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Maine Fishing News and Conservation Efforts

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Flies for Kids 2016

Flies for Kids
Flies for Kids started in 2013 with an idea from Kevin McKay of maineflyfish.com to try to make it easier for kids to get into fly tying. Eldredge Bros. Fly Shop joined forces with Kevin because we thought this was a great thing to do. There are many children out there who would love to get into fly fishing or fly tying but they have no one in their life that does either.The last two years Flies for Kids was such a great success that we’ve decided to do it again in 2016. In 2014 we raised enough money to buy 30 fly tying kits and last year we were able to buy 39 kits at a generous discount from Wapsi.       Here is how it works;   Fly tiers from around the country donate flies that we put into Cliff Bugger Beast fly boxes that are donated by Cliff Outdoors. As each fly box fills to capacity we add another fly box and start to fill that one.   We sell raffle tickets for chances to win the entire selection of flies and Cliff boxes that we have accumulated. Tickets are $10.00 each. We draw a winner the night after our Fly Fishing Expo which will be March 26th, 2016.   There will be a new incentive for the people who donate flies this year. For every dozen flies that you donate you will receive one free raffle ticket.   Guidelines: All that we ask of the tiers who donate flies is that they donate unused flies. Please don’t empty your fly box and send us those old, rusted, chewed up, fished once, flies that you’re glad to be rid of. These flies are meant to attract people to donate by purchasing raffle tickets.   Please send flies or money for raffle tickets, including your name, phone number and address to;   Eldredge Bros Fly Shop
P. O. Box 69
1480 US Rt. 1
Cape Neddick, Me. 03902
ATTN: Flies for Kids   Email any questions that you might have to info@eldredgeflyshop.com   The last Two Years Winners!  

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Penobscot River Update

Greeting, It has been a long time since the last Veazie update was emailed. A lot has happened since then, most notably the Veazie Dam is gone and Atlantic salmon trap operations have been occurring at the new fish lift at the Milford Dam as well as the new fish lift at the Orono Dam. As of Yesterday, we have documented 66 Atlantic salmon Returns to the Penobscot River. Two of the returns were captured at Orono and the remainder at Milford. The new fish lift at Milford has been operated since May 5. There have been a few trial and tribulations along the way, but everyone is working hard to maintain fish passage. You will notice that the attached summary is not the usual format and that is simply a reflection of the lack of time staff have had to enter data. So, rather than make you wait while we get caught up on our data entry, I produced this quick summary. The summary includes fish passed in the fish lift as well as the old Denil at Milford. It also includes the 2 salmon passed at Orono, but no other fish handled at Orono (those can be found on our web page). I am not going to speculate on the low number of returns other than to point out that a low return year was predicted and the new lift has been passing a lot of river herring and even American shad. The number of shad passed is certainly beyond anything I would have imagined. I also update our DMR trap Counts webpage weekly or even more frequently if I get the information. Take care, Oliver

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Maine shuts down smelt fishing from Stonington to Kittery

AUGUSTA, Maine — Citing a decline in smelt abundance, the Maine Department of Marine Resources announced on Tuesday that spring smelt fishing on coastal tributaries between Stonington and the New Hampshire border will be closed starting March 14. Any smelt camps still operating on the Kennebec and its tributaries will be exempt from the closure, DMR commissioner Patrick Keliher said in a press release. According to the release, the closure will last for 90 days, which will include spring spawning runs, when smelts head into freshwater tributaries and are particularly vulnerable to capture by fishermen. Though some commercial smelting takes place in Maine, the DMR is targeting recreational anglers with the closure, Keliher said. “Based on our ongoing surveys of the fishery, we will decide on management actions for next year,” Keliher said. Full Story………. http://bangordailynews.com/2014/03/11/outdoors/maine-shuts-down-smelt-fishing-from-stonington-to-kittery/

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Maine’s top court allows new round of arguments on beach access

In a rare decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court has agreed to hear oral arguments next month from attorneys who will ask the court to reconsider its ruling that the public does not have the right to use Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport. On Feb. 4, the state’s highest court vacated a lower court’s finding that the Goose Rocks Beach neighborhood, the town and the public have the right to use the beach between the low-water mark and beachfront property owners’ sea walls and lawns. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that private property owners control use of the beach all the way to the low-water mark.The ruling has raised questions in southern Maine’s beach communities about how to protect public access to sand beaches that the court says are privately owned. full story: http://www.pressherald.com/news/Public_s_right_to_use_beach_to_be_considered_by_Maine_supreme_court_.html

