Fishing Reports by Regional Fishery Biologists
January 2, 2009
Region A - Southwestern Maine - Photos from the field!
The ice fishing forecast for southern Maine is excellent! Early ice on small ponds, in combination with beefed up catchable trout stocking programs, and new stocking/management programs should provide exciting fishing.
Anglers seeking fast early season action should consider fishing waters stocked with 12 - 14 inch brook trout under the Department's Catchable Trout Program. Some of these waters include: Otter Ponds #2 and #4 (Standish), Barker Pond (Lyman), Worthley Pond (Poland), Crystal Lake (Gray), Sabbathday Lake (New Gloucester), Keoka Lake (Waterford), Bear Pond (Waterford), and Keewaydin Lake (Stoneham). Round Pond (Lyman) is also well stocked with catchable brook trout BUT is reserved exclusively for youth under the age of 16 during the winter; This is a great pond to introduce kids to trout fishing. Several of the above listed waters will be surveyed this winter by Regional Biologists, as part of a 3 year research project.
Brood fish retired from Maine's state hatcheries are always well received by anglers, and this year more brood have been stocked than in recent years.
Approximately 945 brood brook trout (2 ½ lbs+), 322 brood landlocked salmon (2-3 lbs), and 650 brood brown trout (3 lbs) were stocked.
- Francis Brautigam, Regional Fisheries Biologist
Region B - Central Maine-Photos from the field
By the time this is printed, many die-hard anglers will have been fishing through the ice on waters open under class A for a week or so. Many of the smaller sized ponds, especially in the northern part of the region, have safely iced over.
With the advent of January 1, regional waters in class B will open to ice angling. To enhance winter fishing, the Department stocks 59 regional waters with brook trout, 44 with brown trout and 3 with rainbow trout. For brook trout, try Maranacook Lake, the Tacoma Lakes, Sheepscot Lake, Chickawaukie Lake, Big Indian Pond, China Lake, Biscay Pond, Hobbs Pond, Pleasant Pond (in Turner) or Moody Pond. For browns, there are Big Moose Lake, Alford Lake, Quantabacook Lake, Cobbosseecontee Lake, Webber Pond, Sanborn Pond, Morrill Pond, Washington Pond, Damariscotta Lake, or Brettun’s Pond. Rainbows can be targeted in Nequasset Lake, Lake George or Megunticook Lake. If it’s perch, bass, pickerel or pike you are after, then most any Region B lake is for you. These fish are abundant, often anxious to bite, and good in the fry pan!
This winter, Region B biologists will be conducting creel surveys on Biscay Pond, Nequasset Lake, Flying Pond, Salmon Lake, McGrath Pond, Wilson Pond and Cochnewagon Pond as part of the catchable trout study.
- Robert VanRiper, Regional Fishery Biologist
Region C - Downeast - Photos from the field!
Ice fishing opportunities abound in eastern Maine! Based on recent fish sampling information and stockings, here are some predicted 2009 hot spots for winter anglers.
Hopkins Pond in Mariaville is one of our winter census and study waters with a good population of wild lake trout, nearly 200 of which have had tiny tags applied, along with removal of the adipose fin. Anglers may also catch brook trout or landlocked salmon here. Some fast action lakes for lake trout include Branch Lake in Ellsworth, Beech Hill Pond in Otis, Toddy Pond in Orland, Tunk Lake in T 10SD, Jordan Pond in Mt. Desert, and West Grand Lake in Grand Lake Stream.
If you are looking for some landlocked salmon you should give these waters a try: Cathance Lake in Cooper, Gardner Lake in East Machias, Brewer Lake in Orrington, West Grand Lake in Grand Lake Stream, Lower Springy Pond in Otis, and Schoodic Lake in Cherryfield. The salmon fisheries in these lakes are based on stocking programs.
Brook trout can be found in Keene’s Lake in Calais, Craig Pond in Orland, Indian Lake in Whiting, Montegail Pond in T 19 MD, Keeley Lake in Northfield, Lower Hadlock Pond and Echo Lake in Mt. Desert. These ponds receive regular stockings of brook trout. If you are helping a youngster get started ice fishing you should consider giving Foxhole Pond in Deblois a try. This water is restricted to kids under age 16 only. Youngsters may catch trout from 6-18” inches long in Foxhole Pond!
In Region C splake provide some outstanding fishing opportunities in waters that would otherwise support mediocre salmonid fisheries. Mopang Lake in T 29 MD, Pleasant River Lake in Beddington, Second Old Stream Lake in T 37 MD, Heart Pond in Orland, and Jacob Buck Pond in Bucksport are examples of good splake fisheries.
Along with Hopkins Pond (see above), we will be conducting intensive angler surveys on Big Lake in T27ED and Echo Lake in Mt. Desert. Time permitting, limited spot check creel surveys will be undertaken on Fitts Pond in Eddington, Mopang Lake in T29MD, and Blunts Pond in Lamoine. We always enjoy the interactions we have with anglers during these surveys. Your input and support is greatly appreciated.
- Rick Jordan, Regional Fishery Biologist
Region D - Western Mountains - Photos from the field!
