Fishing In The Central Aroostook Area
Tourism efforts in the Central Aroostook Area have rightly focused on winter activities such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing and Nordic, cross-country and downhill skiing as well as warm-weather activities such as kayaking, boating and ATV trails. Lost at times is the long thirteen-decade love affair between fishers and the wide open landscape and watersheds of the area. When such opportunities are discussed, they (again correctly) focus on the Fish River watershed area and the Allegash. There are great fishing opportunities right here in the Central Aroostook area.
Regulations vary from area to area. The Aroostook River, for example, has several distinct sections with different special regulations. A little bit of homework is needed and fortunately, the State of Maine has done a nice job of compiling this data for you. The first site to consult is, http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/pdfs/AroostookCounty1.pdf which is a great reference for what special codes and symbols mean and then listing bodies of water for you with some description and codes listed for each.
Combine the previous link with this one: http://www.state.me.us/ifw/fishing/lakesurvey_maps/aroostook/index.htm which provides surveys of each lake so you can make informed choices. Generally speaking, open fishing season starts April 1 and runs until September 30. Restrictions begin on October 1 and end March 31. Different bodies of water have differing ice fishing regulations and the resources listed above help you identify your best options.
For a quick reference to help cut through the codes, what follows is a partial listing of fishing opportunities in our member towns and cities listed in alphabetical order:
•Squa Pan Lake – One of the largest lakes in Eastern Aroostook County. Principal fishing opportunities include brook trout, land-locked salmon, splake and rainbow smelts. This lake is open for ice water fishing and open fishing from December 1 through April 30. Open fishing under general law fishing with the one exception being a two-fish trout limit. Squa Pan Lake remains open from October 1 through November 30 with artificial lures only and catch and immediate release. There are two public boat launches available.
•Aroostook River – All salmon must be released alive immediately after catch. From the dam to the New Brunswick, Canada border, only artificial lures are allowed with a bag limit of two trout in open season. From August 16 through September 30, the bag limit is one trout and one togue. From the dam to Otter Brook, children under the age of twelve may fish from shore with a single-baited hook and line. A public boat launch is available from Lower Lyndon Street.
•Alder Brook Lake – Brook trout can be found here but is an excellent source of bait fish. Access is available from a maintained gravel road and an access area from the upper end.
•Alder Lake – A very shallow pond that has good bait fish availability.
•Lindsay Lake – Ice fishing is not permitted and live fish as bait is not allowed. Brook trout (squaretail) are available but are especially plentiful in the outlet stream (Riviere de Chute) south of the lake.
•Monson Pond – Most of this pond lies in Fort Fairfield but does spill over the Easton border. There has been much concentration to maintain the sporting aspect of this venue. Brook Trout and Rainbow Smelts are available. There is a public boat access and angling opportunities are available as well. There is a two-trout bag limit in open season and in an extended season (Oct 1 – Nov 30), fish must be released alive and only artificial lures are allowed. Ice fishing is not allowed here.
•Hanson Brook Lake – Brook Trout is readily available in this rather large and deep man-made lake. Public boat access is available by way of the Skyway Industrial Park in Presque Isle. The lake is closed to ice fishing and live fish bait is prohibited. The lake remains open from October 1 to November 30 with only artificial lures and catch and release rules in effect.
•See Ashland and Squa Pan Lake
•Aroostook River – Brook Trout with a bag limit of two during open season with artificial lures only. A minimum length of ten inches is in force with only one allowed over twelve inches. The season extends from August 16 through September 30 where the bag limit becomes one trout and one togue.
•Portage Lake – Though large, Portage is shallow and without temperature stratification. That said, the lake does provide ample opportunities for land-locked salmon, togue, brook trout and rainbow smelts. There is a public boat launch but motors are restricted in certain parts of the lake. Smelts can only be taken with hook and line in the lake and cannot be taken in the outlets or inlets. The bag limit on trout is two with a minimum size of twelve inches. The bag limit on salmon is three with a minimum length of twelve inches.
•Arnold Brook Lake – This mad-made lake has excellent spawning grounds for brook trout and large fish are available in the lake. The city maintains an excellent boat ramp. There is a two-trout bag limit during open season and artificial lures with catch and release rules are in effect after the open season. Ice fishing is permitted providing year round fishing.
•Echo Lake – Echo Lake is stocked regularly as it does not naturally support brook habitat. That said, the lake provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy fishing and the entire Aroostook Park area. No live fish bait is allowed and artificial lures and catch and release rules are in effect after the open season from October 1 through November 30. There is no ice fishing.
•Mantle Lake – Fishing is permitted to persons under the age of 16 as well as complimentary fishing license holders. No live fish bait is allowed. There is no ice fishing.
•Mud Lake – It takes a sense of adventure for this venue as all-terrain vehicle and hiking are the only way to get to the lake. The lake is shallow and the minnows compete with the trout for food but are all food for the trout. The inlet and outlet brooks are also good sources for trout fishing.
•Madawaska Lake – Accessible from Rte 161 with a public boat launch, this large and well-developed lake has worked hard to remain an excellent sports venue. Brook trout and land-locked salmon are available as well as rainbow smelts. Ice fishing is a big deal on the lake with a two-trout bag limit. Only artificial lures and catch and release rules apply between October 1 and November 30. Remember, it is always a good idea to talk to the local town clerks to see what local licensing requirements are.
Should you bring your boat, kayaks and canoes to Aroostook County. Yes!
Following is a list of public boat launches in the Central Aroostook region:
Body of Water Location Type Width Latitude Longitude
Arnold Brook Lake Presque Isle Hard 20' 46.6524 -68.0388
Aroostook River Caribou Gravel 10' 46.824465 -67.921262
Aroostook River Caribou Carry in 4' 46.85553 -68.00314
Aroostook River Caribou Gravel 46.84446 -68.00062
Aroostook River Ashland Hard 20' 46.6342 -68.4175
Aroostook River Washburn Hard 20' 46.776 -68.1553
Aroostook River Oxbow Hard 10' 46.4282 -68.5527
Aroostook River Masardis Hard 16' 46.5039 -68.3626
Aroostook River Presque Isle Hard 46.70363 -68.00792
Echo Lake Presque Isle Hard 10' 46.61436 -68.00603
Hanson Brook Lake Presque Isle Hard 10' 46.7047 -68.0595
Lit Madawaska Rv Stockholm Carry in 47.0395 -68.13838
Portage Lake Portage Hard 20' 46.7842 -68.5364
Presque Isle Stream Presque Isle Hard 42' 46.68046 -68.01891
Squa Pan Lake Masardis Hard 10' 46.5562 -68.3246
For great package fishing adventures, see our members: