Old News Archive

Fishing Report - May 30, 2007

May 30, 2007 - TRC

Region A- Southwestern Maine

If trout and salmon are your game, this is the time to get out there and wet your line! The hatcheries trucks have just about finished up with their stocking, so there's plenty of fish out there to catch. How many? According to our records the hatcheries were scheduled to stock out the following number of fish this spring in Region A alone:

* 56,800 brook trout;
* 35, 925 brown trout
* 2,300 lake trout;
* 8,275 landlocked salmon;
* 4,350 rainbow trout;
* and 1, 575 splake.

Quite a feat, considering the hatcheries staff couldn't get started stocking until late April due to weather delays! These recent stockies aren't the only fish out there, wild fish, holdover fish, and unscheduled stockies will also contribute to your catch.

Anglers have been reporting some excellent stream and small pond fishing in the past couple weeks. The Little Androscoggin has been particularly good, and anglers have been complimentary on the exceptionally large size of the rainbow trout. We have had similar reports of good fishing on the Little River in Gorham, the Pleasant River in Windham, and the Presumpscot River in Windham. I just got a call this morning from one of our regular voluntary book keepers, and he reported the trout fishing has been quite good on many of our small ponds. He has had some good fishing for rainbows on Jaybird Pond in Hiram and has even picked up a few holdover brookies there, too. Things have changed up a bit for those targeting salmon in the past few weeks. Now that the smelt run is over, the landlocks and lakers are more evenly distributed throughout the lakes. Although the fish may still be on top, water temperatures are warming up. The good news is...salmon are apt to give you a much better fight, you can up your trolling speed, and lures/streamers can be just effective as the slow troll with live bait. The bad news is...the summer doldrums for trout and salmon are around the corner, so get out there and enjoy!

For those that like bass fishing, the long awaited spawning season is just about here! We've had a number of calls from out-of-state anglers trying to target their fishing trips around the spawning season, and all have reported how fabulous their bass fishing trips to Maine have been for both size quality and numbers. According to many, our bass fisheries are among the best anywhere! Speaking of bass, Region A staff is gearing up to sample several regional bass waters with our e-boat beginning this week including: Thompson Lake - Poland, Thomas Pond - Casco, Worthley Pond - Poland, Otter Ponds - Standish, and Horne P - Limington. Although this night-time effort can be demanding, it provides us good information on the quality of our bass fisheries, and we also hope to use the information to assess how bass predation may be impacting our trout stocking programs. We'll keep you posted on what we find, and wish you the best of luck with your fishing adventures.

-Jim Pellerin, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region B - Central Maine

The past few springs have been anything but productive for the wading angler who desires to fish the Shawmut stretch of the Kennebec River. Lower than normal angler use has been directly related to water flow. In recent years, it has been well into July before water levels have reached a manageable level that allowed for productive wading. Unfortunately in July, water temperatures are undesirable and less productive for good trout fishing.

Currently, water levels are in the process of receding and water temperatures are becoming more conducive for good insect hatches. The flashboards on the Shawmut Dam should be installed soon, provided we do not get another tremendous rain event.

Some management changes have occurred in the Shawmut stretch since 2006. Voluntary angler data has suggested that our prized brown trout fishery is in decline. In an effort to reduce the competition between the two species, rainbow trout stocking will be reduced from 2000 to 1000 spring yearlings. In time, if results show that this stocking reduction is having a positive effect one can expect that rainbow trout numbers will decrease and the quality of the brown trout fishery will begin to improve.

--Scott Davis, Fisheries Biologist Specialist

Region C – Downeast

In the freshwater fishing world, this week’s time window is a magical time of year! This is the time when peak fishing for a number of different species overlaps. The fishing is so good in fact that it is hard for anglers to choose which fish to go after. Water temperatures in most lakes and ponds in the Downeast region surpassed the 60-degree mark at the end of last week. This temperature summoned smallmouth bass to start spawning and the fishing is fast and furious as male bass are now on their nests. On the wild brook trout streams mayflies are coming off in earnest making this week one of the best times to fish on Downeast’s flowing waters. At the same time, landlocked salmon are on the surface on most of our lakes and taking streamers aggressively.

For smallmouth bass here are waters in Hancock & Washington Counties that we recommend anglers try:

Hancock County:

Graham Lake, Ellsworth
Georges Pond, Franklin
Beech Hill Pond, Otis
Long Pond, Mount Desert Island
Alamoosook Lake, Orland
Branch Lake, Ellsworth
Jones Pond, Gouldsboro
Flanders’s Pond, Sullivan
Molasses Pond, Eastbrook
Donnell Pond, Franklin
Great Pond, Great Pond Plt.

