Rat Snakes, African Knife Fish, and Golden Poison Frogs will remain uncontrolled in Maine

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 Maine won’t get control anytime soon of rat snakes, bearded dragons, African knife fish, Alligator lizards, Spiny-tailed monitors, Golden poison frog, Gargoyle geckos – or lots of other exotic animals that you can currently possess without permits.

And the confusing laws and rules governing the critters you do need permits to possess won’t get any legislative attention either, nor will the agency’s high costs of administering this program. 

While management of exotic animals in Maine is shared by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, most of the job rests with DIF&W which receives no public funding for it, so sportsmen are paying all the bills. And now, they will continue to do so.

One Stanley Avenue offers an elegant step back in time

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I still remember a very special dining experience we had at One Stanley Avenue fifteen or twenty years ago. Chef and owner Dan Davis, who lives with his wife Susan upstairs at One Stanley, has poured his life into this historic building that includes his impressive collection of stained glass in the windows and walls.

                For dinner, our server Tammy seated us in "the Arch" in the first of two intimate dining rooms. Tammy owns a preschool center in Phillips so she and I had a lot to talk about. The tin ceilings in this room are very intricate. Bathed in rose pink, the rooms are romantically lit with candles on the tables and quiet music in the background. One look around and you know you are in for a special meal here.

Sticker shock as milfoil fee increase wins legislative support

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 NOTE: You can make your voice heard on this issue by answering the milfoil sticker question in my Sportsmen Say Survey question on this website. I will alert legislators to your opinion!

Sticker Shock

On Tuesday afternoon the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee spent more than an hour questioning state officials about their work on invasive plants and fish. Much of that work is funded by a special fee added years ago to the boat registration, the so-called milfoil sticker fee.

John McPhedran of the Department of Environmental Protection, the very capable leader of that agency’s invasive plant program, and Warden Service Major Chris Currier, along with Bill Swan, Director of Licensing for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, were peppered with questions from committee members. All three did a good job of explaining their programs, revenue, and expenditures.

Brook trout plan unites legislators, bait dealers, anglers, and fisheries biologists.

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Thanks to all who completed my first Sportsmen’s Say Survey, located on this website. The survey question was:

Should Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife do more to protect native and wild brook trout, including banning the use of live fish as bait on wild brook trout waters in order to reduce the chance of an introduction of new competing fish species in those waters?

Sixty three percent of respondents answered yes while 37 percent said no. It’s not too late to answer this question, if you would like to do that. The question will remain on the website for a while.

Legislature Gets Brook Trout Briefing

The long-running contentious battle over the management of wild brook trout waters may be over. This afternoon, members of the Legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife were briefed on a comprehensive new policy and plan – and they loved it.

Paul Betit gets second hit with Kagnew Station

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 After recently receiving Paul Betit’s new novel, The Man in the Canal, a sequel to his first two novels, I had to double back and read novel number two, Kagnew Station. So I toted it along last weekend on our visit to Sugarloaf.

Although we were there to write travel columns, it was a very relaxing weekend. We especially enjoyed the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel’s new 40 person outside hot tub – along with wonderful meals at Shipyard, 45 North, and Coplin Dinner House.

I finished Kagnew Station on Sunday morning before we headed home, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  When you think about it, a good novel is even more relaxing than a hot tub, because you can enjoy it a lot longer.

Mysterious beast gets caught in Maine wildfire

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 Can you identify the mysterious beast above? He recently got caught in a wildfire.

Wildfire’s cohosts, Harry Vanderweide and George Smith, wrestled the beast into the guest chair and grilled him.

Judging the beast well-done, they turned their attention to Aislinn Sarnacki, whose outdoor columns in the Bangor Daily News are very popular. George and Harry acted out with Aislinn – ok, Acting Out is the name of her newspaper column.

They did not sign up for Aislinn’s “One Minute Hikes,” having figured out that the hikes were a lot longer than that!

Wildfire is produced by Maine Audubon and aired on Time Warner’s cable TV station (usually channel 9). It can be seen:

Wednesday at 7 pm

Friday at 7:30 m

Resident adult hunters will get fewer any-deer permits this year

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 NOTE: take the Sportsmen Say Survey questions about this issue, by clicking on the survey's link on this website, after you read this column! I will let the legislature know your opinions.

Many resident adult hunters who got 2013 any-deer permits won’t have one this year. A remarkable change in the deer lottery enacted last year by the Maine legislature allocated 25 percent of the any-deer permits to junior hunters, beginning with the 2014 lottery.

Twenty five percent of the any-deer permits currently go to landowners, 15 percent to nonresidents, and 2.5 percent to Superpack licensees. With the new requirement that 25 percent go to junior hunters, only a third of the permits will be available for resident adult hunters.

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