July 1, 2016

IFW News -- IFW Fishing Report For July 1, 2016

IFW Fishing Report For July 1, 2016

Region A – Sebago Lakes Region

In southern Maine, anglers are still having good fishing on Sebago. Fishing early has provided some action for salmon, but those with the ability to troll deep with downriggers or lead line are getting some nice catches of lake trout throughout the day.

Bass have moved off their nests and back into deeper water. However, anglers willing to fish at dusk or later have been rewarded with larger bass cruising the shallows looking to feed.

Bass fishing on the Androscoggin continues to be excellent and is a great way to spend the day. There are numerous access points on the river from Bethel all the way down to Brunswick and it’s easy to find an excellent stretch of water to fish. Access sites can be found in towns like Bethel, Newry, Rumford, Dixfield, Livermore Falls, Turner, Auburn, Durham, Lisbon and Brunswick. Spend a day floating a section of the river casting for bass and you won’t be disappointed.

Region B – Central and Midcoast Area

If you like river fishing, right now is the time to be on the Kennebec.

“The whole river is fishing well, and some areas are fishing fantastic,” said IFW fisheries biologist Jason Seiders.

The resurgence at the Shawmut section of the dam river has been most notable.

“Shawmut has been fishing extremely well, it’s the best it’s been in over ten years,” said Seiders, who said that flow levels are very good for wading, and you can access the river from both sides.

Evening has been the best time to hit Shawmut, as there have been some decent hatches and the brown trout are responding. Anglers are even catching some brown trout over three pounds.

In Skowhegan, below the dam, anglers are also catching brownies, with fish that are exceeding 18 inches in length. One of the best spots to access this section is on the Route 2 side by the boat launch.

Up in Madison anglers are getting good number of fish and some of those are in the 18-20 inch range.

“We’ve been getting great reports there right from the start of the season,” said Seiders, “Try the section from the Abenaki Dam down to the Sandy River.” You can access the river from either of the two launches on the west shore, or by some of the trails from the cemetery on the eastern side.

Up in Solon, there are reports of some good brown trout, and lots of salmon, though the salmon aren’t as large as the trout.

Bingham is still fishing well for rainbows and brook trout, and one local guide remarked that he cannot remember ever seeing so many brook trout.

If you are lake fishing for bass, most have moved off nests and into the deeper water. Target shoals and rocky areas that are 4-5 foot in depth that go down to 20-30 feet.

Region C -- Downeast

Downeast, they are still catching some landlocks on area lakes, but the lakes are starting to warm up. Surface water temps are still in the 60’s, but that’s not likely to stay cool much longer.

Bass fishing continues to produce. As bass fry have gotten larger and water temps warmer, the male bass guarding nests have moved to deeper water. Fish the drop-offs for most success. Some anglers are still having good luck targeting white perch as well.

Brook trout fishing has been good in the small ponds, with anglers fishing deeper from float tubes and canoes.

In Grand Lake Stream, the fishway is now open, and salmon are moving out of the stream seeking the deeper, cooler water of the lake. There are still some salmon in the river, as some IFW fisheries biologists were scuba diving in the hatchery pool, the glide area, big falls and some other pools and noted a number of salmon.

Small brooks for trout are always a good bet this time of year, as most of the larger streams and rivers have heated up. Also some good reports of large trout out of Schoodic in Cherryfield.

Region D – Rangeley Lakes

Up in the Rangeley Lakes area, now is good time to fish the Magalloway.

“The Magolloway is fishing like a bandit,” says IFW fisheries biologist Bobby Van Riper. “We are doing a creel survey up there and the fishing is pretty good.” Biologists have also received news of some good fishing through creel surveys on the Rapid, Mooselook and on Rangeley Lake earlier in the year.

Rivers like the Rapid are still fishing pretty well, but it is beginning to warm up in the region and the lakes are starting to stratify.

On the Rapid, Brookfield Power has started their pulse flows, designed wash the bass fry off their nests. The alternating high and low flows displace the bass fry from the shallows and into the river where they become easy prey for trout and other predators, while keeping the bass population low in this blue ribbon trout river.

In the Kennebago, anglers are still catching trout in some of the deeper pools or where there are seeps in the banks. There are still some pretty good mayflies and caddis emerging on the smaller ponds and rivers.

“It’s been a really good spring for fishing up here,” summed up Van Riper.

