Exploring Lakes of Acadia

Before this year, Acadia National Park never had a proper Junior Angler Program. There was no guide to follow besides the map in my pocket and rod in my trunk. I was determined to pick the best, most accessible spot to start the Angler Program in. So, during my first 3-weeks in Acadia I traveled from pond to lake searching for potential program spots. Three criteria needed to be met when choosing a location: Bathroom access, parking access, and space for kids to not hook each other. I soon found spots that fit all those criteria were few and far between in Acadia. I visited over 10 ponds/lakes on Mount Desert Island to appraise for the Junior Angler Program. Most fishable ponds required a decent hike to get to and didn’t have the space needed for a clinic. Fortunately, my search paid off when I discovered three potential freshwater fishing spots to host the program.

Lower Hadlock Pond

Lower Hadlock was my top location because of its great parking access, fishability, and bathroom across the street. In fishing Hadlock for a week I was able to catch or see Pumpkinseed (sunfish), Shiners, Bullhead Catfish, and Brook trout. The rock in the picture above could fit at least 6 anglers comfortably. Further down the path there is a spot by a dam that can fit at least 12 anglers. But before I take people to fish by the dam, I want to make sure it is legal from a game warden. I know there is a law where you cannot fish within 150-feet of a fish pathway, but the regulations on dams are unclear. We do not need to be breaking any laws during our pilot year!

Here is a beautiful Pumpkinseed I was able to find in Lower Hadlock. The absolutely beautiful coloring on these fish is thanks to their diet, and clean water.

Lake Wood

Lake Wood is situated on the northwest side of Acadia in a more secluded area. Frequented mostly by high school students and nudists, Lake Wood is also home to diverse fish species such as Salmon, Brook Trout, Pumpkinseed, and Pickerel. There is great bathroom and parking access, and you could fit 6 anglers on the shore. The only downside is that the area where kids could stand, and fish is not the fishiest area. The water in the fishable area is only about a foot or so deep with minimal structure making it unlikely to hold as many fish as Hadlock. Nonetheless, this is a great spot to learn the basics of fishing.

I caught my first Pickerel ever at Lake Wood and it was awesome. It hit a topwater lure, so I got to see it come out of the water to bite. Pickerel are extremely aggressive hunters and I was shown that firsthand.

Eagle Lake

Last but not least, I checked out the most logical choice, Eagle Lake, one of the largest lakes in Acadia. I was skeptical about using Eagle Lake for the program because of how busy it gets during the summer. I want the fishing program to be a place where kids can be themselves and enjoy the outdoors separate from hustle and bustle. Yet, there is no denying that Eagle Lake is a great location for the program, containing species such as Smallmouth Bass, Brook Trout, and Pumpkinseeds. The birding around Eagle Lake isn’t too shabby as well, I saw my first Piliated Woodpecker (in video below).

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