Old News Archive

Fishing Report - June 4, 2007

June 04, 2007 - TRC

Region A- Southwestern Maine

Region A staff didn't get much sleep last week, and spent most of the nighttime hours conducting bass surveys on Horne Pond (Limington), Worthley Pond (Poland), and Otter Pond #2 (Standish). Bass sampling is conducted annually each spring using an electrofishing boat that was acquired with a Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund award. The purpose of the survey work is to identify waters with trophy bass management potential and also to identify waters that lack large predatory bass which may be suitable candidates for seasonal catchable trout stocking programs.

In addition to collecting detailed information on our regional bass populations, we also collect cursory information on shoreline habitat, as well as information regarding the presence and relative abundance of other shoreline fisheries present. We learn a tremendous amount about our warm water fisheries in conducting these surveys. It is noteworthy to mention that this year we captured our largest two bass ever since we began these annual surveys in 2003, and both were caught in one of the smallest ponds we've sampled to date, Otter Pond #2, which is only 12 acres. Two 9-pound largemouth were captured and released on Otter Pond #2. The shorter 9 pounder was only 22 inches long and FAT!; the longer one was 23 inches and weighed another 4 ounces more than the first . For a look at these fish, please click here… http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/regionaphotos.htm.

If weather and schedules permit, we plan to conduct bass surveys on Thompson Lake and Thomas Pond the week of June 4th.

We've also been busy preparing the necessary documentation to explore funding that would allow Cold Water Pond Dam to be rebuilt on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area. Before the dam breached, the pond produced good fishing for wild brook trout up to 13 inches long and is one of only four ponds in all of Southern Maine that support wild brook trout fisheries. We think it is important to anglers to reestablish this unique southern Maine fishery and will be requesting federal funding through the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

A second dam project involves the removal of dam on Steven's Brook in Bridgton. The Department acquired the large concrete dam, and since the early 1980's has been working to remove the structure to permit salmon from Long Lake to utilize available spawning and nursery habitat in Steven's Brook. In addition to dam removal, a small natural ledge falls may also need to be modified on Steven's Brook to maximize upstream passage for salmon. Obtaining funding, engineering studies, environmental studies requires a considerable investment of Department resources and as such both the Steven's Brook Dam and Cold Water Pond dam projects may take several years to complete, assuming funds can be obtained.

-Francis Brautigam, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region B - Central Maine

Now that the spring trout fishing has slowed down, it's time to try your luck with warm water species such as bass and black crappie. Although, we've received a number of comments in the past couple of weeks that the bass fishing has been slow, the fishing will be improving throughout Central Maine.

Our annual spring bass sampling has shown that despite cooler than average temperatures, bass are on schedule for spawning. Cool water temperatures can delay spawning but more of a problem occurs with a drastic drop in temperature after the eggs are laid. Male bass guard the eggs and the fry but a sharp drop in water temperatures may result in the male bass abandoning his duties of guarding the young fish. This behavior is typical and may have an impact on year class strength if the bass don't re-nest.

Overall, bass populations remain very healthy in Central Maine. Many anglers prefer fishing when the bass are nesting because it's an experience like fishing the Florida flats, site fishing. Anglers cruise the shoreline looking for fish then casting trying to entice a bass to strike. This can lead to very fast fishing but be aware when the male bass is off the nest the young are exposed to predation. Therefore, it is important to play the fish quickly and return it close to the nest.

Beginning July 15, the season for the larger bass derbies really heats up. We attend a number of these bass derbies to gather information on not only bass sizes but also gather information on the number of bass that are caught and released. Generally, our first derby is the Fathers Day derby at Androscoggin Lake. We've been monitoring this derby for over 10 years and although there are yearly fluctuates, our data suggest there is very little effect on the bass population at Androscoggin Lake. This derby is a little different from others because the fish are released in the lake's outlet below the lake but above the dam. We started to monitor this derby after receiving complaints that the bass were being released in the lake's outlet, above the dam, and possibly effecting the bass fishing in Androscoggin Lake. We have found no evidence that the bass fishing has suffered due to this practice.

