Outdoor magazine replaced by Internet

Posted Jan. 21, 2009, at 9:57 p.m.

For more than 40 years, Mainers interested in the fish and wildlife resources of their state have enjoyed a single source that kept them up to date on the work being done by the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.

For a small subscription fee, Maine Fish and Wildlife magazine, the DIF&W’s official publication, took readers into the field with biologists and wardens and kept them up to date on issues and projects.

This morning, I’ve got some good news, and some bad news.

Let’s start with the bad: For those of you, like me, who prefer to hold a publication in your hands and leisurely flip the pages, you’ll no longer have that option: Maine Fish and Wildlife magazine has ceased publication.

Now, the good news: You can still find the same great photography and interesting features, and you can get it all for free.

The catch: According to a DIF&W press release, Maine Fish and Wildlife will be an Internet-only publication from now on, which you can access through the DIF&W Web site (www.mefishwildlife.com).

According to the press release, last year state legislators on the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife asked the DIF&W to come up with a less expensive way to publish the magazine. DIF&W Commissioner Roland “Dan” Martin decided the best solution was to turn it into an online-only magazine.

“The Maine Legislature didn’t want to see the decades-old magazine cease in existence and neither did we,” Martin said in the press release. “By putting the magazine online, not only are we saving money but now a greater number of people will have access to the publication and at no charge.”

According to the DIF&W, more than 3,000 people received paid subscriptions to the magazine, which comes four times a year. The department hopes to reach 90,000 readers through e-mails and its Web site.

And while the online version may not provide the same experience as a more hands-on paper product, the DIF&W has taken steps that mimic the ways people read magazines.

The online version is produced in cooperation with FlipSeek LLC, which gives publications like magazines and catalogues the electronic look of hard copies. Readers can actually flip pages and zoom in and out to magnify photos and text.

“The 300 employees at IF&W are dedicated to managing fish and wildlife resources and enforcing the laws that protect them,” Martin said in a statement. “Like our readers, our staff hunts, fishes, boats, snowmobiles, hikes or canoes/kayaks in the abundance of wilderness Maine offers. Their commitment will be evident in this publication.”

Greenland Point program on tap

If you’ve got a child aged 10 to 15 who has no plans for the first weekend of February’s school vacation, you might want to check out a program on tap at Greenland Point Center in Princeton.

The center is planning a two-day winter conservation camp on Feb. 14-15 that will provide all kinds of outdoor opportunities.

A snowmobile certification course will be held, along with cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, navigation by the stars and canoe sliding.

The fee is $100 for the weekend and partial scholarships are available.

For more information call 796-5186 or send e-mail to greenlandpoint@verizon.net.

St. Agatha derby approaches

If you’re in the mood to catch a big landlocked salmon — and you wouldn’t mind winning some money in the process — the fourth annual Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby is looming.

The derby’s label is a bit of a misnomer, in that anglers are actually allowed to fish on Long, Cross, St. Froid, Square and Eagle lakes during the event, which will be held on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

Yes, that’s Super Bowl weekend, but seeing as how the Patriots aren’t playing, and the Giants are also sidelined, this may be just the year to participate in a derby that drew 410 anglers a year ago.

The derby is co-sponsored by the town of St. Agatha and the Black Bear Rod & Gun Club, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund.

In all, $6,000 in cash prizes will be handed out, with top awards of $1,000 for the largest salmon, brook trout and lake trout. Plenty of other prizes will also be awarded.

Adults will pay $15 for a one-day registration or $25 for the weekend while those 15 and under will pay $5 per day.

The Long Lake Sporting Club in Sinclair will be the base camp and weighing station. For more information, call Paul Bernier at 543-7305, 543-6332 or 316-4661.

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