The fish community of Mirror Lake, NH: population demographics, resource use, and implications for management

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Winant, Gabriel C.
Through state-sanctioned stocking and illegal fish dumping, Mirror Lake (North Woodstock, NH) has been subjected to many species introductions. In the early 1900s the lake was home to three fish species native to New Hampshire; currently there are nine different fish species found in the lake. It was previously unknown how this increase in diversity affected the health and recreational value of the fish populations present. This study investigated the current population sizes and condition of fish species within Mirror Lake during 2018. Fyke nets were used to conduct a mark-recapture survey in addition to collecting length, weight, and age data on the fish. Population estimates and size distributions revealed large populations of yellow perch and pumpkinseed sunfish, with very few fish reaching quality sizes. There appear to be very few smallmouth bass in the lake; this popular gamefish species has had a healthy and sustainable population in historical studies of the lake. Decreasing numbers of bass and stunting in panfish populations negatively impact the overall recreational value of Mirror Lake. The data collected in this study are used to suggest future fisheries management strategies aimed at sustainable management while increasing angler satisfaction.