Moosehead Lake region fishing report
The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will hold public hearings on proposed fishing regulations in the upcoming weeks. The closest hearing to Greenville will be in Millinocket at the Baxter Park Inn Conference Room, (935 Central Street) at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26. There are several regulation proposals that were proposed by the fisheries staff in the Greenville office on nearby waters. I have written about several of these in the past, but I want to provide a quick summary here.
We are proposing to tweak the language of the regulation on the Moose River below the Brassua Dam to allow fly fishing and trolling with flies. The current law only allows flycasting and there were “loopholes” in a previous law that allowed the use of more “lure-like” objects. We had numerous stakeholders’ meetings and conversations to develop the new language.
We are also proposing a no size or bag limit on salmon under 16 inches and a one-fish bag limit on salmon over 16 inches at Chesuncook Lake. This will be part of a concerted effort to reduce the excessive salmon density and restore the good growth conditions prevalent prior to the 1990s.
Another proposal of interest is the proposal to institute no size or bag limit on bass as the new general law for the northern part of the state. This doesn’t impact waters with special regulations and most of the bass waters in this region already have a no size or bag limit. Sebec Lake will retain the two-fish limit on bass, and the special regulations on Branns’ Mill Pond and Harlow/Manhanock Pond will remain. Indian Pond in Sapling Township would change from a two-fish bag and 12-inch minimum limit to the new general law.
In most cases bass anglers are practicing very high rates of catch and release already, so we do not anticipate major impacts but this will help to simplify the lawbook and is consistent with coldwater fish management in the northern regions.
A complete list of statewide proposals can be found at the IFW website http://www.maine.gov/ifw/aboutus/laws_rules/pdf/fishingregulationproposals_2018.pdf.
Schedule for hearings: July 25 6:30 p.m. Northeastland Hotel, Red Room 436 Main Street Presque Isle;
July 26 6:30 p.m. Baxter Park Inn Conference Room, 935 Central Street Millinocket;
July 27 6:30 p.m. Ramada Breakfast Room, 215 High Street, Route 1 and 3 Ellsworth;
Aug. 2 6:30 p.m. University of Maine Farmington, Olson Student Center CR 123, 111 South Street Farmington;
and Aug. 3 6:30 p.m. Comfort Inn Breakfast Room, 199 Pleasant Street Brunswick.
If you are unable to attend and wish to provide testimony, you can send an email or letter to the Commissioner’s Office: Becky Orff, Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, 284 State Street, #41 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please feel free to contact me before the meetings or the end of comment period on Aug. 14 if you have any specific questions about regulation proposals in the Moosehead Lake region (Region E).