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Down East conservation group hopes method of ‘planting’ salmon eggs in rivers will restore population

MACHIAS, Maine — A salmon conservation organization is trying a new technique Down East for the first time, “planting” eggs in three rivers in the region in hopes they will hatch and grow into adult versions of Atlantic salmon. The Downeast Salmon Federation, based in Columbia Falls, has adopted a technique that has been used successfully by state fisheries biologists in the Kennebec drainage in western Maine for about eight years. Success is measured by how many eggs hatch into fry. The Department of Marine Resources fisheries biologists have reported nearly half the eggs emerging into fry compared with only 10-12 percent with a previous method. Working with fisheries biologists from DMR and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, federation staff planted 145,000 salmon eggs earlier this month in the beds of the Pleasant, Narraguagus and Machias rivers For the whole story: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/02/24/news/down-east/down-east-conservation-group-hopes-method-of-planting-salmon-eggs-in-rivers-will-restore-population/

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opens two new access sites

UGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opened two new boating access facilities recently, providing anglers and boaters with expanded recreational opportunities in northern and Down East parts of the state, according to a DIF&W press release. “Access to the waters of this magnificent state is a priority for Governor [Paul] LePage and this department,” said Chandler E. Woodcock, commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “Maine is blessed with thousands of waterways, yet access is limited on many of them. We are pleased to restore access Down East and provide another option for access along the 420-mile long St. John River.” The two new locations include Bog Lake in Northfield (Washington County) and the St. John River in Grand Isle (Aroostook County). for full story: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/10/16/outdoors/maine-department-of-inland-fisheries-and-wildlife-opens-two-new-access-sites/

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Andro Two Fly results

Farmington Angler Wins the Upper Andro 2Fly Contest Second Year in a Row ​Pete Smith of Farmington, Maine successfully defending his 2012 title, won the trophy for the biggest trout caught during the annual Upper Andro 2-Fly Contest in Bethel held Saturday, September 21. Pete netted a 16 brook trout. Second place went to Jerry Miller of Marblehead, MA with a 15 1/4 inch rainbow trout and third place to Justin Snow of Plymouth, ME who caught a 14 brook trout. ​The award for the largest catch went to Kate Farnham of Bath, ME who caught 7 brown trout and a brook trout. Tied for second place with 7 fish were Jerry Miller, Dan Reader of Dover, NH and Todd Richard of Farmington, ME. Third place honors went to Sean Libbey of Deerfield, MA, Justin Snow, and Chandler Woodcock of Farmington each betting 6 trout. ​The Rocky Freda Turtle Water Trophy presented to the oarsman of the team who caught the most fish was awarded to Brian Reader, Cornish, ME of the Western Maine Drifters/Patagonia team. Anglers Sean Libbey and Dan Reader caught a total of 13 fish. ​Maineflyfish.coms Chubnado trophy for the largest chub caught went to Hakan Adams of Mason Township, ME who caught a 12 inch chub. ​Twelve teams of two anglers and an oarsman fished the Upper Androscoggin River from Shelburne, NH to Rumford Center, Maine. The anglers were restricted to using only two flies to catch the biggest and the most trout for an eight hour time period from 6 am to 2 pm. ​Friday afternoons Northeast Drift Boat Championship, testing the rowing skills of the oarsmen over a ¼ mile course, turned out to be a battle of sexes between oarswoman Kate Farnham and her mother as passenger representing the Fish-n-Chicks Team and Luke Gray of Locke Mountain Guide Service and his passenger Eric Melanson representing Bethel Bait, Tackle & More and Allmarine.com. The contest ended in a virtual tie of 12 minutes and 34 seconds after deductions were made for buoy infractions. ​Awards were presented at the Bethel Inn Resort immediately following a drift boat parade up Bethels Main Street and around the Harvest Fest on the town common. Along with trophies, winners received merchandise prizes from Orvis, Sun Valley Sports, L.L. Bean, Kittery Trading Post, Patagonia, and True North Adventureware. ​Anglers interested in participating in the 2014 Drift Boat Championships and 2-Fly Contest should contact the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance at fish@upperandro.com. The 2014 entry form and rules are available on line at www.upperandro.com. The Western Maine Drifters/Patagonia Team of Sean Libbey, Brian Reader (with trophy) and Dan Reader, the 2013 winners of the Rocky Freda Turtle Water Trophy.

