September. Music to the senses. The cadence quickens. Time to bid summer farewell and make plans for Mother Nature’s supreme orchestration: the debut of autumn and those magical October days.

Hiking mountain trails and camping can be great this time of year. Cool nights for deep sleeping and bugless afternoons for lingering beside still waters. For hunters, there is bear season, which started Monday, an expanded archery season for deer, which begins Sept. 9 and an early goose season. There are dogs to be trained, guns to be sighted in, camp roofs to be fixed and woodlands to be scouted for deer and moose. And for those true hunter-gatherers, there are wild mushrooms aplenty and vine-ripened blackberries to be plucked and put up in jam jars.

There is also a bonus for fall anglers this year.

The Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission has voted to allow fishermen to once again legally catch and release a sea-run salmon on a small stretch of the Penobscot River between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15. This is the first opportunity to legally hook an Atlantic salmon since 1999! It has been a long wait.

As you might imagine, there are strict rules that accompany this long-awaited angling option on the Penobscot River. Here they are according to a report by Christine Force that appeared in the September issue of the Northwoods Sporting Journal:

• Experimental open season – Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 on the Penobscot River between two painted red markers placed on opposing banks that are 150 feet below the Veazie Dam Fishway, down river to the former site of the Bangor Dam, which does not include below the former dam site.

• Catch and release only. Any salmon hooked must be released immediately without injury.

• No salmon shall be removed from the water for any reason.

• Fly-fishing Only. Fly must be tied on a single barbless hook. Only one fly or hook can be fished at any one time( no dropper flies).

• Daily catch and release limit is one fish. Any angler who hooks and releases one salmon must stop fishing for the day.

•Fishing is only permitted in the open area specified when green flags are displayed at the Veazie Dam, Eddington Salmon Club, and Penobscot Salmon Club.

• Anglers must obtain a special Atlantic Salmon License.

• All Atlantic Salmon License holders must report all fishing activity at the end of the season on forms supplied by the commission. Failure to comply may result in the denial of a license renewal.

The commission might close the fishery during the open season if it is deemed necessary to protect the resource. The fishery will be closed to all fishing for Atlantic salmon when red flags are displayed.

Special salmon licenses are available to purchase by going to All fees will be used by the commission for purposes of conservation and management of Maine Atlantic salmon.

Maine in September. Next to October, who could ask for anything more.

V. Paul Reynolds is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He is also a Maine Guide, co-host of a weekly radio program “Maine Outdoors” heard Sundays at 7 p.m. on The Voice of Maine News-Talk Network (WVOM-FM 103.9, WCME-FM 96.7) and former information officer for the Maine Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. His e-mail address is [email protected]

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