Winter Fun on Mirror Lake

Ice fishing can be an educational experience.


Staff Writer, Granite State News

TUFTONBORO — Tuftonboro resident and Alton Central School 4th grade teacher Paul Thornton has been taking students out onto Mirror Lake for ice-fishing for 10 years.

Around 30 parents and volunteers joined the nearly 50 excited children for this year’s excursion on Feb. 16.

The sun warmed their backs as they carved out holes in the ice with augers and set up their gear. Ice-fishing is a waiting game, so students came prepared with large plastic balls to throw and kick to each other in impromptu games on the open expanse.

Thornton set up a grill and lined it with hot dogs and sausages allowing space along the side for toasting the rolls. Adults and children munched carrot sticks and doused their dogs with mustard, ketchup and relish as they kept watch over the holes scattered across the lake.

NH Fish and Game employee and Let’s Go Fishing coordinator Hope Eagleson was on hand to take in the catch of perch and pickerel and pack it tightly in plastic bags to bring back to headquarters in Concord to cook for visitors to the Hazen Drive location on Discover Wild NH Day, a free event filled family day scheduled for Saturday, April 21.

Thornton, also a Let’s Go Fishing volunteer for NH Fish and Game, says his students have better luck in the Mirror Lake location than others they’ve tried in the past, so once they switched they’ve stayed with it. It’s hard to keep students interested if they don’t catch fish. The spot also has space on shore for cars and the necessary port-a-potties.

He’s retiring from teaching at the end of the school year, so it remains to be seen who will carry on the tradition.

The catch at the end of the day totaled 24 perch and pickerel, some of which were the first ever for the young fishermen.

Article appeared in the Granite State News on February 23, 2012.  Special thanks to Salmon Press, Granite State News and Ms. Elissa Paquette, Staff Writer for the article and pictures.

Special Note:  Paul Thornton actively serves on the Board of Directors for the Mirror Lake Estates Association and is an avid fisherman on Mirror Lake. His involvement in our community and support in keeping Mirror Lake healthy is greatly appreciated.

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