When Commissioner Chandler Woodcock and the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council took the very modest step in December of 2012 of banning the use of fish as live bait on 9 waters in northern Maine, it set off a stream of protests that led directly to the legislature where Senator Troy Jackson, the bait industry, and others offered legislation to reverse that decision. Troy’s bill was heard today by the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the room was packed.
Five members of the IFW Committee cosponsored the bill, indicating a real problem on this issue for Commissioner Woodcock and his agency.
Supporters of the bill spoke for about an hour and a half, and then opponents took over, taking another hour and a half. Stalemate there. It was especially good to hear the testimony of Dave Trahan expressing SAM’s opposition to the bill.