Washington County:

Big Lake, T 27 ED
Wabassus Lake, T 6 ND
Woodland Flowage, Woodland
Grand Falls Flowage, Princeton
Pocomoonshine Lake, Princeton
Crawford Lake, Alexander
Pleasant Lake, Alexander
Third Machias, T 43 MD
Clifford Lake, T 26 ED
Meddybemps Lake, Meddybemps
Schoodic Lake, Cherryfield
Gardner Lake, East Machias
Bog Lake, Northfield
Long Lake, Northfield
Rocky Lake, T 18 ED

For wild eastern brook trout at its best the following waters are the region’s blue ribbon trout streams and rivers:

West Branch Union River
East Branch Union River
Middle Branch Union River
West Branch Narraquagus River
Pleasant River
Mopang Stream
Crooked River
West Branch Machias River
Old Stream
Machias River
East Machias River
Hobart Stream
East Stream

For the best landlocked salmon results we recommend fishing Grand Lake Stream, West Grand Lake, Cathance Lake, Alligator Lake, Phillips Lake and Long Pond on Mount Desert Island.

Have a fun, best safe and take a child fishing !

-Greg Burr, Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region D - Western Mountains
Several reports of superb spring fishing came in this morning, indicating this is indeed prime time for trout and salmon anglers. Honey Cronin, fly fishing at B Pond in Upton, caught two salmon around 4 pounds each. Honey reported the fish were gorging on crayfish and wondered if this was unusual. While salmon clearly prefer smelts and need them grow well and become robust, they are opportunistic fish and will eat just about anything available, including crayfish. In fact, insects are usually the most abundant food item we see in the stomachs of salmon taken during the late spring and summer months.

Guide Harry Vernesoni and his sports had great fishing late last week, including a 28-inch togue taken on a fly from Upper Dam Pool. Harry also reported several brookies over 20 inches from the Rapid River, as well as a 24-inch salmon. Harry is also the dam keeper at Middle Dam and conducts our angler counts and surveys on the Rapid and Upper Dam Pool, so he's a busy man.

Steve Kasprzak called in with a report of a 5 pound brookie from a river in the Rangeley area (see photo). Steve wasn't willing to give us the name of the water - typical fisherman!

Biologist Dave Howatt checked a brook trout from Mooselookmeguntic Lake weighing in at 5.5 pounds, and another about 3.5 pounds. Mooselookmeguntic seems to produce a few of these large trout every spring, making the big lake a destination for trophy trout hunters. The lake also supports a great salmon fishery, but the fish have been thin and slow growing for several years. Wild salmon are very abundant in Mooselook, so we're seeking additional harvest to thin them out to improve conditions for smelt survival. There's a 12-inch length limit and a 3 fish per day bag limit on salmon (only one may be over 18 inches) to encourage anglers to take a few home. This is the second year with this regulation and it seems to be working - we saw solid improvement in size and growth rates of salmon on the Kennebego River spawning run last fall.

Gene Arsenault and his crew continue to roll out the fish from the Embden Rearing Station. For the week of May 29-June 1 the following waters will be stocked:

Tibbetts Pond in Concord: 100 brook trout (kid's fishing water);
Mill Stream in Embden: 50 brook trout (kid's fishing water);
Wilson Stream in Wilton: 250 brook trout (kid's fishing water);
Temple Stream in Temple and Farmington: 500 brook trout;
Dead River below Flagstaff Lake: 100 salmon;
Kennebec River in Madison and Solon: 2,000 brook trout and 1,500 brown trout;
Sandy River from Phillips to New Sharon: 1,500 brook trout;
Carrabassett River from Carrabassett Valley to New Portland: 1,000 brook trout;
Moxie Pond in The Forks: 3,000 brook trout;
Spencer Lake in Hobbstown: 500 salmon;
Spring Lake in T3 R4 WKR BKP: 1,500 brook trout.

-Dave Boucher, Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region E - Moosehead Region

Thanks to the late snowstorms we received this spring and recent rain events, we had plenty of water to work with this spring for filling First Roach Pond. So much in fact that we had to release higher flows for an extended period of time so that we wouldn’t run the risk of extremely high lake levels. We will be making adjustments to the dam in the near future to maintain a summer flow in the river. Flows in the smaller streams and brooks, have subsided and are providing some good trout fishing.

Last week with the help of Verizon and the folks at Northern Pride Lodge we were successful in getting our new remote water level logger up and running. This logger will help us by cutting down the number of trips and time for monitoring the lake level at First Roach. In the past we frequently had to travel from Greenville to Kokadjo to check on the lake level. With the new logger in place we are able to call into the dam and the logger will automatically give us a lake level reading. This can be done from anywhere; office or home and we hope will cut down on the amount of heartburn the Regional Biologist has encountered over the past 2 springs in dealing with water level management at First Roach.

