Fishery Region F

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2007 Trapnetting Results

Fisheries staff conducted fall trapnetting at several productive coldwater fishery lakes in the Region this fall and liked what they saw. 

Schoodic Lake in Brownville, Milo and Lakeview Plantation: Schoodic Lake continues its remarkable recovery from the poor fishing of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, and is once again a premier destination point for anglers in search of quality lake trout (togue) and landlocked salmon fishing. Lake trout have dropped a bit in size compared to five years ago, but still averaged a healthy 20 inches in length and just less than 3 pounds in the fall trapnets. A new regulation for 2008 will allow anglers to keep two togue as part of the daily limit, but only one may be over 23 inches in length. This should provide some protection for the larger togue, while affording angers the opportunity to take two togue home with them if they would like.A nice catch of lake trout from Schoodic Lake

In addition to excellent togue fishing, Schoodic Lake has the ability to provide salmon enthusiasts with an excellent opportunity to catch a trophy size salmon. In fact, Schoodic Lake is part of the “Maine Classic Landlocked Salmon Program”, a cooperative project between Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Sportsman Alliance of Maine. The project has the goal of producing “trophy” landlocked salmon in select waters in each region of the State.  Two-year old salmon trapnetted last fall averaged almost 22 inches and 3.6 pounds in weight!  A good number of three-year old salmon were captured averaging over 4.5 pounds and a 7.65 pound four-year old salmon was caught as well.  As a result of natural reproduction in lake tributaries and the outlet there is also a small population of wild salmon in the lake. Wild fish accounted for about 20 percent of the salmon captured, and averaged 20 inches long and just under 3 pounds.  

Cold Stream Pond in Enfield, Lincoln and Lowell: Growth of landlocked salmon at Cold Stream Pond remains very good, as they have responded well to the liberalized bag limit of lake trout imposed by the Department in 2003. The objective of the regulation change is to reduce the wild togue population in the lake and also reduce predation on smelt, the favorite forage of landlocked salmon. With more smelt to eat, the salmon should grow faster. In fact, this year’s trap netting operation revealed two-year old salmon that averaged 20 inches long and 3 pounds in weight. Three-year old fish averaged 3.7 pounds and a couple of four-year old salmon averaged over 5 pounds!  We continue to encourage anglers to help us with our cold water fisheries management at Cold Stream Pond and our attempts to keep the wild lake trout population in check, by taking advantage of the liberal size and daily bag limit (Daily limit: 5 lake trout, 14 inches). 

Finally, stocking of fall yearling brook trout in recent years has really created a buzz in the ice fishing community around Cold Stream Pond. The one and half year old trout are 10-14 inches when stocked in late fall, are still bright with fall spawning colors, and have provided an excellent fishery especially early in the season.

By Richard Dill

Baxter State Park – New Pond Surveys

A concerted effort was made this summer to investigate a number of previously un-surveyed ponds in Baxter State Park. Stump Pond in T3R10 WELS and Twin Ponds in T4R9 WELS were surveyed during the early part of the summer 2007, while surveys of Grassy Pond and Deer Pond in T3R10 WELS, and Mink Pond, Rum Pond, Tea Pond and Helon Taylor Pond, all in T2R9 WELS were conducted during the first week of August. The majority of the new surveyed ponds were small, shallow and warm, with most being associated with peat bogs. Several of the ponds held no brook trout; however Grassy Pond, Deer Pond and Stump Pond, all had wild populations of small brook trout.

Grassy Pond in Baxter Park with a beautiful view of Mt. Katahdin in the background.The striking exception was Twin Ponds located on the eastern slope between North and East Turner Mountains. At 1,820 feet above sea level, this pond held no fish until the 1940’s when the then operator of Katahdin Lake Camps  transported brook trout in Indian tanks from Twin Brook, the outlet of the pond into Twin Ponds. The larger of the two Twin Ponds is 20 acres in size and 40 feet deep with gin clear water allowing an angler to see to bottom in all but the deepest sections of the pond. Trout were abundant at the time of our survey this summer, ranging in length between 10 and 16 inches. Young of the year brook trout were abundant in both small brooks entering the pond from the north, essentially providing most all the recruitment necessary to maintain a viable
brook trout population in the pond.

Although presently there are no authorized campsites on the shore of the pond, Baxter State Park is in the process of planning for the development of a site on the north shore. IF&W plans to propose some additional protection for the wild brook trout population with the addition of S-6 (ALO) and S-17 (2 trout 10”, only 1 over 12”) regulations. This is one of the most picturesque little ponds in the entire world nestled below the ridge between the Turners, and reminds one of Chimney Pond. Baxter Park offers some of the most spectacular views and exciting brook trout fishing in the State of Maine, and the development of this gem will afford anglers an additional unique angling opportunity.

