July 6 – 12, 2018 Vol. 20, No. 5


Summertime in the Belgrades

July 6 – 12

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Fishing and Sailing

Ava Franklin, Lauren Clark, and Helen Coon receive their award from Commodore Greenan of the Great Pond Yacht Club.

by Pete Kallin

The week began with the annual meeting of the Maine Lakes Society, on whose board I have served for ten years. We held our meeting at University of Maine at Farmington and had some excellent presentations focused on protecting Maine's lakes and wildlife, especially loons. Meanwhile, my friend Dick Greenan, the Commodore of the Great Pond Yacht Club, assisted by the Franklin family, was hosting the 2018 Ashera Challenge that ended at the Jamaica Point Lodge. The GPYC gets a lot of avid sailors of all ages out on Great Pond every week. In partnership with 1-week sailing camps for youths aged 9-17 at the Center for All Seasons. Sailing is a great lifetime sport!

I did manage to get out fishing for a bit and caught quite a few large bass that were chasing schools of alewives. The excellent fishing in our lakes also attracts visitors to local sporting camps such as Bear Springs Camp (Great Pond), Whisperwood (Salmon Lake), Alden Camps (East Pond), and Castle Island Camps (Long Pond). Good water quality is important to these local businesses and they are all strong supporters of the local lake associations, and other conservation organizations such as the 7-LA, formerly the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance and the Maine Lakes Resource Center.

John Rice from Castle Island Camps organizes and judges the loon calling contest that takes place in Belgrade Lakes every year on the first Saturday in August. It is a unique and fun event and if you have never been, I highly recommend you add it to your "bucket list," especially if you have young kids or grandkids.

Alan Pouliot of Fairfield holds his 45″, 28.5 pike caught in Long Pond

I frequently meet visitors from these camps on our lakes and many of them eventually become permanent residents after years of visits. I recently met Kurt and Christie Dietland on the lake, who were spending the week at Castle Island Camps for at least the 12th time. I know they were catching fish because they were anchored at one of my favorite spots.

In my first "Take it Outside" column of this year I published a picture of a 22″ salmon I caught below the dam in Belgrade Lakes that bore scars from being attacked by a large pike. For those who wonder what a pike that would attack a 22-inch salmon might look like, check out the pike caught by Alan Pouliot of Fairfield last weekend. Alan caught his 45″, 28.5 lb. monster within 50 yards of where I caught my pike-scarred salmon in April. Alan learned to fish as a toddler when his grandfather, Leo Lanteigne, an avid fisherman, "took Alan outside" fishing when he could barely walk. Now Alan makes all his own custom spoons and fishes all over Maine with his wife, Paulia.

This area offers some great outdoor recreation, whether you like to hike, bike, birdwatch, fish, sail, or paddle a canoe or kayak. Pick up a map of the local trails at Day's Store or from the 7 Lakes Alliance at the Maine Lakes Resource Center. Also, please check the 7-LA Facebook page for details on some interesting events scheduled this summer.

Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance.