Rangeley Lake Fishery Management

JOB F-101

Rangeley Lake, located in western Maine’s Franklin County, provides an outstanding fishery for landlocked salmon and, increasingly, for brook trout.  This 6,000-acre lake has had a one-salmon daily bag limit since 1988 and is closed to ice fishing.  The fishery is provided by a combination of stocked and wild fish.  The salmon population was monitored by clerk and voluntary angler surveys and by fall trapnetting in 2006.  Both clerk and voluntary angler records indicated a decline in the salmon catch rate but a continued high release rate of legal-size fish.  Also, the results of the clerk survey and the trapnetting sample indicated that salmon growth rates continued to decline in 2006.  Spring-yearling brook trout have been stocked in relatively small numbers at Rangeley Lake since 1999.  Clerk and voluntary angler records confirm that these fish continue to contribute to the fishery, augmented by increasing numbers of wild brook trout.  The proportion of wild salmon trapnetted at the Outlet was higher than that for the last few years at 64%; older wild salmon (age IV+ and greater) accounted for 20% of the catch.  Adult and young-of-year smelt abundance, determined by smelt egg monitoring and hydroacoustic sampling, continued to decline in 2006.  Because of the decline in smelt abundance and the resulting decline in salmon growth rates – despite measured reductions in salmon stocking the last few years - annual stocking of both salmon and brook trout will be cancelled in 2007 to encourage an increase in forage abundance.

Written by Forrest Bonney

For more information, please contact:

Forrest Bonney, Regional Fishery Biologist
689 Farmington Road
Strong, Maine 04983-9419
Telephone: (207) 778-3322 Ext. 22
Email: forrest.bonney@maine.gov