By Gordon Kramer  

Invasive Species

Dateline: Hudson, Maine.  February 3 & 4, 2007

Local snowmobile club takes stand; works with Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission to lessen impact of illegally introduced Northern pike to Pushaw Lake and the Penobscot River drainage.

That was the headline last February, as the Pushaw Lake ATV & Snowmobile Club offered prizes to anglers for the heaviest total poundage of Northern pike caught and killed during the annual Pushaw Lake ice-fishing derby.  State fishery biologists and derby organizers met in fall of 2006, and came up with a plan for the 2007 winter derby; the goal, remove as many of the unwanted pike from Pushaw Lake as possible. 

Northern pike, first confirmed in Pushaw Lake in 2003, are suspected of being illegally stocked in the lake in the late Northern pike prey upon other fish, including salmonids1990’s. Pike are a voracious, invasive specie of fish that have the potential of severely impacting native fish populations of Maine lakes and rivers. Compounding the issue is the fact that Pushaw flows directly into the Penobscot River from there pike have access to the entire Penobscot River drainage, the second largest in Maine. MIFW estimates that within the Penobscot drainage, 3,500 miles of streams inhabited by native Eastern brook trout, and 33,000 surface acres of great ponds and lakes are at risk from Northern pike. Likewise Maine Department of Marine Resources has concerns for diadromous fish species restoration, including Atlantic salmon, especially in light of the Penobscot River Restoration Project initiative.

Anglers registered only five pike during the two-day derby in 2007, but biologists and derby organizers view this as a good thing, as it appears the pike population in Pushaw is still small.  While biologists are discouraged by the recent increase in illegal stockings across the state, the Pushaw Derby is a good example of fishery biologists and citizens working together to lessen the impact of an illegal stocking as well as sending a message across the state that the citizens of Maine are tired of this illegal practice. The 2008 annual ice fishing derby at Pushaw Lake will be held February 2nd and 3rd.

By Richard Dill

Public Access Project Updates

Upper Cold Stream Pond in Lincoln: The Department finalized the purchase of a 1.6 acre parcel with shore land frontage on the southwest shore of the lake. Our intent is to develop a public boat ramp and parking lot on this property in the near future. Upper Cold Stream Pond is a spring fed lake of about 500 acres in size and has a maximum depth of 66 feet. The lake was stocked this year with fall yearling brook trout (10-14 inches long), and there are plans to resume stocking landlocked salmon by 2009.  The pond has a small wild population of lake trout along with a healthy population of lake white fish. The latter species were illegally introduced in the 1970’s.  A recent illegal stocking of smallmouth bass will undoubtedly have negative affects on the coldwater fish species in the pond. The bass regulation for the pond is S-13 (no size or bag limit on bass), and anglers are encouraged to keep all smallmouth bass that they catch.  

Lambert Lake in Lambert Lake TWP: A new public boat launch is scheduled for construction in 2008. The launch will be located on the southeast shore of the lake near Route 6 in Lambert Lake Township. The access site is a short distance off the Head of Lake Road from Route 6 along the south side of the lake. Lambert Lake is stocked annually with brook trout and landlocked salmon and provides a moderate, and in some years good, fishery for both species. Smallmouth bass and white perch are also present in the lake and provide good action and a tasty meal.

Schoodic Lake in Lakeview: The Department purchased a parcel of land on the south shore of Schoodic Lake in 2003 for the purpose of developing a second public access point to the lake. At the time of the purchase the parcel contained a preexisting, although inadequate, boat launch. Reconstruction of the boat launch and construction of a parking lot with a capacity of 10 vehicles is planned for 2008. The boat launch in Lakeview should alleviate pressure at the other public access point at Knights Landing in Brownville while providing anglers and boaters more direct access to the southern part of Schoodic Lake. The lake continues to produce good numbers of wild lake trout, and landlocked salmon growth has been exceptional since stocking of the specie was resumed 3 years ago.  This past fall 2 year old salmon captured during trapnetting efforts averaged over 21 inches in length and 3.5 pounds in weight. Brook trout are also stocked annually, and should provide good opportunity for anglers as well.  Finally, smelts are in such good numbers that many anglers are able to catch their bait as well as take some home at the end of the day for a meal.

By Richard Dill