VOLUME 1 ISSUE 2 The Voice of New Hampshire Fish Farmers   FALL 2001          

Something Fishy At NHAA Picnic!

Members and others had a funtastic time at the NHAA picnic and 'The Open Farm Day', Sat., Sept. 8th, at the Poling Aquaculture, fish farm, in Deering, NH.

        Stolts Sea Farms again donated to us supple portions of Atlantic Salmon steaks. They start their salmon here in NH before they are transported to ocean pens to finish the cycle.

        Debbie Gile runs the Hillsboro Trout Farm, and donated a rare dish to NH area: crayfish! If you didn't get enough contact her, she has more!

        Lew Newsky brought some garden morsels and also was kind enough to bring along the fish with the growing demand, and yet a strange name talapia. This was a courtesy of Cheryl West Ph.D., grown in the classroom by students in Lowell University. Lew grows baitfish, but we didn't take the hook!

        Poling Aquaculture once again, for four years now, donated an ample amount of Horn Pout (the brown bullhead). This has to be the only place on earth where you would ever find so much Horn Pout being served with such a great enthusiasm. Melvin and Klee sell them for pond stocking or eating.

        Once again Dick Prunier came through with trout from Sumner Brook Fish Farm, from Ossipee NH A fee fishing facility, also provide trout for pond stocking. Ruby Fogg from the Manchester Tech (were she teaches aquaculture) brought her daughter and together they brought award winning baked beans.

        Klee Dugan and Jean Wood knew that a summer picnic was nothing without that good old summer corn and made sure we had plenty.

        We ate fish and talked fish and had plenty of both. We toured our tool lending library (available to members), attended short workshops, and had a very enjoyable, relaxing day in the sun, on Dr. Poling's beautiful field. We give our special thanks to Dr. Poling for providing his hospitality, and his blessings.

        Melvin Murrel for all his efforts throughout the year, and his efforts to help make this day possible.

        Bob Fawcett (director of the NH Fish and Game) and Tomas Jamir (director of North Region Aquaculture Center) and his family, for attending. Both of them for making our members day more rewarding, and making our association more viable, and credible.

        The other water people, Merrimack Valley Paddlers Club, for being kind enough to lend us their horrific picnic tables! They are huge. We would have been lost with out them.

        If you haven't heard him play, Douglas Clegg is truly undeniably awesome. He blended right in with the blue skies, the festive atmosphere. He definitely set the mood with his music for a wonderful day. Get one of his CD's!

        Klee Duggan , where would we be without your tremendous effort every year? There wouldn't be a picnic without her efforts. Please remember to offer your help to Kleenext year.

        It's rare that people would give up their Saturday in the sun, for an association picnic, but there hasn't been a complaint only our thanks.

Greetings from the President's Desk

        Well, here we are at the end of another growing season and the NHAA is well satiated with its accomplishments and events that have thus far been conducted. The picnic and a prominent attendance made for an excellent time and an opportunity to make new acquaintances. The NHAA earnestly sends exceptional gratitude to all those that have contributed. A noteworthy thank-you is extended to Stolts Sea Farm, Richard Prunnier and Poling Aquaculture for providing the donation of an exquisite harvest. "A fish farming feast is a fine way to dine, and a meal too fresh and too real to beat."

        NHAA members have conducted workshops this summer that were interesting, constructive and valuable. Those having an interest in hosting a workshop, or with an idea or interest in a topic, please step up.

        As you can see, the NHAA Gillzette is now a finished product due to the diligent and dedicated efforts of Keith Bruning, along with his mighty persistency that keeps the articles coming ... Great work Keith!!!

        Regarding further acknowledgments, a great big thank-you belongs to Poling Aquaculture for funding the release of the previous newsletter. And last but not least, the NHAA would like to thank JJ Newman for the devoted time, energy and enthusiasm she has put into this newsletter and its evolution. Congratulations to JJ and Bob for the birth of their daughter Amelia, July, 2001.

       Greg Bossart

Notes from the Program Director

The High's and Low's

By Melvin Murrel

        This has been a very progressive year for our assembly, more high's than low's. Starting with the Farm and Forest Show and ending with picnic, we have touched more than 2500 people. Our membership has expanded and some old members from the early 90's have returned. (Welcome)

        We had the largest group at the Aquaculture Industry Summit, and by far we are the most active association within the NRAC family. We have hosted 4 very well attended workshops and send speakers out to 11 organizations. Our tool lending library has been well used and the request for services has skyrocketed.

        We had three more farms get started, very good newspaper published and hard-core relationships formed with supporting agencies. We have not had much luck in raising funds, but we are still trying. (6 proposals submitted - 4 rejections - 2 pending)

        The association was invited to participate in 3 fairs, 2 trade shows and 2 public demonstrations of aquatic farming. We were also invited to participate in 4 farmers markets, but had to decline all of these, due to a lack of people power.