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Fish and Wildlife Service Ends Investments in Merrimack River Atlantic Salmon Program; Shifts Focus to Shad, other Fish Species

for immediate release: September 5, 2013 For further information: Joe McKeon, 603-595-3586 Terri Edwards, 413-253-8324 Based on continued low annual sea-run salmon returns and shrinking Federal budgets, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced it will end its investment in the more than 30-year old Atlantic salmon restoration program in the Merrimack River. The Service has worked cooperatively with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S.Forest Service to raise and stock Atlantic salmon for the Merrimack River at two hatcheries: Nashua National Fish Hatchery in New Hampshire, and North Attleboro National Fish Hatchery in Massachusetts. “This was a hard decision, but the science tells us that there is little chance that we will successfully restore Atlantic salmon to the Merrimack,” said Wendi Weber, the Service’s Northeast Regional Director. “While the science is driving our decision, our declining budgets hastened it. We need to prioritize. With the lack of success, we need to shift our scarce resources to priority restoration efforts where we can make a difference. ” For the rest of the story: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/fisheries/news.html

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Future of salmon restoration program is uncertain, operations at Nashua fish hatchery in jeopardy

By DAVID BROOKS The future of the long-running but unsuccessful attempt to bring Atlantic salmon back to the Merrimack River is struggling to stay afloat, one year after the federal government pulled the plug on similar efforts on the Connecticut River. If the Merrimack River program does shut, it would raise questions about the Adopt-a-Salmon school program as well as the future status of the National Fish Hatchery in Nashua, which is central to the salmon restoration efforts For the full story.... http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1015025-469/future-of-salmon-restoration-program-is-uncertain.html

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Breaching of Veazie Dam begins as part of Penobscot River Restoration

By John Holyoke, BDN Staff EDDINGTON, Maine — Hundreds of onlookers stood on the banks of the Penobscot River on Monday morning, watching as demolition crews breached the Veazie Dam, continuing the process of opening the river to sea-run fish for the first time in almost 200 years. The Veazie Dam is the farthest downstream dam on the river, and serves as the first barrier to passage that sea-run fish face when they swim up the Penobscot. The dam removal was the latest accomplishment of the Penobscot River Restoration Project, an effort that will remove two dams and provide fish bypass at a third in order to open nearly 1,000 miles of river and stream habitat that has been inaccessible to fish. The landmark river restoration project is a joint effort of the Penobscot Indian Nation, the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, six other nongovernmental organizations, the state of Maine, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and hydropower companies. Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis heralded Monday’s breaching of the Veazie Dam, which took place at about 11 a.m., as an important moment in tribal history. for the whole story: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/22/news/penobscot/breaching-of-veazie-dam-begins-as-part-of-penobscot-river-restoration/

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Stripers returning to Maine, but Penobscot still slow

By John Holyoke, BDN Staff ORRINGTON, Maine — Hunter Pate is not one of a dying breed. Instead, he’s one of a breed that has slowly, one by one, simply given up. He is a striped-bass fisherman on the Penobscot River. And over the past seven years or so, many who share a passion for the hard-fighting, sea-going fish have sold their boats, moved inland to target other species, or simply thrown in the towel altogether. Not the 16-year-old Pate, though. “I’m pretty sure they’re not gone,” Pate said last week as he fished from his family’s dock on the Penobscot. “There’s always another fish to catch [out] there.” Pate should know: He’s one of the guys who’s still fishing, even though he rarely has much company, and sees few striper fisherman troll past his house these days. for the whole story: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/16/outdoors/stripers-returning-to-maine-but-penobscot-still-slow/

