April 14, 2013

This won't float your boat

With property values soaring and open land at a premium, freshwater fishermen are left high and dry, especially in southern Maine.

By Deirdre Fleming dfleming@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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It still being early in the season, a boat heads onto Sebago Lake via a public launch that soon may have a long wait due to a lack of such facilities, especially on lakes and ponds in York and Cumberland counties.

Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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Dan Hillier of Naples doesn’t have any trouble launching his boat at Sebago Lake State Park, but come the prime boating season, it won’t be so easy.

Additional Photos Below

The Maine Appalachian Trail Club maintains 267 of the 281-mile section of Appalachian Trail in Maine. To learn more about the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, go to www.matc.org

In eastern Maine, regional fisheries biologist Nels Kramer said it took several years to add a boat launch at Upper Cold Stream Pond. He said it's an example of a place where locals didn't want the public access and the traffic that comes with it.

"The problem there was folks who already had camps, a lot did not really want to see a public boat landing. It's challenging. People who already have their little heaven don't want the rest of the people," Kramer said.

And in western Maine, biologist Bob Van Riper sees problems, too.

"I've got a bunch of access issues, where access was shut down, places where the landowner allowed the public to access the water. But if that gets abused, if people trash it or make noise or rip up the road, they shut it down," Van Riper said.

Fortunately, farther north, the conflict over access to water becomes less of an issue. In the northern forestland where timber companies own the lion's share of land around fisheries, access is generally allowed, said regional fisheries biologist Tim Obrey on Moosehead Lake.

"We haven't had a problem. It's not like in eastern Maine or southern Maine," Obrey said.

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


Twitter: Flemingpph

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Additional Photos

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Trucks and trailers sit in the parking lot near the public boat launch at Sebago Lake, and those vehicles will soon increase in number.


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