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PostPosted: August 4th, 2017, 1:52 pm 
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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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PostPosted: August 21st, 2017, 4:30 pm 
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More studies is always a good idea. They don't come for free. If I had the money to spend for an additional telemetry study, it would a hard choice to spend it on a system like the Magalloway where we already have lots of information as opposed to another river where we don't have any telemetry data. (Just in the Rangeley region, South Bog Stream, the Kennebago, the Cupsuptic, and Bemis Stream come to mind as places I'd like to know more about the timing and distance of trout migrations to inform management. Not to mention many systems farther east and north.)

We will likely get another crack at getting telemetry data on the Magalloway (but not those other rivers) when the Aziscohos Dam comes up for FERC licensing, which I think is in the mid 2020's. It was primarily relicensing funds from the licensing of Upper and Middle Dams in the late 90's that paid for the existing studies in Maine. I'm not sure what the funding sources have been for NH's work on the Diamond River.

Calling for more studies is all well and good, but in the meantime, NH is considering a change in the existing regulations. We won't complete any new studies before they make that decision, so I think we need to use the information we have--which is a lot more than is available for most river systems in New England--to inform that decision.

I also thought you were advocating specifically for Maine to tighten regulations that allow use of bait and/or harvest in some sections of the Magalloway watershed in Maine. Perhaps I misunderstood that.

My own view is that when managing migratory populations of fish, the regulations ought to be consistent in all the places those fish are subject to angling and/or harvest. That was the intent when NH changed its regulations for the lower Magalloway to match what was already in place in the Maine section of the Magalloway (except the "kids bait" area). I don't think there is any reason to go backwards to be less protective, but if you do, by all means use the contact information I provided to weigh in.


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2017, 4:43 pm 
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CZN: PS

I don't know where you got the numbers you cited, but the "about 20%" mortality I cited came from a population of 23 tagged trout. Of those, 2 died almost immediately, probably due to the stress of handling and tagging. Of the remaining 21 trout in the study, 5 died as a result of angling. One of those was harvested through the ice; the others died in the Maine section of the river. Other major sources of mortality include raptors (2 tags stopped moving in or near osprey and eagle nests); and a number of fish that died after spawning.

I have the report as a PDF--happy to send it if you give a PM with your contact info.

A larger study is always better, but with 9% immediate mortality of tagged fish, I'd be concerned about the impacts of a study that included a much larger number of fish, or about doing such studies multiple years in a row.


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2017, 6:47 pm 
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Jeff Reardon wrote:
CZN: PS

I don't know where you got the numbers you cited, but the "about 20%" mortality I cited came from a population of 23 tagged trout. Of those, 2 died almost immediately, probably due to the stress of handling and tagging. Of the remaining 21 trout in the study, 5 died as a result of angling. One of those was harvested through the ice; the others died in the Maine section of the river. Other major sources of mortality include raptors (2 tags stopped moving in or near osprey and eagle nests); and a number of fish that died after spawning.

I have the report as a PDF--happy to send it if you give a PM with your contact info.

A larger study is always better, but with 9% immediate mortality of tagged fish, I'd be concerned about the impacts of a study that included a much larger number of fish, or about doing such studies multiple years in a row.


I wasn't being accurate with my numbers, I was trying to prove a point. Which you just proved here. People hold the initial telemetry study as gospel. Look at the mortality numbers,period(cause aside). In the end some very large conclusions were based on a very small representation of the entire population never mind the already small population they sampled. Yes some great things were learned. Things those few fish did, but everyone for some reason comes to the conclusion thats what all the fish do. May be, we don't know that. we know what a few fish did that year, under that years conditions. So I don see it that we have "lots of information". We have a snap shot. Getting back to the current issue of NH. I see reasons to work backwards, if and when appropriate. No one likes it when one specific group of anglers pushes a bias agenda for absolute regulations. A lot of people don't realize it, but before NH's typo last spring a one fish limit had been in place and allowed for years. Nh's software made a mistake last year and they now have a stigma. They corrected by going from there one fish to no fish. Not from general law to no fish, the general law in last springs book was not intentional. The emotional gossip from last year has everyone thinking they made a heroic feat by getting nh to change from general law to c&r. No, they actually went from 1 fish to C&R. Remember the laws you read in print last spring were a mistake. Because of the mistake, nh fishermen were penalized and now they cant even have their one trout,or fish for other species down river in the summer. I can see why they would be upset. If a fishery can handle a shared use relationship, then I think that is the best outcome for long term. Also terms don't always have to be all or nothing in favor of flyfishing. There's compromises that can be suggested, Maine does it. Allow fishing by other means but regulate it by designating times of year, location and and/or age group. I'm an advocate for kids fishing opportunities. I saw what happened in bethel, the andro got put on the map under false pretenses got all hyped up with lots of attentions, it became an ALO for no good reason in my opinion. But what it did do was deny kids the opportunity. A kid in bethel can get home from school and dig up some worms and go fishing, because his favorite chub pool at 75deg that time of year is regulated like a world calls trout fishery. There's nothing for a kid to do in bethel now, wait there is, drugs. I don't think regulations have to be absolute, there can be compromises. If the fishery can handle a shared use relationship and we can find a compromised way to do it, then I think that relationship between different states and types of anglers is best for long term. If that's working backwards then I'm all for considering it.


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2017, 6:49 pm 
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CZN, why is it that kids need to be able to fish bait in bethel (or any town) in order to enjoy a fishery? I have been fishing since I could walk with bait, hardware, and flies. This idea that changing the hardware restrictions on a river limits who can fish it is bunch of crap. It limits what you can use, but anyone can still fish it. Last time I checked a mepps spinner was cheaper than a pack of worms, will last longer, be easier to unhook, and sometimes will outfish worms on general law waters. My 5 and 8 year old know how to both put on a worm or pick out a lure or swing a fly rod. Why is it that they can then fish in bethel and these other kids can't? Kids can fish general law, alo, and ffo water just like adults, they just need an adult that cares enough to teach them.

