Plan to expand protection of native brook trout taking shape

A proposal and plan to expand protection for Maine’s native brook trout is taking shape at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and I must report that I am very pleased that Francis Brautigam, DIFW’s Fisheries Division Director, has taken the lead on this.

Francis has been working with a small group of individuals, each of whom has contributed to the new plan. Sometime soon the plan will be shared with the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.

I expect DIF&W and the working group will present the proposal at an early meeting with the legislature’s new IF&W Committee after the committee members are chosen for next year’s legislative session. They are the ones who will have to act to authorize and implement the new plan.

Gary Corson of New Sharon, a member of the working group, expressed my thoughts when he said, “This is almost unbelievable, how far we’ve come.”

This effort began at the legislature with the bill I proposed to protect the tributaries to our heritage waters where native brook trout are protected. DIFW strongly opposed the bill, but when it became apparent that the IF&W Committee supported it, Francis agreed to get it done.

It’s taken more than a year of work, and any proposed rule changes will have to go through the rulemaking process, but the plan the group has endorsed is very good. I promised not to write about it until the IF&W Committee members receive it.

But soon after that, I’ll tell you all about it!



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.