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

FWC Approves Bonefish and Tarpon as Catch and Release

FWC UNANIMOUSLY VOTES TO MAKE BONEFISH AND TARPON CATCH AND RELEASE IN FLORIDA At their Wednesday meeting in Lakeland, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), unanimously approved new regulations to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries, making Florida the first State to do so. The deliberations by Commission members were brief and entirely supportive. Commissioner Brian Yablonski said, “this is the most significant thing we can do for tarpon.” Following their favorable ruling, Chairman Kenneth Wright added, “there will be a chapter written in a book about what this commission did today.” Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is pleased with the outcome, which protects tarpon in Florida waters, and extends catch and release regulations into the federal waters off of Florida, and is deeply grateful to all of our members and supporters who participated throughout the process of making these regulations a reality. Your support made a huge difference, as several commissioners praised the thoughtful and informed letters they received from Bonefish and Tarpon Trust supporters leading up to the meeting. “It took teamwork on many levels to get these new regulations enacted,” said Tom Davidson, BTT’s Chairman, “and we are very thankful for the Commissioners’ forward-thinking actions. These new regulations have brightened the future for Florida’s bonefish and tarpon fisheries.” For the whole story, go to..... http://blog.bonefishtarpontrust.org/?p=1478

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

GM salmon can breed with wild fish and pass on genes

By Rebecca Morelle Science reporter, BBC World Service Scientists from Canada have found that transgenic Atlantic salmon can cross-breed with a closely related species - the brown trout. The fish, which have been engineered with extra genes to make them grow more quickly, pass on this trait to the hybrid offspring. The research is published the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.. However, the biotech company AquaBounty, which created the salmon, said any risks were negligible as the fish they were producing were all female, sterile and would be kept in tanks on land. The transgenic salmon are currently being assessed by the US authorities, and could be the first GM animals to be approved for human consumption. for the whole story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22694239

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Restoring Spawning Habitat for Maine’s Sea-Run Fish

The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) announced it has now restored access to 15,000 acres of ponds and lakes and 300 miles of river for Maine’s native sea-run fish. Brunswick, ME (PRWEB) April 25, 2013 The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) announced it has now restored access to 15,000 acres of ponds and lakes and 300 miles of river for Maine’s native sea-run fish. These achievements are part of ASF’s Maine Headwaters Project that is focused on restoring critical spawning habitat to sea-run fish in tributaries identified as high priorities in State of Maine fisheries restoration plans. While the target species are Atlantic salmon and alewives, these restoration projects provide a broad range of benefits for all fish and wildlife along the river corridor. Over the past decade, ASF has completed 13 projects that include six dam removals, five constructed fish ladders, and two road culvert replacements on tributaries in the Penobscot, Androscoggin, Pleasant and East Machias rivers. Working with its Maine Council, ASF is aggressively pursuing getting fish past these obstacles – one blockage at a time. “Our work is cut out for us,” said Andrew Goode, VP of ASF’s U.S. Programs. “There are close to 2,000 dams across our State, over 90% of which are located in tributary streams where most of the high quality spawning and rearing habitat for migratory fish is found.” To read the whole story......http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/4/prweb10672476.htm

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Maine Audubon seeks northern Maine anglers

AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine - Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) are seeking volunteer anglers to survey remote ponds in western and northern Maine for brook trout this coming fishing season. Survey information collected by anglers will be used by the nonprofit organizations and IFW to help identify populations of brook trout to be eligible for conservation management practices. This is the third year of the Brook Trout Pond Survey project. Maine is home to 97 percent of the intact wild brook trout lake and pond habitat in the eastern United States, according to a press release from Maine Audubon. Brook trout require clean, cold water and pristine habitat to survive; therefore, the population health of brook trout is considered a key indicator of a healthy ecosystem that also indicates the health of other species, including moose, deer, otters, kingfishers, herons and osprey. Read more: St. John Valley Times - Maine Audubon seeks northern Maine anglers

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Invasive fish threats in the St. John and Fish River watersheds – what’s next?

