Young Ian Friedel of Yarmouth and family and friends celebrate his birthday with a fishing trip on Sebago Lake and a nice lake trout. Tom Roth / For Lakes Region Weekly

Almost every morning I am trolling on Sebago Lake, I can count on the regional fisheries biologist to motor over and inquire about my boat’s catch. I see the red Polar Kraft center console out on the lake as it pops in to see other anglers, as well. This is called a creel survey and biologists use it to monitor Sebago Lake’s fishing activity, catch rate and success rate. This data is used to guide decisions on management and regulations.

Tom Roth is a freelance outdoor writer who lives in Raymond on the shore of Sebago Lake. He has been fishing and hunting in this region for more than 30 years and is a Registered Maine Guide.

Aside from the daily check-ins by biologists, I also fill out a logbook provided by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that lists each day I fish, how many anglers accompany me, how many hours we fished and what we caught, kept and/or released. Aside from helping them out with their research, it is a great way for me to look back over the years and remind myself of trips past, see trends of the best dates to fish and allow me to rate how successful a particular year was.

Recently, you may have seen red buoys floating about the lake in various locations. These are survey nets used by MDIFW to study lake trout. The survey method, called summer profundal index netting, or SPIN,  allows biologists to gauge how many harvestable fish are in the lake, determine where the fish are located, examine the age and size of the fish and obtain a sample to study things like the growth rate and diet of Sebago’s lake trout.

This study has been going on for some time now and one past survey indicated that most lake trout were located at 100 feet or deeper. Interestingly, the size of the lake trout decreased the deeper they surveyed. I suspect that smaller lake trout are less affected by the water pressure that increases as you go deeper.

The other day, the biologist was making his rounds and I was having a slow day. He reported that the SPIN program was showing fish much deeper than I was fishing. I pulled up my gear and headed deeper and was soon catching fish. It pays to stay in contact with your local fisheries biologist.

The lake trout fishing has slowed down a bit as the big balls of alewife have scattered, but the salmon are still biting. Trolling where the water temperature is between 45 and 55 degrees will put anglers in the preferred temperature zone for the landlocked salmon. I use the Live Data Center app. This app takes you to a research buoy in the lake that records, among other things, water temperature at every meter from top to bottom. Nothing like being able to pinpoint the prime water temperature depth.

Biologists and research data can be useful to anglers, so take the time to establish those relationships. If you are not using a catch log and submitting it each year, get started today. All your data can help the lake, the fishery and all of us anglers.

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