Landlocked Atlantic Salmon
Other Names: Sebago Salmon, Quananiche
Scientific Name: Salmo salar
Adult Size: Average size is 16-18 inches and 1-1 1/2 pounds, but 3-5 pound fish are not uncommon.
Identification: Adults are generally silvery with a slightly forked tail and small X-shaped markings on the back and upper sides. Juvenile salmon have a dark red spot between each pair of parr marks. Mature males develop a "kype", or hooked jaw, during the spawning season.
Landlocked salmon are a freshwater form of the sea-run Atlantic salmon.
Prior to 1868, landlocked salmon populations occurred in only four river basins in Maine: the St. Croix, including West Grand Lake in Washington County; the Union, including Green Lake in Hancock County; the Penobscot, including Sebec Lake in Piscataquis County; and the Presumpscot, including Sebago Lake.
Today, landlocked salmon provide the primary fishery in 176 lakes comprising nearly 500,000 acres. They are present and provide incidental fisheries in an additional 127 waters comprising about 160,000 acres. Maine supports one of the largest sport fisheries for this species in the world.Landlocked salmon also provide good fisheries in 44 rivers and streams totaling about 290 miles.
Salmon spawn in lake outlets or inlets during the period from mid-October to late November. Eggs are buried in gravel from 4-12 inches deep and remain there until hatching early the following spring.
The oldest landlocked salmon on record in Maine was 13 years old.
Rainbow smelts are the principal forage species for salmon in Maine lakes. Without adequate numbers of smelts, salmon growth and body condition will be poor.
Maine Fishing Guide Angling Tips:
Maine's cold, clear glacial formed lakes provide excellent landlocked salmon fishing. Salmon, during the spring are often taken by trolling steamer flies on the surface. Smelt patterns, like the Joe's Smelt, is a popular local pattern. Warmer temperatures cause the waters to stratify and one is inclined to fish deeper with hardware like down riggers or lead core line. Mooselook wobblers are the Maine fishing guide, "go-to" lure. Salmon can be taken with a fly rod in many of the colder rivers, using various caddis patterns, as well as streamer flies. The Hemingway Caddis in a size 18, rocks at Upper Dam.