New Web Service Useful For Maine Sportsmen
Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has begun publishing an informative weekly report available by email or on the department's Web site. (Short of funds, the department is unable to mail it to you.)
The weekly report is full of interesting information with special sections from the Wildlife and Fisheries Divisions, the Warden Service, and the Commissioner’s Office, plus a section of photos.
In the June 24 edition, I was fascinated to learn that in the previous week the front office, ably staffed by Ralph Brissette and Wendy Bolduc, handled an astonishing 913 phone calls, 544 emails, and 37 walk-in visitors.
From the Wildlife Division I learned the test results for Chronic Wasting Disease on 716 deer and one moose were all negative, very good news.
Demonstrating that the agency continues to provide services to the public, without getting any General Fund tax support, the weekly report provided an update on IF&W Habitat Group staff member Don Katnik’s work on the Natural Resource Damage Assessment of long-term leaks from the above ground fuel storage tanks located on the Penobscot River near the Bangor-Hampden town line. It infuriates me that the legislature continues to expect this agency to do this work without any public funding. Sportsmen still pay all of the bills.
The Fisheries Division reported on a brook trout stocking program conducted with Mt. Ararat middle school students, and a new public landing on the St. John River in Frenchville, giving anglers better access to a river the department described as, “now becoming a destination for anglers seeking muskellunge,” a nonnative fish introduced up-river on the Canadian side that has wiped out the native brook trout in the St. John.
Every weekly report is full of interesting news like this that you can’t get anywhere else.
IF&W Director of Information and Education Edie Smith has also made improvements in her department’s Web site – albeit without any money to make the significant changes that are really needed.
Edie made Ed Pineau of Manchester very happy by providing a link from the agency’s homepage announcement that any-deer applications were available directly to the actual online application. Ed is a prominent Maine lobbyist who has experienced a lot of trouble using the department’s online licensing and lottery system.
When I saw Ed at the legislature the day after he’d filed his any-deer lottery application, he was ecstatic, singing Edie’s praises and exclaiming, “It only took three minutes!”
The department now posts research reports, press releases, a schedule of events, and lots of other information on its Web site — including info on proposed new rules and the minutes of the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council — on a regular basis, so you should check it often. You can even read their magazine online.
There’s no excuse now for being an uninformed sportsman or outdoor recreationist!