Outdoor News

May 2016
Edited by V. Paul Reynolds

May. The sweet of the year.

For the angler who likes to get after lake landlocks early, who loves to feel the bite of the wind on his face as his Grey Ghost Streamer fly trolls smartly through a brisk "salmon chop," the sweet of the year may be late April or early May. The trout angler, on the other hand, who waits patiently to match the hatch with a #14 Parachute Adams, may not taste the sweet of the year 'til late May or early June. As you know, Maine’s spring fishing season was opened a few weeks early thanks to El Nino and a relatively mild winter. Does it follow, then, that the sweet of the year will debut early as well? Perhaps.

The challenge for all fishermen, of course, is the timing: being there and having a line in the water when the sweet of the year comes calling.

Over the years we have seen that, when it comes to spring in Maine, expect anything.

The sweet of the year may catch you by surprise, so get the spring chores done, and be ready to get after those fish! Tight lines.

CAPTION FOR PHOTO ABOVE: Joel Flewelling of Poultney caught and released this beautiful brown trout while fishing the Batten Kill River on the opening weekend of the 2015 Vermont trout season.

Club News

If your club or outdoor organization has news or photos that warrant publication in the Northwoods Sporting Journal, send them to: Club News, NWSJ, P.O. Box 195, W. Enfield, ME 04493, or e-mail news to: paul@sportingjournal.com

Maine - Streamlines Licensing Process

Purchasing your hunting and fishing license anytime, anywhere just got easier.

Maine Online Sportsman’s Electronic System, more commonly known as MOSES, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife online license purchasing program is now quicker, easier to use and packed with new features.

Best of all, its fully mobile and accessible on your smartphone, ideal for those times you travel to your favorite hunting or fishing spot but forgot to buy your license. You can also use your smartphone to display your license, eliminating the need to print out and carry a paper copy.

License buyers can now purchase licenses for up to three people in one transaction, and if you are purchasing one as a gift, you can even provide a special message. Fewer steps and clarified instructions make it quicker and easier than ever.

The new MOSES automatically reformats to work on any screen size, so that customers can purchase their licenses on smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers.

“These improvements eliminate unnecessary steps and presents new purchasing options,” commented Bill Swan, Director of Licensing for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “We listened to user comments regarding the service and these changes should improve our customer’s experience.”

“Mobile availability is no longer an afterthought when creating an online service or website, it’s becoming a necessity” stated Maine’s Chief Technology Officer, Greg McNeal. “Individuals now expect the ability to access information or a service from wherever they are and this enhancement greatly increases that accessibility.

”The hunting and fishing license service has continued to grow since its original launch back in 2003. Each year roughly 40% of the hunting and fishing licenses sold in Maine are purchased online, accounting for over 1.45 million license sales to date.

The Department is funded through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. Funds from license sales benefit all wildlife species, including nongame as well as endangered and threatened species. Funds are used to ensure a healthy fish and wildlife population, which benefits local jobs and economies; and provides access to woods and waters. The department sells over 400,000 hunting and fishing licenses annually.

The online service was developed at no cost to Maine taxpayers and was created by Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, in partnership with the state’s eGovernment portal provider, Informe, and the Maine Office of information Technology.

New Hampshire - Normandeau Confirmed for Third Term

The New Hampshire Executive Council has confirmed Governor Maggie Hassan’s nomination of Glenn Normandeau of Portsmouth, N.H., to serve a third four-year term as Executive Director of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

"I am a true believer in this Department and its future. We are passionate about managing our fish and wildlife resources wisely for the benefit of the public," said Normandeau. "Fish and Game has a dedicated staff of professionals who deliver every day on their commitment to New Hampshire's fish and wildlife resources and the citizens of this state. This is a hardworking, self-funded agency that does a difficult job, on a tight budget, and does it well."

Before becoming Fish and Game's Executive Director, Normandeau had served for more than five years as the Fish and Game Commissioner representing New Hampshire’s seacoast region. He is an avid angler and hunter. He is also an experienced businessman, with nearly 20 years previous experience as president and owner of Pickering Marine Corporation, a specialist in marine contracting.

N.H. Fish and Game works in partnership with the public to conserve, manage and protect the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats; inform and educate the public about these resources; and provide the public with opportunities to use and appreciate them. Visit www.wildnh.com.

Vermont - Season Open

Vermont’s traditional trout fishing season is set to open on Saturday, April 9, and officials from Vermont Fish & Wildlife say the mild winter could be a boon for early season trout action across the state.

“Snow is either already gone or disappearing from the riverbanks quickly,” said Eric Palmer, fisheries director with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “Anglers should have good access to rivers and streams throughout the state, and water temperatures may warm up enough to get the trout moving and feeding early this year.”

Vermont’s spring trout season, which is well-known among resident and non-resident anglers alike, can often afford an angler the greatest opportunity to catch trout in rivers and streams.

“Some of the biggest trout caught in Vermont rivers each year are taken during the spring season,” said Palmer. “And, given the current conditions, you may see some really nice trout taken starting on April 9.”

Vermont is known for its excellent fishing opportunities for wild trout, as well as for stocked trout – including large, two-year old “trophy” trout that will be stocked statewide later in the spring. Early spring fishing is generally supported by wild trout, while much of the stocking in streams and rivers gets underway in early May.

Nearly 20,000 large, “trophy” trout will be stocked throughout Vermont in 2015, and anglers will be able to fish over 18 miles of rivers and 25 lakes and ponds that are designated as trophy water.

“Vermont’s strong trout populations are supported by quality, diverse habitats ranging from small mountain brooks to larger rivers and even cold-water ponds that hold numbers of trout,” said Palmer. “Ultimately, this makes for great fishing opportunities and a really enjoyable outdoor activity for everyone from the avid angler to families and friends looking to enjoy Vermont’s great outdoors. And, fresh-cooked Vermont trout is truly delicious if you choose to keep your catch.

