Tribute to Service
It is with great pleasure I write this Executive Director’s report. We are doing so many exciting new things, it is difficult to know where to start, so I will begin with our Tribute to Heroes”fishing event held on Wednesday, June 13 in partnership with Pine Grove Lodge, Maine Professional Guides Association, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on Messalonskee Lake.
Around 15 boats and veterans from as far away as New York participated in a day of pike and bass fishing. The weather was sunny and breezy, and the event went off without a hitch. There were several good fish caught, and at the end of the day all participants received a trophy. There is no way we can thank our veterans for all the sacrifices they have made for our freedom, but we will continue to try. I will anxiously await next year’s event.
SAM to Host Coyote Hunting & Trapping Workshop
Coyote hunting has been gaining in popularity for some time now. Like any new hunting opportunity, we’re learning as we go. Trapping for coyotes has been around for a while, and there is interest among both currently licensed and novice trappers for more detailed information about the best coyote-trapping techniques.
SAM’s Deer Management Network is educating hunters and trappers on ways to improve deer survival, by developing predator hunting and trapping skills. SAM will host a hunting-and-trapping workshop at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at the SAM headquarters in Augusta.
The workshop is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about coyote hunting and trapping skills. The workshop will provide hands-on opportunities for participants and will be taught by experts. Admission is $15, which includes lunch, snacks, and handouts. Pre-register by calling Becky at SAM at (207) 623-4589 or emailing email@example.com.
We are done with our extensive renovations at the Augusta SAM complex, and our two new tenants have settled in. The Maine Snowmobile Association and White Flour catering are now under signed contract in our building.
Our members stepped up in a big way and helped us cover the cost. Special thanks to everyone who volunteered to help, as well as send us money. Special thanks to Jay Battersby, Roger Baston, Barry Morrell, Ken Scribner, Ed Courtenay, Jim and Pat Tobin, Eric Hart, Duncan and Kelsey Morrell, Jim Robbins, Poland Spring, and Windham Weaponry.
SAM will host its Fourth annual Save Our Heritage Banquet and Auction Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Elks Club, 397 Civic Center Dr., Augusta. We are expecting approximately 200 people, including state outdoor leaders, SAM corporate sponsors, state legislators, legislative candidates, and dozens of active SAM members from all over the great State of Maine.The event will include a reception with light hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, prime rib dinner with all the fixings and a live and silent auction.
Invasive and Introduced Species meeting
SAM hosted a comprehensive meeting regarding invasive and introduced fish species at Aug. 16 at the SAM Conference Center.
The problems surrounding the introduction of non-native invasive and competing fish species throughout Maine are well documented.
“Currently the gravest threat to Maine’s brook trout populations is the unauthorized introduction of competing species,” said Forrest Bonney, the state’s leading authority on brook trout.
Matt Scott, former Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist and deputy commissioner, once said the introduction of invasive species in Maine borders on environmental terrorism.
The illegal introduction of any fish into any Maine water is a Class E crime, punishable by fines up to $10,000. The Maine DIF&W is offering a minimum reward of $2,000 for information leading to the apprehension of people responsible for the illegal introduction of fish.
SAM’s goal was to bring together some of Maine’s most involved sportsmen and women, organizations (both state and non-government), and leaders in outdoor recreation to brainstorm ideas and proposals to address real solutions aimed at solving the problems associated with the introduction of invasive and competing fish species in Maine.
The purpose of this first meeting was to request that all participants provide ideas and suggestions to be put on the table, from new ideas on education, new legislation, new rules, and stepped up enforcement. We will report further in the next edition of the SAM News.
Fish and Game Club Network
We held our first organizational meeting of the Fish and Game Club Network Aug. 17. Club leaders from across the state met at the SAM Conference Center. We discussed the establishment of a leadership structure, our mission and goals, communication tools, and sharing information. The meeting was an exciting start. We will continue meeting and when we have things settled I will report on our progress.
New board members
Amos Eno of Yarmouth and the Hon. Thomas Watson of Bath have joined the SAM Board. Each has an impressive record representing the conservation interests important to Maine people. SAM is a stronger organization with the addition of these highly respected individuals.
New SAM partners
Maine Energy, a small energy company from Northport, is our newest partner. For SAM customers in their market area, they are offering very generous discounts: 10 cents a gallon off the cash price for oil and 20 cents per gallon for propane. For details, visit sportsmansallianceofmaine.org/maine_energy_member_discount_2012.pdf
Bob Noonan, editor of The Trappers Post, is also a new partner. His expertise and guidance on all things trapping will be a great resource for Gerry Lavigne and me as we develop our Deer Management Network.