the win for Matthew Smith of Marlow, NH.
Every entry provides valuable information to fisheries biologists. And fishing is the one activity where everyone—kids, adults, newbies, and old hands, has a shot at the big one. Out of 80 entries received in 2020, 19 were received from anglers under 18 years of age, and 9 of those kids were under the age of 10. Owen Clemons, age 5, from Cape Neddick, ME, won his age category with a catch-and-release black crappie he caught on Lake Winnipesaukee. Ten-year-old Finn LaDue of Loudon, NH, won his age category with a 4-pound, 8.88-ounce chain pickerel, while Derek Kelly, a 13-year-old from Gilford, NH, won his age category with a 2-pound, 11.84-ounce brook trout from Manning Lake in Gilmanton, NH.
For a full listing of all the entries for 2020, records, statistics, forms, and more, visit NH Fish and Game’s website at https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/fishing/trophy.html and “get out there for some reel fun!”