Old News Archive

June 5, 2006 - Fishing Report

June 05, 2006 - TRC

Region A- Southwestern Maine

Heavy and frequent rains this season have certainly made things damp for Southern Maine anglers. However, those willing to brave the elements or are lucky enough to get out on the few better days available continue to report good fishing on lakes and ponds throughout the region.

Most salmon lakes are still producing some decent fishing, our clerk observed a beautiful 20" 3 1/2 pound salmon on Sebago last Friday caught by Dave and Pearl White of Standish. Although the salmon fishing on Sebago tends to be on the slower side due to the lighter stocking rates, a few of the better anglers have reported some great days of a dozen or more salmon! Most anglers are reporting the salmon are know being caught a little deeper (15-40') than earlier in the season, and anglers are having no trouble picking up lakers in the deeper water. Mona is a fairly well known member of the Sebago "togue fleet", who had been surprisingly absent from our creel surveys on the lake...come to find out see had a serious accident and was temporarily out of commission. She's back in action, and landed a hefty 12 pound togue last week!

Several other anglers have reported some decent fishing on some of our brown trout waters, one angler reported catches of 17-21" browns on Crystal Lake in Gray. Another, Roger Lavallierre of Windham, has caught a dozen or so decent rainbows from 16-21" inches from Little Sebago Lake, while the brown fishing there has been a little slower than normal with most fish in the 14-17 inch range. However, it is not uncommon for Little Sebago to give up seem decent 3-6 pound browns each season.

Smaller trout ponds have also been fishing well. Lily Pond in New Gloucester has been giving up some brookies and rainbows, but it’s the rainbows that have been real impressive this season. Although a little a harder target, those that figure them out have caught some beautiful 15-20" rainbows from the pond. Lures and small streamers fished at 12-18' deep seem to work best for the rainbows on this pond. Another angler also reported several great trips to some trout ponds in Oxford County. On one trip, he landed a dozen or so brookies in the 8-15 inch range!

Anglers have reported more variable results in their trips to rivers and streams this season. While heavy and abundant rains will likely provide a longer season with more suitable stream temperatures for trout, variable stream flows have raised havoc and made it more difficult for anglers to be successful. However, anglers can use high, sporadic flows to their advantage. Trout and other species often become very active after high flow events when the river recedes to more normal flows.

The regional staff has also been plagued by the rainy weather, we have found it difficult to schedule our night electrofishing work for bass this season. However, we have sampled 3 waters and hope to finish Crescent Lake in Raymond and Auburn Lake in Auburn before the predicted rains that are coming later in the week. Based on our sampling on smaller to medium sized waters, smallmouth spawning is largely over and largemouths are right in the middle of it...so its a great time to get there and land an "ole bucket mouth."

Jim Pellerin, Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region B - Central Maine

Lakes and ponds in this region are showing no signs of a water shortage, and the cloudy, cool weather in combination with dams releasing water provide an attraction for all species of fish. Currently, anglers are enjoying an extension of the springtime conditions as lake water temperatures are in the low 60's -- prime temperatures for salmonids in this region.

At the village in Belgrade Lakes, several anglers fishing near the dam were rewarded with impressive brown trout and salmon. Other places where flows will attract both fish and fishermen are: Wings Mill Dam at the outlet of Long Pond, all the dams on Messalonskee Stream, the dams on the outlet of Cobbossee Lake, the dams on the Nezinscot, dams on the Sheepscot River, the dams or remnants on the St. George River, and dams on the Sebasticook River. If you cannot get to any of those, try looking even closer to home at an outlet of the lake or pond in your neighborhood that may have a dam or a constriction. It may a hold a temporary, yet rewarding, fishery.

There is no shortage of inquiries, generated by information in recent columns, about hot fishing spots in the central Maine area. At this time of year, there are many waters that will yield a decent catch of stocked salmonid species. Yet there are many waters that still yield the native brook trout and the occasional wild brown trout, togue or salmon. Brookies, the most popular fish in Maine, are limited in Region B due to the fact that there are few brooks and streams where cool water temperatures and decent flows are readily available in the months of July through September.

Many lakes and ponds also have limited salmonid habitat due to the fact that as a lake stratifies, oxygen often becomes depleted in deeper water. Biologists have conducted experimental stocking programs in many waters in order to provide the species best suited for a particular wate rbody. So whether you are salmonid fishing or fishing for any of our warmwater fishes have fun and enjoy a true American pastime in the Vacationland of Maine.

