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FFIM is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and preserving Maine's fisheries
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PostPosted: August 4th, 2017, 1:52 pm 
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Location: Near the tying bench
CZN wrote:
Not a lot of folks want to admit this, but we sound like a bunch of hippocrates to NH fisheries and fishermen. Maine has it's little loophole to allow bait fishing and catch/keep a limit of the same brook trout, that falls under general law, in an area where both the Magalloway and Dead Diamond trout frequent and congregate in numbers; at times ,before the time of year when the regs change in that location. I think Maine anglers and IF&W need to tight things up on their end before NH will take us seriously. Were telling them do as I say not as I do(or is allowed). Like some have mentioned, its hard to believe that the same fish are so greatly protected everywhere else, why shouldn't it apply there?..exactly! but we need to do it as well, every where these fish reside in Maine borders, not just yell and scream at NH. Give the Nh folk someones phone number and email so they can haggle in Maine about our own location to catch those fish with bait and keep them if some chooses to do so.


Agreed.

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PostPosted: August 5th, 2017, 1:40 pm 
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Joined: October 25th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 57
I am collecting emails ad letters from those who want no change to the current regulations. You can mail them to

North Country Angler
PO Box 1901
N. Conway, NH 03860

or email them to

shop@northcountryangler.com

Don't fall for the "no need to worry, its early in the process" ruse. When no one who opposes this change shows up at the meeting, NH F&G will claim that at the hearing the majority wanted to change it back to General Law.

Thanks.

Steve

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PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 9:10 am 
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Location: Manchester, ME
Quick update on last night's Magalloway rules meeting.

The meeting was held at the town office in Errol. I didn't count, but would guess there ~50 people present. ME DIFW was not represented. There was no formal proposal on the table to consider, so the meeting was a little free-form. They set ground rules that speakers who would sign up in advance could speak for 2 minute, followed by more open discussion if there was enough time.

These ground rules quickly broke down into back and forth, but the NH Fish and Game folks, especially the warden who was there, got things back on track.

Apparently this "discussion" stems from a petition that NH F+G has received. There is a local fish and game club involved somehow in that petition. The petition was not shared with the public, nor did the F+G officials say what what specific changes in current rules (if any) were proposed.

There was a poster up at the entrance to Cote's, the "Toys for Big Boys" store in Errol, stating that people should attend to meeting to "put things back like they were".

I would say the people who spoke in favor of changing the current NH regulations (C+R, barbless flies or artificial lures only) fell into two groups. One group would like more flexibility to fish bait, primarily for hornpout, but was looking for ways to do that without putting wild brook trout at risk. Another group was clear that they want to be able to fish for brook trout with live bait and harvest fish.

Representatives from TU Chapters and Councils in NH and Maine spoke in favor of maximum protection for brook trout. I know that a number of other letters were sent, including an excellent letter from the Rangeley Guides and Sportsmen.

The meeting ended after about an hour.

It is not clear what the next step is, and whether there will be a formal rulemaking proposal to change the current rules.

Both NH F+G and MDIFW have extensive telemetry data on brook trout movements from the Rapid, Magalloway, and Diamond River. Essentially what this data shows is that most adult brook trout from all three rivers drop into Umbabgog Lake after spawning to overwinter, where they stay until sometime in March-May, when they migrate back up into cooler, upstream river segments. The Rapid River fish do not move into the Lower Magalloway, but the Magalloway and Diamond River fish do, and if bait fishing was allowed during that migration, they would be subject to hooking mortality.

There was a fair amount of discussion about whether brook trout were likely to be caught by anglers fishing bait in the lower, flatwater sections of the Magalloway. Many people said they'd fished worms in that section when it was legal without ever encountering a trout. But there were several others--and these were the people who made it clear they wanted a rule change that would allow them to fish for and harvest trout--who said that "if you know what you're doing" trout can be targeted and caught.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I urge people to send letters expressing their views.

