Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists Jim Pellerin and Brian Lewis gathered data recently on the fish in Lake Christopher, one of more than 300 lakes in the region south and west of the Androscoggin River that they cover on a rotating basis. IF&W stocks Lake Christopher each year with game fish, including landlocked salmon, brook trout and splake. The biologists set out “trapnets” near the shore, in the vicinity of the University of Maine 4-H Camp, to catch the fish. They checked them each day after setting the nets, for five days. After bringing them in from the net, the men placed the fish in a bucket and sedated them briefly with MS-222 (a powder) in order to be able to handle them. Here, Pellerin weighs a male landlocked salmon that is displaying “spawning coloration,” he said, which can cause the fish to be mistaken for a brown trout. Pellerin also measured the length of the fish, and cut a small piece from the tail to mark them as having been caught (some were later recaptured). Several salmon weighed about four pounds. Other species caught included pickerel, salmon, splake, golden shiner, white sucker, brown bullhead (hornpout) and a large eel. On this day the men pulled in about two dozen fish. Their goal over the time period was around 30. Pellerin said most were in good shape. The salmon caught ranged in age from 1 to 3 years, most being over 2. Older ages are less common, he said, “due to the typically high winter harvest rates of legal sized salmon.” The biologists also shared their project, and their knowledge, with students from SAD 17 who were at the camp for the day. The youngsters watched from the dock as each fish was tallied, then many of the students held a fish briefly before placing it back in the water.