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FFIM is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and preserving Maine's fisheries
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PostPosted: April 4th, 2017, 1:15 pm 
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Joined: August 14th, 2013, 3:22 pm
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I can't even begin to express my disgust with the drought article. In my opinion it's a cover their @$$ disclaimer. As some have mentioned, it is a bit early for them to form these conclusions, however IF&W is well aware of their inaction's to the situation when something could have been done and they did nothing. The past two seasons several anglers brought to IF&W's attention that certain rivers were reaching critical temps and trout were stacking up in very large numbers at thermal refuge areas. Some of these thermal refuges where smaller general law waters flowing into FFO waters, leaving protected brook trout vulnerable to catch and keep. I witnessed spin fisherman and fly fishermen relentlessly pursuing these already stressed fish with absolutely no personal restraint. For two seasons, both myself and several other anglers expressed great concern about these areas and the activities witnessed, the bios would just brush it off. I remained persistent with my efforts to bring awareness to the situation, then things got worse than I could have ever fathomed. The conversions with the bio's went from unproductive to counter productive. I sent videos and photos of these fish in their current state,condition and concentration of numbers, here is what the biologist had to say about the excessive number of brook trout stacked up in a thermal refuge in general law water connecting FFO water....Bio,"we heard the fishing was getting great in that brook!"(with a chuckle), then I said "yeah, very funny, for all of the wrong reasons. I must say, I am shocked to even hear you say that"...Bio, "who are you? your nobody, your just another angler." after that it got worse, IFW fisheries employees started informing anglers where the fish were stacked up and recommended they try fishing there if they were down on their luck that day, even escorting anglers to the location on at least on occasion that I am aware of. All that being said, they were well aware of the climate/drought situation for two seasons and it's potential impacts, it was repeatedly brought to IFW"S attention with great concern, and not only did they do nothing, but in some waters they encouraged kicking the brook trout while they were down. Now this article pops up to set the stage for rebutle in the event anglers determine their inaction might harm, they can blame it on the weather. Like many have said, we don't know for sure yet the the level of impact this has had on Maine waters. We will all have a better grasp on that as the season progresses, but IFW is getting their ducks in a row in case they find the need to cover their butts on this one.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2017, 3:40 pm 
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Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2294
Location: Lyons, CO
What if we just went to C&R for a longer chunk of time every year? It's not easy for a bureaucracy to decide to do something quickly or on an emergency basis, unless they have clear criteria.

My suggestion would be to close all streams to trout fishing after 9 or 10 AM during the summer months and make them strictly C&R.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2017, 4:59 pm 
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Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 744
CZN wrote:
I can't even begin to express my disgust with the drought article. In my opinion it's a cover their @$$ disclaimer. As some have mentioned, it is a bit early for them to form these conclusions, however IF&W is well aware of their inaction's to the situation when something could have been done and they did nothing. The past two seasons several anglers brought to IF&W's attention that certain rivers were reaching critical temps and trout were stacking up in very large numbers at thermal refuge areas. Some of these thermal refuges where smaller general law waters flowing into FFO waters, leaving protected brook trout vulnerable to catch and keep. I witnessed spin fisherman and fly fishermen relentlessly pursuing these already stressed fish with absolutely no personal restraint. For two seasons, both myself and several other anglers expressed great concern about these areas and the activities witnessed, the bios would just brush it off. I remained persistent with my efforts to bring awareness to the situation, then things got worse than I could have ever fathomed. The conversions with the bio's went from unproductive to counter productive. I sent videos and photos of these fish in their current state,condition and concentration of numbers, here is what the biologist had to say about the excessive number of brook trout stacked up in a thermal refuge in general law water connecting FFO water....Bio,"we heard the fishing was getting great in that brook!"(with a chuckle), then I said "yeah, very funny, for all of the wrong reasons. I must say, I am shocked to even hear you say that"...Bio, "who are you? your nobody, your just another angler." after that it got worse, IFW fisheries employees started informing anglers where the fish were stacked up and recommended they try fishing there if they were down on their luck that day, even escorting anglers to the location on at least on occasion that I am aware of. All that being said, they were well aware of the climate/drought situation for two seasons and it's potential impacts, it was repeatedly brought to IFW"S attention with great concern, and not only did they do nothing, but in some waters they encouraged kicking the brook trout while they were down. Now this article pops up to set the stage for rebutle in the event anglers determine their inaction might harm, they can blame it on the weather. Like many have said, we don't know for sure yet the the level of impact this has had on Maine waters. We will all have a better grasp on that as the season progresses, but IFW is getting their ducks in a row in case they find the need to cover their butts on this one.