With that said I do agree that on the maine side some folks are over handling fish, all in the name of pictures. I have seen guys land a fish with no net, drag it up into the rocks, set up a camera, then back up and pose for pictures. If we really want to protect the resource that kind of stuff need to stop. Use catch and release nets, keep the fish in the water not on the rocks, and if you need a picture bring a friend.

I also agree the stream you refer to needs to be changed to align.

I don't agree with allowing harvest. That area has arguably one of the best brook trout fisheries in the US due to the regulations and climate/environment, despite the easy access and books written about it.

Jeff, wasn't a kenebago study of done sort done like 5 or 6 years ago? I caught a tagged fish in the drainage myself around that time frame. I never read or saw anything on it but always wondered.


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 11:38 am 
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C&R wrote:
CZN, why is it that kids need to be able to fish bait in bethel (or any town) in order to enjoy a fishery? I have been fishing since I could walk with bait, hardware, and flies. This idea that changing the hardware restrictions on a river limits who can fish it is bunch of crap. It limits what you can use, but anyone can still fish it. Last time I checked a mepps spinner was cheaper than a pack of worms, will last longer, be easier to unhook, and sometimes will outfish worms on general law waters. My 5 and 8 year old know how to both put on a worm or pick out a lure or swing a fly rod. Why is it that they can then fish in bethel and these other kids can't? Kids can fish general law, alo, and ffo water just like adults, they just need an adult that cares enough to teach them.


Worms are free, kids can dig them or go "pick" night crawlers on a wet night, put out a minnow trap, catch grasshoppers, etc... all great additional activities right there for a kid to do, and lessons to learn. Its a first intro to and ecosystem and it's niches. You won't get those life long connections to nature in the lure section at the tackle shop. It gives them a free option to explore and test the waters so to speak, and get some dirt under their finger nails, before going all in on a specific method. How many times do you think it would take for a kid to pay two weeks of his allowance(if he gets one) on one lure just to loose it on the first cast to a rock or tree, before he/she gets discouraged? "they just need an adult that cares enough to teach them"...exactly not every child has a fine mentor like yourself, or a seasoned family member to start showing them the ropes at a young age. Not all kids come from families with the financial means to support the learning curve of lure selection or fly and fly gear. Allowing a kid to dig up some worms and get muddy on the river banks creates a much more realistic and appropriate learning curve for a child that doesn't come from a family with the financial means or a fishing background. Your kids are very fortunate to have someone like you for a father, not all kids have that and not all families have the financial means. They have a section for it on the Magalloway as a matter of fact.


"CZN, why is it that kids need to be able to fish bait in bethel (or any town) in order to enjoy a fishery?"
My question to you, why shouldn't they be able to, in a stocked river like the andro?


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 3:19 pm 
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I think it is funny that a defense against protecting a world class trout stream is that someone protected a river "as if it were a world class trout stream".

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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 5:22 pm 
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How did we start talking about the Andro in Bethel. Very different river, very different management. If kids can't fish worms in the mainstem there (I have no idea, have not fished that section in 10+ years), there are sure as hell a ton of small local streams with wild and stocked fish offering ample opportunity for anyone who wants to dig worms and catch a trout.

FWIW, that's true in the Berlin/Erroll area, too. My $.02 is that for MANY reasons, kids would be better served fishing bait in small streams than a big mainstem river. And I say that as someone who spent a good chunk of my youth fishing in the Bethel area with worms.


I don't know about a Kennebago tagging study. Before Dave Boucher died, he and I had multiple discussions about the value of a tagging study on Mooselookmeguntic Lake, to get a sense of how brook trout use the various habitats available to them. Should we be treating Mooselook and all its tribs as one fish population? Or are there populations associated with each trib (Kennebago, Bemis, Cupsuptic, Rangeley, etc.) that remain distinct from each other.

So far as I know, it never happened.

What kind of tag did you see?


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 7:01 pm 
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TGIF wrote:
I think it is funny that a defense against protecting a world class trout stream is that someone protected a river "as if it were a world class trout stream".


I was making a point about misconception, how rules are made under false pretense, how sometimes those rules can effect shared opportunity and deny right to resource under false pretense. It clear many people don't know or understand the resource or fishery as much as they think they do. This is why I don't bother with forums. It's clear that the river as a whole and the fishery as a whole are not being thought of. Regardless if the fishery could support shared use on separate areas of the river, everyone here will still be bias and advocate for the sport and themselves,which is what I see going on here. People are pushing the sport of flyfishing, it's superior to all, fly fisherman are the best, it's the healthiest thing going for fish, everyone and everything else is wrong. You guys aren't interested in talking about the river, your interested only in decisions that will benefit what you do and where you do it. As Bob Mallard put it in a FB message which I resent his comment he referred to the Nh folks and non-flyfisherman as a bunch of "knuckle dragers". I think thats how a lot of you view people who don't fly fish. Many fit the classic fly fishing stero type, bias toward your own sport and even subdivide yourselves and scorn one another based on methods and quality of gear.I'm a fisherman across the board spear, fly rod, spin..I'm in. Fly fishing is my favorite but I don't ever want to live of to the bias uppity stero type, I'm fair and open minded. But its my own fault, its what can you expect from an on-line fly fishing forum. I'll chime back in some day when I'm worthy and own a thomas&thomas with an abel reel, can speak of gobal adventures, cheese wine,fine cigars and the difference in quality of top dollar hackle. Peace, I'm out!


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