For the purpose of this blog, I’ll define a trout pond as a body of water less than 30 acres in size which is stocked in the fall with hatchery-reared brook trout to support icefishing. Such small ponds freeze over early in the season and are typically safe to fish several weeks before the bigger lakes become accessible. This provides a real opportunity for hot early-season action for those of us (myself included!) who just can’t wait to catch brookies through the ice.
Western Maine covers Oxford and Franklin counties. The TOP 2 brook trout ponds for the 2013 ice fishing season in this area are summarized below (in alphabetical order). A pond is considered “top” based on its stocking density: the more trout are stocked per acre, the higher the chances of catching them.
Keep in mind that the state typically manages these smaller ponds as winter “put-and-take” fisheries. As a result, they get a lot of pressure early in the season and may be largely fished out within a few weeks. But by then the bigger lakes are frozen over and the action moves elsewhere.
Note that although the state stocks brook trout in numerous small ponds in the fall in Franklin and Oxford Counties, all these ponds are closed to ice fishing except for Blanchard Pond and Little Clemons Pond (see below). Always consult the latest law book about special ice fishing rules that may apply on these small ponds. Note also that the list below excludes “kids only” ponds.
I did my utmost best to verify that a particular pond is indeed open for ice fishing, but I make no guarantees whatsoever that my interpretation of the convoluted Maine fishing rules is accurate or correct. It is up to each reader of this blog to ensure that the ponds listed below can be fished through the ice.
Blanchard Pond covers 9 acres and is located just west of Route 27 in Alder Stream Township (T2 R5 WBKP) in Franklin County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 28 A5). Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. This pond was stocked in the fall of 2012 with a total of 35 brook trout per acre. All the stocked trout measure around 6”.
Little Clemons Pond covers 25 acres and is located between Route 160 and Notch Road in Hiram, Oxford County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C2). Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. This pond was stocked in the fall of 2012 with a total of 21 brook trout per acre. Most of the stocked trout measure around 9”, but 100 of them (or about 4 brook trout per acre) measure 13”.
Was the information in this blog useful? I invite you to share your thoughts and opinions. Also, feel free to discuss your fishing experiences at these locations.