The Sebasticook River flows through forests, farmlands, and villages that characterize central Maine. As the largest tributary to the Kennebec River, it plays an important role in the ongoing efforts to restore anadromous fisheries in the Kennebec basin. Because of its large drainage area, which includes several headwater ponds, and the absence of significant natural barriers, the Sebasticook watershed historically provided much of the available spawning and nursery habitat for alewives, rainbow smelt, American shad, and striped bass in the Kennebec River watershed.
Habitat in the Sebasticook is more suited for its resident warmwater species — smallmouth bass,white perch, and pickerel — than for trout or salmon, though each spring brook trout are stocked in several locations on a “put and take” basis. The smallmouth bass fishery in the Sebasticook is especially noteworthy. Due to a low gradient, the river is relatively slow-moving throughout much of its course, but with easy rapids and pools present in several sections. Dams in Pittsfield, Benton and Burnham create flowage areas where it is possible to fish quiet water from a small boat or canoe.
The Sebasticook is easily accessible, and a good river to fish with children because of the variety of species which are relatively easy to catch, all season long. Fishing from shore and by wading are popular fishing methods in many sections. An extended canoe trip is also possible, as the river is navigable for 25 miles from Pittsfield downstream to Winslow, with portages required around the dams in Burnham and Benton. However, the longer the trip attempted, the less time available to fish along the way.
With the recent removal of the Fort Halifax dam in Winslow just above its confluence with theKennebec River, the lower reaches of the Sebasticook have reverted to free flowing river. Access into the lower 5 miles is now possible for the landlocked salmon, brown trout, shad, and striped bass present in the lower Kennebec. This has created the potential for exciting new fishing opportunities in addition to those already existing for the resident population of smallmouth bassin this section.