From Staff and wire reports
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife reminds waterfowl hunters that a state migratory waterfowl permit is required for individuals 16 years of age or older.
In addition, waterfowl hunters are required to have a small game or big game hunting license and a federal migratory waterfowl bird hunting stamp.
Also, when hunters purchase their license through MOSES, the DIF&W’s online licensing system, they are asked if they intend to be a migratory bird program participant. By answering “yes,” hunters are only saying that they may harvest waterfowl.
It does not give them permission to do so. A license and the state and federal permit stamp are required to hunt.
The state migratory waterfowl permit is available for purchase at all license agents statewide and online at www.mefishwildlife.com.
The Maine DIF&W and the Maine Snowmobile Association honored six individuals and entities on Tuesday for their generosity in opening their land to outdoor enthusiasts at the annual landowner relations awards banquet in Augusta.
The DIF&W Landowner Relations Program seeks to maintain and build on Maine’s unique heritage of public access to private land for recreation and sport use and works to ensure that the relationship between private landowners and the public is one of respect and good judgment.
The landowner relations award winners:
The corporate winner was Black Mountain of Maine, which was nominated by the Rumford Polar Bears Snowmobile Club.
Carrabassett Valley Sanitary District won the municipal award after being nominated by the Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Association.
Among private landowners who won awards, Paul Foulkes of Brownville and Williamsburg was nominated by the Brownville Snowmobile Club. Conan Furber of Kingsbury was nominated by the Moose Alley Riders ATV Club. The Medomak Valley Land Trust of Waldoboro was nominated by the Lincoln County Fish and Game Club. Francis Fitzpatrick of Houlton was nominated by the Aroostook Riders ATV Club.
Vermont considers law change
An interstate dispute over youth hunting seasons between New Hampshire and Vermont may prompt a law change in Vermont.
Vermont’s law excludes most New Hampshire kids from hunting. This year, New Hampshire changed its law to permit youth hunters from other states for this weekend’s youth season, only if their home states permit New Hampshire kids to participate. New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department concedes the law change was made to force Vermont’s hand.
Vermont’s law allows out-of-state youth to hunt in Vermont’s two-day youth season, but only if at least one of the hunter’s parents live in the state.
Tom Decker, of Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife Department, says Vermont’s law is under review as part of the state’s ten-year hunting plan.
Vermont, N.Y. work on fish plan
Biologists from the states of Vermont and New York are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a long-range plan to manage fish populations in Lake Champlain.
The draft strategic plan by The Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative calls for continuing efforts to expand populations of native fish such as trout and salmon, as well as the recovery of populations of lake sturgeon, muskellunge and eels.
The plan also calls for continuing work to control sea lamprey, a parasitic fish that preys on certain species of sport fish.
It is the first time since the cooperative was formed in the early 1970s by officials from the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that a new long-range plan has been written.
The public has until the end of the year to comment on the plan, which is due to be adopted with possible revisions next spring by the cooperative’s policy committee, said Eric Palmer, the director of fisheries for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife.
Over the years biologists already had been working to implement the goals contained in the plan, but without an over-arching blueprint, Palmer said.
“It’s been an evolutionary process. Everyone agreed it was time to step back and put that in writing,” Palmer said. “It is a reflective process. It’s not a whole new approach to fisheries.”
And because biologists are already trying to achieve the goals laid out in the plan, it does not contain specific recommendations on how to achieve those goals.
The plan says there are four distinct zones in Lake Champlain and 88 species of fish found in Lake Champlain, 15 of them nonnative.
Palmer said that in the late 1960s when officials formed the cooperative, their original plan focused on the restoration to the lake of salmonids, such as trout and salmon. That first plan acknowledged the challenge posed by sea lamprey.
“Back in the ‘60s sea lampreys weren’t considered to be a big problem. They weren’t attacking a lot of the other species that were in the lake. It’s still kind of a mystery why their populations have increased so dramatically.”
Some theories include the lamprey preyed on the trout and salmon that were returned to the lake and they lamprey benefited from cleaner streams where they breed.