Black crappies are a species that is gaining popularity with Maine anglers. These scrappy fighters are found in schools most often associated with some form of woody debris located on a drop-off. Anglers prefer to fish for crappies in the early morning or late afternoon into the evening. Once a school is found the angler may expect to catch 10-20 fish. Common fishing methods for black crappies is jigging, with a small jig, and fishing with live bait, small shiners or worms. In Maine, crappies can reach a size of 18 inches but typically the average size is closer to 10 inches. These fish are very feisty when hooked, the action can be very fast and they're very good to eat. A few of hot spots for black crappies include Unity Pond, Sibley Pond, Sebassticook Lake and the Sebassticook River.

--James Lucas, Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region C – Downeast
Warmer weather and longer days are growing more common. The brooks and streams are still producing fun and exciting fishing for wild brook trout. Whether you prefer to fish with the old stand-by red and white spinner or if you prefer to drop your favorite fly just inches away from that undercut bank, your trip is sure to be worthwhile by landing a beautiful Maine brookie.

Over the weekend salmon fishermen were still having luck catching fish at the surface at West Grand Lake, however, in the next few weeks the fish will need to be targeted in deeper water as surface temperatures increase. Lake trout fishermen were finding the fish just a few feet off bottom in water between 70-80 feet. Grand Lake Stream itself was producing some fine catches of salmon over the weekend. Many anglers reported catching multiple fish each day from the upper sections of the stream.

These next few weeks will be the best time to be out on your favorite smallmouth bass lakes and ponds. Once these fish become 4-5 years in age they become sexually mature. Males begin building nests once the water temperature is in the range of 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit. These nests are usually constructed in association with some sort of cover, such as a large rock, downed tree, dock, or cover by water depth. The nest is composed of a small circular patch on bottom where the male has fanned his fins to remove sediment. Females deposit eggs once the water temperature reaches the early to mid-60s, and males fertilize them. Male smallmouths will guard and defend the nest from anything that approaches. After about a week the fry will have hatched and will remain in close proximity to the nest for another week or longer. The male continues to stay close by to defend against predators.

This time of year smallmouths are often fished by slowly cruising the shoreline and casting a large spinner into the shallows. If that spinner comes too close to a male guarding a nest, he will most always attack it, and in turn be caught. It is very important to quickly release fish back into the water in the same spot that they were caught. That way they can easily find their way back to their nest and continue to protect those eggs or newly hatched fry. If those males stop guarding for any reason the eggs or fry are likely to be lost to predation by other fish.

This is the prime time to be a fisherman in Maine as fishing variety abounds. Good luck out there and be safe !

-Joe Overlock, Fisheries Biologist Specialist

Region D - Western Mountains

This week biologists are sampling Androscoggin River smallmouth bass from Rumford to Jay. This study was last done in 1996 when 111 bass where sampled. They averaged 12.8 inches in length and 1 pound, 3 ounces in weight. The largest bass sampled was twelve years old, 19 inches long, and weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces. This year’s data will be compared to past studies to evaluate this relatively new and popular fishery.

Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Rangeley has been a fishing hot spot lately. As of Memorial Day, our creel clerk Liz Studdert had interviewed 155 anglers, logging 656 hours of fishing time. In that time they reported catching 94 legal brook trout, 141 legal salmon, and a few sublegals of both species. The brook trout kept averaged 13.8 inches. The average salmon kept was 16.1 inches long, the largest was 20 inches long and weighed just over 2 pounds. To encourage fish growth in Mooselookmeguntic Lake salmon regulations are liberal, with 12-inch minimum length (only one over 18 inches) and a 3 fish bag limit. We are hopeful that anglers will take home more salmon.

Downstream and west of Mooselookmeguntic Lake, the Richardson Lakes have also provided good fishing. Anglers report an average of 3.7 legal fish per boat. The voluntary box card survey at Aziscohos Lake shows that 30 anglers caught 10 legal brook trout and 20 legal salmon. The largest fish reported in the card survey were a 20-inch, 3½-pound salmon and a 16½-inch brook trout.