        Keith Bruning and Debbie Gile have been whirlwinds of activity and Phil Greene has been steady as a rock. Work is on going and anyone can volunteer. We hope to be able to get a legislative committee going and hospitality committee started. Remember our power is in our numbers and our numbers are you.!!!


by Bob Fawcett (NH Dept. Fish and Game)



Beautiful / Relaxing / Dangerous = A Hell-of-a Responsibility

        Exotic plants and animals are fast getting out of control. Distribution systems do not bother to check and make sure that the exotic species being sold to the fast growing market are anything but positive. There is a public that wants: to hear the sound of gurgling water over rocks, to see beautiful flowers and/or colorful fish in their gardens. There are ready-made kits and pond liners for do-it-yourselfers. There are folks you can hire to build one. There is even one at the entrance to the Fish and Game Department Concord headquarters building. There is now a 'Plants for Habitat / Pond area'. It does not include exotic plants or fish in it, but the water garden attraction is there nonetheless. The temperatures are hot and all seems wonderful. But soon the temperatures will be falling down to below freezing. What will people do with their fish when the season changes? I hope they are planning ahead and have an environmentally safe plan for holding those exotic fish and plants through the winter, and will not become law-breakers by releasing those organisms into the wild.

        Within the last month there have been exotic fish caught by anglers in several public water bodies in New Hampshire. They happen to have been species in the Family - Charadcidae (Caricins and Tetras) Sub Family - Serrasalmoninae (piranhas or pacus). It is a challenge for us to be able to key out the identity of these fish that are native to South America and could be potentially dangerous to man. Some of these pets or ornamental plants and animals that people enjoy looking at in their aquariums or water gardens can become aquatic nuisance species problems disrupting the native plant and animal communities, and even directly injuring innocent people. A man and his two daughters brought in three very pretty red bellied Characins they had caught at night using liver for bait, fishing for catfish. They knew these fish were not native, and knew enough to suspect that they were piranhas. After they had caught them on liver, and suspected that a plant- eating variety would not be hitting meat bait, they decided to bring the frozen fish in for us to see. Someone had to have released them unlawfully from an aquarium or water garden. This sort of thing happens now and then. Hopefully, it will remain a rare event.

        KOI and Goldfish are exotic species that must not get into state waters. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department views a Water Garden as an aquarium. There are rules that do not permit the release of any wildlife without a permit so to do. The definition of wildlife includes fish. The Department of Environmental Services is also concerned about the introduction of exotic species of plants. Some of those exotic plants are used in water gardens, and a water garden is a suspect source of at least one of the lake infestations that Department is forced to deal with.

        Both of these agencies were created by the New Hampshire Legislature to solve serious problems and to prevent serious problems, for the benefit of the public.

        Please help us protect the natural resources of New Hampshire by being conscious that those plants and animals you enjoy in your water garden or aquarium are dangerous if not handled properly and by not doing anything stupid.

        Perhaps the Aquaculture Association could provide helpful ideas for the water gardening public so they will have the knowledge and proper equipment and techniques to have a safe plan for winter holding of those exotics. Teach them how to build small re-circulating systems to operate in the cellar and keep their pretty fish alive to be used for next water gardening season. That way they can enjoy them year round. Of course, some water garden designs and species selections will winter-over without a lot of extra planning.


UNH Dean

Receives Appointment

        On June 15 President Bush announced his choices for the Commission on Ocean Policy, which included Dr. Andy Rosenberg, current Dean of life Sciences and Agriculture at UNH and former National Marine Fisheries Service administrator for the Northeast Region. The commission was created last year by the Oceans Act of 2000. It represents the first major review of our national marine policy since 1969.

        The commission is directed to promote the protection of life and property, stewardship of ocean and coastal resources, prevention of pollution, enhancement of marine commerce, expansion of knowledge about the marine environment, investments in technologies to promote energy and food security, close cooperation among government agencies and US leadership in ocean and coastal activities. The 16 members will review current marine activities over an 18 month period and summit a report to the president and Congress. President Bush then must submit to Congress 'a statement of proposals to implement the commission's recommendations for a coordinated, comprehensive policy for the responsible use and stewardship of the nation's ocean and coastal resources.'

        This is a monumental task to be accomplished so rapidly, but those of us interested in aquaculture are aware that it is long overdue. We are fortunate to be represented by a NH resident with such good credentials and we wish Andy and the other members well as they take on the large responsibility.


North Region Aquaculture Center

Tomas Vergel C. Jamir, Ph.D.
Executive Director Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center

Dear NHAA members,

        Thank you very much for a great 'fish Fry' picnic. My family and I had a very memorable day, and I learned a lot from you, Melvin, Gregg, Lew, JJ, Dr. Polins Debbie and the rest of the NHAA members that were there. Dr. Polins place is very beautiful and Melvin was very enthusiastic in showing off his tasty 'babies'. My visit to the fish fare and my discussion with different NHAA officers gave me good insights about New England aquaculture and how NRAC might possibly be of assistance. I'm currently formulating an overall strategy on how NRAC could help in the development of the aquaculture industry in the region and I think my visit to New Hampshire provided me with deep insights and workable ideas on how to proceed.

