November 30, 2015

Randy Clark and Steve DeWick walked the upper middle portion of Montsweag Brook and the upper portion between the Upper Dam and the Old Stage Road bridge. The Brook was accessed from the paved parking area at the Old Stage Road bridge in Wiscasset. The CMP power line stretch proved impossible to walk, due to heavy underbrush. The hike began, just downstream of the power line. The water level and flow were low, unlike the high water on the 25th. There are a series of pools and runs from the bridge to south side of the power line clearing. The water velocity begins to moderate as the Brook flows through a steep valley. At some locations, hiking is perilous, due to steepness of the banks. The Brook in this stretch is wider and quiet. There are twists and turns in the brook, which result in increased velocity. At several dense blow downs, the downed trees have accumulated additional one during flood events. Blow downs in the watercourse form crude baffles, which push the current to the other shore. Many of the stretches with quiet, deadwater are shallow. Depths were at times about 12 inches. The shallow deadwater stretches do not appear suitable as holding trout.

There is a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees along both banks. Many of the trees are mature. The Brook is shielded from the sun for most of portion between the Old Stage Road bridge and the “Hair Pin” falls, at the Gorham Road. Except for several house lots near the Gorham Road, the Chewonki Foundation has acquired conservation easements on both sides of the Brook. The boundaries are marked with occasional signs, Some cutting has been done to improve the trail.

There is a small gorge around the Hair Pin falls. There is a pool as the base of the fall. Trout were caught at this location, in the spring. After viewing the falls and the Old Gorham Road bridge abutment, we hiked on a tote road to the Old Stage Road and back to the parking lot. Our walk was confined to the western bank of the Brook. At several locations, small streams trickle down the bank. These may be groundwater seeps, as they all had mineral beds.

Photos taken during the site walk are in the following gallery.

After completing the hike back to the parking lot, the upper portion of the brook below the dam owned by Wiscasset back to the Old Stage Road bridge was visited. The brook was accessed via another CMP power line clearing. This portion of the brook has a higher gradient, tumbling over numerous ledges and boulders. There are many small pools and some larger pools.

The following gallery contains the photos of this portion.

The site walk was on the eastern side of the brook. The walk ended at 11:30 AM. There does not appear to be an abundance of trout holding pools. Next year, a team of anglers could fish the entire brook downstream of Wiscasset’s dam. IF&W stocks the brook around April 28th. Fishing before and after stocking might locate holding water and determine if any stocked fish survive the winter.