Maine Salmon Clave? - Fly Fishing Forum
Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Old 08-11-2006, 09:29 AM
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Maine Salmon Clave?

On Friday, June 23, 2006 - Bangor Daily News wrote:

Penobscot salmon fishing OK'd

EDDINGTON - For the past six years, salmon fishermen have gathered on opening day to rehash old fish tales rather than cast their hand-tied flies into Maine rivers.

But this fall, some skillful or lucky anglers likely will return home with new stories about the big one that got away or, better yet, the even bigger one they landed and released.

The Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission voted unanimously Thursday to reopen a stretch of the Penobscot River near Bangor to Atlantic salmon fishing for one month this fall. The catch-and-release fishery will give anglers their first chance to legally hook a sea-run salmon in Maine since 1999.

The season will run from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, although the commission retains the option of closing the fishery at any time to protect the river's salmon population. The stretch of river that will be open to angling - from 150 feet below the Veazie Dam fishway downstream to the former site of the Bangor Dam - includes many of the fishing pools that made the Penobscot famous.

Fishermen will be restricted to artificial flies with single-pointed, barbless hooks and must immediately release any caught fish unharmed without removing them from the water.

"This is a great milestone and a great opportunity, and I personally hope it works," said Roland "Danny" Martin, commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and one of the ASC's three board members.

Martin's sentiment may help explain why the coming season was labeled "experimental."

The Atlantic Salmon Commission closed all Maine rivers to fishing for sea-run Atlantic salmon in December 1999 in response to precipitous population declines of the fish. The federal government later placed the distinct salmon populations in eight Maine rivers on the endangered species list.

Salmon populations in the Penobscot have since recovered somewhat, although the number of adults returning to spawn fluctuates annually. Biologists are pleased with the 650-plus adults counted in the Veazie Dam fishway so far this spring, but are hesitant to make predictions for the year.

Commission staff and board members received plenty of feedback from biologists, fishermen and conservation groups both for and against reopening the Penobscot to salmon fishing, even temporarily.

Some fishermen and scientists urged the commission to keep the river closed, arguing that even a monthlong fishery could weaken a population already teetering on the edge.

Many fishermen said they would prefer to fish in the spring when populations are higher and the fish stronger after months or years at sea. Other anglers said they would gladly take whatever fishing opportunities they can get.

In the end, the commission weighed the scientific evidence and concluded that a catch-and-release fishery held in the fall would pose no long-term danger to the Penobscot's salmon population, said board chairman Dick Ruhlin.

"This is a conservative approach and one that I ... have a lot more confidence in," Ruhlin told audience members gathered Thursday at the Eddington Salmon Club.

That didn't eliminate all of the grumbling about the spring vs. fall fishery, however.

Lou Horvath, a past president of the Penobscot, Veazie and Eddington salmon clubs, said he doesn't approve of a fall fishery. But he predicted that the fishery would provide a boost to the fishing community and the local economy.

George Chalmers, a member of the Penobscot Salmon Club, said he also would have preferred a spring season but was pleased that the commission heeded the calls of fishermen to reopen the Penobscot. Chalmers said the season would help the local clubs.

"All of the clubs are hurting for membership," he said. "No fishing, there's no membership."


Any interest in a celebration of the American salmon? I am going for sure, but I thought it might be fun to have a group check it out.

The attitude is not one of exploitation but one of support, experience and celebration.

Please reply if interested in this September event.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2006, 09:46 AM
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Fellow members of the ASF will be pleased to read this coverage of the project:

http://www.asf.ca/penobscot/

500 miles of river will open to salmon when the DAMNS are removed!

http://www.asf.ca/penobscot/pengraph...ovedaccess.jpg

The runs of wild atlantics were once 50,000 strong in this mighty river.

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Old 08-11-2006, 10:57 AM
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Nice to see the river come back from zero. I think its a good thing to open it up for C+R for a month. This will in any way retard it's healing and on the contrary bring attention to the success that the funding and management have brought. Nice to hear about it.

