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!