Unbelievable.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2017, 6:07 pm 
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Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
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I just can't get past your experience CZN. If it were me, I would print up all of the email correspondence you had with the Bios and provide them to the author of the PPH article with a statement about your experience. Unless you punch them squarely on the mouth, MDIFW will continue to speak from both sides of their mouth.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2017, 6:07 pm 
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Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
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Another double post.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2017, 7:23 pm 
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Joined: August 14th, 2013, 3:22 pm
Posts: 24
AusableWulff wrote:
I just can't get past your experience CZN. If it were me, I would print up all of the email correspondence you had with the Bios and provide them to the author of the PPH article with a statement about your experience. Unless you punch them squarely on the mouth, MDIFW will continue to speak from both sides of their mouth.


Unfortunately, email replies were of little significance. Not much was discussed, mostly me addressing my concerns and getting replies that were pretty much limited to thanking me for my concern. The boldest of comments made by one of the Biologists was by phone,and the discussion resulted in me hanging up on them. A reoccurring comment I noted that they liked to use was that "they are in the business of creating opportunities, not taking them away"(referring to emergency closures). I get it, but considering the circumstance/situation I felt that to be short term thinking. I understand that closures and actions of that nature are not easy to accomplish nor a fast process, but when it's the total opposite, they seem to have no problems opening the fishing season early. That process seems to happen almost over night.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2017, 8:09 pm 
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Joined: August 31st, 2011, 10:01 am
Posts: 3
Good evening. I'd like to address Maineanglers post with some clarification. I do know the fish died due angler (fly angler) mortality because I witnessed poor playing, handling and releasing technique. I was leaving the water due to what I gauged as poor conditions for trout (this was late June). This part of my interview was not included in the article. This was not the only dead salmonid I found during the season. Most were found below pools and runs that fishermen target. In the words of Dylan "I don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows".

Having the dept. do a study on the damage done this past season is a waste of time in my opinion. I really don't think having bios study anything and then having an in house peer review will solve much. For a real impact, a partial or full closure would go a long way in protecting the resource and boosting the license holders faith in a department that puts the resource first and foremost. Change comes from true leadership which I and many others believe is lacking in a enormous manner.

I'm glad other guides/outfitters closed up shop last season. As difficult as that can be it was the ethical stance to take. It speaks very loudly that if guides, license holders and outfitters are being better stewards than the people in charge of the resource that something is very broken.

Hope everyone has a strong season.


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PostPosted: April 5th, 2017, 10:52 am 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5074
Location: Manchester, ME
It is too late for this season, as the new rule book is already out, but Maine does have a petition process for changing fishing rules. It has been used many times in attempts to get rid of "special" rules people don't like, to open waters to ice fishing, to establish kids fishing areas, etc.

There is no reason it could not be used to establish seasonal or temperature-based closures on some of the spots we are talking about. This strategy is not without risk. Listing those spots in the rule book gets the rule in place, but it also publishes notice of the location and allows anglers to target it. That's one thing when we are talking about a place like the spring hole on Quimby Pond, the Rapid River below Lower Dam, or the part of Pond in the River that closes in summer (all of which already have closures), because those spots are pretty public and peer pressure and warden presence are high.

It would be very different for a secret spot off in the woods, especially if the attempt at closure fails.


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PostPosted: April 5th, 2017, 10:07 pm 
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Joined: May 16th, 2013, 10:33 am
Posts: 82
Location: Norridgewock Maine
I found the article interesting. I have to believe that there are many in IFW who do believe in protecting the resource, but in this state biological decisions are often times not made by biologists. They are made by elected politicians who have their own agendas often separate from what would be considered good management practice. Now that does not apply to both ends of the party all the time, but often enough. I am going to draw a deer hunting comparison here. Following the winter of 2008 anyone who knew anything about the outdoors knew that the deer herd was devastated by the preceding winter. The woods in central Maine were littered with deer carcasses and in places the snow in the woods was still waist deep in the third week of April. Furthermore the deer that survived were walking skeletons I have the photos to prove it from that spring. The further North you went in Maine the worse the winter was for the herd. Now Whitetail Biologists know that following a hard winter does rarely give birth and often the fawns are not strong enough to survive the winter. Then some does will not get pregnant the following fall because they are incapable of carrying healthy young. That is basic science science I can read on my own online from published scientific articles. So what was Maines response the following year to this situation ?????? issue 50, 000 doe permits, that was their response. Why? my hunch is the dept. and the state govt. feared a loss of revenue even though from a scientific and ethical perspective they should have canned all doe permits the following season. In some places the herd has yet to recover from the winters of 08 and 09. the 3rd and 8th worst for the herd in 70 years if I recall.
In most states management choices are made by biologists and the elected officials act as a rubber stamp. It seems that in this state its a little more convoluted.
I stopped fishing for trout by last July because the writing was on the wall. that was a personal choice the tough but proper choice would have been some official form of closure.

