Acadia National Park Fishing Overview

Land and sea meet at Acadia, and the Northern and Temperate Zones meet and overlap. The result is an abundance of life. Bird-watchers rise to the challenge of 300 different species of birds, 122 of them breeding species. You might also, on a trip to Baker Island, see seals basking on the rocky islands. The tidepool world is awash with the shapes and colors of shells, pebbles, and sea plants. And the sea itself offers the symmetry of northern starfish and green sea urchins.

Barnacles crowd for space on seashore rocks. They define the upper limits of high tide because they must be covered by water twice a day to survive. Rockweed is floated by pairs of air bladders. Irish moss is also present. Common eider, an oceanic duck, lives near the shore on barnacles, crabs, and sea urchins. Herring gulls are constant companions here. They often follow fishing boats for scraps, raising a real racket.

Rock crabs are often caught in lobster traps. They are common food for gulls. Green sea urchins have spines for protection. They are found in deep tidepools and deep water. Northern starfish have five rays and can regenerate lost body parts. They generally eat mollusks. If you pay close attention during your visit, you will probably get a chance to see many of these species.

Non-Commercial Fishing

Freshwater: Most fishermen agree that Mount Desert fishing rates fair to poor, especially during July and August. However, if you want to give it a go, freshwater fishing requires a Maine state fishing license for residents 16 years or older and non-residents 12 years or older. Non-resident licenses can be purchased for the season or for shorter periods in town offices and some local businesses. Long Pond, Eagle Lake, Jordan Pond, Bubble Pond, and Upper and Lower Hadlock Ponds are part of the Mount Desert Island drinking water supply, and have stringent regulations. Read the signposts before casting out.

Ocean: No license required. Be cautious of surf conditions. Seaweed and algae covered rocks are extremely slippery.

Commercial Fishing

Commercial fishing remains an important Maine industry. Fishing is no longer the hazardous producer of widows and orphans as in sailing days, but today's practitioners remain salty, colorful characters. Most prized by them is the lobster, but scallops, crabs, and several fish are caught commercially. At low tide clam diggers often work the flats with their short rakes. Boat building continues on the island and Schoodic Peninsula.

Lobsters: Lobsters feed on snails, clams, mussels, dead fish, and other organisms. Their large claw cracks shellfish and the other claws tear prey apart for eating. They dart backwards powered by abdomen and tail, but they also chamber over rocks on their four pair of legs. They periodically shed and regrow their tough outer skeleton shell. Lobsters caught today usually weigh 1.5 pounds but deeper water specimens can exceed 40 pounds.

Brightly-colored buoys mark the lobster traps. The individual colors are registered with the state.


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