August 8, 2013

IFW Freshwater Fishing Report ? August 8, 2013

For Immediate Release
August 8, 2013

IFW Freshwater Fishing Report ? August 8, 2013

Sebago Lakes Region

On Sebago Lake, fishing has started to pick up, according to IFW Fisheries Biologist Francis Brautigam, who notes that the weather feels more like late August than early August.

?Salmon fishing was really good last week on Sebago,? noted Brautigam, ?Some anglers who were fishing early morning picked up a half dozen salmon. Most successful anglers were using bait and trolling slow. ?

Smelt are a key part of a landlocked salmon?s diet, and it seems salmon are keying in smelt hatched just this year, which are now about the size of a matchstick. Anglers have noted big schools of these smelts up near shoals and bars on the big lake.

Brown and rainbow trout fishing is also picking up in southern Maine. Try the Ranges, Crystal Lake or Norway Lake. Anglers are finding trout in 20-30 feet of water, hovering near the thermocline.

Belgrade Lakes Region

No matter if your passion is bass or trout, river fishing is the answer in the central Maine.

?Anglers are catching lots of smallmouths in the Sebasticook,? says IFW Fisheries Biologist Wes Ashe, ?and anglers are catching large smallmouths, up to three pounds, in the Shawmut section of the Kennebec.?

Trout fishing is near ideal in the tailwater sections of the upper part of the Kennebec. Ashe noted a water temperature of 65 degrees in one section of the river.

?It?s a great time to fish those upper stretches of the Kennebec, it?s near ideal conditions now, with lots of insects and ideal temperatures,? says Ashe. Despite the rains this summer, flow levels for fishing are still good on the upper stretches.

Downeast Region

If you are fishing for trout, togue or salmon this time of year, you know you need to get a little deeper in the water column if you want to have success, but just how deep you need to get depends on the species.

?The sweet spot for salmon is between 25 and 40 feet, togue are generally between 40-100 feet and brook trout in small ponds can be found at depths between 10 and 15 feet,? says IFW Fisheries Biologist Greg Burr.

If you are trolling with downriggers and lead line, not only do you need to get deep, but according to Burr, you want to get in that temperature range that fish find comfortable. Look for 55-60 degree water for salmon, trout like temps in the 55-68 degree range and togue enjoy temps that are below 50 degrees.

Biologists use this temperature scale and dissolved oxygen levels to set the depths of their nets while sampling.

In Washington County, try Cathance Lake for salmon, and West Grand Lake for togue and salmon. In Hancock county, head to Tunk Lake and Green Lake for togue and salmon, and Branch, Phillips and Long Pond on MDI for salmon.

Rangeley Lakes Region

Anglers are still experiencing some caddis fly hatches and a few hex emergences in the northern section of this region. IFW Fisheries Biologist Bobby Van Riper recommends heading north of the Forks to areas such as Chase Stream Township to try some stream and pond fishing.

?There are a whole bunch of small ponds with fabulous wild brook trout populations in that area,? says Van Riper, who mentioned Round Pond off the Capital Road as a good destination.

Not too long ago, Round Pond had very restrictive regulations including a one trout, over 18? limit. However, an illegal introduction of golden shiners has impacted the fishery. There?s still a lot of trout and some big trout there, but the regulations have been changed on this fly fishing only pond to allow anglers to keep five trout between 6 and 12 inches, all other sizes must be released. Removing trout of this size from the pond will allow some of these smaller fish to grow, and allow larger trout to continue to feed on the shiner population.

Moosehead Region

If you are looking to fish the trout ponds in the Moosehead Region, according to IFW Fisheries Biologist Tim Obrey, there still are a few caddis hatches going on, but with water temps what they are, your best bet will be finding the springholes where the trout are congregating in the cooler water.

On Moosehead, anglers are getting respectable catches of togue, but Obrey says ?the togue are down deep ? try between 35 and 65 feet. People are catching them using dead bait and Mooselook Wobblers.?

?I was able to do a little trout pond fishing this week and found some action with Rapalas down around 25 feet,? said Obrey.

Penobscot Region

IFW Fisheries Biologist Nels Kramer is working with other IFW staff in Baxter State Park this week assessing both wild and stocked brook trout populations in the park. IFW Staff will be examining a number of ponds including Frost Pond, Hudson Pond, Lower Fowler Pond and Billfish Pond. Look for more on that in our next report.

Salmon and togue fishing is still quite good on Schoodic Lake with numerous reports of large salmon, some even in the six to seven pound range, and togue have tipped the scales up to nine pounds. A new IFW boat launch on the south shore of the lake in Lakeview provides wonderful access to this fishery.

August means white perch fishing for many anglers throughout the region, and anglers heading out Nicatous, West Lake, Pemadumcook, Milllinocket Lake, Pushaw, Saponac and Escutasis ought to find plenty of perch.

Fish River Lakes Region

Up north, the story still is high water, as the summer rains continue to soak the region.

?It rained all weekend up here, and the flows still are high,? says IFW Fisheries Biologist Frank Frost, who says the Fish River was flowing at 400 cubic feet per second already, and he expected that flow to go up.

One bonus of the higher flows, more people are out canoeing and catching fish on many of the region?s rivers. As of last week, even the St. John River was canoeable, which is unusual for this time of the year.

The Fish River, as many know, is known for its excellent salmon and trout fisheries during the fall. The Fish River Chain of Lakes just upstream of this popular river reach support brook trout, salmon, and lake trout fisheries that have been world renowned for more than a century.

These fisheries and populations are all in jeopardy from the threat of two invasive fishes, smallmouth bass and muskellunge, both of which are now well established in the St. John River.

The Fish River Falls, located in Fort Kent approximately 4 miles upstream from the St. John River, is a prominent obstruction to upstream fish passage. Fisheries staff in northern Maine are sampling the Fish River this summer to determine just how abundant bass and muskie are downstream of the Falls and to what extent the trout and salmon populations have been impacted.

So far this summer, biologists have found bass and muskie downstream of Fish River Falls but more importantly they have not been found upstream of the Falls.