Several Greenville organizations teamed up recently to tackle a project they say will improve fishing opportunities in the Moosehead Lake region.
In his regular fishing report, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fisheries biologist Tim Obrey said that Plum Creek, The Natural Resource Education Center at Moosehead, Boy Scout Troop 120 of Greenville and DIF&W staffers pitched in to clean an access site at Rum Pond, a large pond on the outskirts of town that holds wild brook trout.
“The Boy Scouts cleaned up the site and built two picnic tables with materials purchased by NREC,” Obrey wrote. “The Scouts also built two fire pits to complete the picnic sites, which are open to day-use only.
“Plum Creek improved the old winter road to the site so anglers can drive trucks to the area without getting stuck in the mud or banging on the many large rocks in the old road,” Obrey wrote. “We also cleared two areas near the pond for anglers to store their boats in an orderly fashion.”
Obrey said Rum Pond’s proximity to downtown Greenville makes it attractive to many anglers and the improvements only would increase its appeal.
“This will be a great spot for local anglers and folks visiting the area to fish, especially if they are hoping to get the flavor of the North Woods but may not be prepared to strike off to more remote areas,” Obrey wrote. “We hope anglers will use the improved site and help keep it clean and enjoy a beautiful undeveloped wild brook trout pond just a few miles from downtown Greenville.”
Irene’s effects felt on Penobscot
As Hurricane Irene approached late last week, many Mainers headed to their favorite lakes and ponds and prepared by removing their boats from the water.
Maine Bureau of Sea-Run Fisheries and Habitat staffers — formerly the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission — were among them.
The bureau maintains a boat on the Penobscot River, which is used daily to tend the fish trap at Veazie Dam. The dam is the first upriver barrier faced by Atlantic salmon returning from the sea, and those fish are trapped and counted at the facility.
“We closed the trap and pulled our boat out of the water last Friday in anticipation of the Hurricane and high flows,” fisheries biologist Oliver Cox said in an e-mail earlier this week. “Since reopening the trap Tuesday morning, we have only seen one recaptured Atlantic salmon.”
Cox said he had hoped to see more salmon enter the trap after Irene’s rains cooled and swelled the river, but that hasn’t happened yet.
“Hopefully when the flow subsides some and attraction to the fishway entrance improves we will start getting a few more in the trap,” Cox wrote.
As of Thursday, the Penobscot salmon count sits at 3,036.
Sugarloaf area recovering after Irene
While much of the state dodged the worst that Hurricane Irene had to offer, folks in the Carrabassett River Valley weren’t so lucky.
On Sunday, more than 8 inches of rain fell in the area and the raging Carrabassett destroyed two highway bridges on Route 27.
Sugarloaf officials said on Thursday that work on bridges is continuing and that the resort is open for business. In a press release, officials said the Maine Department of Transportation believes temporary bridges will be open by Tuesday and normal traffic patterns will resume.
In addition, resort staffers are hopeful that the permanent replacement bridges will be finished by Nov. 18 — the date tentatively set as the opening day of skiing and snowboarding.
Until the temporary bridges are completed, visitors heading to Sugarloaf from the south can access the resort by using a detour onto Brackett Brook Road. Visitors to the region trying to get north of Sugarloaf will have to follow detour signs in Kingfield, which will direct them through Phillips, Rangeley and Stratton, according to the press release.
People coming to Sugarloaf from the north will not be able to drive directly to the resort, but a footbridge has been built. Visitors can park vehicles north of the bridges and use the footbridge, which will take them to the resort access road.
Sugarloaf officials say all resort operations are proceeding as normal. Sugarloaf Golf Club is open and all weddings, conferences, lift rides, zipline tours and mountain biking and hiking trails are open as scheduled.