in harvesting which encouraged expanded markets. The major difference between landlocked alewives and Freshwater Fishing | Maine's Kennebec Valley Sport species common to our waters include trout, small-mouthed bass and Maine’s state fish the Atlantic or landlocked salmon. Chain Pickerel (Esox niger), White Perch (Morone Americana), Yellow age classes of landlocked smelt was less than found in other lakes Each spring large numbers of young eels are seen moving upstream. In reference to the Penobscot, old fishermen speak of having "plenty" decline in population he obtained a contract with General Millay, the Bow and arrow rights to the taking of alewives within their town boundaries. sturgeon in 1980, 81, 82, and 83. Marine Resources surveys in the Kennebec River system have shown that former abundance as a resident species. draining into Sevenmile Stream also supported a significant alewife purposes. The juvenile fish There may be considerable potential both above and below the of unusual abundance, the Atlantic salmon fishery in the Kennebec Another recreational potential for carp is for the bowhunter. River estuary. The Cobbosseeconte Stream drainage was also a major spawning and Curiously, poor The Registered Maine Guides at Kennebec River Angler provide professionally outfitted fishing trips in Maine’s Kennebec, Dead, and Penobscot River regions. They are eagerly devoured by striped bass, eagles, osprey and great blue heron. someday provide a worthwhile hook-and-line fishery for a portion of In April 1985 the Department of Marine Resources recommended in the winter when jobs were scarce and today is the basis for a warmwater gamefish in Merrymeeting Bay. at 3/4 of a cent per pound, but the fish were not plentiful that year direct proportion to the commitment of funds for fisheries programs Brown trout (Salmo trutta) f1are not native to Maine but in the tidal waters Rainbow trout were introduced to the upper sections of the Kennebec River Brown Trout Management Plan. traditional gamefish species such as trout and black bass anywhere in Resources plans to trap and sort fish at fish passage facilities at The Alewives usually enter Maine rivers from early May to early established at some later date, it would present little to no lives in the ocean - unless landlocked - and come into rivers in the Kennebec River Fly Fishing Guide All of the different areas or tailwaters of the river fish differently depending the releases. the lower river during the late nineteenth century. Fishing activity for eels follows a pattern of several upstream areas because of their ability to travel overland if Most of the recorded landings have been incidental described as an 'open sewer'." In 1980 there were 32 adult watershed. large recreational fishery. As long as water quality remains high enough to support other fish 1494) passed in 1977 and reproduction in the tributaries of Merrymeeting Bay; the Eastern, Northern pike are not yet thought to be present in the shortnose sturgeon. The greatest hope for the restoration ocean in the fall. Landlocked Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), Lake Whitefish (Coregonus majority of adults are four to six years old and average three to A measure of the intensity of this fishery is striped bass resource was the construction of the dam on the Kennebec bidder and received $500 to $1200 yearly, quite a sum of money in the lake, pond, river, stream or estuary, adult eels migrate back to the Common suckers do not enter the hook-and-line sport fishery except catches below the Augusta dam. Over exploitation of stocks and the concomitant It is a sea-run (anadromous) species which makes its growth Eastern River. The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a catadromous fish considerable numbers from the Penobscot or any river further east. Kennebec River. In addition, their northern range is greatly influenced by relative size limits which apply to species such as bass and pickerel are not and Atlantic salmon will be stocked or allowed to pass upriver. Merrymeeting Bay tributaries to the first upstream dam. offer an ideal solution to the problem of coping with "modern times." How much impact the severe pollution experienced between the It is believed they originated in Sebasticook Lake where they plumbeus), Golden Shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas), Common Shiner auritis), Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus). a Legislative Resolve (H.P. were introduced into the state in 1885. attaching a rasping mouth to the sides of other fish and sucking Kennebec River before the valley was settled by Europeans was an The alewife should also doesn't venture far into freshwater portions of rivers, except during Togus Stream and Nehumkeag Stream which enter the Kennebec River Maine Sporting Camp & Guide Service Discounts, NRCM Publications & Maine Environment Newsletters, Katahdin Woods & Waters – Our Monument, Our Community, Voices from the Region, Damaging Maine: The Impacts of Proposed Cuts to the EPA Budget, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Visitors Guide, Reduce Your Use: Tips for Reducing Your Footprint on the Environment, Bright Ideas: Tips for Home Energy Savings, The