June 26, 2010

Freshwater Fishing: Pike catches overshadow slower fishing

By Deirdre Fleming dfleming@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Angling for cold-water fish is slowing in the summer heat in many areas, but state biologists have worse news this week.

Illegal introductions are reported in southern Maine and are leading to stricter regulations up north.

REGION A: SOUTHERN MAINE

There was an 8-pound largemouth bass caught and released in Deer Pond in Hollis, reported fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The bad news is a few illegal introductions also were reported in Little Sebago Lake and Thompson Pond, where pike were caught, said Brautigam.

He asked that fishermen keep their catches to confirm a pike population in either body of water.

REGION B: CENTRAL MAINE

Biologist Robert Van-Riper has been busy educating towns about the need for culverts.

As new culverts need to be replaced, Van-Riper said, the smaller, cheaper culverts should be replaced with more expensive and bigger culverts that will last longer and provide easier fish passage for fish.

He said it's a tough sell to most towns.

"Basically what we're doing is helping a lot of wild brook trout habitat," Van-Riper said.

REGION C: DOWN EAST

There is plenty of top-water action for pickerel and perch right now, said IFW biologist Greg Burr.

Cold-water fish can be caught down deeper, but it takes some work with a sinking line, he said.

On larger lakes, Burr suggests a red coil line or down rigger.

REGION D: WESTERN MAINE

Now is the time to fish the big rivers in western Maine, said IFW biologist Dave Boucher.

The Kennebago and the Magalloway are fishing well, he said.

And hatches are occurring now on the small trout ponds, he said.

On the big lakes, however, the fishing is slowing down, he added.

REGION E: MOOSEHEAD LAKE REGION

This week IFW adopted emergency regulations for Wadleigh Pond in Township 8, Range 15. These new regulations replace those found in the lawbook and will be posted on signs at the pond.

The new regulations call for the closing of the pond to the taking of smelts, the closing of the tributaries to smelts, use of artificial lures only and the release of all trout (including char), landlocked salmon and togue that are caught.

Biologist Tim Obrey with IFW said there was an illegal introduction of smelts at Wadleigh Pond several years ago, and the smelts have become well established. Staff trap-netted at the pond and found larger than average smelts, as well as brook trout and char.

"We believe the trout and char are still in abundance, but that could change," Obrey said. "Therefore the department felt it necessary to protect the native fish with more restrictive regulations."

REGION F: EASTERN MAINE

The bass spawning is finished in the region, reported IFW biologist Nels Kramer.

Biologists will be busy this week stocking the ponds for the Maine Youth Fish and Game Club's summer camps.

Brook trout fishing should remain good for a while, Kramer said. He said Schoodic Lake is holding up well, as well as Cold Stream Pond and Matagamon.

REGION G: NORTHERN MAINE

Pickerel fishing is hot in Aroostook County, said IFW biologist Dave Basley, who recommends Drew's Lake.

Basley said pickerel caught there have run from 18 to 22 inches.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

dfleming@pressherald.com

 

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