”Anglers who like to fish and release their catch don’t need to wait for opening day. There are year-round catch-and-release fishing opportunities for trout and bass in Vermont. See page 58 of the 2016 law digest for a list of rivers open to year-round trout fishing.

Vermont - It’s Time to Remove Bird Feeders

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says warm spring weather and melting snows are causing bears to come out of their winter dens early in search of a meal. The department recommends taking down bird feeders now to avoid attracting them.

Bears are very fond of suet and bird seed, especially black oil sunflower seed. Bringing feeders in at night doesn’t work, because bears will still feed on seed that is spilled on the ground.

Bird feeders are just one of the things that can attract hungry bears. Other sources of food that bears find appealing are: pet food, barbecue grills, garbage, household trash containers, open dumpsters, and campsites with accessible food and food wastes.

Purposely feeding a bear is not just bad for the bear, it’s also illegal.

Vermont law also states that residents must take reasonable measures to protect their property from bears before lethal force can be taken. Some of these measures include:

· Keep chickens and honeybees secure within an electric fence or other bear-proof enclosure.
· Never feed bears, deliberately or accidentally.
· Feed your pets indoors.
· Store trash in a secure place. Trash cans alone are not enough!

Maine - Wardens Recognized

The Maine Warden Service celebrated its 136th anniversary in late March at the Winslow VFW. Included in the days celebration was the annual awards banquet that gives special recognition to game wardens for their performance in 2015 and includes the recipient of the Maine Game Warden of the Year award. Also highlighted are those who assist the Maine Warden Service during the course of their mission, the legendary game warden of the year, supervisor of the year, and the Colonel’s Award.

The following were recipients of this year’s awards.

2015 Maine Game Warden of the Year:

Recipient: Game Warden Tom McKenney

Game Warden Tom McKenney started his career in the Ripogenus Dam district where he patrolled for nearly four years. It was there that Warden McKenney learned to become a well-rounded game warden. He developed a keen eye and his never-quit attitude towards upholding the state’s fish and wildlife laws showed through. Tom and his family moved from the Ripogenus Dam district to the Norridgewock district in 2010, where he continues to work today. Warden McKenney was assigned the Norridgewock district and made the transition from being a woods warden to a warden that patrols a much more populated part of the state. Tom handles a high volume of calls for service and continues to aggressively seek out intentional violators and address these issues appropriately. Warden McKenney has developed a very positive rapport with the citizens in his district and they often bring problems to his attention.

From the moment that Tom started his career as a Maine game warden to present day, he has been the epitome of hard work and consistency. Regardless of the season, time of year, or weather, he starts out every day striving to make a difference and be a positive and hard-working member of his section and of the Maine Warden Service. Because of Tom’s proactive approach to warden work that goes above and beyond, his assistance with planning for the future of the Warden Service, his gregarious attitude within the community, the consistency he exhibits, and the deep desire to protect the natural resources of the State of Maine, Game Warden Tom McKenney was presented the 2015 Maine Game Warden of the Year award.

K9 Search and Rescue of the Year Award:

Recipient: Jeremy Judd K9 Tundra (Mechanic Falls)

K9 Conservation Case of the Year Award:

Recipient: Kris MacCabe K9 Morgan (Wilton)

Exemplary Service Awards:

Recipients: Game Warden’s Sergeants Aaron Cross (Morrill), Alan Gillis (Orrington), Bruce Loring (Enfield), Ethan Buuck (2 awards, Mt. Vernon), Kris MacCabe (2 awards, Wilton), Bob Johansen (2 awards, Millinocket), Tony Gray (2 awards, Oxford), Dave Chabot (Greene), Maine State Trooper Jason Wing, Tim Coombs (Stoneham), Dave Ross (China), Eric Rudolph (Ellsworth), Dave Georgia (Greenfield TWP), Phil Richter (Lamoine), Kyle Hladik (Millinocket), Troy Dauphinee (Shirley), Chad Robertson (Madison), Andrew Smart (Ashland), Charles Brown (Dyer Brook)

A certificate for Exemplary Service shall be presented when, in the opinion of the Awards Board, a Warden has rendered relevant outstanding service which deserves special recognition.

Maine Warden Association Merit Awards:

Recipients: Auburn Fire Chief Frank Roma, Lt. Chris Morretto, and Erik Poland.

The MWSA Merit Award provides recognition to a civilian(s) for highly meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service. For the purpose of this award, conduct above the ordinary course of duty, when a civilian, because of individual or team initiative, courage and diligence, provides assistance with the goals and mission of the Maine Warden Service.

Legendary Game Warden Award:

Recipient: Richard “Dick” Longley (Anson): Served 1945-1968

The Legendary Game Warden of the Year award shall be presented to any retired member of the Maine Warden Service who, consistently in the past, conducted themselves in such a manner as to display exceptional expertise in the areas of conservation law enforcement and since retiring has continued to provide a passion for meeting the goals and mission of the MWS.

Supervisor of the Year:

Recipient: Lieutenant Dan Scott (Hampden): Division C - Bangor

The Outstanding Supervisor Award is presented annually to the supervisory officer who has demonstrated superior knowledge and leadership in the area of conservation law enforcement supervision and by doing so has gained the respect of administrators, supervisors, fellow officers, other Department employees, other agencies and the public regarding expertise and performance in the field of supervision.

Colonel’s Award:

2015 Recipient: David Delorme

Presented annually to an individual or individuals who the Colonel has determined have provided distinguished support and/or service to the Maine Warden Service and/or its mission. Maine Warden Service Colonel Joel Wilkinson.

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