Anglers interested in warmwater fish should be having good luck. Bass are spawning and will instinctively defend their nesting area from everything, including fishing lures. White perch are also 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 Crowell Pond in Chesterville, Wesserunsett Lake in Madison, and Moxie Lake in The Forks Plt. White perch are best filleted and fried with bread crumbs or used in chowder.

-Dave Howatt, Fisheries Biologist Specialist

Region E - Moosehead Region

For the past few weeks the Hatchery staff has been working around the clock to complete the annual spring stocking of lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers across the State. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks fish to provide fishing opportunities that would not be present unless we stocked fish. In the Moosehead Lake Region, we typically stock salmonid species such as brook trout, salmon, and lake trout. Biologists rely heavily on anglers providing information to get a grasp on the relative success of the fishery programs. The voluntary records provided to us by anglers like you greatly influences the management of a waterway, such as the number of fish stocked or regulation changes. Providing fishing records is the most valuable contribution you can make to the Fishery Division !

We would encourage anglers to collect information on the waters they fish around the State since sound management begins with good information. Your contributions as a voluntary record keeper or by filling out survey cards at access sites are a valuable asset to the Department. So next time you use an access site that has a survey box, we encourage you to take the time to fill out a survey card. If you or other anglers you know might be interested in keeping a voluntary fishing record book for the Moosehead Lake Region, please contact Stephen Seeback at Stephen.Seeback@maine.gov or at PO Box 551, Greenville, Maine 04441 or by phone at 695-3756. Anglers with access to the internet can record their fishing efforts at www.triptracks.com.

This week, we will be wrapping up the spring stocking of legal-size brook trout in the Moosehead Lake Region. The last few places to receive brook trout are: East and West Outlets of the Kennebec River; Little Chase Stream Pond, Misery Twp.; Chub Pond, Hobbstown; and the Piscataquis River, Guilford. We also will be stocking Drummond Pond in Abbot and Kiwanis Park in Dover-Foxcroft for the second and last stocking of the spring.

For the month of June the Moosehead Lake Regional Staff will be busy evaluating stocked brook trout fisheries. Information collected from these sampling events will help determine the effectiveness of current stocking rates and regulations. We plan to evaluate 8- 9 stocked brook trout fisheries. Also, we will be running the fishway at the East Outlet of the Kennebec River, starting around the third week in June. This is a great opportunity to see some fish and interact with fishery biologists in the field. We will post a schedule of times we plan to tend the fishway in future fishing reports.

-Stephen Seeback, Fisheries Biologist Specialist

Region F, Penobscot Region

Not only are the Black flies biting in Region F, but so are the smallmouth bass. Over the past weekend, we received several reports of excellent fishing on the Penobscot. The reports were from both below Enfield to Veazie as well as from Lincoln north to Mattawamkeag. The anglers I spoke with reported bass in the 1.5 lbs to 2 lbs range and several over 3 lbs. These fish had provided them with great action and a great trip. Might I Suggest Mattanawcook, Long and Egg in Lincoln, the South Branch in Seboeis, Dolby in Millinocket or Chemo in Clifton. Any of these waters should provided the angler with plenty of action.

Water temperatures are rising and the white perch are beginning to move into the shallower water to spawn. If your looking for a good feed of perch and some enjoyable evening fishing you might want to try Saponac or Eskutassis in Burlington, South Branch in Seboeis, Pushaw in Orono, Mattawamkeag in Island Falls or Basskahegan in Brookton. We have had reports from 2 of these lakes. The reports were of great evening fishing and all you need for tackle is a bobber and worms.

As we move into summer and the surface temperature warm up the coldwater fish move in to deeper water. Reports from a Schoodic Lake angler reported that lake trout seemed to be hanging around 14 feet below the surface. The angler and his son handled 4 lake trout all around 3 to 4 lbs and 1 brook trout around 2 lbs. They reported the 2 lake trout they kept to be full of smelts. One having over 20 in its stomach. Another angler and his family reported great day fishing Seboeis with a diverse catch of warm water and cold water species two white perch in the 1 1/2 lb range, one 3 1/2 lb pickerel, one 2 1/2 lb salmon and to top it off, a splake in the 4 lb range.

