Ice is not out up around Moosehead, in western Maine, and definitely not in northern Maine.

But fishermen only recently got done ice fishing in Aroostook County, thanks to the new statewide law that allows for extended ice fishing and more open-water fishing opportunities in certain areas.

So it’s all good.


Stocking around the Route 35 Presumpscot bypass in southern Maine has stalled because of very high lake water levels, reported biologist Francis Brautigam with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

“We’re hoping stocking there will start up next week,” Brautigam said Tuesday. “We don’t want to put fish in the bypass if the flows can’t support angling. So we are holding on to the fish.”

That said, York and Cumberland county waters are free of ice, Brautigam said.

And fishing reports on Sebago Lake have been good, he added.

Smelts have not moved up yet into the Crooked River, but that run should start any time, Brautigam predicted.


Last weekend the Belgrade lakes were completely clear of ice, but high water has made fishing very difficult on the brooks at this time, said IFW biologist Jim Lucas.

Pike fishing in the region’s northern pike waters should be picking up now with the spawning runs done.

“The pike dropped their eggs and are quite hungry. They’re biting pretty good,” Lucas said.


As of last week all the ice had gone out on lakes and ponds Down East, even on West Grand Lake, where the ice went out April 25, reported IFW biologist Greg Bur.


There are few waters free of ice in western Maine, reported IFW biologist Dave Boucher.

South of Route 2 is where to find small ponds that are free of ice as of last weekend.

Stream flows in the region were perfect for fishing last week, but any rain at the end of the week could change that this weekend, Boucher added.

Smelt runs are all behind schedule.


The Moosehead Lake Region was still iced over as of Tuesday, reported IFW biologist Tim Obrey.

Most of the brooks and streams in the Dover-Foxcroft and Guilford area are clear, and flows have settled enough to make them fishable.

No word on any smelt runs in the region, and Obrey predicts ponds will be opening up this week.


None of the lakes around Millinocket were free of ice last week and rivers were running high in the region, reported IFW biologist Nels Kramer.

“Things are waiting to bust out. And a number of smelt runs are currently active,” Kramer said.


In southern Aroostook county, around Oakfield and Houlton, some anglers are fishing the small ponds where the ice has pulled away from the shore, but for the most part The County is still socked in with ice.

IFW biologist David Basley said a report from a local forester estimated 2 feet of snow in the woods around Ashland.

But April did not pass in The County without any fishing — because ice fishermen took advantage of the new rules that allow anglers to fish year-round on certain waters. Most are in southern and central Maine, but a few can be found up north.

At this point, even where there is ice, he said it is too unsafe for even avid ice fishermen to venture out.

“The first couple of weeks people went. But by the third week of April, people have a little bit of trepidation,” Basley said.

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

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