George Smith's blog

Goodbye Salmon Hello Rainbow Trout

Blog Showcase Image: 

“Once noted as one of the top salmon waters in Maine, it’s now rare for a salmon to survive for more than one year in Long Pond,” wrote Jason Seiders, DIF&W Regional Fisheries Biologist. I can only add, boy, did I enjoy catching big salmon at this beautiful pond, part of the Belgrade Lakes and just ten minutes from my house.

Then illegal and/or inadvertent stocking of other nonnative and invasive species, from pike to landlocked alewives, ruined the salmon fishery and crowded out other cold water species like brook trout. Today, smallmouth bass is the most popular fishery in Long Pond.

National Expert chosen to improve communications and marketing of fish and wildlife

Blog Showcase Image: 

Mark Duda has worked on more than 1000 marketing, communications, and public relations research, plans, and projects involving fisheries and wildlife, for state agencies, universities, businesses, and all the major hunting and fishing national organizations. And now he’s coming to Maine.

Our Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has launched a very-much-needed and very-exciting project to improve its communications with the public and, eventually, grow its market. In the Request for Proposals that the agency advertised, they noted, “In order to maintain and enhance current programs, mandates, and projects, MDIFW must continue to maintain support for its programs amongst its current constituents while generating new support from the general public who value wildlife and its associated recreational opportunities.”

My Naked Safari is not what you think!

Blog Showcase Image: 

Peter Popieniuck is a lucky sportsman. Not just in the fish and wildlife he has harvested, but in the adventures he’s enjoyed from Maine to Africa. His autobiography is timely, given the recent unfortunate incidents with big game hunters who killed African lions. For the record, Peter killed no lions.

Peter’s book, My Naked Safari – from Maine to Africa – Adventures of an Amateur Sportsman, published by North Country Press, is a very good read.

Peter’s story is of special interest to Mainers because many of his adventures were with Maine guides, and his favorite place on earth seems to be his camp on Lower Richardson Pond, just west of Rangeley. His hunting trip to Africa is certainly an amazing story, but I most enjoyed his trips to places I’ve been myself, most especially the Leaf River in northern Quebec.

Schoodic Peninsula is Acadia’s Hidden Gem

City or Town: 
Winter Harbor
Blog Showcase Image: 


                Hang a left in Ellsworth, instead of driving straight ahead to Mount Desert Island, if you want to see the best part of Acadia National Park. Schoodic Peninsula is the park’s hidden gem, a 2,000 acre peninsula just beyond Winter Harbor, and it doesn’t get the millions of visitors to Acadia’s park adjacent to Bar Harbor.

                The six-mile Schoodic park road offers stunning ocean views and many places where you can roam the shore, have a picnic, or take a short hike. The cobblestone beaches are a wonderful place to spend the day. It’s also a great place to bird watch.

Surprising opinions expressed on outdoor issues from moose to brook trout

Blog Showcase Image: 


Moose and private land access have been major issues this year for readers of this outdoor news column, and it’s time to share with you the views of readers on these and a few other important issues including brook trout.

The Sportsmen Say Survey on my website,, is sponsored by Moody’s Collision Centers and named for Gene Letourneau, whose Sportsmen Say column appeared in southern Maine’s daily newspapers every day for 50 years.


A series of Sportsmen Say Survey questions on moose found strong agreement on two issues. 68 percent think Maine’s moose population is in decline, while 32% do not. I want to know where those 32% are seeing moose these days!

How do you think DIF&W's increased revenue should be spent?

Blog Showcase Image: 

 Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s funds from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, ATV registrations and the moose lottery increased this year by nearly three-quarters of a million dollars ($700,250).

Hunting and fishing combination license revenue was up 6% over last year, an increase of $222,443.  Fishing license revenue is up by 7% over last year, generating $5,591,188 in revenue. And ATV registrations continue to increase, generating a 6% increase in revenue. Overall, the department generated $22,169,289 in revenue from the sale of licenses, registrations and permits, up 3% from last years $21,469,039. DIF&W’s fiscal year ended on June 31.

Asticou Inn combines history with great food and stunning scenery

City or Town: 
Northeast Harbor
Blog Showcase Image: 

 The quiet side of Mount Desert Island is spectacular,


                I first noticed the Asticou Inn last summer when we were searching for Thuya Gardens in Northeast Harbor. I'd love to stay at that inn, I thought. It faces a cove filled with boats of all sorts which creates a perfect picture of the coast of Maine in the summer.

                The Inn celebrated its 130th year in 2013, so it's been around a while. It is large as well as charming and one can almost imagine it as a thriving inn a hundred years ago. On the first floor are two quiet sitting rooms, a large restaurant and bar, and a big deck, all with extraordinary ocean views.

Site by Fieldstone Media