        I showed your newsletter to my staff and they liked it. We're looking forward to getting upcoming editions. I've also taken great pictures of the event, and my staff printed copies of them for display in NRAC's conference room.

        Again, thank you for inviting us to your picnic. Please extend my regards to the rest of the NHAA officers and members.

To the Editor:

        I and my family really enjoy our crayfish and bullheads in our pond. We aren't 'fish farmers' per say, but I think you do some great work and I'm proud to be a NHAA member. My thanks to Melvin for his words in the last newsletter. Keep up your good work and open minds

Hans Schaefer.
Attleboro, MA


Farm Profiles

A History of New Hampshire's Fish Hatcheries

        The following information was collected by Barbara Chase, the daughter of Harry Hubbard, Superintendent of NH State Fish Hatcheries. Barbara used this information as part of a school term paper in 1931.

        The first hatchery was at Livermore Falls, on the Pemiggewsset River, just above the town of Plymouth, NH Mr. Hodge was the superintendent This hatchery was built to hatch salmon eggs. Before that time the Atlantic Salmon worked their way up the Pemigewasset River from the ocean, to spawn. Each year great numbers of them were caught, but now none are found in this river for they cannot get over the many dams. The water of this river is no longer pure on account of the sewage flowing into it from our cities and mills, built along it's banks. That hatchery was soon given up with a few others also.

George H. Dickerman & Harry E. Hubbard and the New Hampton Hatchery

        George H. Dickerman was a retired, wealthy box manufacturer from Stoughton, Mass. In 1870 he purchased land and water rights to what is now known as the New Hampton State Hatchery. He paid the sum of $30,000 for the whole package. He built the hatchery building on the right side of the road, as you go down into the present hatchery. Inside the building they had raceways and outside too. They were actually earthen troughs, and they were built across the road too. The water was supplied from a very large spring above from were the raceways were and also a brook called Jordan Brook. The local church used this brook to baptize and it also ran a mill. He dammed them up and made a reservoir.

        The hatchery became very lucrative as he delivered his fish to Boston for sale. He later sold all the property and water rights to NH Fish and Game, with the exception of the big house and the servants quarters, in about 1917.

        In the fall of 1918, Harry E. Hubbard came to work as the superintended of the hatchery. With his hard work by the year of 1931, the hatchery was the largest of it's kind east of the Mississippi. The hatchery typical held about 1,000,000 brook trout eggs, 5,000,000 rainbow eggs, as well as salmon and trout eggs. They held 200,000 "legal trout' and two-year-old salmon. 10,000 two year old golden trout were stocked that year, too. In 1931, Supt. Hubbard saved 13 albino brook trout, which he raised for generations as an experiment and they remained albinos.

Harry E. Hubbard

        He was born in Oregon at the Carkamus Government Salmon Hatchery, where his father, Waldo F. Hubbard was the superintendent. The family moved to Nashua N.H. when Harry was 14, and his father became the first Superintendent of the new Nashua Government Hatchery. After graduating from Phillips Exeter and Business College, Harry Hubbard went to work at the Nashua Hatchery. Later he traveled for for U.S. Fisheries by train, throughout the original 48 states, in specially designed cars to transport fish. They transported fish from coast to coast.

        The first trout to be hatched by NH F&G was in 1860, by Mr. Livingston Stone, in Charlestown. Later, Commissioner Fletcher who preceded Mr. Hodge hatched more at the Sugar-Bowl in Concord.

        The Colebrook Hatchery was built in 1890 and this was a small hatchery. Brook Trout is the specialty there. The Conway Hatchery was built in 1894. This hatchery has no tanks out-of-doors as have the other hatchery and it's the smallest of them all. The Balsams Hatchery was purchased from a Maine estate in about 1926. This raises mostly brook trout. The Warren Hatchery was purchased under Commissioner Beals administration. It now ranks next to the largest in the state, having several tanks outside.





        The future of aquaculture in the USA is a bright one.

        Many of our states have already proven this. New Hampshire is proving itself and is already in the aquaculture world. Species such as Atlantic salmon, flounder and trout have proven very successful.

        As the harvest of natural or world stocks continues to decline, the demand and availability of domestic farm-raised fish is growing rapidly. As a result, the more farmed fish harvested and marketed the better for the wild strains of fish. We all are aware of the endangered fish in our waters.

        Commercial aquaculture isn't much different than traditional agriculture, it requires much of the same hard work, labor and dedication to reap the rewards from the venture. During the next decade, aquaculture is expected to be among the 10 top growth industries in the United States. It is the nationís fastest growing agriculture business.

        Aquaculture is the business of farming aquatic plants and animals. This includes farms growing fin fish, shell fish and hydroponics.

        We are governed by the EPA, DES, USDA and NH F & G and the state and town laws, assuring our growth is sure footed and safe. It appeals to towns because it offers business without noise, without land or water pollution and without smoke stacks to pollute the air.