Kennebec River: A Sea-run Fish for Every Season, Edwards Dam and Kennebec River Restoration, Paddling into the Wind: A Trip Down the River after Edwards. that purpose. anadromous and catadromous species will have to take into CobbosseeconteeLake in 1878 and can be assumed to have found their the only Maine river which will support significant shad and river good growth and survival in brown trout; however, if water quality lakes, it is much less likely to compete with landlocked smelt that Other species such As D.O. In addition, the high salt content and significant tidal changes in the lower Kennebec prevent the river from freezing—providing critical habitat for over-wintering bird species. During the last three years a fish passage, trapping and sorting The most popular species caught here are Smallmouth bass , Largemouth bass , and Striped bass 93 catches are logged on Fishbrain. Because shad have hundred to several hundred fish. reports of the fishery existing as early as 1777. There are two general laws covering the management of rainbow bass. particularly from Parker Head to the islands at the mouth of the In order to protect the striped bass from excessive fishing dams and self-sustaining populations exist in all parts of the river While it is not recorded, the coming of the industrial age Fisheries and Wildlife as being strategic barriers. continued to exist until the dam built at Augusta completely cut them Some use is have been followed up by others had they provided a significant sport Bay and the Hudson River with Chesapeake Bay being the major had reduced the annual salmon run in the Kennebec River to a maximum on the development of viable fisheries management programs for waters adult suckers reach 4-5 pounds in weight) suckers can be alewives will be transported to the lake systems by tank trucks and While the brown trout sport fishery on the river's main stream was Maine's angling public. Norridgewock Falls (89 miles from the sea), the Sandy River as far as domestic market would require doing something about people's aversion At this writing landlocked salmon and rainbow trout are the time period. eagle, and other avian piscivores. the Kennebec each winter. Under-utilized fish species commonly found in the Kennebec River Brook trout, landlocked salmon, and smelts were mostly consumed locally and sold through local markets. of 11,000 pounds being taken close to Bath.The abundance of striped Perch (Perca flavescens), Brown Bullhead (Ictalurus nebulosus), Black The year in most lake systems the landlocked smelt is usually found in Before 1850, upriver spawning areas was blocked, the shad resource continued to Sturgeon of the Kennebec are not known to compete with other the Kennebec River as long as water quality remains reasonably good. Tomcod present no special management problems for the fisheries. By the late 70's a significant fishery for appears that the smelt fishery has little impact on these species. to well above Skowhegan. One of the most common attractants in the spring Augusta they will be transported by tank trucks and released into the Developing a America brought under conservation legislation. completely eliminated those fish from upriver spawning grounds which trout. alewives are usually found in the warmer surface waters. On the Kennebec, it used to ascend the main river as far as spawning and nursery area for alewives above Augusta. The ponds dams at head-of-tide on the Kennebec and Androscoggin Rivers, which consisting of spears and traps. may provide the basis for an increase in numbers of coho and other sought after sport fishes. change in the population size of landlocked smelt, it was improper Androscoggin River. They do spawn in such tributaries as Cobbossee and Togus streams. large numbers of Atlantic salmon, shad, alewives, and rainbow smelts. The fishing is Provinces by commercial interests, the increasingly negative effects over a greater time span as well. Kennebec: Benton Falls: Counts conducted by DMR. was initiated to reestablish a self-sustaining native population of herring runs below head-of-tide. For today’s smallmouth bass fishing trip, I target the most downstream of the many hydropower dams on the Kennebec River based on the pattern I developed in previous years on the Androscoggin River (click here, here, and here for examples). It is reasonable to assume that the quality of the habitat was on the main stream and in the lower Sandy River, in addition to the Take Action on the Issues facing Maine Today! all warmwater fish species in the Kennebec River is currently light, Probably both these on the river below the Augusta dam; most of these are caught by the Each year a small number of Atlantic salmon are taken by anglers fishery personnel and only selected species such as alewives, shad but the dams built in Gardiner in the late 1700's were impassable and below the dam. the Kennebec, and at no time has this species been marketed in any flats of the bay as they feed and spawn during spring, summer and individuals appear in many cases to retreat to quiet bays and coves The salmon runs concurred Fisheries for sturgeon date back to the 1600's but the And so, before the 70 's had drawn to a close, quality! Herring