With the first hot days of spring that we had last week the flying ant hatch was right on cue and signs of mayfly hatches were also noted on some of the smaller trout ponds in the Region. Unfortunately it has also intensified the blackflies and mosquitos, so don’t forget the fly dope!

Flow at the East Outlet on the Kennebec River, as of May 29th is running at 1,211 cfs. This flow is much more wadeable than the high flows that the East Outlet had been running at earlier this spring. Brook trout and some decent salmon have been showing up at the West Outlet. Fishing at the Moose River below the Brassua Dam has been difficult as well, with flows running higher than normal. However, with drier weather and reduced runoff due to leaf out, flows should be subsiding and fishing in this area should begin pick up as well. Memorial Day Weekend reports from Moosehead Lake indicate that fishing was quite good. Salmon and lake trout were reported being caught in the Spencer Bay and Rockwood areas. Anglers stated that they caught these fish trolling but were not very forthcoming with the type of tackle they were using. Wardens reported checking many parties this past weekend and indications were that the fishing was very good.

Here are some of the waters that were stocked with spring yearling brook trout during the past week: Power Trout Pond and Shadow Pond in Little Moose Twp., Snows Pond and Black Stream in Dover-Foxcroft. The Piscataquis River in Guilford and Dover-Foxcroft is scheduled to receive a few more spring yearling brook trout this week.

-Jeff Bagley, Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region F, Penobscot Region

Weather and water conditions are nearly normal for springtime in east central Maine. All major river systems in the region are reporting near normal flows and temperatures. Despite daily fluctuations in temperature, from 17 degrees above normal to 15 degrees below normal daily temperatures, the overall average temperature has been close to normal for the season and rainfall has been about normal for the month.

Spring fishing for trout, salmon, ands togue has been very good in Region F and bass and perch are getting ready for spring spawning which produces the best fishing for these species. Cold Stream Pond, Duck Lake and Pleasant Pond have had some good salmon fishing while Schoodic Lake and Cold Stream have produced good lake trout fishing. Local area brook trout ponds have been doing well and with the mayfly hatch just beginning, they should be getting even better. The ponds further north including those in Baxter State Park should peak a few weeks later. Some of the more active bass waters have been the Penobscot River, Lincoln area lakes, South Branch Pond, West Lake and Nicatous Lake. As is the case with brook trout, bass fishing will improve in northern areas as spring progresses. A stream survey crew electrofishing streams in northern Washington and southern Aroostook Counties for the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Project have reported that they have found some very good trout populations in streams sampled so far and that there has been considerable fishing activity on most streams. Spring stocking in Region F is nearly completed and over 50,000 fish over 6 inches long have been stocked. These consisted of 25,000 brook trout, 14,500 landlocked salmon, 6,000 splake, 3,000brown trout, and 2500 lake trout.

-Michael Smith, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Region G – Aroostook County

Action was hot and heavy on area rivers over the Memorial Day weekend. Anglers found flows and temperature at perfect conditions and the brook trout cooperated very nicely. When anglers wanted to go ashore to stretch their legs, they could pick a pail full of fiddleheads that would later accompany their trout on the dinner plate. The only misery to the weekend might have been the blackflies that were anxiously seeking warm bodies. Depending on weather conditions, the trout fishing should continue to cooperate into next weekend, as well.

Public access to the Aroostook River is found in Fort Fairfield, Presque Isle, Washburn, Ashland, Masardis and a new one this year in the town of Oxbow. The Meduxnekeag River has public access in Houlton and at the Lowrey Road in Littleton. The Fish River is accessible in Soldier Pond and at Fort Kent. The Allagash River has access points at Churchill Dam, Umsaskis Thoroughfare, Henderson Brook Bridge, and Finley Bogan. The St. John River, better known now for its muskellunge fishery although trout can still be picked up in the tributaries, can be accessed near Moody Bridge, the former Priestly Bridge site and the Big Black crossing as well as numerous campsites below the confluence with the Big Black River.

The Presque Isle Elks Club and the Presque Isle Fish and Game Club will be hosting a Hooked On Fishing Program on Saturday, June 2 at Mantle Lake Park. Mantle Lake is a small pond within city limits that is open to kids under the age of 16 and adults with complimentary licenses. There are playground and picnic facilities available at the site and on this day there will be numerous recreation and educational activities for children. Masons from the 1st District of the Grand Lodge of Maine will be on hand offering their free Child Identification Program for families wishing to participate.

-Dave Basley, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Submitted by : Mark Latti, DIFW

For more outdoor information, and sporting licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please visit www.mefishwildlife.com

For more information, please contact:

Mark Latti
Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
pager 818-9617
fax 207-287-6395
284 State Street
41 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

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