Kennebec River, Hallowell to Augusta

Key Species: brown trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, pickerel, white perch

Best Way to Fish: canoe, boat, shore Best Time to Fish: May through July MAG: 12, C-5

Description: This is a tidewater section of the Kennebec River; the Edwards Dam, in Augusta, is the head of tide. Much controversy exists over the continued use of this ancient dam, since the electricity produced here is not needed and the dam keeps the above-mentioned key species as well as shad, alewives, and Atlantic salmon from prime upriver spawning grounds.

If you do not have a boat or canoe, you can fish from shore by the boat ramps in Hallowell and Augusta and beneath the Edwards Dam in Augusta. There are plenty of motels in Augusta.

Fishing index: Even Maine residents are sometimes surprised to learn that the Kennebec River in Augusta and Hallowell provides some of the state’s best brown trout, smallmouth bass, and striped bass fishing. Landlocked salmon fishing is good too, thanks to a recent stocking program and an impressive growth rate for game fish living in this fertile river.

Anglers fishing from shore in Hallowell use worms to take large white perch in spring and early summer. In early spring, boaters take brown trout, smallmouth bass, and landlocked salmon by trolling from the boat ramp in Hallowell to the dam in Augusta. Diving plugs such as Rapalas and Rebels are effective for all three species. Some fly-rod devotees take fish by casting or trolling with streamer flies.

The month of June is prime for school stripers. The fish congregate in the swift water below the Edwards Dam. Most of the fish you take will be school-sized, but sometimes a fish of 40 pounds or more will show up. It is best to have at least a medium-weight spinning rod and a reel with the largest line capacity you can find. Even so, in the spring of 1995, a friend of the author’s who was fishing from a boat and armed with proper tackle hooked a fish that could not be stopped. Such experiences show that you should always be prepared to hook a monster when fishing in this amazing river. Fishing is best on an incoming or outgoing tide, and low tide is not usually productive. Directions: The state boat ramp is on Route 201 in Hallowell, on the left. Parking is ample, and there is plenty of space to fish from shore. To get to the state boat ramp in Augusta, head north on U.S. Route 201 to the rotary in Augusta, and take the first right on the rotary. This takes you to a bridge over the Kennebec River. The boat ramp and small park are on the left.

For more information: Call the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in Augusta.

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