Jason M. Smith
Chief, Inland Fisheries Division
NH Fish and Game Department
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2017, 5:28 am 
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Joined: May 29th, 2016, 6:46 am
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Location: Sebago ME, Errol NH
Jeff, thank you for the update on this. I have a camp in Errol and have spoken with a few folk around town about this. Most have no idea what it's about. Others are ambivalent about it. I did go into Cote's and ask about the little posters and nobody there wanted to explain why they were worded as they were. Let's hope that those who make these decisions are forward looking individuals and recognize the value of a sustainable fishery on the local economy.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2017, 7:35 pm 
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Joined: August 14th, 2013, 3:22 pm
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I look forward to the day Maine practices what it preaches and closes it's bait fishing location(s) for those fish. Work on the home front and lead by example. All of those bait fisherman are going to end up in Maine working on those fish six months out of the year in a spot that hold fish six months out of the season and is the location for some very important biological processes, instead of an optimistic 6-8 widow at best on most seasons down river, in one particular spot two where they hold briefly and pass through. Maine and Nh at, one time not all that long ago had liberal catch and keep limits on these fish in both states well into the winter months Ice fishing umbagog, add to that the invasion of splake, then bass. And up until one year ago, NH was allowed to keep 1 fish (not including last years miss print). Now that its catch and release all of these years, no ice fishing in the sensitive areas of umbagog and no more splake stocked in sturdavent,the river has excelled in my opinion. The river and the brook trout persevered through liberal limits in both states, competition from stocked species. Now that it has been catch and release for many years, numbers are up and splake stocking has stopped, what makes people think after making it through all of that, that one fish would be unacceptable? just curious, yes there will be some hooking mortality on released fish, but lets face it, from what I've seen probably 1 of three 3 fly anglers are putting back dead fish in the 3/4mile of river in Maine where fly anglers lover them to death 6 months out of 6 months a season with very little self restraint on when enough is enough.


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2017, 8:25 am 
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Location: Manchester, ME
CZN--I hope you made those points about improvements in regulations on the Maine side during the Maine rulemaking comment period that closed last week. There is room for improvement on both sides of the border, and people who know the vulnerable areas should keep pushing for those changes.

It also seems important to not go backwards where we already have good protection in place.

You point about C+R mortality is a good one. In the Magalloway River telemetry study, which took place in 2005-2006, about 20% of tagged fish died as a result of angler mortality. Part of that was harvest that was legal at the time, but the study authors believed that much of the mortality they observed was of fish that had been released in the Maine section of the river.

Catch and release rules reduce angler-related mortality; they don't eliminate it. Best estimates are that post-hooking mortality of fish hooked on bait is about 30%, while for fish hooked on lures or flies it's between 5 and 10%. That's something to keep in mind when we are enjoying one of those great multiple fish days. If you hook and release 10 fish, odds are that one of them will die. If there are a lot of us doing that, especially at times and places the trout are vulnerable, the impact can be significant.

The challenge is how to deal with that. My sense is that (as with Catch-and-Release) angler ethics may be as important as regulation in addressing this. But some rule changes might help, too.

What would you suggest?


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2017, 2:40 pm 
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Joined: August 14th, 2013, 3:22 pm
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I would suggest initiating another telemetry study. The first one they did was very informative and gave a first time looking to to the world of brook trout movements. However, if you do the math. Look at how many fish were initially tagged and how many died for various reasons. Before the study even got half way through its time frame more than half the sample population was dead and more followed. In the end these studies were conclude on If I recall about 3-7fish made up of varying age classes. Hardly representative of the whole population. In my opinion the initial study provided enough data to generate the proper questions to make a future study of more significance. It created plenty of dots, but without a complete connection. Throwing out percentages sounds nice, like when they say 60% did this, well their talking about 2 fish. My previous post above was a step back and look at the big picture of it over time. The resource has made it through some very adverse conditions historically with liberal limits, now that the resource is at it peak with stern regulations in place, why do people think that it can't handle a one fish limit in NH but at its worse could handle 5? I'm not passing judgment in either way, it's owed to both sides to look at all aspects. Emotions tend to get put first without justification. If the river can handle a one fish limit, why shouldn't all walks of life get to enjoy it as they please if no harm will be done? I know fly anglers are notorious for wanting their cake and eat it. I am all about preservation and conservation, but if equal opportunity can be supported with out a noticeable negative impact, I am also all about being fair. I hear a lot of it has to be done to protect the fish, our way is better their way is bad, why?? and don't go on percentages from the telemetry study, go back and do the math, by the end of the study we're taking 3 fish in one river 7 fish in another, but I can make it sound good by referring to that small number as %100 or the remaining population, when the number actually mean %100 of 5% of the original population. In summary I don't feel either side has enough data to support or disprove such extreme and absolute regulations. I have yet to see an argument that is not emotionally driven, bias or supported by numbers which don't mean what people think they do. The telemetry study was a great start and produced some valuable regulations, and some I don't agree with. I think the professionals need to do some more work before we can pass judgment on others.


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