Salmon fishing reports continue to come in and the fishing is getting very good. Upper Jo Mary Lake has been producing some nice salmon fishing the fish are in the 16" range. Here are some salmon lakes you may want to try : West Lake in T3 ND, Scraggley Lake in T7 R8 WELS , Pleasant Pond in Island falls, and East Grand Lake in Danforth would be a great bet to find some nice salmon.

Reports from local anglers indicate that area brooks and streams in the region are producing some nice brook trout.

Again we are requesting any information we can get on the Northern Pike in Pushaw Lake and its watershed as well as information on Largemouth bass in the Penobscot River. Both of these fish are illegal introductions to these waters. If you catch one we are asking that you kill it and notify us at our Regional office at 732-4131

-Brian Campbell, Fisheries Biologist Specialist

Region G – Aroostook County

This week's report will describe various fishing regulation proposals that are being proposed for the 2008 fishing season. A formal announcement of all of the Department's proposals will be forthcoming at a later date. This summary is meant to be for information purposes only. Comments on the proposals may be forwarded to the IFW headquarters in Ashland via telephone, letter or email.

Big Reed Pond, T8R10, Piscataquis County All fish caught must be released alive at once. Purpose: conserve the existing populations of Arctic charr and brook trout

1st,2nd,3rd Chase Ponds, T14R9, Aroostook County Daily bag limit on togue: 3 fish; minimum length limit: 14 inches, only 1 may exceed 18 inches. Purpose: conform to standard togue management regulation categories.

Drew's Lake, Linneus, Aroostook County; also called Nickerson Lake, New Limerick, Aroostook County Smelts may be taken at night. Purpose: increase fishing opportunity for smelt fishing at night.

Eagle Lake, Aroostook County Daily bag limit on salmon: 3 fish; minimum length limit: 12 inches. Daily bag limit on togue: 6 fish; minimum length limit: 14 inches, only 1 may exceed 23 inches. Purpose: conform to standard togue management regulation categories, encourage additional harvest of landlocked salmon and improve the smelt population.

Portage Lake, Portage Lake, Aroostook County; St. Froid Lake, Winterville, Aroostook County Daily bag limit on salmon: 3 fish. Purpose: increase salmon harvest and improve the smelt population.

Square Lake, T16R5, Aroostook County. Daily bag limit on salmon: 3 fish; minimum length limit: 12 inches. Purpose: increase salmon harvest and improve the smelt population.

Big Eagle Lake, T8R13, Piscataquis County; Churchill Lake, T9R12, Piscataquis County; Long Lake, T11R13, Aroostook County; Umsaskis Lake, T11R13, Aroostook County Daily bag limit on togue: 2 fish. Purpose: increase togue harvest thereby improving togue growth rate and condition and create regulation consistency in these waters.

Lower Hudson Pond, T10R10, Piscataquis County Minimum length limit on salmon: 14 inches. Purpose: conform to standard salmon management regulation categories.

1st,2nd,3rd Musquacook Lakes, T11R11, etc, Aroostook County Daily bag limit on togue: 6 fish; minimum length limit: 14 inches, only 1 may exceed 23 inches. Purpose: conform to standard togue management regulation category and encourage increased harvest of abundant hatchery togue.

Little Pillsbury Pond, T8R11, Piscataquis County Remains open to fishing from October 1-October 31: artificial lures only, all fish caught must be released alive at once. Purpose: increase fishing opportunity in this stocked water.

Priestly Lake, T10R13, Piscataquis County All brook trout caught must be released alive at once. Purpose: protect wild trout as the IFW attempts to increase brook trout population abundance.

Fish River, from Fish River Lake to Round Pond, Aroostook County Artificial lures only. Purpose: reduce hooking mortalities in a river reach that is being managed under a quality trout regulation.

-Dave Basley, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Submitted by : Mark Latti, DIFW

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