CONTACT:
Steve Perry: (603) 271-2501
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
October 24, 2003


PUBLIC HEARING SET ON FISHING TOURNAMENT RULE PROPOSAL

CONCORD, N.H. -- Proposed changes in the rules governing fishing
tournaments in New Hampshire will be the topic of a public hearing at 6:30
p.m. on Wednesday, November 12, at the New Hampshire Fish and Game
Department headquarters on Hazen Drive in Concord. For more information on
the hearing, call (603) 271-2501.

Most of the fishing tournament permits issued by the Department are for
competitive bass fishing events in which tournament participants are
required to release their catch at the end of the event. The proposal
includes several changes intended to minimize fish mortality at
tournaments, based on strategies outlined in the Bass Angler Sportsman's
Society's publication "Keeping Bass Alive." One of the proposals would
require continuous circulation of freshwater through live wells during bass
tournaments; another would prohibit anyone participating in a bass
tournament from placing black bass on a stringer during the event; another
specifies where bass must be released in lakes, ponds and rivers at the
conclusion of the tournament.

The proposal also addresses concerns regarding congestion-related
issues sometimes associated with fishing tournaments. These would include
restricting parking for tournament participants to 50 percent of the
designated parking spaces at Department-controlled boat access facilities,
and prohibiting fish weigh-ins from being held in the facility's boat
launch area. Also included in the proposals would be a requirement for
permittees to have the tournament permit in their possession and
available for inspection during the event.

The complete rulemaking notice form, with original and proposed rule
language, may be found at the Fish and Game website; download from
http://m1e.net/c?16606655-mbbTWYcFhgYXg%40...6-hUL3KcxcaJK8s

Written comments may be submitted by November 24, 2003, to:
comments@wildlife.state.nh.us; or Executive Director, N.H. Fish and
Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or fax (603) 271-1438.

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