This fall more than 22,000 large fall-yearlings - consisting of 14,566 brook trout, 3,137 brown trout, 1,961 salmon, and 2,561 splake - were stocked into 18 regional waters open to ice fishing in the 2008-2009 season. Clerk surveys on Crowell and Norcross Ponds in Chesterville began soon after ice-in on December 14th to evaluate the stocking success of the combined 1,300 brook trout stocked in these two waters. Catch rates are currently averaging 1.2 trout per angler with an average brook trout length of 14.2 inches. Another survey will begin on January 1st at Spring Lake in T03 R04 BKP WKR, where 500 brook trout and 100 salmon were stocked. Anglers can also catch wild lake trout in this water.
- Dave Howatt, Fishery Biologist Specialist
Region E - Moosehead Region - Photos from the field!
January 1st is quickly approaching and to a lot of outdoor winter enthusiasts that means the start of the ice fishing season. Meanwhile, although it appears that Mother Nature is placing a covering of ice on many of the Moosehead Region’s lakes and ponds. Nevertheless, many of the larger lakes still have areas of open water so, as always, caution is the watchword!
Region E anglers have been taking advantage of the many waters which are open to December fishing. The Department’s hatcheries and rearing stations staff have produced some beautiful brook trout this past year. The product of this hard work has been passed on to the anglers and we’re already hearing of some nice catches . The fish were stocked in October to provide winter trout fishing opportunities in waters that would not support a trout fishery throughout the summer. Many of these waters are open as soon as the ice forms, i.e. they are Group A waters. Remember it is legal to harvest trout in Group A waters.
The following waters were stocked with fall yearling brook trout and are open to ice fishing as soon as the ice forms: Mountain View Pond (Fitzgerald Pond) in Big Moose Twp just north of Greenville, Shirley Pond in Shirley, Sawyer Pond in Greenville, Harlow Pond in Parkman, Manhanock Pond in Parkman, Brann’s Mill Pond in Dover-Foxcroft, Snow’s Pond in Dover-Foxcroft, and Prong Pond in Beaver Cove. This fall we had some retired brood stock trout available and these were also stocked into several of our Group A waters. Certain Group B waters also received fall yearling fish. Brook trout were stocked into Kingsbury Pond in Kingsbury Plt., and First Davis Pond in Guilford. Center Pond in Sangerville received some fall yearling brown trout and brook trout. Big Wood Pond in Jackman received fall yearling splake and brook trout.
Drummond Pond in Abbott received fall yearling brook trout, as well. This pond has an S-24 regulation, which means that is open to fishing for children less than 16 years of age. The young anglers are restricted to 2 lines and the daily limit on trout is 2 fish. We would encourage folks to take advantage of this great opportunity by taking a child fishing. You’ll enjoy it and I’m certain they will too. Remember these youngsters are the fishing future of Maine.
- Jeff Bagley, Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist
Region F - Penobscot Valley Region - Photos from the field!
Ice anglers in the Penobscot Region should be excited to hear that this past fall 10,000+ fall yearling age brook trout were stocked into 12 of the regions waters. The fall yearling trout program has proven to be very popular with ice anglers, as these fish average about 1 pound each and generally provide fast fishing action, especially early in the season. In addition, eight of the regional lakes were stocked with retired brook trout brood fish which can weigh upwards of 4 pounds!
Kids 15 and younger have several opportunities in Region F to be the star of the show, with some assistance from mom and dad when needed of course. Pickerel Pond located at the Maine Youth Fish and Game Club beside the Stud Mill Road near Milford, Little Round Pond in Lincoln, Jerry Pond in Millinocket, Rock Crusher Pond in Island Falls, and Harris Pond in Milo are all kids only ponds that the Department stocks several times throughout the year with brook trout. In fact, all of these ponds recently received supplemental stockings of fall yearling brook trout ranging 10-14 inches long, as well as retired brood stock ranging 14-18 inches long this past fall.
Region F fishery staff will be conducting a creel census this winter at Lower Sysladobsis Lake, with occasional spot checks planned for nearby Junior and Pleasant Lakes. Biologists will be collecting angler effort and catch information throughout the entire winter to assess the quality of the fishery and help with future management decisions. Lower Sysladobsis, know locally as “Dobsie Lake”, has a principal fishery for stocked landlocked salmon with anglers catching the occasional lake white fish and brook trout as well.
- Richard Dill, Regional Fisheries Biologist
Region G - Aroostook County - Photos from the field!
There are three significant changes in the 2009 ice fishing season for the Fish River Lakes Management Region in northern Maine. Long, Cross, Square and Eagle Lakes in the Fish River Chain will be open to fishing for all fish from Jan.1-March 31. Bag and length limits on salmon, trout and togue in these waters have not been changed.
The Advisory Council adopted the Fishery Division recommendation to have Madawaska Lake (including Little Madawaska Lake) in T16R4 and Westmanland, Aroostook County remain open to fishing from Feb.15-March 31 with no sunset provision. The lake was initially opened for 3 years in 2005 on a trial basis and has developed into a popular winter fishery for area residents. Bag and length limits remain unchanged.
The Saint John River will be open to ice fishing from Jan. 1-March 31 from the International Bridge in Van Buren downstream to the Maine/New Brunswick border at the easternmost border of the town of Hamlin. General border regulations will apply. See Page 41 of the Ice Fishing Lawbook. Species likely to be caught include muskellunge, smallmouth bass, brook trout and smelts.
Biologists from the Ashland office will be conducting weekend surveys on Beau and Glazier Lakes throughout the season in 2009. Anglers will be interviewed for trip information and fish kept will be measured and weighed. As always we look forward to these encounters with our customers as the information we gain is very helpful in evaluating and modifying our fisheries management programs.
- David Basley, Regional Fisheries Biologist