Biologist shares ice fishing tips

WINTER HARBOR “Every lake is a little different. They all have their secrets.”

So says Gregory Burr, regional fisheries biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). Burr was in Winter Harbor recently to discuss ice fishing on Downeast Maine’s many ponds and lakes.

With over 400 ponds and 4,000 miles of streams, the Downeast region is rich ground for ice fishing, and every year the MDIFW stocks ponds and streams with over 1 million fish, including brook trout, lake trout, and freshwater Atlantic salmon.

Locations across Hancock County, from Tunk Lake to Jordan Pond, to Flanders Pond, will be stocked with different types of fish. Different fish can be found at different depths. Once a hole has been bored through, Burr advised first depth sounding the bottom of the lake and then adjusting from there. Burr also noted to always be cognizant of how thick the ice was, and to remember that shacks used for ice fishing can quickly melt the ice around them. That’s especially true toward the end of the season, and more than a few shacks have had to be dredged from the water.

For the more technologically up-to-date fisherman, there are now small sonar devices that can be used to pinpoint exactly where the fish are. Owners of such devices, Burr says, “will out-fish you 10-1.”

Ice fishing season ends on March 31 or when there is no longer sufficiently thick ice on the water.

Further information on fishing rules and regulations, as well as safety tips, can be found at the IFW website:

Maxwell Hauptman

Maxwell Hauptman

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Maxwell Hauptman joined The Ellsworth American as a reporter in 2018. He can be reached at [email protected]
Maxwell Hauptman

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