Fishermen are taking full advantage of Maine’s early spring this year, catching salmon, bass and trout in waters from southern Maine all the way up to Rangeley.

And it looks like this weekend, ice should be out everywhere but Aroostook County, according to state biologists.


While the fishing continues to be hot on Sebago Lake, the smelt runs are all but done, said biologist Francis Brautigam with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

“A number of smelt runs occurred much earlier than most years,” Brautigam said.

Meanwhile, salmon between 2 and 4 pounds were caught in Sebago a week ago when fishermen were catching anywhere between five to a dozen salmon, Brautigam said.



While fishermen are busy elsewhere, biologists are at work trying to catch walleye in the Belgrade region.

Biologists in central Maine have just started asking fishermen to catch and kill any walleye they find in Great Pond, Long Pond or Messalonskee Lake.

The fish were first found in the region in 1996 and after trap netting by biologists appeared to be removed from all waters without establishing a viable population, said biologist Scott Davis.

But several years ago they appeared again, only in older age classes — a suspicious find, Davis said.

“There doesn’t appear to be wild fish yet. We think these are illegal introductions. We think there were two illegal introductions,” Davis said.


Any fishermen who catch walleye are asked to kill them and contact the regional state biologists, at 547-5317.


Last week’s report for Hancock and Washington counties was no fluke. Bass fishermen are out in mid-April catching loads of nice-sized salmon, said IFW biologist Rick Jordan.

“A lot of these guys with the flashy bass boats are out at every chance, and some of them are seeing excellent fishing,” Jordan said. “Some of the big fish of the day are 3 to 4 pounds. That’s quite good. And it’s only going to get better.”

Trout fishing is also going well at area ponds, Jordan said.

And when West Grand Lake is ice free in the coming weeks, Jordan said it will offer excellent salmon and togue fishing due to the high smelt population this year.



Ice out occurred all over the Rangeley region last week.

Richardson Lake had ice out last weekend and Mooselookmeguntic Lake was nearly clear during the week, said IFW biologist Dave Boucher.

this weekend, Boucher said “Mooselook” should be clear, followed closely by Rangeley Lake.

And stream flows are slowing, making some of Maine’s best-loved trout and salmon waters very fishable.



The hatchery trucks from the Embden Rearing Facility dropped off 400 spring yearling brook trout around Moosehead Lake each of the past two weeks.

IFW biologist Tim Obrey said the waters to try in the region are Brassua Lake, First Roach Pond, Attean Pond and Sebec Lake.

“The biggest fish of the year typically get caught just after ice out,” Obrey reported.

He also warned that everything is moving earlier this year — and that could include the black flies.


The smelt are starting to run up to East Grand Lake and the brook fishing is getting good, said IFW biologist Nels Kramer.


“Some of the brooks are starting to drop a bit. The inch of rain we got Friday didn’t help, but things are starting to drop,” Kramer said.


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


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