May 2, 2014

IFW Fishing Report For May 2, 2014

For Immediate Release: May 2, 2014

Compiled By Mark Latti with IFW Fisheries Biologists

For current stocking information that is updated daily, please visit: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/reports/stocking/currentseason/currentstockingreport.pdf .

Region A – Sebago Lakes Region

Ice is gone in southern Maine, and the anglers are out. Ice went out on Lake Auburn in the middle of last week, and they are getting some big salmon there. On Sebago, the ice went out over two weeks ago, and the reports continue to be good.

“We are getting reports of salmon in the 18-21 inch range, and one angler landed a lake trout that was 22 pounds,” said IFW fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam.

Smelt runs have been a bit trickier to pin down with the smelt run about a week late this year, according to Brautigam.

“A number of runs have started and gone, yet some haven’t even started. On Auburn Lake, Tricky Pond and Crystal Lake the runs are still ongoing,” said Brautigam.

Some anglers are hitting the small rivers and streams. Collyer Brook and the Royal River have decent flows and were recently stocked. While the Little Androscoggin is a little larger, flows have been fishable and anglers are having success there as well.

The larger rivers such as the Androscoggin and the Saco still seem to be a little high but levels are dropping.

“All in all, we seem to be out of the woods. Lakes have finally opened up, water flows are normalizing and the hatchery folks are busy stocking,” said Brautigam. “We are getting into the full swing of fishing season.”

Region B – Central and Midcoast Area

In the Belgrades, the ice went out and the anglers soon followed.

“I’ve seen some people out fishing, particularly on the small streams,” said IFW Fisheries biologist Jason Seiders, “There a people out on Messalonskee Stream and Belgrade Stream which we stock heavily with brook trout.”

Seiders noted that those streams were stocked last week in order to give kids some fishing opportunity during April vacation. It was a little more challenging this year due to the weather, but the hatchery crews got it done.

“Flows were a little high compared to recent years, but they see a high amount of use, so we wanted to get them stocked,” said Seiders.

Seiders noted that the Pemaquid River, Medomak River, and the Megunticook River are all good bets now as rivers in the coastal areas have warmed up quicker than other areas.

“We’ve also heard good news from Jamies’ Pond. Anglers are catching fish that were stocked in the fall in the 12-15” range and they are even catching some brood stock fish,” said Seiders.

Region C -- Downeast

Ice has been out on Big Lake, and it just went out on West Grand Lake last week.

“West Grand goes out five to six days after Big Lake, and there will be some hot fishing,” said IFW fisheries Biologist Greg Burr. “It’s always some of the best fishing of the year.”

Burr recommends trolling slow in order to maximize your chances of success.

“Fish are slow and lethargic this time of year. If you fish streamers fast, you will find that the fish don’t move fast after them,” said Burr.

“Fish can be everywhere this time of year, but the windward shores can be particularly productive,” said Burr who said that the smelts congregate there chasing food that has been blown in by the winds.

“Try some of the narrow areas, where the wind funnels down in between areas and islands,” said Burr, who added don’t be afraid to move around if you haven’t found the fish. The fish may be everywhere, but they tend only to feed in certain areas.

If you can’t make it to West Grand Lake, Burr also recommended Long Pond on MDI, Tunk Lake and Alligator Lake. Right now, streams are running high and cold, and not worth your time. Small trout ponds in the area, especially those closed to ice fishing, are worth trying.

Region D – Rangeley Lakes

The ice is just going out in the southern part of the region, but it could be a while in the Rangeley Lakes area.

“Clearwarter, Porter, Wilson, Varnum, the ice just went out on those ponds, but once you go north of Strong, there’s still ice,” said IFW Fisheries Biologist Dave Howatt, who felt Rangeley would go out by the end of the week.

Water levels are still a little high on most area rivers, but some anglers are having luck on the Sandy River.

“There’s one local guy who is doing well with browns and brookies. Try in the Farmington area near the bridges,” said Howatt. “You need to put in the time though, as they are not actively feeding.”

IFW hatchery crews have stocked Wilson Stream, Muddy Brook, Mill Pond below Clearwater and Hight’s Pond in Skowhegan. These are kid’s waters that are open for those under 16 only, so young anglers who want to wet a line after school have plenty of opportunity.

Region E – Moosehead Region

Submitted by IFW fisheries biologist Tim Obrey We still have ice throughout the Moosehead Lake Region, but we are getting closer to spring. As of 4/30, the ice out line is somewhere around the Dexter/Newport area. Anglers can find pockets of open water near the mouths of stream on most lakes and ponds in the region.

The streams are still a little high and tend to be cold and a little flashy this time of year. A few good days of wind will likely take the remaining ice out of Sebec Lake in the next week. Ice out on Moosehead Lake is usually a week after Sebec.

This spring was the first time anglers could open water fish on Moosehead in April. The lake has had a May 1st opening for decades. But the long, harsh winter put a damper on most fishing activity on the big lake in April. However, anglers are resourceful and we have heard of a few fish taken off the Junction Wharf where there is a little open water around the confluence with Wiggin Stream. There is also a fair amount of open water at the mouth of the Moose River in Rockwood. There are several web cams for both Sebec and Moosehead Lakes that anglers can check out for a good idea of ice conditions.

Region F – Penobscot Region

Ice is out on very few lakes and ponds in the region, but it won’t be long with many lakes and ponds close to losing their ice.

Pushaw went out end of last week, and the big south basin of Cold Stream Pond also went out on Monday the 28th. IFW fisheries biologist Nels Kramer checked some anglers at the landing on Cold Stream Pond and saw a couple of salmon in the 18-22” range.

Kramer noted that it may be a couple more days before ice out in the north. Brooks are still a little high, but should drop quickly (if the rains hold off) and should be available to fish soon.

With ice recently out and water temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s on many waters, anglers are encouraged to wear their life jackets.

Region G – Aroostook Region

Open water is still pretty limited up north, and even on southern waters like Nickerson Lake there was still ice headed into the weekend.

Once the ice starts going, it will go pretty quick, and IFW fisheries biologist Frank Frost feels that parts of the Fish River chain could be open this weekend.

Even with the ice, anglers are still fishing ponds, having some good luck fishing areas where the ice has pulled away from the shoreline.

If you are looking for some good early season spots, check out the Drew and Nickerson ponds in the Houlton area. Ice goes out early, and there is good access. Echo Lake in Aroostook State Park is another popular early season spot with good access.