George's Outdoor News

George’s new outdoor issues blog. He goes all over the state. He listens. And he reports on issues of concern to sportsmen, conservationists, and environmentalists.

Can Maine Bring Back Lost Anglers?

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 I’ve been told that the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is undertaking a project to figure out how to get nonresident anglers who no longer come here to fish to return to Maine. I suggested that they check out an August 2011 study that includes recommendations to do just that.

In 2011, The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and DIF&W hired Brett and Jen Levin to figure out how Maine could appeal to more anglers. The Levins found that “the biggest opportunity for Maine will be found in developing a comprehensive economic analysis of recreational fishing, engaging in strategic partnerships, and developing a cohesive marketing plan backed up with sufficient resources to enable the plan’s implementation.”

The Levins looked at what other states are doing to attract anglers, including detailed surveys that states were conducting with freshwater anglers.

The right to hunt and fish is called barbaric

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 A proposed Constitutional amendment to “Establish the Right to Hunt and Fish” drew angry testimony from the anti-hunting and anti-trapping crowd.

“This bill is barbaric,” testified John Glowa of China, who called LD 11 “the worst piece of legislation I have seen in more than twenty years of coming before this committee, and I have seen some bad ones.” Glowa also called the bill “the poison fruit of the paranoia seed planted by the out-of-state gun lobby and by radical extremist consumptive users.”

You’ll continue to be nickeled and dimed to hunt in Maine

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 You’ll continue to be nickeled and dimed to hunt in Maine

My second attempt to create an affordable comprehensive hunting license crashed at the legislature yesterday after the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposed it. Although it has not yet been scheduled for a work session by the legislature’s IFW Committee, it is very unlikely to win the committee’s support.

DIF&W has opposed most bills this session, and many committee members seem to take the department’s testimony as gospel. It was a lot easier, years ago, to overcome DIF&W’s intransigence and opposition than it is today.

Here’s my testimony on LD 768, An Act to Establish a Comprehensive Hunting License, sponsored at my request by Representative Gary Hilliard.

 

Deer feeding ban and baiting penalties increased

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The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife disposed of more Sunday hunting bills quickly in a recent work session, and then spent a couple of hours working on deer and moose bills. We’ll report on the Sunday hunting and deer bills today.

LD 694, to allow Sunday hunting with deer rifles only, and LD 485 to allow Sunday hunting for migratory birds, got 8 to 2 ought-not-to-pass voted. Reps. Steve Wood and Tim Theriault voted in favor of the bills, as they have on all the Sunday hunting bills this session.

The committee voted unanimously against LD 1041 that would have extended the no-firearms-discharge distance from the road from the current 10 feet to 100 feet. Several of us joined DIF&W in opposing the bill, and Rep. Peter Lyford summed it up nicely, saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And they didn’t.

Lots of support for more protection for native brook trout

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A group of outstanding anglers stepped up to encourage the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee to expand protection of our native brook trout last Thursday.

 

The public hearing on LD 1136 lasted until 7 pm last Thursday night, and with the exception of the testimony against the bill by DIF&W, all of the testimony encouraged the legislative committee to step up protection of our native brook trout.

 

El Rayo Taqueria is Fantastic

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Scarborough
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 George

            A wonderful family get-a-way planned by our kids found us in a huge home on the ocean at Pine Point in Scarborough. The group included daughter Rebekah, son-in-law Patrick, and grandsons Addison and Vishal (ages 10 and 13), son Joshua, daughter-in-law Kelly and granddaughters Ada and Esme (ages 3 and 5 months) who live in Massachusetts, and daughter Hilary who flew in from Washington  DC.

No more money needed to save Maine’s moose

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 The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee unanimously killed my proposed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Peter Lyford, to direct more money to initiatives to save Maine’s moose herd. And I can’t really blame them, because the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department told the committee it didn’t need more money for moose research and management.

Several things about this discussion at the legislature surprised me.

First, legislators were told that most of the money raised from the moose lottery and permits goes to other species and programs other than moose. So, in other words, moose hunters are funding lots of other programs while our moose population continues to be devastated by winter ticks.

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