Friday, December 6, 2013
By Deirdre Fleming email@example.com
Summer fishing in Maine surprisingly has a lot to offer, despite long, hot days of late.
The hex hatch in western Maine is coming on early. The caddis hatches at Moosehead are making evening fishing fun. The salmon have never looked better at Eagle Lake in The County. And the landlocks over at East Grand are biting.
We only get a few months of this, but we appreciate it more.
The fishing reports to the south actually have been quite good in the small streams. After the flood of rain a week ago, fish kept on the move, said regional biologist Francis Brautigam.
"There are quite a few positive reports on how good the fishing has been, particularly for brook trout, in the small streams. They're finding them stockpiled in the streams," said Brautigam with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Meanwhile, salmon fishing is still holding up in the bigger lakes, where fishermen can get down 25 to 35 feet. Anglers need to get out early in the day before the sun. Those who do are being rewarded, Brautigam said.
The splake fishery in Fayette has turned into a gem of a fishery, according to regional biologist Jason Seiders. And after biologists checked on the splake population there last week, Seiders is happy to report the fish are growing large, some as big as 7 pounds.
"It's kind of a unique pond for our region. It's relatively remote and the water quality is exceptional, the clarity is unbelievable," Seiders said.
That said, an illegal introduction of largemouth bass threatens the population of splake, which are a hatchery cross between lake trout and brook trout. Seiders asks all anglers to consider keeping their bass on the S-13-regulation water (no size or bag limit), to help deplete the largemouth bass population and give the splake a chance to grow.
Bass are not the only draw Down East, with the salmon and lake trout fishing still good as the species settle around the thermocline, just beyond the hot surface.
"The lakes are starting to set up and you can actually target different temperature regimes for cold-water fish," said IFW biologist Greg Burr.
In the mountains, the hexagenia hatch is coming earlier this year. Usually the hex come on at the end of the month, but not this year, said fisheries biologist Bob Van Riper.
"When the hex emerge, they're a big beautiful greenish body. They're really funky looking, like little dragons," Van Riper said. "They are one of the later May flies. And in small ponds they are really dramatic."
MOOSEHEAD LAKE REGION
The hexagenia hatch in this region is coming to a close as water temperatures increase and summer takes over. River anglers should head to the West Branch of the Penobscot to find good summer fishing, IFW biologist Tim Obrey said.
The dam at the outlet of Ripogenus Lake provides consistent cool water temperatures throughout the summer and the salmon fishing can be quite good during the massive caddis hatches that often occur at sunset, Obrey noted.
In the bigger lakes, Obrey recommends anglers get out the lead line and down riggers to find salmon, trout and togue.
Biologists to the east are busy with culvert workshops after the rain that fell in Brownville. They would be giving these ongoing seminars anyway for foresters and communities, but the Brownville deluge was a good example of a what can happen to a poor culvert, said IFW biologist Nels Kramer.
"It really brought it to light. Not at all of them, but some were undersized and inappropriate designs. A lot of these crossings washed out in Brownville may have been there 30 years.
They could have lasted longer if they were sized properly," Kramer said.
The popular salmon fishery at Eagle Lake in the Fish River Chain of Lakes in northern Maine has had a problem with poor growth of salmon for some time. Recently, however, biologists have seen some improvement.
Despite dropping the minimum length limit to 12 inches and increasing the daily bag limit to three salmon, Eagle Lake still supports a large population of slow-growing salmon, said IFW fisheries biologist Frank Frost.
But relaxed regulations on lake trout starting in 2006 have helped. Recently, Frost and Wayne Bennett, operator of Fish River Lodge in Eagle Lake, caught a sample of salmon from Eagle Lake that left Frost encouraged.
"Salmon are still numerous but average size is increasing and fish are in better condition. And those exceptional catches are up as well," Frost reported.
Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: