It’s time to let Governor Paul LePage know what’s on your fisheries wish list. He’s well into his second and final term, and if he’s going to do anything remarkable for our state’s fisheries, it’ll need to be done soon. Change never comes quickly and many of the good suggestions I’ve heard would take years to achieve.
One wish list came to me recently from Dennis Smith of Otter Creek. I’ve known Dennis for a long time. He’s a member of the outstanding Fishing Initiative Committee at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, a life-long avid angler, and a longtime fisheries activist. Here’s his wish list (with my explanations in parentheses):
Reorganize fishery division (to match the way the wildlife division is organized)
Eliminate fishery regions (partly to bring consistency to stocking and other policies)
Simplify the fishing laws and rules and the rulebook (in response to my legislative bill calling for this, sponsored by Rep. Matthew Pouliot, DIF&W and SAM agreed to organize and lead a new task force to achieve this goal)
Combine sea run and inland fisheries (staff and programs)
Create species biologists (these would be staffers who specialize in one species and who would be higher in the administrative structure than regional biologists – similar to the deer biologist and moose biologist in the wildlife division)
Reduce or eliminate “catch rate” as a measure of success
Create policies governing stocking of salmonids (my Hatchery Bill, which was killed last week, would have created a commission to look at stocking policies, genetics problems in DIF&W’s hatchery stock, and other issues).
You can email the governor directly and get a quick response, but I don’t think he actually sees any of those emailed messages. I recommend that you email your fisheries wish list to Avery Day, the Governor’s top staffer on natural resource issues, including fisheries and wildlife:
I would also copy DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock and Fisheries Division Director Mike Brown.
I would also love to receive your wish list: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Ed and Cate Pineau’s grandson, Trevor.