Check Out These Early Season Ice Fishing Opportunities In Western Maine!

Early season ice fishing often means fast fishing for anglers of all ages.

Ice fishing season is fast approaching with the arrival of colder temperatures in the western mountains of Maine. Several waters within the region are open to ice fishing in the month of December and were recently stocked with brook trout to provide anglers with the opportunity to catch quality trout through the ice.

Norcross and Crowell Pond located in Chesterville are shallow waters that often form ice early. Crowell Pond was stocked with 1,150 brook trout and Norcross Pond with 900; both ponds received fall-yearling trout that average 13 inches in length. Also, present in both ponds are largemouth bass, white perch, and chain pickerel.

Located in North Anson are two ponds that also received fall-yearling brook trout. Sandy Pond received 250 brook trout and 200 spring-yearling brown trout. It also provides the potential to catch smallmouth bass and white perch. Fahi Pond, across the road from Sandy Pond was stocked with 350 brook trout and is known for its fast fishing for white perch and chain pickerel.

For many anglers, anticipation is part of the enjoyment of ice fishing.

If you’re looking for an opportunity just for kids, consider Harvey Pond in Madrid. This pond is 10 acres in size with an average depth of 5 feet and was recently stocked with 200 fall yearling brook trout. An additional 25 retired brood brook trout (18-20 inches) were stocked to create a lasting memory for any young angler that gets one of these fish on their line.

Biologists from the Rangeley Region will be conducting creel surveys beginning in January on the following waters: Baker Pond, Chain of Ponds, Clearwater Pond, Porter Lake, Spencer Lake, Smith Pond, and Wentworth (Ironbound) Pond. Creel surveys are important to biologists, as they result in collection of data required to make management decisions, such as stocking rates or regulation changes.  These surveys also give us the opportunity to interact with many anglers over the course of the ice fishing season and are a great chance for us to hear about what they are seeing on a particular water.

This young angler releases a brook trout in hopes of catching it another day.

Always be sure to check the safety of the ice before heading out onto a body of water and consult the current law book for the most recent regulations before fishing.

Courtesy of Maine IFW By IFW Fisheries Biologist Elizabeth Thorndike

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