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Monday, July 22, 2013: Bait fishing, conservation fundraising and obstacle challenge

Restrict bait fishing

An article by George Smith in the July 13 BDN and one by Paul Johnson in the July 17 BDN failed to mention one important issue in the use of live bait fishing. Numerous research studies on fishing with live bait show that more trout caught on live bait will die after being released than trout released on flies and artificial lures.

Some studies, including one from a March 22 Michigan-Sportsman article, indicate that as many as 40 percent of bait-released fish die.

Maine’s own retired Fisheries Research and Management Supervisor, Ken Warner once wrote: “The purpose of no live fish as bait rules are to prevent spread of bait fish detrimental to trout production and to reduce hooking mortality.”

The ban on the use of live bait in Baxter State Park waters in the mid-1960s, recommended by Roger Auclair, retired regional fisheries biologist, was instituted to prevent both the spread of invasive fish species and to reduce hooking mortality.

Smith’s and Johnson’s arguments aside, Maine should continue to restrict the use of bait fishing in waters containing our wild brook trout populations if only to reduce hooking mortality.

Bob Croce


Fundraising tour

On July 14, the Georges River Land Trust held its 22nd Gardens in the Watershed Tour in Montville, Hope and Union. The 400 patrons who came to the upper watershed were treated to lovely working farms, gardens and vistas.

We are indebted to them and to the gardeners who graciously opened their special places to us: Andrew and Victoria Marshall; Bo Atkinson and Alda Stitch’ Rick and Denise Sawyer; Tina Marriner and Robert Pearse; Eileen and Leonard Ames; Lorraine and Wayne Smith; and Linda and John Shepard. Their dedication, hard work and love of the land were evident in the riot of color and peaceful serenity we were all privileged to experience last Sunday.

We thank Bangor Savings Bank, our major sponsor, and the 80 other businesses and individuals who helped fund this event and support the mission of the Land Trust. Their generosity is greatly appreciated.

The Home Kitchen Café deserves our grateful thanks for preparing nearly 200 delicious lunches of unique sandwiches, chips and cookies. And with deep gratitude, we recognize the more than 45 volunteers who gave their time and energy to ensuring that the tour went smoothly.

The Gardens in the Watershed Tour is the single most important annual fundraising event of the Georges River Land Trust, and its success is crucial to our work of helping to conserve the watershed, both land and natural resources, for the public benefit.

Pat Ashton, Georges River Land Trust


Humiliation or death?

In the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, I have asked myself this question: Why did Trayvon Martin die? The answer I find is that Martin died because he insisted on acting as if he were a full citizen of this country with all the rights that implies.

If he had appeased his tormentor, if he had grovelled and fawned, if he had been sufficiently submissive to Zimmerman, he would be alive today. But every time a black man has to appease and submit to a white man in order to avoid injury, humiliation or death, that man is injured inside, his humanity is damaged. Martin may have decided that he was willing to risk it all to protect his self-respect, to keep himself whole.

Martin decided to stand his ground and paid with his life, and the Zimmerman verdict demonstrates that despite all the struggle of the civil rights movement, black people can still be killed with impunity in this country.

How long, how long, oh Lord, how long until any peaceful person, of whatever color, can walk the streets of America without fearing that at any moment, he must choose between humiliation and death?

Scott Howell

Blue HIll


Run for your life challenge

This last Memorial Day weekend, three public safety entities — Camden and Hope fire departments, along with Camden First Aid Association — held the first-ever outdoor obstacle challenge competition up and down the trails of the Camden Snow Bowl and across Hosmer Pond.

The Run For Your Life Emergency Service Challenge was such a collaborative success that we are going to do it again. Mark the calendars on May 24, 2014 for the second annual challenge.

The ranks of volunteer and career first responders have thinned, especially in Maine, and fire departments are constantly actively recruiting new members. This challenge continues to face us as we train and prepare communities for fires, disasters and emergencies.

The event was successful for us, not only because we had enormous fun with a great group of competitors, but because we now have several new volunteers in our fire departments.

We could not have accomplished the Run For Your Life Challenge without the support of our communities. Many generous sponsors, supporters and contributors helped get us underway. We are getting ready for next year’s Run For Your Life 2014, and the planning has begun. Stay tuned for details at our website, www.emergencychallenge.org, or on our Facebook page.

Chris Farley, Camden Fire Chief


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