Bill Woodward, Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region C – Downeast

The bass are biting well now! Both smallmouth and largemouth bass are highly active, with juveniles feeding heavily and with adults spawning. Males dependably and dutifully remain by the nest to guard eggs and fry from fish-eating predators. When male bass are removed from the nest, even temporarily, as when anglers catch and release them, this interruption in diligent nest defense can result in high levels of predation on the eggs and fry in just a few minutes. Anglers are strongly encouraged to play and release male bass quickly in the immediate vicinity of the nest; it will pay dividends for your future bass fishing!

Fisheries staff of the Downeast Region are currently sampling bass from Pleasant Lake in Alexander, Crawford Lake in Crawford, and Clifford Lake in Twps. 26 and 27 ED to monitor size and age composition of the bass populations. The information collected during the past 20 years from more than 7,000 bass has been highly valuable in implementing regulations to preserve and protect the quality of eastern Maine’s bass populations, which occur in 613 of Maine’s lakes and ponds.

These economically valuable populations are totally self-sustaining, without cost to Maine’s hatchery system. Maine needs no bass hatcheries to produce the high-quality fishing we experience. All we need to do is properly manage these populations based on what they can produce. Our studies show that some fast-action bass populations can produce very high catch rates of 50-100 bass per day per boat with sizes running mostly from 8-13”. Other quality-size bass populations produce lower catches of 5-15 bass per day per boat with most individuals running from 1-3 pounds.

Maine’s Black Bass Species Plan was rewritten in 2002 with a joint effort amongst Maine’s biologists and members of the public. Our work will be guided by the goals and objectives of the plan, which are to (1) maintain bass existing bass populations, (2) improve angler access, and (3) improve size quality where appropriate.

Try bass fishing ! You’ll find it to be the way fishing should be.

Although the warm summer temperatures of Memorial Day weekend had elevated eastern Maine’s river and stream temperatures to 70° F by May 31, the heavy, cool weekend rains of June 3-4 cooled temperatures enough to extend brook trout fishing, which has been excellent in many eastern Maine flowing waters. The drawback is that this area has received more than ten inches of rain in the first 4 days of June, so even streams may resemble rivers until the runoff subsides.

Eastern Maine biologists and wardens have clearly noted an improvement in the number of 10-12” trout, with some individuals up to 16” in the more productive locations. Fly fishing with nymphs, dry flies, and small streamers has been highly productive in the last two weeks.

Rick Jordan, Acting Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region D - Western Mountains

This month biologists will be begin the first phase of an attempt to eliminate bass from C Pond in C Surplus, Oxford County. Smallmouth bass from the illegally introduced population in Umbagog Lake have moved up the Dead Cambridge River, and are attempting to establish themselves in C Pond. The presence of smallmouth bass in the pond is likely to have a negative effect on the wild brook trout population. Last week, trapnets were set out to capture spawning adults. Other tactics will be used later in the month to target younger fish.

Aziscohos Lake in Lincoln Plt., Oxford County has had very good fishing lately. So far, our creel clerk Ethan Tracy has interviewed 108 anglers that have logged 493 hours of fishing time. In that time they reported catching 20 legal brook trout and 106 legal salmon. The salmon kept are averaging 18.2 inches, with the largest being 21.5 inches long and weighing almost 4 pounds. The brook trout kept are running about 13.5 inches.

Fishing has generally been good lately, with hatches of insect life in the evening being triggered by the occasional sunny day. Some very enjoyable, and perhaps overlooked, fishing opportunities occur in the many miles of small brooks and streams throughout the state. Small trout, most commonly brook trout, are often plentiful in this type of habitat. They will aggressively bite a baited hook or a small wet fly at any time of day. There is no better place to introduce a young angler to trout fishing than a small mountain stream. Most all the brooks in northwestern Maine have at least a few trout present, but brooks around the towns of Byron, Phillips, Kingfield, and The Forks Plt. all have thriving populations.

Anglers interested in warmwater fish are having good luck also. Bass are spawning and will instinctively defend their nesting area from everything, including fishing lures. White perch are another species of fish active this time of year. They gather in schools near the water’s surface and are usually easy to locate on a calm evening. A few places to look for them are Locke and Sand Ponds in Chesterville, Wentworth Pond in Solon, and Moxie Lake in The Forks Plt. Anglers that harvest white perch are rewarded with high quality fillets for a chowder or fish fry.

Dave Howatt, Fisheries Biologist Specialist

Region E - Moosehead Region

In the fall of 2004, Moosehead Region’s fisheries staff received a report from Game Wardens that in September two anglers had reported catching smallmouth bass in Misery Pond. Misery Pond, a 36-acre body of water supporting a wild brook trout population, is located at the headwaters of Misery Stream, one of Brassua Lake’s tributaries. This was the first report of bass caught in the Moose River drainage and still remains to be the only report. One of the bass reported weighed approximately 3-4 pounds. The other one was smaller.