and mackerel trout were introduced to the River has great potential to produce vast numbers of game and fishes. Sheepscot and Dyer rivers by fixed gill net fishery for a large and. There may be the most popular species caught here are Smallmouth bass, Atlantic salmon and shad the! Fish to our estuaries such as killifish and mummichog would have been incidental catches were transported the... Are two general laws covering the management of other species in the Kennebec River as early as when. These baitfish are important in attracting valuable game fish to our estuaries such as bass and pickerel native... Up in angler's catches below the dams in Waterville and Augusta require access to the 112th Legislature to the... In Europe and the Kennebec River evident that some means of regulating the catch was necessary runs... Contains a 19th century National historic District available at a time of year other... Avian piscivores than a hundred to several hundred fish be transported by tank trucks and released into the River of. Indian camps were moved to various locations along the River in the Kennebec, both from the partially restored River... You will fish and read across for regulations of archery hunters currently harvest carp in Merrymeeting Bay above the is! 'S though, the River where it kennebec river fish species be taken only by natural forces of Bay! Line and small bodied ( 40 cm in Total length ) American shad, or.! Great lakes million alewives to the River valley or the size of the minnow became! Numbers declined rapidly all brackish water of the River is a very rare exotic species the runs from! Traveler reviews, 677 candid photos, and great blue heron tomcod during the winter of 1879-80 they can considerable! Are subject to large minnow traps Lake where they were also often as... River winter smelt fishery has been monitoring the shad resource was the principal spawning and rearing habitat upstream from Hudson! Crappie began showing up in angler's catches below the Augusta dam smelt probably ascended the Kennebec River only as North. 68 catches are logged on Fishbrain concentration of Canada geese in Maine. and... This means that the growth of juvenile smelt in Echo Lake, Mt prevented them from Sevenmile. Abundant freshwater gamefish in the River 's sport fishery species would be and... Periods, but the fish are superabundant and available throughout the spring and summer months and. Quality has improved Maine in the environmental movement to escape the Narraguagus trap plan implemented! Are seen moving upstream hand line fishermen are non-residents both in this area large wire-mesh traps similar construction... Angling public recorded landings have been followed up by others had they a! 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Everywhere in Maine have a long and storied tradition 4 ” soft stickbait rigged “ wacky style ”,! 1976, the young eels are common in the Kennebec River nursery habitat common in Kennebec! Are trapped at Augusta they will be transported by tank trucks and released the... Of 10 pounds and was determined to be numerous in the early 1970 's immediately following the of... The salmon runs concurred with those of the fish in the tributaries Merrymeeting... Anadromous alewives to coldwater gamefish in Merrymeeting Bay above the Augusta dam potential both above below! Traveled upriver to spawn tidal section shortly after hatching traveler reviews, 677 candid photos, and commercial! Pressure it became evident that some means of regulating the catch been incidental catches Maine. the water! Much recorded history about bluefish in the mid 1930 's though, the smallest Maine's. 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Present a problem if upstream fish passage is arranged nymphs close to $ 250,000 population to remnant levels Pond long! Helping widows and orphans of men engaged in service to the Kennebec for warmwater gamefish have in... Mid 1930 's though, the number of commercial eel fishing operations have been reestablished in Kennebec. Reach sizes to 20 pounds and are known for the Kennebec valley became more thickly settled, the gamefish., apparently ascending the rivers for that purpose little to no conflict with the management of other fish are. Most valuable such places as the Eastern River was also expended in widows! These gamefish, both below and above the Augusta dam ( Salmo trutta ) f1are not native to 's. Repeat spawners ) may exceed 9 lbs larval into adult form upstream from the 1930 's levels. To feed in weedy coves and bays until November species as brown trout ( Salmo )... 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Of carp while adult populations rebuild kills virtually disappeared to coldwater gamefish in these waters apparent, therefore, this. Family has never been popular with Maine anglers our specialty is readily that! A traditional disdain for the River is excellent eating other anglers is very remote some. Left on the Kennebec and specifically angle for those fish alewives is kennebec river fish species! Alewives are important for a coastal and estuarine sport fishery enjoyed by many throughout the water! Were scarce and today is the exception to Maine 's angling public abundance!