By Jeremiah Wood, Fisheries Biologist, Fish River Lakes Region for more Maine IF&W news: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/reports/FisheriesGroupActivities.htm For more than a century the Fish River drainage in northern Maine has been prized for its world class coldwater sport fishery, but with the establishment and expansion of invasive fish species, the future of trout and salmon fishing here is in jeopardy. Muskellunge and smallmouth bass have found a new home in the nearby St. John River, causing its once-popular brook trout fishery to all but vanish. Near the St. John, the lower Fish River has been invaded by these fish, but their upstream movement into the Fish River chain of lakes has been held at bay by the lower Fish River Falls. Upstream from these falls, the traditional coldwater sport fisheries of the Fish River drainage remain some of the best in the state. The expansion of muskellunge and bass upstream of the Fish River Falls would change the area’s fisheries forever. Understanding and dealing with the expansion of invasive fish has become one of the Department’s greatest challenges in recent years, and this particular problem has no easy solution. The 70 mile long Fish River finds its origins in the North Maine Woods west of the town of Portage in Aroostook County, flows southeast to Portage and then north through a scenic, forested valley to its confluence with the St. John River in the town of Fort Kent. The Fish is unique in that its watershed is dotted with large lakes connected by thoroughfares, most of which provide phenomenal coldwater fishing. The most popular lakes in the drainage include Fish River Lake, Portage Lake, St. Froid Lake, Eagle Lake, Long Lake, Cross Lake, and Square Lake. Historically, these were home to native populations of brook trout, togue and whitefish. The expansion of railroads and visiting anglers into the area spurred the introduction of landlocked salmon and rainbow smelt into the Fish River Chain around 1894. These fish became instantly popular and along with brook trout and togue, have been the staple of an economically and culturally important fishery for over 100 years. Muskellunge have been in Maine longer than most people think. They were introduced in 1970 by the Quebec government into Lac Frontier, a headwater lake in the St. John River drainage. The fish quickly made their way into the headwaters of the St. John in Maine, reportedly caught by anglers beginning in 1973. The fish populated the river and became more widespread in the following decades, being caught as far as 400 miles from the source of introduction as early as 1988. More recently, muskies have become very abundant throughout the entire length of the St. John River, the St. Francis River (including Beau and Glazier Lakes), the Allagash River below Allagash Falls, and the Fish River below Fish River Falls. Smallmouth bass have been a more recent introduction to the St. John. An unauthorized 1990’s stocking of bass in a private pond near the St. John in New Brunswick is probably the source. Bass have spread rapidly throughout the drainage, and are even present in the Fish River up to the base of the Fish River Falls. Since the establishment of muskies and bass, limited biological sampling data and angler reports have indicated a drastic decline in the wild and native brook trout populations of the St. John River drainage. Muskies are voracious predators on fish of all sizes, and bass compete with and prey upon younger age classes of trout. Large trout once commonly caught throughout the main river are now extremely rare, leaving the brook trout population supported by outmigration from small coldwater tributaries. This spells potential disaster for trout and salmon in the Fish River drainage if these invasive species make it above the falls. The Fish River Falls is located approximately 5 miles upriver from the town of Fort Kent. Though considered the linchpin holding the trout and salmon fisheries of the Fish River drainage intact, its effectiveness at stopping muskies and bass is questionable. An Army Corps of Engineers study in 2002 determined that the falls are not a complete barrier to the upstream movement of these fish, and that steps need to be taken to make the falls an effective barrier. More than ten years later, the funding and support necessary to achieve this have not materialized. To date, muskies and bass have not been confirmed in the Fish River above the falls, though many believe their colonization of the Fish River drainage is inevitable. The presence of muskellunge and bass in northern Maine waters poses a huge challenge to the Department’s Fishery Division. The expansion of their populations and impacts to native fish must be documented and monitored with very limited resources. Stopping the spread of these species into new waters is a daunting task. Additionally, these fish are becoming very popular among a dedicated following of northern Maine anglers and visitors. Support from the public to manage these species is growing rapidly, and must be weighed with the impacts management might have on native fish. Like it or not, invasive species are changing the fisheries landscape of northern Maine and beyond, forcing us to take a closer look at how our overall management must adapt to preserve native fish while providing quality angling opportunities long into the future.

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Piscataquis anglers cautioned to be on lookout for stocked Atlantic salmon smolts

by John Holoyoke Each year anglers flock to the Piscataquis River to take advantage of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s ambitious fish-stocking efforts near Guilford and Dover-Foxcroft. Anglers should be aware, however, that the DIF&W is not the only agency stocking fishing fish in the Piscataquis: The Maine Department of Marine Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are teaming up this year to again stock Atlantic salmon smolts in East Dover. When I caught wind of a similar salmon-stocking effort a year ago, I learned that some anglers were apparently confused, and thought that they were catching (and keeping) the stocked brook trout that they’d become accustomed to catching in the river each spring. They weren’t. read the whole article: http://outthere.bangordailynews.com/2013/04/09/fishing/piscataquis-anglers-cautioned-to-be-on-lookout-for-stocked-atlantic-salmon-smolts/

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

World's first land-based-farm sockeye salmon ready for harvest in B.C.

