By Tim Obrey, Regional Fisheries Biologist
Last week Regional staff from the Greenville Office met with representatives of Elliotsville Plantation, Inc (EPI) to discuss the fisheries resources on their property in southern Piscataquis County. EPI owns approximately 29,000 acres in several townships just north of Sebec Lake and another 10,500 acres along the Appalachian Trail in Elliotsville. There are some very significant fisheries resources on these parcels including wild and stocked brook trout, wild salmon, and wild lake trout fisheries. I often think of this area as the southern tip of the North Woods. In this area, anglers will find abundant populations of wild coldwater gamefish that are much more difficult to find to the south and east. Here, the dirt roads are few and far between and they are lined with alders. The beaver bogs and streams are still full of small wild brookies. Just a few miles to the south the old logging roads turn to pavement and are lined with street lights and mailboxes in the organized towns.
The largest pond on these EPI parcels is Big Benson Pond. Big Benson Pond has an abundant lake trout population with a few wild salmon and brook trout. Most anglers fish Big Benson Pond in the winter because of its remoteness. The pond would actually benefit from more anglers keeping lake trout because they are so abundant. Anglers will be happy to learn they can once again use snowmobiles to access and fish on Big Benson Pond as a result of our meeting. Anglers can access the pond over snowmobile trails north of the Town Office in Bowerbank or over the Ship Pond Stream trail from Sebec Lake. Anglers can once again travel on the lake with snowmobiles, effective immediately.
The cluster of remote trout ponds just west of the Appalachian Trail in Elliotsville offer a wide range of fishing opportunities that one can only find in the North Woods, but it is very difficult to effectively fish from shore on these ponds. The shorelines are primarily shallow, boggy, and often surrounded with alders. This spring/summer, we will be cooperating with EPI to develop trails, signage, and canoe storage areas on their property near the ponds in Elliotsville. Anglers will be able to hike in and leave a canoe at their favorite trout pond, which is a tradition in the North Woods.
We want to thank EPI representatives for taking the initiative to discuss and work with us to provide access to waters on their property. We encourage anglers to hit the trails and take advantage of this terrific fishing close to home, and remind everyone to treat the woods and waters with respect so they will remain accessible for years to come.