Alden’s Pond is a 1-acre, kids-only trout pond located behind the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine (USM). It is fishable under the “S-9” special regulation code, which stipulates that (a) the pond is open only for anglers under the age of 16, (b) restricted to two lines per person, and (c) daily bag limit of to trout. Click here for more details on the fishing regulations pertaining to this pond. To reach Alden’s pond, look for the USM police department office on Husky Drive (across from the John Mitchell Center), walk behind the office and down the steep dirt path, and pass the small retaining pond across from the soccer field. Your target will be visible on the left through the trees. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.
Alden’s pond is typically stocked once in April and once in May with about 100 10” brook trout each time. As a result, this small pond teems with brookies in early spring which makes for great kid’s fishing. I doubt, however, that any of these trout survive the hot summer months because the pond is relatively shallow (9 ft maximum depth).
We reach Alden’s Pond at 2 pm with Antony (2-years old), Giovanni (4-years old), Ariana (5-years old), and Christian (10-years old). We come armed with an ample supply of fishing rods, bobbers, hooks, worms, and … patience. The weather is gorgeous: full sunshine, with a light southern breeze. We notice, somewhat to our surprise, that the blackflies are already out in force. We set up our fishing expedition headquarters by the small outlet, at the northeastern end of the pond. The shoreline in that area is flat and free of trees, which allows for safe and easy access to the water by the kids. It is also the general area where the stocking truck would have dumped its load of fish earlier in the week, so I’m hoping that the trout are still hanging around at this end of the pond.
We succeed in placing seven baited lines in the water after about 15 minutes of great disorganization and confusion. Fortunately, the fish decide to play their part today. One of the bobbers starts to twitch up and down, swims sideways, and then completely submerges. The line is tightened, the hook is set, and Giovanni proudly brings in the first trout of the afternoon. The poor fish gets unceremoniously hauled on firm ground, to great acclaim and general excitement of all the little anglers.
The fishing action is non-stop over the next two hours! The adults barely have the time to bait the hooks, cast the bobbers out, unhook incoming fish, take pictures, and console those that didn’t catch as many fish as the others. The final tally is 13 brook trout (of which eight are kept for the frying pan) and five small bullheads. Only one adult was impaled with the hook of one of the young casters. No eyes or limbs were lost. All and all, we had a fantastic two hours on Alden’s Pond making beautiful memories as a family and hopefully turning some of the impressionable young minds into determined future anglers.
The results: The four kids caught a total of 13 10” brook trout and five small bullheads in two hours.
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