August 19, 2016
As summer sunshine warms the waters of Moosehead Lake and its tributaries trout and salmon begin retreating to the lakes seeking cooler waters in the depths of the lake. Many of the E.O. residents either drop back into Indian Pond or pass through the fish ladder into Moosehead Lake. Although fish still remain in the river trout and salmon numbers in the rivers fall off. 10-12″ salmon that have spent the first year and a half of their life decide a diet of only insects is not enough and head to the lake to seek cooler water and begin feeding on a diet of smelt, the high protein food they need to mature into adult fish. The same goes for the Roach & Moose River.
The West Branch of the Penobscot below Ripogenus Dam is a different story. It’s a very unique landlocked salmon fishery where fish are born and spend their entire life in a river environment. There is no fish ladder at Rip Dam so fish are stuck in the river. The reason they thrive is the passage of smelt through the power plant turbines and through flood gates during high water events. There are enough smelt dumped into the river to maintain a large healthy population of salmon and trout. It’s a unique situation that exists in very few places.
Because it is a tailwater fishery angling remains very good during the heat of summer. Caddis and stone fly hatches hold up and fish continue feeding on top all summer long. Early morning and late evening are the best times for hatches and finding feeding fish but we have been having good surface fishing throughout the day. West Branch water levels have been very good for waders and drift boats.
You can find daily flows at our “Water Flow” page.
You probably know that much of the northeast has low water conditions. Our region, on the other hand, still has good amounts of water in our lakes. They are down some but not enough too create issues in the main rivers. We should be in good shape for fall flows.
We’ll know in a week or so when and how much water there will be in September. Usually fall releases begin around Labor Day. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we have reliable info.
There has been a rumor going around that Moosehead will soon experience a 4 foot drawdown for dam repair which would mean extreme high water on the East Outlet. The talked to the authorities and that rumor is simply not true and was started by a contractor looking for dock work.
The photo above is of Eddie the well know resident at Big Eddy on the Penobscot. Taken by John Major as we put in for a drift trip.