George Smith's blog

Shocking decline in northern Maine angling

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 I was astonished earlier this week to be on a northern Maine lake that once drew lots of anglers, and to see only a handful of anglers in two days.

I guess it should not have surprised me, because I recently read Jeremiah Wood’s report about a sharp decline in northern Maine angler use between 1996 and 2016. Wood is a fisheries biologist with Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

And his compelling and concerning report should be read by all of you. This is why many of our sporting camps are struggling. There are lots of great places to fish in North America, and Maine is no longer on many of those lists.

Wood’s Report

The Stan Grover Memorial Moose Hunt

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 My friend Jim Robbins recently shared this wonderful story of two moose hunts, with permission to share it with you. 


By Jim Robbins


This story is about an incredible set of circumstances about two moose hunts involving Stan Grover, his grandson and some friends.

Lubec and Campobell - the perfect vacation

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            It’s the perfect Maine vacation. We left home in mid-morning so that we’d be in Milbridge for lunch at Vasquez, a fantastic Mexican take-out restaurant. We never drive by this place, and it’s nice to see our column about it posted next to the window where you pick up your delicious – and very inexpensive – food.

            We divert from our route to Lubec by a few miles to pick up the freshest crabmeat you’ll ever get at Mrs. Griffins in Edmunds. And then it’s on to Lubec, where the bridge carries us to Campobello Island, Canada.

Amazing stories from some of Maine’s best game wardens

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 Ludger Belanger, a young man who shot a big buck and hauled it out of the woods onto an old road, hopped into a car with two guys who offered to transport him and his buck out to his car. And then Ludger disappeared.

This is just one of the amazing stories in Daren Worcester’s new book, Open Season – True Stories of the Maine Warden Service, published by Down East Books. I especially enjoyed Daren’s book because I knew many of the dozen wardens featured in the stories, during my years of working for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

Fabulous ocean views at Campobello Island

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 Our recent visit to Campobello and Lubec included fabulous views. I could not stop taking photos. Here are a few of my favorites, including this photo of a sunset enjoyed from the deck of our cabin at Island Chalet on Campobello.

Campobello is loaded with colorful lupins.


Linda enjoying a book and the view from a perch above a remote beach in the international park on Campobello.


Ocean views from our cabin at Island Chalet, including Lubec seen from Campobello.






Boa Constrictors slither freely in Maine

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 Imagine finding a 5-foot boa constrictor on your porch. That’s what happened to a Biddeford resident last week.

You might be surprised to know that anyone can possess a boa constrictor without a permit, nor do they have to let their neighbors or anyone else know when their snake escapes.

I tried to change that with a bill sponsored at my request by Senator Scott Cyrway, but DIF&W opposed the bill and it was reduced to a simple hike in fines for those who don’t get permits for exotic animals that require a permit or who fail to notify the Maine Warden Service if that animal gets loose.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of exotic animals that can be possessed without permits. And the owners of those animals don’t have to let anyone know when their animals get loose.

Lots of Fishing Rule Changes Proposed

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The list of proposed changes in fishing rules is lengthy, and you should check it out to see if changes are proposed on your favorite waters.

You can access a list of the proposed changes here.

You also have a chance to comment on the changes. The following public hearings on the proposed changes will be held:

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