DIF&W Reorganization and New Hatchery May Be Coming in 2011

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Commissioner Chandler Woodcock says his meeting last Friday (November 18) with Governor Paul LePage went well. Woodcock presented his plan to reorganize his agency, in the form of a chart, and said the Governor asked good questions and was supportive.

The Governor will ponder the plan for a while, with no particular timetable for the adoption and implementation of the plan, although it will certainly be moving forward in 2012. Woodcock expects to meet again with the Governor to answer any additional questions he may have about the plan.

Woodcock also has some interest in a proposal from Poland Spring to turn over the Dead River fish hatchery to the department. Poland Spring got the hatchery when it purchased the land for a new source of spring water, and has kept the hatchery going, at a minimal level, with the hope that the department – or a private entity – would have an interest in it.

Camden Splurge Is Amazing Experience

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Our online dictionary defines “splurge” this way: “to indulge oneself in some luxury or pleasure, especially a costly one.” The dictionary’s example is perfect for this review: “They splurged on a trip to Europe.”

The Camden Harbour Inn and its restaurant, Natalie’s, is a luxurious splurge with many amenities that remind us of Europe, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than traveling to Europe!


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Ice Shack Contest Scheduled for Friday

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Who can build the best ice shack in Maine?

We’ll find out on Friday when the Maine Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors hosts its first annual Maine Super Shack Build at the Augusta Civic Center.

ABC Maine President James Cote reports that five competitors have put their reputations on the line:  RJ Grondin & Sons, Coutts Bros., IRC Industrial Roofing Companies, Cianbro, and Storey Brothers Excavation.

I’ll be one of the judges and will looking for ice shacks that are comfortable and fishable. Size matters, too, although James has restricted the competition to shacks no larger than 8 feet by 8 feet. 

The shacks will be entirely constructed at the Civic Center, starting at 9 am, while judging begins at 3 pm. The event is open to the public. Bring you cameras.

Woodcock to Brief Governor on Reorganization Plan

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Commissioner Chandler Woodcock will brief Governor Paul LePage on Friday (November 18) about Woodcock’s major reorganization plan for his Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

“The plan is very progressive,” Woodcock said. “We tried to create a balance” between the department’s divisions and programs, he reported.

He also hinted that some positions that were eliminated in the past, such as wildlife biologists dedicated to deer, will be restored, and a greater focus on fisheries can be expected.

Maine hunters: Identify your target!

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Deirdre Fleming’s Sunday Telegram article yesterday (November 12) was very interesting, reporting that “of the nine states that issue large numbers of deer and other big-game hunting licenses, Maine had among the fewest fatalities from 2001 to 2010, with four.”

However, “Maine’s rate of hunting-related firearms accidents per 100,000 licensed hunters, compared with six of the… states, fell about in the middle of the pack at about 42 incidents per 100,000.”

Maine's Splendid Scenic Drives

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We returned from a September visit to Bethel to find a book in our mailbox, sent to us to review by its publisher, Down East.

When we opened the book to the first chapter of Maine’s Most Scenic Roads written by John Gibson and republished recently by Down East in a revised an updated version from the original that was published in 1998, we were astonished to find a description of Route 113 from Gilead to Fryeburg. We thought on that trip to Bethel that we’d discovered this drive! Turns out John Gibson was there ahead of us.

In fact, Gibson has been to a lot of our favorite places. Linda and I are working on a travel column about the drive from Rockland to Port Clyde, one of our all-time favorites, and sure enough, Gibson’s got it.

Paul Fournier's Misery Ridge Tales Are Mighty Fine

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Paul Fournier hooked me with his first sentence: “I was fifteen that summer when first love struck.” His first love was a 17 foot long Old Town canoe.

On the third page of Paul’s new book, Tales from Misery Ridge, (Islandport Press, 2011) he started to reel me in when he purchased his second canoe – at age 17 – from Leon Prince of North Monmouth.

Leon was my wife’s grandfather, and when I read Paul’s words describing her grandfather to her, Lin said he had captured her twice-widowed grandfather exactly. Paul noted that Leon was “a small, genial, lonesome gentleman in oversize overalls. Contrary to the stereotype of taciturn rural Maine folk, he was downright garrulous.”

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