Region E – Moosehead Region

Up in the Moosehead Lake region, they are still catching fish on the big lake.

“The lake is still holding up and we are getting some good reports from Moosehead. Over the weekend, one angler caught a 2 and pound salmon,” said IFW fisheries biologist Tim Obrey.

Water temps are still in the low to mid-60s on Moosehead, but that could change quickly. Obrey was out on Sebec Lake last week and it was 60 degrees, three days later, the water temp was 65.

This cold spring, and others like it, are helping keep down the invasive smallmouth bass population in Moosehead. Cold spring temperatures and rapidly cooling water often push adult bass off the nests in order to survive. This can leave bass fry exposed to predators or delay spawning. If spawning is delayed, it can impact the winter survival of young of the year bass as they need to reach a certain size in order to survive the winter.

With low flows and warmer temperatures on many rivers, anglers are having good luck on the Moose River, which has a deeper discharge. Also, smelt fry born this past spring are dropping through, providing plenty of feed for salmon and trout in the river.

Caddis hatches are continuing on small ponds, as well as the East Branch of the Penobscot. Anglers are also getting ready for the green drake hatch, which usually coincides with July Fourth.

Biologists continue to monitor the East Outlet fishway, where they measure and weigh salmon and trout in the fishway on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from June 15th through the end of July.

Monitoring the fishway is an important project, it provides biologists with updates on wildlife salmon production in the east outlet.

In the 90’s when the dam was relicensed, instream habitat improvements were made in order to provide more spawning areas for landlocked salmon, and it is working.

“When we first started monitoring, we were getting a few hundred salmon,” said Obrey. “After the relicensing and creation of more spawning areas, we have tripled natural salmon production.”

Brookfield Power, who operates the dam, works with IFW to provide access for anglers and to regulate flows that allow for successful salmon spawning. The East Outlet is a very popular fishery and is open late into the season, with one section open until the end of the year.

Region F – Penobscot Region

In the Penobscot region, East Grand Lake has slowed down somewhat after some very good fishing for salmon and lake trout this spring.

“The big attraction on East Grand is for landlocks,” said IFW Fisheries Biologist Nels Kramer, “Anglers not only were catching good numbers of fish, they were good size as well.”

Anglers on Schoodic have been catching good numbers of togue, but not as many salmon. However, size quality of the salmon is excellent, with some anglers landing 6-7 pound fish.

Trout fisherman in the Katahdin region eagerly await the green drake hatch which normally occurs around the fourth of July.

“Some of the trout ponds are just starting to see drakes, and that should really pick up in the next week,” said Kramer.

Even with the dry spring and early summer, flow rates on the Penobscot are decent and anglers are catching good numbers of bass throughout the river.

On Cold Stream Pond, the Penobscot Valley High School class of 2017 held their annual fundraiser for project graduation, the third annual Cold Stream Bass Tournament. Bass were illegally introduced into Cold Stream Pond, and the tournament is designed to remove them.

The first year, over 900 bass were, caught, and the past two year, approximately half that many were caught. The winning fishermen this year caught an amazing 153 bass in one day.

Region G – Aroostook Region

Recent rains have helped anglers up in Aroostook County.

“Brook fishing is excellent right now. The rain showers we got this week have brought flows up. The salmon rivers are still fishing good as well,” said IFW fisheries biologist Frank Frost.

Like the rest of the state, water temps in ponds are warming up, and if you are looking for trout, you are going to find them in their summer refuge areas, such as spring holes and seeps where the water is cooler.

“The green drake hatch hasn’t quite started, but we are on the verge,” says Frost, who says it likely will be in full swing by the Fourth of July.

Frost and his crew have begun trapping the fishway at Churchill Dam on the Allagash Waterway.

“One of the gems in the State of Maine is the Allagash Waterway,” said Frost. “It gets a lot of use and supports a lot of wild trout.”

They are already getting a good number of fish as they come out of the river, seeking the cooler, deeper waters of the lake. Trout have ranged in size from 4-18 inches, representing a variety of ages.

Data gathered from the trapping will provide an in-depth look at the trout population in that waterway. The dam was replaced in 1997, and in 2001 and 2002 crews trapped the fishway to gather biological data on the trout. Once this collection is completed, Frost will be able to compare data this year with that from 15 years ago and get an even clearer picture of the health of the trout fishery in that section of the waterway.