Alden’s Pond is a 1-acre, kids-only fishing pond located behind the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine (USM) (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 E2). To reach the 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. The pond is fishable under Special Regulation Code S-9, i.e., open to fishing only to kids under 16-years old, restricted to two lines per person, and a daily bag limit of two trout. Click here and here for more details on the fishing regulations pertaining to this pond. 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).
I reach Alden’s Pond around noon with my 10-year old nephew Christian. He caught a half dozen brook trout in this pond three weeks ago and wants a repeat! (click here for more details on that trip). The weather is beautiful: full sunshine, light breeze and with the air temperature in the upper 60’s. A grand father and his grand kid, plus a dad and his teenage son, are already fishing when we arrive. Christian casts his two lines baited with worms into the water. We wait patiently for close to 30 minutes, but the fish are quiet.
Then it starts… The bobber twitches and disappears under the water. Christian sets the hook but he has too much line out and can’t connect with the fish. Fortunately, it has swallowed the bait and hooked itself. Christian brings in a small bullhead and is quite excited about his catch which gets returned to the water. The action is non-stop for the next 1.5 hours: cast the bait out, keep an eye on the bobbers, set the hook, bring in the fish, get excited, rebait, and do it all over again. Much of this activity occurs relatively close to shore in an area no more than 4 ft deep. It is christened “Suckerhood” by Christian after he catches a big white sucker, and then hooks but misses another big sucker….
We unfortunately need to leave in the early afternoon but Christian is in Seventh Heaven: he landed 12 bullheads, one golden shiner, one white sucker, and a small brookie in two hours of fishing. The brookie comes home for the frying pan. He caught the most fish species ever (four), the most fish ever (15), and the biggest fish ever (18”). On the walk back to the car, he says: “Uncle Stan, this was the best fishing ever!!” The beauty of it all is that at that age it doesn’t matter what kind of fish is caught, as long as it has fins and scales! Thank you, Alden’s Pond, for helping to forge a great memory.
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