The dog days of summer this year are marked by unusually low water levels in brooks and streams in most parts of Maine.

But biologists around the state seem to think that situation is one rainfall away from changing for the better. After Wednesday’s significant rainfall, expect the next fishing report to also change for the better.


This past week state biologists in the Southern region sampled for brook trout on Branch Brook and Worthy Pond in Poland, and reported an abundance of brook trout at both sites.

“The flow was low in the brook, but there seemed to be plenty of trout around,” said biologist Francis Brautigam with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.


The heat has some biologists a bit concerned over trout mortality.

A week ago biologist Robert Van-Riper said he actually put a net in a low stream bed to move two trout to deeper water.

“I basically put them in a bucket and walked a half-mile to a (deeper) pool. The stream had dried up. They had only 4 inches to go,” Van-Riper said.

While the slow fish action during these hot summer days discourages many fishermen, Van-Riper said there are some who recognize trout are stressed by the hot water temperatures and opt to leave them alone.


This week biologists Down East have been surveying ponds that previously have not been surveyed, finding potential fisheries to stock and also wild populations of bass or brook trout.


Rain arrived on Wednesday for some areas of Maine and fishermen were hoping for it in Western Maine, biologists said.

“It’s so dry, a pulse of rain would bring the fish up and into the springs,” said IFW biologist Dave Howatt before the much-needed rainfall. “Right now there’s not a whole lot to the rivers here.”


Biologists around Moosehead Lake also are waiting for water temperatures to drop and fish movement to increase through the weir on the Roach River, but there is little movement.

“The water level at First Roach Pond is down about 2 inches, which could mean lower flows in the river in early September,” reported IFW biologist Tim Obrey.


Brook trout seem to be faring better in the summer heat in some areas of Eastern Maine compared to the rest of the state, based on biologists’ reports.

Based on work done on Lord Brook in Grand Falls Township, it looks like the Passadumkeag watershed is in great shape, said IFW biologist Nels Kramer.

“Despite the low water our population of brook trout is higher than the 20-year average,” Kramer said. “We have had good shade and water temperatures are excllent this year, always cold.”


Even in The County streams and river are low and dry, biologists said. The St. John River along the Quebec and New Brunswick border is flanked by a wide path of rocks.

“Some brooks and streams are as low as during some droughts that we’ve seen,” said IFW biologist Frank Frost.

But Frost is hopeful for the next few weeks.

“One thing I’ve noticed is our surface temperatures on lakes and ponds are actually quite low, so once we start getting cool nights, it’s going to cool down quick. September should be a good month up here,” Frost said. 

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

[email protected]


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