In response to the reports, Moosehead Region’s fisheries staff and Research personnel spent the first week of October 2004 at Misery Pond trying to document the presence of bass and to eradicate them if possible. The effort included trapnetting, electrofishing along the shore, gillnetting, and minnow trap sets. No bass were caught or observed during the campaign. However, from this work we cannot conclude that bass are not present in Misery Pond. By the time we received these reports and could react, the water temperature had dropped to 50oF. Any bass present would likely have ceased activity for the winter and moved into deeper water. Moosehead Region’s fisheries staff returned in the spring of 2005 when water temperatures reached 50oF to continue our investigation to determine if an illegal introduction had occurred. No bass were captured or observed after another weeklong effort of trapnetting, experimental angling, and snorkeling along the shoreline.

No Bass !!! Yes, this is a very good thing, but because of the delicate nature of this report, the Moosehead Lake’s fisheries staff will be returning to Misery Pond once again this spring to set trapnets and to investigate for smallmouth bass spawning activity.

The reason for this intense investigation in Misery Pond is due to the destruction it may create. If smallmouth bass have moved and established downstream, much of the 700 square miles of Moose River drainage area above Brassua Dam is defenseless.

There has been no word on how or who may have been responsible for this alleged introduction. The epidemic of illegal fish stockings represents the largest threat to Maine’s indigenous salmonid species. Illegally introducing any fish into any Maine water is a Class E crime, punishable by fines up to $10,000! Through Operation Game Thief a minimum reward of $2,000 is being offered for information leading to the apprehension of persons responsible for the illegal introduction of fish. If you have information about any illegal introduction of fish in any body of water in Maine, please call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-253-7887.

Stephen Seeback, Fisheries Biologist Specialist

Region F, Penobscot Region

The cooler temperatures and the recent showers have helped in maintaining some very good brook trout fishing in our region. Tributaries to the Penobscot, Piscataquis, Mattawamkeg and Pleasant Rivers are giving up some nice brook trout. Several of our stocked ponds are producing some very nice trout as well. Round Pond in Lincoln is seeing a fair amount of anglers. They are reporting some nice catches, especially in the evening during the mayfly hatches. Abol, Round and Rocky Ponds in T3 R9 WELS have some happy anglers as well. Trout fishing in Baxter Park remains good and consistent. The cool temperatures continue to keep the mayfly hatches slow, but with the prediction of 80 degree weather this week, the hatches should be improving daily. Tomah Lake in Forest City TWP has been producing some nice and plump 15 " brook trout. Trout, Loon and Crystal Ponds in T40 MD are also producing some great fishing opportunities.

Salmon fishing reports continue to come in and the fishing is getting very good. Here are some salmon lakes you may want to try : West, Seboeis, Syslsdobsis, Duck, Scraggly, East Grand, Pleasant, Upper Jo Mary, Deering Lakes and Pleasant Pond. Salmon in the 2 to 4 pound range have been reported.

Reports of good lake trout action are coming in from Cold Stream Pond, Schoodic Lake, East Grand and Pemadumcook.

Bass fishing continues to improve. The Penobscot River continues to be the hot spot for catching bass. As the water temperatures continue to increase, angling success will be increasing as well. Reports from South Branch, Seboeis, Eskutassis, Dolby and Pleasant Pond are good but expected to be getting better as we head into summer.

The white perch spawn is in full swing. South Branch, Basskahegan, Pushaw, Mattanawcook, Molunkus and Saponac lakes are producing some good perch fishing.

Good luck fishing and enjoy Maine.

Brian Campbell, Fisheries Biologist Specialist

Region G – Aroostook County

We receive many inquiries from the public about what minnows they should stock in their private pond to feed the trout they just stocked. The fact of the matter is that stocking no minnows is the best thing that you could do for your trout pond. Brook trout are very effective at consuming aquatic insects and invertebrates such as mayfly nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, midge larvae, leeches, etc. These food items will provide satisfactory growth while at the same time affording an orange color to the flesh.

Minnows serve to compete with the trout for many of these same food items, and may in fact do more of a disservice to the trout population. Minnows are observed on occasion in trout stomachs, but it has been my observation that insects and invertebrates are much more common.

If you are adamant about stocking minnows in your trout pond, make sure that you contact IFW to obtain the necessary stocking permit before you do so.

Dave Basley, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Submitted by Maek Latti, IFW

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.