George's Outdoor News

George’s new outdoor issues blog. He goes all over the state. He listens. And he reports on issues of concern to sportsmen, conservationists, and environmentalists.

A look back - and ahead - on fishing issues and challenges

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They follow state hatchery trucks, eager to catch those fat brook trout stocked this month all over the state. They crowd roadsides, casting from bridges. They troll the shores of lakes and ponds, hoping to catch a landlocked salmon.

Some seek a feed of tasty perch; others dream of a huge northern pike. Many focus on bass, Maine’s most popular fish. Twice as many bass are caught every year than brook trout.

An angler army is out this week on the brooks, streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. But the troops are depleted and we’re losing our recreational fishing economy.

Harry's great turkey hunting stories

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 While I was on a birding adventure in Arizona with my wife, my friend Harry Vanderweide kept me posted on his turkey hunting adventures. Most of you probably know Harry as one of Maine’s most admired outdoor writers and advocates. For many years he was the editor of The Maine Sportsman, and also has his own TV show, Northeast Outdoors. He also cohosted Wildfire with me for 13 years. And he was one of the founders of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

Harry has had a terrible battle with Lyme disease for the past 4 years, but he just doesn’t give up. He’s still hunting and fishing, although not with as much energy as he once had. He’s now hunting with a crossbow and I want to share two of his stories with you today.

Important info on Lyme Disease

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I found this column in the latest edition of the Working Waterfront newsletter, published by Island Institute in Rockland.


There's a lot of good and important information about Lyme Disease and other diseases caused by deer ticks in this article, so I want to share it with you.

You can read the article here.

Great fishing videos for kids

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 Got a child or grandchild who loves to fish, or who wants to start fishing?


Well, thanks to the Maine Professional Guides Association, we’ve got some great videos for those kids.

Can Maine Bring Back Lost Anglers?

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 I’ve been told that the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is undertaking a project to figure out how to get nonresident anglers who no longer come here to fish to return to Maine. I suggested that they check out an August 2011 study that includes recommendations to do just that.

In 2011, The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and DIF&W hired Brett and Jen Levin to figure out how Maine could appeal to more anglers. The Levins found that “the biggest opportunity for Maine will be found in developing a comprehensive economic analysis of recreational fishing, engaging in strategic partnerships, and developing a cohesive marketing plan backed up with sufficient resources to enable the plan’s implementation.”

The Levins looked at what other states are doing to attract anglers, including detailed surveys that states were conducting with freshwater anglers.

The right to hunt and fish is called barbaric

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 A proposed Constitutional amendment to “Establish the Right to Hunt and Fish” drew angry testimony from the anti-hunting and anti-trapping crowd.

“This bill is barbaric,” testified John Glowa of China, who called LD 11 “the worst piece of legislation I have seen in more than twenty years of coming before this committee, and I have seen some bad ones.” Glowa also called the bill “the poison fruit of the paranoia seed planted by the out-of-state gun lobby and by radical extremist consumptive users.”

You’ll continue to be nickeled and dimed to hunt in Maine

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 You’ll continue to be nickeled and dimed to hunt in Maine

My second attempt to create an affordable comprehensive hunting license crashed at the legislature yesterday after the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposed it. Although it has not yet been scheduled for a work session by the legislature’s IFW Committee, it is very unlikely to win the committee’s support.

DIF&W has opposed most bills this session, and many committee members seem to take the department’s testimony as gospel. It was a lot easier, years ago, to overcome DIF&W’s intransigence and opposition than it is today.

Here’s my testimony on LD 768, An Act to Establish a Comprehensive Hunting License, sponsored at my request by Representative Gary Hilliard.


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