Governor LePage needs your fisheries wish list

Trevor (Ed Pineau)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).

Contact Info

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:

Photo: Ed and Cate Pineau’s grandson, Trevor.



George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.