Franklin Countys First News

Discarded perch responsible for Parker Pond smell

Unwanted white perch led to a smelly situation on Parker Pond two weeks ago, after 13,000 of the fish removed from the body of water were discarded on a small island.

Mark Latti, spokesperson for Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, confirmed last week that a state biologist removed 13,000 of the fish from Parker Pond. The 1600-plus acre pond, the shores of which touch the towns of Fayette, Vienna, Chesterville and Mount Vernon, is also a cold water fishery for landlocked salmon, which have been stocked since 1959. The white perch, actually a member of the temperate bass family, is considered an invasive species in Maine. That, Latti said, was why the fish were removed.

"When we get an invasive species like white perch we try and control them," Latti said.

The perch compete with salmon for smelt, an important source of food for the salmon. Latti noted that Maine Department of Transportation and IFW had been working to sustain the salmon population in Parker Pond, including installing a culvert designed to improve water quality.

"We don't have a lot of cold water fisheries," Latti said. "There's been some money put into that lake."

Gretchen Legler, a Farmington resident, said that she was out on Parker Pond Friday, June 19, with friends when they smelled something terrible, to a point that they decided to cut short their trip. Uncertain what the smell was, Legler called the Maine Warden Service. The warden later told her that the smell had come from thousands of white perch that had been dumped on a small island.

Dumping the fish on the island had been a mistake, Latti said Thursday. As is the case with roadkill or diseased animals, fish removed from lakes are typically brought to composting sites at IFW facilities, Latti said. The biologist went back to Parker Pond Thursday of last week and removed the fish, bringing them to a compost site.

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14 Responses »

  1. How do you clean up 13,000 white perch on a small island? Not a great way to spend an afternoon in the hot weather we've been having lately. I hope the person who did the clean up was the same person who decided to dump the fish there in the first place.

  2. When I was a boy my parents ran a sporting camp on the border of Maine and New Brunswick. I thought back then, and I still do, consider the white perch to be the best eating fish in Maine and New Brunswick.

  3. That was a stupid thing to do, wasting fish like that! The pond is hooked to other ponds, echo lake is full of white perch, who swim up stream, to parker. They will not stop the perch moving from pond to pond. What about a food bank? What a waste! My friends were starting to catch white perch in the winter. There are about a million yellow perch in there, whats the reasoning for this? And to throw them on the island, who ever was in charge of that decision, should be fired, what ashame!

  4. Too bad. When these guys are big enough, they are good eating! Skin the sides, cut off the filets and fry in beer. So good after a day of ice fishing. Just the white perch --- the yellows are too bony.

  5. My question is when an eagle eats one left on the island that had a lead sinker in it, will they get charged? Fair question.

    If Society discards a load of dead fish or animals they get charged with a crime but when the state does it; “it was a mistake”.

    How many times has the “it was a mistake” line worked for the general populous?

  6. Fisherman.... What do you think would happened it you took a bucket full of white perch down to the food bank?... Last time I offer perch to some neighbors..... the question was..'have they been cleaned and skinned'?.. Would you have volunteered to do the job?

  7. I totally agree in keeping them out of cold water fisheries but a friend years ago placed a crack in my purist attitude with some foot long white perch fillets in batter and italian bread crumbs. I cringe at the good eating lost that a few well placed words to a few people with fillet knives could have had. They do have to be big enough to get a fillet out of though and that is a problem some time.

  8. How does one go about Catching thirteen thousand perch?

  9. Bet there are many lobstermen who would likes to have the perch as bait, just saying.

  10. White perch are ten times funner to catch and 200 times tastier than any salmon you’ll ever eat

  11. I would try, probably take me 26,000 minutes. LOL! I wish i had a heads up, as do many folks, i would’ve taken as many as they would give, up to 200. My freezer would be stocked for a year. I’m sure they could’ve found hungry folks who would love them. Sounds like your neighbors are ungreatful.

  12. Franklinfinest lead sinkers haven’t been sold for a number of years the chance of one of the fish ingesting one is near zero. Not to say it couldn’t just not likely.

  13. should have turned that into fish emulsion or hydrolysate fertilizer or just mixed it with some wood chips or some other carbon and mixed it up to make some nice compost.

  14. Boy did it stink! Happened to be there when it was at what must have been the height of the stink. You could smell it from 200 yds away.

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