Fisheries Study Yields Disappointing Results

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Today we begin a four-part series that will be posted over the next few weeks. This first column reports on the findings in a new fisheries study commissioned by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The second column reviews the recommendations for Maine’s fisheries program issued in 2002 by the Management Assistance Team of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The third column consists of interviews with Brett Levin, who with his wife Jen authored the new study, John Boland, DIF&W’s Director of Fisheries and Wildlife Divisions, and DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock. The fourth column pulls all of this together and includes my own recommendations to improve the state’s fisheries and our fishing experiences in Maine. Buckle your wading belts!

Talking Fishing While Fishing

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The large brook trout cradled by DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock in the photo above is only part of the story. It was my pleasure to organize an opportunity for the Commissioner and John Boland, DIF&W’s Director of the Fisheries and Wildlife Divisions, to visit the Rangeley area to talk fisheries issues with local folks and to experience some of the great fishing offered in that area of the state.

Joining us was Bill Pierce, former marketing director for DIF&W and now Development Director for the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, the lead group in establishing an astonishing amount of conservation land and projects in the region.

Bill Pierce's Brookie

Great New Inn and Tavern At Brunswick Station

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There’s something to be said for trying a brand spanking new inn or restaurant, being among the first to enjoy a meal, an experience, putting yourself at the center of what’s happening when and where it’s happening.

The new Inn and Tavern at Brunswick Station is happening, and we felt unusually ahead of the curve when we visited in August, just weeks after it opened. We tend to favor historical inns and established restaurants.

So this was a bit of a gamble. It paid off.  The Inn is stylish and only one thing really surprised us at the Tavern: the high qualify of the food.

Read More.

Bethel Inn Resort and Harvest Fest

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A resort should have beautiful buildings and grounds, nice rooms and suites, good eating opportunities, and lots of indoor and outdoor activities. Bethel Inn Resort fits the bill and is our go-to destination in western Maine.

Combine a visit to the Inn with Bethel’s annual Harvest Fest and you’ve got a weekend to remember.

Unable to attend the upcoming festival this year because of a family wedding on the same weekend, we visited Bethel a couple of weeks ago, staying at the Inn, enjoying two amazing dinners at 22 Broad Street and Sudbury Inn, and taking a drive on Route 113 through Evans Notch.

DIF&W Biologist Predicts Mediocre Grouse/Woodcock Seasons

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I was going to write a preview of the upcoming grouse and woodcock season, but John Holyoke beat me to it.  His preview in this weekend’s Bangor Daily News tells you all you need to know.

 Read it and weep, as DIF&W bird biologist Kelsey Sullivan predicts a “so-so mediocre” season.

Naturally, just when I have more time to hunt!

Woodcock Hears Fishing Ideas in the Forks

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Maine guide Chris Russell probably didn’t think he’d be creating a controversy when he first scheduled a meeting in July for local folks in the Forks with DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock. He apparently forgot that Maine sportsmen thrive on rumors and controversy.

 How else to explain the uproar over Russell’s meeting – rescheduled to September - that Chandler attended last night at Northern Outdoors Resort in the Forks, with a diverse group of local guides, business people, and regular anglers. The meeting was all about fishing, and Chandler was very pleased with what he heard. Nearly everyone in the room spoke, and all agreed that the area’s fishery had deteriorated and needs attention. They differed, however, in the remedies.

Maine Hunting Laws Getting Reviewed

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SAM’s Pickering Commission will meet on September 23 to review Maine’s hunting laws, rules, and publications, and create recommendations to simplify and clarify those laws and rules and make hunting – for both novices and longtime hunters – easier and more enjoyable.

 If you have suggestions for the Commission’s consideration, please email them to me ( as soon as you can.


SAM organized a Commission to Reduce and Clarify Maine’s Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Laws and Rules in 1998 and selected Cape Elizabeth’s Chief of Police, David Pickering, to chair the commission.

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