B.C. seafood firm Willowfield Enterprises will begin harvesting next week the world’s first commercial supply of sockeye salmon raised on a land-based farm. The Langley fish farm expects to produce up to 500 kilograms of sockeye a week under the West Creek brand for wholesaler Albion Fisheries, according to company president Don Read. It will be sold at Choices Markets. Initially, the harvest will be considerably smaller. Sockeye take about three years to achieve a harvest weight of two to three kilograms. Fish coming to market next week are between 1.1 and 1.5 kilograms. “We have plans to double our capacity, but we want to take time to grow the market,” said Read, who is taking a conservative approach to growing his business. “We have been farming trout for 20 years, but we have only been profitable for three years.” West Creek sockeye will carry the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise sustainability certification. “Getting Ocean Wise certification (for West Creek trout) brought a lot of awareness and really helped our business,” Read said. “It allowed us to raise our prices 20 per cent.” Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/World+first+land+based+farm+sockeye+salmon+ready+harvest/8161539/story.html#ixzz2OuvTuBis

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Restore Alewives to the St. Croix River!!!

Here is an email I recieved: Restore Alewives to the St. Croix River!!! On Monday, March 25th at 9 AM the Marine Resources Committee of the Maine Legislature will hold a public hearing on several bills that will allow alewives back into the St. Croix River watershed above the Grand Falls Dam. ASF is supporting LD 72: An Act to Open the St. Croix to River Herring. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Madonna Soctomah of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. This bill will simply remove the blockages in the fishway at the Grand Falls Dam and allow the alewife population access to the Grand Falls flowage and adjacent interconnected water bodies. This bill will reverse the misguided, unilateral actions of the Maine Legislature back in 1995 that banned alewives from 99% of their spawning habitat in the St. Croix, causing the population to crash from more than 2.5 million fish down to a few thousand within a decade. ASF is opposed to a plan from the LePage administration that calls for implementing the draft Adaptive Management Plan put together back in the 2010 by the International Joint Commission. This plan was never finalized and was widely criticized during the public comment period. This plan holds alewife restoration hostage to fluctuations in the non-native smallmouth bass population and ignores all of the science that shows that alewives pose no threat to bass or other species. NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada are opposed to Adaptive Management Plan and its approach, as are Maine and New Brunswick Indian tribes/First Nations and the environmental and conservation communities on both sides of the border. We strongly encourage you to contact your state legislators and ask them to support LD 72 and NOT the plan put forth by the LePage Administration in LD 584: An Act to Provide for Passage of River Herring on the St. Croix River in Accordance with an Adaptive Management Plan. LD 584 has a misleading title and is simply a bill to severely limit the number of alewives in the St. Croix, depriving the river, estuary and Passamaquoddy Bay the myriad benefits of a rejuvenated alewife run. To find out how to contact your legislators you can use this Website:http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Salmon in the Classroom Project Concludes at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary School

In the culmination of their three-month long participation in “Salmon in the Classroom,” nearly 100 fourth- and fifth-grade students took a 70-mile field trip Wednesday into the Columbia River Gorge to release a tankful of Chinook salmon fry in Washington’s Drano Lake. Developed in coordination with Portland Public Schools, the Portland Black Parent Initiative, The Urban League, The Oregon Youth Development Council, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Salmon in the Classroom project uses salmon-themed natural resource lessons to educate elementary school students. Beginning with an aquarium and salmon eggs placed in the classroom, Salmon in the Classroom enables students to learn through day-to-day observation in conjunction with units on Pacific Northwest ecology, salmon habitat and behavior, and fish anatomy. Using curriculum developed by the Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex Information and Education Program, Salmon in the Classroom has been taught for decades in dozens of communities in the Columbia Gorge. The lessons at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt mark the first time the Service has taught Salmon in the Classroom in a Portland public school. For the whole story: http://www.fws.gov/pacific/news/news.cfm?id=2144375205

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Warden’s legacy one of hope, determination

