Magalloway River Fishery Management

FISHERY INTERIM SUMMARY REPORT SERIES NO. 03-2

By David P. Boucher

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Division of Fisheries and Hatcheries
Augusta, Maine

January 2003

Interim Summary Report No.3

SUMMARY

The Magalloway River from Aziscohos Dam at the outlet of Aziscohos Lake to the Maine-New Hampshire border is 8.3 miles long. Season-long clerk creel surveys were conducted on the upper 6.8 miles of this reach in 1998, 1999, and 2002. Objectives of these surveys, funded and staffed by Florida Power and Light Co., were to document existing levels of angler use, catch, and harvest prior to scheduled changes in flow regimes, and to begin evaluation of a special harvest slot limit imposed on brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). The 2002 survey is the subject of this report. Results of the previous surveys are included here for comparison.

As in previous years surveyed, fishing effort in 2002 was concentrated in the uppermost 4.7 miles below Aziscohos Dam. Angler use in this reach was estimated at 1,600 angler trips, which was similar to estimates made in 1998 and 1999. In 2002, no anglers were observed in the ¼ -mile reach reserved for children. In 1999, only three children were observed fishing here compared to 355 trips estimated in 1998. Only three anglers were observed fishing in the reach extending below Bennett’s Covered Bridge to the Lincoln Plantation town line, where about 122 trips were made in 1998.

Clerk survey results showed fishing quality in the upper reach declined in 2002 compared to 1999, but was similar to that observed in 1998. The catch rate for legal trout (those between 8 inches and 12 inches) was about 5.5 hours/legal-size fish. Legal salmon were caught at a rate of about 20.3 hours/legal-size fish.

The ratio of brook trout exceeding 12 inches in the catch has increased since 1998. Clerk survey information indicate a decline in sublegal (< 8 inches) brook trout since 1998, but voluntary anglers report an increase . Both survey types showed more stability in the ratio of young salmon during the same period.

There has been very little change in the average length (about 11 inches) of brook trout since 1998. Average salmon lengths have fluctuated during the same period, but samples are too small to determine trends.

Magalloway River anglers continue to release a high proportion of their legal catch. Anglers caught about 650 legal brook trout and 180 legal salmon during the 2002 season, but only about 16 trout and no salmon were harvested.

Both clerk and voluntary surveys suggest that numbers of smallmouth bass are increasing in the Magalloway River. Smallmouths are presumed to be colonizing the river from an unauthorized introduction made in Umbagog Lake. If bass become abundant in the river they are expected to negatively impact salmonid production.

KEY WORDS: BKT, LLS, ANGLER SURVEY, INTRODUCTION, REGULATIONS

Written by Dave Boucher

For more information, please contact:

Dave Boucher, Assistant Regional Fishery Biologist
689 Farmington Road
Strong, Maine 04983-9419
Telephone: (207) 778-3322 Ext. 23
Email: dave.boucher@maine.gov