July 5 – 11, 2019Vol. 21, No. 5

Fishing and Hiking

Emily Caron and Ben Collins on Mount Phillip.

by Pete Kallin

Last week included the 49th annual meeting of the Maine Lakes Society, on whose board I served from 2008-2019. We held our meeting at University of Maine at Farmington and had some excellent presentations focused on new technologies for monitoring Maine's lakes and ways lake associations can better motivate their members, legislators, and local communities to protect these valuable public resources.

The Maine Lakes Society is a great organization that works tirelessly to protect and preserve the values and benefits of Maine's lakes, ponds, and watersheds for future generations — through science-based action, education and advocacy. We are always looking for new members and volunteers. Check out our website or call executive director Susan Gallo at 495-2301 to become involved.

As the schools have finished up, more young people are turning up on the lakes and trails. I recently hiked Mount Phillip and met Ben Collins and his half-sister, Emily Caron, beginning their hike. Ben and his brother, Matt, both worked for the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance (now 7-Lakes Alliance) while I was the executive director a few years ago. They were both Courtesy Boat Inspectors (CBIs) and Matt also worked with the Conservation Corps for a while. Their sister, Emily, is a current CBI with 7-Lakes Alliance. Ben is getting ready to begin hiking the Appalachian Trail and was doing a training hike. I hiked with them to the top, where Emily sat on Jack's Rock to "Chill for a while," while Ben completed three loops of the trail, planning to rejoin him on the way down on the final leg. It is always good to see local youth out on the trails and helping to protect the lakes.

Mel Croft and Jasper with nice chain pickerel.

For over ten years, the East Pond Association and 7-Lakes Alliance have been implementing a Watershed Management Plan for East Pond that culminated in a major in-lake remediation project last fall. Since the alum treatment, the lake has been clearer than it has been for many years. I hadn't been on the lake since the treatment so my fellow 7-LA board member, Mel Croft, invited me over to do a little fishing with him and Jasper, his fish-hunting dog. We fished for about three hours and caught more fish than we could count, including eight different species: brown trout, chain pickerel, large- and smallmouth bass, white and yellow perch, black crappie, and red-breasted sunfish. Most people don't realize that Labrador retrievers were actually bred to help Labrador fishermen pull in their nets and retrieve any fish that escaped. It's why a lab's favorite game is usually "tug-of-war," and they usually love to fish. Jasper epitomizes the breed.

The author with an East Pond brown trout.

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 (MLRC). Also, please check the 7-LA Facebook page for details on some interesting events scheduled this summer. And make sure you take a kid along on your next outdoor adventure!

Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, which merged with the Maine Lakes Resource Center in December 2017 to form the 7-Lakes Alliance.