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Researching togue on Eagle Lake

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 4:29 PM EDT
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Eagle Lake, Maine (WAGM) -Eagle Lake on the Fish River Chain of Lakes is known as a lake trout hot spot. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife recently wrapped up some research on the number and size of Togue in the lake.

Frank Frost:" This is a little bit different work then we normally do. It's a protocol that was developed in Ontario, Canada. It has been used on Sebago Lake in Southern Maine and this is the second year of the study on Eagle Lake."

Frost and two students who are working with the department this summer spent two weeks on Eagle Lake netting the fish.

Frost:” We actually have a preliminary estimate on the number of lake trout in the lake of just over 4000. It’s some intensive work, but is giving us some really good information on the togue population for management. This is going to help us in the future for managing this population.”

Frost says a small majority of the fish killed so they could get an idea of age and health

Frost:” The ability to age the fish accurately. We are taking bones out of the head area that we then section and look at under a microscope. That gives us some really accurate information. It is showing us that some of these fish are very old upwards of 30 years old. Lake trout will commonly be over 30 years old. We know a lot of those 5 to 10 pound fish are 10-20 years old and some of the bigger fish are much older than that.”

The Biologist says the department has done a lot of research on Eagle Lake over past few years.

Frost:” Eagle Lake has really good habitat for lake trout. It also supports brook trout and salmon, but the lake known for it’s togue population. It grows some really nice fish and they grow fairly rapidly. They are really attractive and really good condition fish. Eagle Lake is pretty well known around the state.”

It’s common to pull out 6 to 10 pound togue out of the lake, Frost and his assistant had quite a surprise when they netted this 25 pound togue in late July. This fish was released back into the lake. Frost says there are very large fish in the area that continue to do very well, but their management is for the majority of the togue who fall within this weight range.

Frost:”Eagle Lake is doing extremely well right now as a result of our research. We are finding a lot of fish in the 6 -10 pound range and that is kind of what we are managing for size quality. Eagle Lake has the potential to grow bigger togue. Right now an experienced angler could go to Eagle Lake and expect to catch one of those 6-10 pound fish that are really attractive and really good condition.”

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