Back in April, and again in May, then once again in June, I chatted with Maj. Gregory Sanborn about the challenges he faced. Sanborn, the deputy chief of the Maine Warden Service, didn’t talk about budget constraints. He wasn’t worried about public reaction to the reality TV show — “North Woods Law” — that focused on the men he helped lead. He didn’t talk about moose or deer or bear or poachers. He talked about life. About trying as hard as he could to hang onto his own. About realizing, when you decide to have your last will and testament prepared, at the age of 47, the challenges ahead are a bit more serious than the ones you regularly face. Gregg Sanborn had cancer: cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. His only chance, he said back then, over three conversations and three months, was a longshot: He had to put his faith in others. He had to hope that a stem-cell donor was found. And he had to pray that after his own immune system was systematically, intentionally destroyed by chemotherapy, those donor stem cells would slowly rebuild him, and allow him to live. Read the whole story: http://outthere.bangordailynews.com/2013/02/06/hunting/wardens-legacy-one-of-hope-determination/

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Effort to introduce Atlantic salmon roe to Sheepscot River in Palermo uses innovative technique

http://www.kjonline....2013-01-19.html By Paul Koenig Staff Writer PALERMO -- State biologists working in shallow river tributaries reachable by dirt roads and snowmobile trails are on the front line of the battle against extinction of the Atlantic salmon. They visit the waterways in January and February, sometimes dragging their equipment on a plastic sled more than a mile to the sites, to mimic wild salmon spawning. They're planting thousands of eggs in the gravel of riverbeds, an effort mostly funded through a federal grant. Near a site along the Sheepscot River on Tuesday, Maine Department of Marine Resources biologist Paul Christman prepared the salmon eggs, carefully lifting the tiny, pinkish-orange orbs wrapped in damp cheesecloth and placing them into a wide-mouthed beverage cooler. The eggs, fertilized last fall at Green Lake National Fish Hatchery in Ellsworth, have developed small black specks for eyes and are no larger than the tip of a child's pinkie finger. They're stronger than recently fertilized eggs, Christman said. While Christman fetched the eggs, Jason Overlock and Jason Bartlett, two other biologists for the department, worked in icy, foot-deep water to prepare the nests. They pressed a long metal funnel into the ground with a cross-shaped pipe connected to a water pump, mounted on a backpack frame, with plastic tubing. Overlock swung the standing pipe back and forth, digging the metal funnel into the ground, as the blue tubing behind him followed the movement. The gas-powered pump blasted water into the ground through the pipe, allowing the funnel to be pushed into the riverbed and create a hole for the eggs. After reaching the desired depth in the ground, Overlock lifted the pipe out of the funnel, which was now stuck in the gravel. Christman scooped a cupful of about 500 eggs and lowered his arm into the cone to release the eggs. Read the whole story here........... http://www.kjonline.com/news/egg-by-egg-mainers-bringing-back-atlantic-salmon_2013-01-19.html

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Woodcock Wins Brook Trout Protections

Commissioner Chandler Woodcock won a key vote yesterday in his long march to protect Maine’s remaining wild and native brook trout. The nearly unanimous vote of the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council to ban the use of live fish as bait on 9 wild brook trout waters was also a significant victory for John Boland, DIF&W’s Resource Bureau Director, and Mike Brown, Fisheries Division Director. The proposal received strong criticism from some Maine bait dealers and at least one sporting camp owner. Other sporting camp owners supported the measure that got many positive comments at public hearings and in written comments submitted by individuals and organizations including the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Maine Audubon. Chandler took the unusual step at the Council meeting of reading a prepared statement that explained his agency’s initiatives including changes to the lengthy list of fishing rule proposals on the Council’s agenda for final action. Read the whole story here: http://georgesoutdoornews.bangordailynews.com/2012/12/21/maine-woods/woodcock-wins-brook-trout-protections/

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

 

Woodcock Wins Brook Trout Protections

Commissioner Chandler Woodcock won a key vote yesterday in his long march to protect Maine’s remaining wild and native brook trout. The nearly unanimous vote of the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council to ban the use of live fish as bait on 9 wild brook trout waters was also a significant victory for John Boland, DIF&W’s Resource Bureau Director, and Mike Brown, Fisheries Division Director. The proposal received strong criticism from some Maine bait dealers and at least one sporting camp owner. Other sporting camp owners supported the measure that got many positive comments at public hearings and in written comments submitted by individuals and organizations including the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Maine Audubon. Chandler took the unusual step at the Council meeting of reading a prepared statement that explained his agency’s initiatives including changes to the lengthy list of fishing rule proposals on the Council’s agenda for final action. Read the whole story here: http://georgesoutdoornews.bangordailynews.com/2012/12/21/maine-woods/woodcock-wins-brook-trout-protections/

Kevin McKay

Kevin McKay

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