Surprising survey responses are in on brook trout and wild game dinners

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 My thanks to those who completed the first two surveys in my new Sportsmen Say Survey, found on my website: I am delighted by the initial response to this new opportunity to make your voices heard, and look forward to gaining more participants as we progress. As promised, I have shared the results with the news media, legislators, and outdoor leaders.

The first survey question concerned a major issue before the legislature this session, protection of native and wild brook trout. Last week I posted a column in my outdoor news blog about the amazing result fashioned by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife with the help of two working groups, one on bait fish and another on brook trout. The legislature’s IFW Committee will be briefed on the department’s proposed policy and plan for brook trout next Tuesday, February 11, and I will post the details of the plan that afternoon.

Here are the brook trout question and  survey responses.

Wild game public dinners are plentiful in Maine - and illegal

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 The newspaper headline caught my attention: “Wild game dinner serving boar, moose in Skowhegan.”

It is illegal to sell wild game in Maine. But wild game dinners are a tradition at some sporting clubs, and each year at the legislature, for Sportsmen’s Day, the Maine Trappers Association served beaver stew. It was a big hit.

Wild game can be legally served to the public, but the hosts of wild game dinners cannot charge for the event. They are allowed by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to seek “voluntary contributions.” And they must adhere to the labeling requirement, outlined this way in the current hunting law book:

A person may not possess any part or parts of a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey given to that person unless that gift bear, deer, moose or wild turkey is plainly labeled with the name and address of the person who registered it and the year it was registered.

Is Bill Green his real name and why is he on Wildfire?

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TV celebrity Bill Green, who covers the outdoors and all-things-Maine in an entertaining way on Bill Green’s Maine, seen every Saturday night on TV 6, is the guest in the current episode of Maine Audubon’s Wildfire.

My friend Harry Vanderweide and I host the show and have been eager to get Bill on. As expected, he was entertaining and engaging. We talked about a lot of things from his Bangor upbringing to some of his favorite guests and shows.

Harry’s first question was, “Is Bill Green your real name?” You’ll have to watch the show to hear the answer.

You can watch Wildfire on Time Warner’s statewide cable network (usually channel 9). It can be seen

Wednesday at 7 pm

Friday at 7:30 m

Saturday at 2:30 pm

Sunday at 9:30 pm.

The Home Kitchen Cafe is hugely popular for good reason

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The secret is out and this cafe has drawn many favorable reviews.

Read more.


New plan ends bitter battle over bait and brook trout

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NOTE: Please answer my brook trout one-question survey, in the Sportsman's Say Survey on this website,  before February 11 so I can present the results to the legislature's IFW Committee. Make your voice heard!

Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Department amazed me today when they brought together angling interests who have been battling for years over brook trout and bait issues and unified them on a new plan to protect wild brook trout.

The legislature directed DIF&W to prepare a comprehensive policy and management plan for wild brook trout waters, called the “B List”, that have not been stocked since 1988. Since 1995 when the legislature enacted a law recognizing and protecting native brook trout in waters that have never been stocked, various angling groups and activists have been fighting over attempts to extend the recognition and protective measures to the new list of waters.

This has been a bitter and divisive battle. Today, that battle came to a very positive ending.

Rubber lures won't be banned in Maine - yet

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Despite finding substantial problems caused by rubber lures, Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will not recommend that these lures be banned.

Fisheries Biologist Dana DeGraaf presented a report today from his agency that was ordered up by the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee last session, after the committee hosted a public hearing on a bill to ban rubber lures. Here’s the conclusion of the report:

“Requiring the sale and use of only biodegradable SPLs is currently not a solution. There is currently no standard national or international definition for what constitutes ‘biodegradable plastic” and SPLs specifically. Based on the information presented in this report, the Department does not recommend any legislation at this time.”

Maine gets just one entry in outstanding book 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish

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 Three things happened as soon as my hands touched 50 Best Tailwaters To Fly Fish by Terry & Wendy Gunn.

First, I looked in the table of contents for rivers I have fished, finding several, and proceeded right to page 113 and the Madison River. Immediately my head filled with images of my float trip on the Madison – so many wonderful images – a day never to be forgotten.

The author of that chapter, Craig Mathews, begins his detailed account of the Madison this way: “An old friend and veteran Madison River angler told me that one cannot own a river except in one’s heart. He knew the river and it was in his heart, he loved the Madison, and the same goes for me. I fish it one hundred days a year.”

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