Parts of Maine See Togue Explosion

The Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife reports that wild lake trout (aka togue) now exist in six Region B waters, including Sheepscot Pond (Palermo), Swan Lake (Swanville), Wassookeag Lake (Dexter), Maranacook Lake (Winthrop), Lower Narrows Pond (Winthrop), and Echo Lake (Fayette).

photo courtesy Maine IFW.

Some of Region B’s wild lake trout populations have been around for decades, and a few, including Wassookeag (stocked from 1958-78), Swan (1971-81), and Sheepscot (1956-85), are now entirely self-sustaining without any supplemental stocking from state hatcheries. Lower Narrows (1937-2015) and Maranacook (1975-2015) have also been stocked for decades, but it wasn’t until the past few years that wild togue were confirmed in these waterbodies.

At the same time of these wild-togue confirmations, regional biologists received dozens of togue reports from regional anglers. Typically, togue reports are from anglers who land big fish in the 10-20-lb range, but these accounts were different. Anglers reported catching small (~6-14”), juvenile togue by the bucketful. Most of these angler reports were from Sheepscot and Swan, but smaller, wild togue were also landed on the other waters at higher rates.

To gain a better understanding of the environmental conditions that may have led to this togue explosion, biologists are studying the juvenile trout in the aforementioned lakes. They hope to determine a specific spawning season that produced the majority of juveniles then match it to a set of specific environmental variables (e.g. lake water level, precipitation amount, air temperature) that resulted in the robust populations across Region B waters.

 

Read the full report here