Size, Bag Limits Eliminated for Salmon in Maine’s Aziscohos Lake

photo courtesy Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries

The Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries reports that anglers planning a fishing trip to Aziscohos Lake in the northwestern Maine should be aware of new regulations designed to improve the health of the fishery and provide anglers with a chance to catch more and larger salmon.

Beginning this year, anglers can keep all landlocked salmon (no size or bag restrictions) smaller than 16 inches in length; along with one salmon over 16”.

About 10 years ago, angler surveys conducted by the state revealed that Aziscohos’ landlocked salmon were growing slower than their historic rates. At the time, it was clear that anglers were embracing the catch-and-release ethic, so there were more salmon competing for the same amount of forage, resulting in these slower growth rates.

photo courtesy Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries

In 2010, in order to boost growth rates, improve salmon health and encourage anglers to harvest more salmon, Maine F&G instituted a more liberal bag limit that allowed anglers to take 3 salmon over 12” a day, with only one exceeding 16”—a strategy that has worked well on other Maine lakes.

A follow-up angler survey in 2015 showed that while the new regs were helping at Aziscohos, with anglers keeping more legal salmon, it was decided that the salmon population would benefit even more from an increased rate of harvest. Hence, the new regs.