Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to contact the LRAC?

Mayflies, artwork by David M. CarrollContact Us

If you have a general question about the Lamprey River, please e-mail

Letters can be mailed to LRAC, c/o 88 Hedding Road, Epping, NH 03042.

The Lamprey River Advisory Committee has no statutory authority to address potential violations. If you witness an issue or activity of concern, please contact the code enforcement officer of that town or NHDES. In the event of an active emergency, such as a chemical spill, please contact the police.    

(mayflies, artwork by David M. Carroll)

How do I join the LRAC?

New representatives and volunteers are always welcome!

Each of the fourteen towns in the Lamprey River watershed may have up to four appointed representatives. Currently no town has four representatives, so no matter which town you call home, we invite you to work with us to protect the Lamprey rivers.

The following towns are in the Lamprey River watershed: Barrington, Brentwood, Candia, Deerfield, Durham, Epping, Exeter, Fremont, Lee, Newfields, Newmarket, Nottingham, Northwood, and Raymond

The process is easy!

  1. Attend a meeting or two and see what we are up to. Meet other representatives, ask questions, and see if you and the group are compatible.
  2. Print this application form from NH DES, complete it, and ask your town leaders if they will nominate you.
  3. Have the town leaders sign the form and send it to NH DES.
  4. NH DES will appoint you for a three-year term and you will be official!


When and where does the LRAC meet?

The committee meets the third Tuesday of every month at the Public Safety Complex at 20 George Bennett Road in Lee. Meetings begin at 7:00 P.M.. The public is always welcome to attend.

What are the best places to visit along the Lamprey River?

Use the links below to help guide your visit:

Explore the Lamprey River
Public Paddling Access along the Lamprey River


Is the Lamprey River safe for swimming and fishing?

Yes! Overall, the river is rated as Class B: fishable and swimmable. But please note the following:


The river is not a public swimming area; the State of New Hampshire does not conduct daily or weekly bacterial safety tests as it would at a public beach. To be safe, you should assume that the water might contain bacteria that could cause illness if swallowed. After contact with river water, it is always a good idea to rinse with fresh water, especially if you get river water in your mouth, nose, or eyes.

In addition, the tidal portion of the river (from Macallen Dam to Great Bay) sometimes does not meet standards for dissolved oxygen during the heat of summer. This makes the water unhealthy to fish and shellfish that need to get oxygen from the water, but this is not a direct hazard to humans.


As in all rivers and lakes in New England, freshwater fish accumulate toxic mercury that falls from the sky as a result of the burning of fossil fuels, garbage, and medical waste. Consumption of freshwater fish should be limited according to guidelines provided by the NH Fish and Game Department. Remember, a  license from NH Fish and Game is required for fishing.

The following reports are a summary of water quality testing in the
Lamprey River for the past 20+ years:

I witnessed something that I think is illegal. What should I do?

The Lamprey River Advisory Committee has no statutory authority to address potential violations. If you witness an issue or activity of concern, please contact the code enforcement officer of that town or NHDES. In the event of an active emergency, such as a chemical spill, please contact the police.

I saw a rare animal? What should I do?

The following species are known to exist along the Lamprey and are listed in New Hampshire as threatened or endangered:

birds: bald eagle, peregrine falcon, pied-billed grebe, sedge wren

fish: banded sunfish, bridle shiner

mammals: eastern small-footed bat, little brown bat, northern long-eared bat, tri-colored bat

reptiles: Blanding’s turtle, spotted turtle, wood turtle, black racer snake, timber rattlesnake

If you see any of the animals above, please contact the Non-game and Endangered Wildlife Program, at Many other animals are listed at this website.

Every report matters! We can’t protect rare species and habitats if we can’t document their presence. The more reports received, the better the chances that an area will be protected from development. Even if you have seen and reported an animal before, please report it again. A series of reports over several years is more valuable than a single report that is years old.


There seem to be several Lamprey River groups. How are they different?

  Lamprey River Advisory Committee (LRAC) Lamprey River Watershed Association
who can join up to 4 people from each town; nominated by town, appointed by NHDES volunteers from any town in the watershed, paying members
source of funding National Park Service donations, memberships
main reponsiblities Write and implement a river management plan; comment on development project proposals that might impact the river. Perform state-approved water quality monitoring, fiscal agent of LRAC.


How many fish are in the river?

The short answer is, a lot. The long answer is, it depends.

Studies by the NH Fish and Game Department reveal that the river is home to almost every species of fish that should be here, with a total of more than 25 species. What species you find depends on where and when you look. Cold water species such as trout will not be found in warm, open impoundments. Small streams might support a variety of fish, but most will be juveniles. As everyone must learn, fishing is an activity that takes patience, skill, and experience. The best places to fish will always come from experience and will be kept secret.


What is the legal boat speed on the river?

The entire river is a no-wake zone, from Northwood all the way out to Great Bay. If you see boats making waves, report as much as you can to the NH Marine Patrol. 

The law cited below is from CHAPTER 270-D

Section 270-D:2

270-D:2 General Rules for Vessels Operating on Water. –

VI. (a) To provide full visibility and control and to prevent their wake from being thrown into or causing excessive rocking to other boats, barges, water skiers, aquaplanes or other boats, rafts or floats, all vessels shall maintain headway speed when within 150 feet from:
(1) Rafts, floats, swimmers.
(2) Permitted swimming areas.
(3) Shore.
(4) Docks.
(5) Mooring fields.
(6) Other vessels.


I’ve seen white, foamy blobs in the river. Is this pollution?

In all likelihood, it is not pollution. When air mixes with rain as it passes over turbulent surfaces (such as rough tree bark) or if rain mixes with phosphates from the soil or natural decayed matter, foam can be produced. Natural foam is light and not slimy. No manufacturers are located along the Lamprey River, so industrial waste is unlikely.

Have you ever seen the river this high (or low)?

One of the prominent characteristics of the Lamprey River is its “flashiness.” This term is used to describe the phenomenon of quick and substantial change in river flow. At times, certain sections of the river barely flow, but even a moderate rain storm can cause the water level to rise significantly. The more time you spend watching the river, the more you will come to see that “normal” river height encompasses a wide range of conditions.

Pertinent related websites:

How can I apply for a LRAC Community Grant?

Program Description:
The Community Grants Program (formerly the Small Grants Program) is intended to support community efforts that protect or enhance river resources or that complement goals identified in the 2013 Lamprey Rivers Management Plan. One-time grants up to $7500 for expenses directly associated with the project will be awarded.

Who May Apply:
Eligible entities include, but are not limited to, town planning boards, conservation commissions, libraries, recreation departments, schools, and other town-sanctioned committees. Community-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, such as historical societies, churches, garden clubs, and local land trusts are also eligible.

 Project proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • Complement on-going LRAC projects, especially those defined in the 2013 Lamprey Rivers Management Plan. Examples include the following:
    • conservation, restoration, or enhancement of ecological, historic, or recreational resources
    • protection or enhancement of water in or going into the rivers
    • efforts to promote ecological resiliency in the face of climate change and increasing human population
    • public education about the river and its resources
    • protection of land and soils along the rivers
    • research intended to further our understanding of resources in and along the rivers
  • Be of value beyond the date of completion.
  • Educate people about the river and watershed.  

Community Grants program information
LRAC grant application form
previous projects


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