February 17, 2020

Downeast waters teeming with fish Passage of time brings changes in species present and angling experience

Editor’s note: Fisheries biologists for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife compile a weekly report. The full report is on the Web site: www.state.me.us/ifw/

Region B, Central Maine

The boundaries of the region, determined by an administrative edict back in the 1970s, was not based on geographical features, but along jurisdictional lines to allow the warden service clearer boundaries of enforcement. Biological management does not necessarily follow the lines arbitrarily put down on a map, so it was just luck that placed Bear Pond in my region, and that I would marry into a wonderful family that owned “Justamere” camp on Bear Pond in Turner.

Bear Pond did not receive much attention in the past and still does not receive as much as some of the more heavily used waters of the region that provide salmonid habitat. Bear Pond, the drawing site for many to the festivities at the old Bear Pond Park in the early days, is not blessed with the volumes of cold, well-oxygenated water, but does hold excellent habitat for the warm-water fish species such as perch and bass.

Over the years, the fish species present has been changed by unscrupulous individuals, a common and highly illegal act that has happened at many waters. First largemouth bass were noticed in the late 1980s, and then northern pike showed in the mid 1990s. All this has made for a change in fishing habits of all anglers.

Last week while on vacation, I boated only white perch, largemouth and smallmouth bass. In the past I would only catch smallmouths, and very rarely caught a decent white perch. Several of the white perch last week were in the 12- inch range and both bass species were exceptional, with some up to three pounds.

I thought early in the week that bass numbers might be suffering, but as the week went on, conditions changed, leaving me with a good feeling that things might not be so bad. The biologist in me says a good test to measure the fishery is numbers or repetitive observations. So it is with many waters, where the dynamics are changed either by man’s intervention, or the natural cycles that make fishing change from year to year.

A neighboring place at Bear Pond, occupied by retired Marine Resource Patrol officer Carl Burden indicated this last winter he iced a large pike. The pond, not a textbook water for good northern pike fishery will again change in its fishery future. I even might have had a taste of the future, when my line parted above the bobber I was using and never showed itself, maybe held down by a large pike, or even a good bass. Just remember “Cobwebs and dew on the grass in the morning signals a good fishing day.”

– Bill Woodward

Region C, Downeast

In the wee hours of the morning, when the lake waters are still, fish can be seen slashing the surface and breaking the calm. At this time of year, this scene plays itself out over and over again. To a fisherman this sight is irresistible. It begs you to quietly approach the area and skillfully place a cast into the middle of a fish feeding frenzy.

Here is a list of waters located Downeast where you can find lots of fishing action: Meddybemps Lake, Meddybemps; Crawford Lake, Crawford; Pocomoonshine Lake, Alexander; Woodland Flowage, Baileyville; Hadley Lake, East Machias; Gardner Lake, East Machias; Third Machias Lake, T43 MD; Long Pond, Mount Desert; Alamoosook Lake, Orland; Toddy Pond, Orland; Phillips Lake, Dedham; and Donnell Pond, Franklin.

Recently, I experienced this type of fishing with my 8 year old son. At the end of the day, he said “dad this is my best fishing day ever! Thank you very much for taking me!”

Take someone you love fishing. You and they will cherish the memories!

– Gregory Burr

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