That being said Brook Trout are some resilient critters who have survived acid rain, pollution in other forms, deforestation, and climate swings before. We may see a serious dip for a year or two but if we return to our increasingly rainy blown out summers they will probably bounce back despite our best efforts to wipe them out.


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 7:07 am 
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Joined: May 21st, 2004, 12:00 am
Posts: 998
Location: Westbrook, ME
A follow up article appearing today.

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/06/o ... long-view/

_________________
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." Albert Einstein


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 10:18 am 
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Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 744
Nice article, but you cannot expect that people, en mass, will act responsibly. You have to legislate it.


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 12:18 pm 
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Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
Posts: 706
Location: Brunswick
AusableWulff wrote:
Nice article, but you cannot expect that people, en mass, will act responsibly. You have to legislate it.



Probably one of the most true statements I have ever read.

I personally believe more people are willing to take advantage of a drought situations then there are people who are willing to protect it. I don't think the "drought advisory" last summer did much of any good. It probably stopped a few people from fishing cold water species, but only informed those willing to take advantage of it where to find the fish hiding out.

I love fishing for native BKT, and will continue to do so, with barbless hooks and C&R, but it would not bother me one bit to close all native waters June 30th to Sept 15th. With an exception to close them earlier or longer depending on weather conditions.

Peter

_________________
"A good game fish is too valuable to be caught only once"
Lee Wulff


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 5:22 pm 
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Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 744
Well, if there is going to be a any changes made it gonna have to come from those who have the biggest investment and appreciation of the resource.

AusableWulff wrote:
Maybe FFIM & its membership could step up and volunteer to undergo a self imposed moratorium and not fish any wild brook trout stream in York and Cumberland counties for the next 3 years, and do strictly C&R on all remaining wild brook trout waters in the State. Call it the "Protect Maine Wild Brook Trout Oath" Market the idea, get some media attention and then hopefully shame the powers that be to take action.

I'm already gonna do this, but if FFIM makes it official, I'd be the first to sign.


Any takers? Any interest? FFIM board.....?


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 9:17 pm 
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Joined: March 16th, 2013, 11:04 pm
Posts: 492
AusableWulff wrote:
Well, if there is going to be a any changes made it gonna have to come from those who have the biggest investment and appreciation of the resource.

AusableWulff wrote:
Maybe FFIM & its membership could step up and volunteer to undergo a self imposed moratorium and not fish any wild brook trout stream in York and Cumberland counties for the next 3 years, and do strictly C&R on all remaining wild brook trout waters in the State. Call it the "Protect Maine Wild Brook Trout Oath" Market the idea, get some media attention and then hopefully shame the powers that be to take action.

I'm already gonna do this, but if FFIM makes it official, I'd be the first to sign.


Any takers? Any interest? FFIM board.....?


As a board member , Sure, I won't fish any York or Cumberland county stream. Never have before, so if it helps the resource I'm in for a few more years.
As far as changes, I think FFIM is a great place to generate discussion in a positive manner, act as a conduit for organizations better suited to handle policy advocacy, and serve to get the message out for organizations, shops, and fishing community members who are giving back to the resource in whatever capacity they can. Many people work very hard behind the scenes, others publicly. All, I believe, in earnest toward the same ends.
FFIM has several grassroots​ projects in the works that are always welcoming volunteers, feel free to contact me or any other board member if you are inclined to help in whatever way you wish. My email is cnickerson@flyfishinginmaine.org , I look forward to hearing from you.


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 11:54 pm 
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Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 744
RoundaboutCaddis wrote:
As far as changes, I think FFIM is a great place to generate discussion in a positive manner, and serve to get the message out for organizations, shops, and fishing community members who are giving back to the resource in whatever capacity they can.



If there is support for a self imposed moratorium, or an oath, I would be happy to draft it. Jeff presented a solid concern that too much information can have an unintended consequence of further abuse of the fishery, so I think I could handle coming up with a broad policy statement and supporting language for the moratorium. We could start by giving it some space on the main page, and draw attention to it. If we can provide the structure, we could also use the same structure to create language for regulations or legislation if support shows to be strong enough to get the department or the legislature to pick the policy up and run with it.


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