The number of the past means "NO DAM".
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:38 PM
titleguy titleguy is offline
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Well, I don;t have far to go to this clave. I work in Bangor and live on the river (well across the road from the River) in Winterport. It's pretty exciting, but I imagine it will also make Pulaski look sane by comparison at the beginning. Keep the plans formulating. Great brew pub right on the river in Bangor for after-fishing lying and pool playing.
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:45 PM
titleguy titleguy is offline
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Forgot to mention too- 9/15-10/15 is a great time to fish up for other stuff as well, and the general law season has been extended one day to Sunday 10/1 because of no sunday hunting. ( That means an extra day on the Roach or the West Branch, for instance.)
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:46 PM
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Well titleguy, thats ok too.

If it gets press, then maybe it will gain momentum, and if the local businesses get some benefit then they will vote in favor, and the whole thing might have a chance.

I would cover the scene, take pictures and movies, and will be happy with my turn through the pool with a Spey rod... kind of like a childhood dream come true to fish for, never mind hook a Maine atlantic.

To me there's something electric about swinging a fly over water where there is even a chance of the big grab from a sea run salmon. The actual take well that's the icing on the cake!

It's a real asset having you on location
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:52 PM
titleguy titleguy is offline
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Juro- I fish ( and drink) quite a bit with one of the outdoor columnists for the Bangor Daily News; he would be thrilled to cover something like one of your claves. There is also some talk on FFIM of having a bunch of guys who post there frequently and are semi-pro musicians setting up to play somewhere one weekend. My writer buddy also does a 5 min. segment on the local abc affiliate every Monday and again, would love to get some spey footage, of someone who knows how, as opposed to me.
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Old 08-11-2006, 01:31 PM
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Sounds like we need to do a salmon day festival!

I'll bring my strat, a blues jr, spey rods, and some scotch
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Old 08-11-2006, 01:38 PM
titleguy titleguy is offline
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Worst case scenario, you can play in my yard in Winterport; I like scotch. Although, developed a taste for "Screech", introduced to me in New Brunswick while fishing . I suspect that there will be some serious celebrating, particularly at the Penobscot Salmon Club over in Brewer ( I just joined at my spey class in July). Should be pretty cool. And, with some cool weather and no monsoons, the fishing within a couple of hours of here for brookies and LL will be killer.
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Old 08-11-2006, 03:57 PM
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I'm in. I'll be fresh from the Gaspe and looking to continue my anadromous fix. I feel like a kid in a candy store. Just giddy with excitement.

John
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:50 PM
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Looking forward to it already!
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Old 08-13-2006, 06:07 AM
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So far it looks like:

titleguy
jhicks
juro

I have a feeling others will join in next month.

The strategy will be to spread out in small groups throughout the river and hook up for a group dinner to share the experiences at respective pools with the group. Who knows maybe Stan Bodgan will drive over from NH to partake, or George Bush Sr. who was apparently the last president to receive a Penobscot 'presidential salmon' from the run. You never know who you'll run into.

In any case, it will be a very important experience for me, having grown up with a bit of a longing for salmon fishing in Maine as my parents took me up there quite a bit on vacation; then having moved out to the pacific northwest and been as close to a steelhead bum as I could without losing my job and family.

To then bring my years of Spey casting study as a tool to celebrate the renewed hope for atlantics would be quite an experience with deeply rooted meaning.

My first Penobscot fish without a doubt would be among the most memorable of my life, but even the experience of trying will be fully savored forever.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:13 AM
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I'm available the first weekend ( 9/16), and 9/30 if it's a weekend thing. Weekdays I can show early morning or after work. Are you planning to camp or motel it?
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:33 AM
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If you post they will come.

Add another to the list if we can do anything after 9/17. Weekends work best for me. Sounds like a great way for my fisrt Atlantic outing.

If weather permits, I always prefer camping over hotels...

-Randy
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:44 AM
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Greenwood Campground in Eddington is close by the good pools.
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