John Holyoke

Outdoors Editor

An Atlantic salmon makes its way to a holding tank at the Milford Dam fishway on June 24 at Brookfield Energy in Milford.

Word from the Woods: Salmon, peak-bagging and plovers

By John Holyoke on July 01, 2015, at 3:28 p.m.
It’s been a pretty busy week here at BDN Outdoors, and we’ve got a lot of stories to share. Over the course of a week, we’ve written about Atlantic salmon, which are benefiting from a new fish lift at the Milford Dam, piping plovers, those delightful (and scarce) shorebirds, striped …

Atlantic salmon count on the Penobscot up to 560

on July 01, 2015, at 8:39 a.m.
While we’re talking about the Penobscot, biologists with the Maine Department of Marine Resources report that Atlantic salmon continue to return to the river. Mitch Simpson, a biologist for the DMR’s Division of Sea-Run Fisheries and Habitat, said in his weekly report that a total of 560 salmon had returned …

Note to anglers: New striped bass regulations in effect

on June 30, 2015, at 11:13 a.m.
Late last week I told you about the welcome return of striped bass to the Penobscot River — a development that has lured anglers back to a river that has been largely striper-free for the past several years. But over the weekend, a couple of readers checked in to point …

Stripers in the Penobscot? You bet!

on June 26, 2015, at 7:33 a.m.
Just four years ago, despite his best efforts, Hunter Pate caught only one striped bass in the Penobscot River. To many, that wouldn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, according to Maine Department of Marine Resources data, the bottom had fallen out of the state’s striper fishery, and …
An Atlantic salmon makes its way to a holding tank at the Milford Dam fishway at Brookfield Energy in Milford Wednesday. After more than three decades capturing Atlantic salmon at the Veazie Dam, that operation has moved to Milford, where a new fishlift was unveiled in 2014.

After first-year tinkering, Milford fish lift paying dividends

By John Holyoke on June 26, 2015, at 6:52 a.m.
A year ago, while fisheries biologists were monitoring the most dismal return of Atlantic salmon to the Penobscot River in at least 35 years, Richard Dill admits he began to wonder about the role a brand new fish lift was playing. “We were anticipating a low run, …

Maine Moose on the Loose: Lincoln photographer back with new book

on June 24, 2015, at 11:11 a.m.
Less than a year ago, photographer Roger L. Stevens Jr. fulfilled a dream when he self-published a book of stunning fox photos that he took near his home. Shortly after that, he followed up with “June the Loon,” a book that traced the first few months of life of an …

Bear crew recaptures 442-pound male

on June 19, 2015, at 9:25 a.m.
At this time of year each spring, wildlife biologist Randy Cross and a team of his colleagues spend a few weeks in the woods, looking to enlist new black bears in the state’s ongoing bear research project. Sometimes Cross receives a welcome surprise, when bears he “met” before return and …

Guide teaches fly fishing lessons on annual drift boat trip

on June 17, 2015, at 10:01 a.m.
On Saturday evening, guide Dan Legere and I began an ominous text-message conversation …. not the ideal situation when you’re just hours away from embarking on a drift boat trip on one of Maine’s top fly-fishing rivers. The East Outlet of the Kennebec — our destination for Sunday’s annual “Win …

Home gardening gone bad: Upside-down tomato trapezes, dog-crafted salsa

on June 15, 2015, at 9:25 a.m.
My gardening goals are so modest many folks wouldn’t even use the G-word to describe them. And they’d be right. Gardener? Me? Hardly. I fill flower boxes with enough basil to keep my hankering for pesto at bay — unless, that is, my basil dies, which it often does. I …
Two bull moose are profiled against the rising sun in Fort Kent in this Oct. 31, 2013, file photo.

Maine’s moose hunt by the numbers

By John Holyoke on June 13, 2015, at 5:56 a.m.
BETHEL | On Saturday, 2,740 hunters will find out that they’ve been selected to take part in the 2015 Maine moose hunt. If you’ve been applying for the chance to hunt for a few years, you may realize that the state’s modern hunt began in 1980, when it was …

Our Maine Heritage: Who drew the first-ever moose permit?

on June 12, 2015, at 11:43 a.m.
On Saturday, hundreds of Mainers will flock to Bethel for an annual event that will determine which hunters get to head afield in search of moose this fall. The moose permit drawing is a tradition that began back in 1980, when the state sponsored its first lottery for those coveted …

Author Doiron shines in latest Maine woods mystery

on June 12, 2015, at 9:18 a.m.
Through five books (and counting), readers have rooted for game warden Mike Bowditch, the protagonist of author Paul Doiron’s series of novels set in the Maine woods. It hasn’t always been easy, as Bowditch has proven prickly, impetuous, hot-headed and downright reckless at times. In his latest book, “The Precipice,” …
Mary Snow School fourth-graders release Atlantic salmon into the Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor. The 58 students released about 120 tiny fish into the water.

Bangor students release salmon fry they raised

By John Holyoke on June 12, 2015, at 5:51 a.m.
A steady parade of local fourth-graders lined up along the bank of Kenduskeag Stream last week, each carrying a plastic cup that held precious cargo. “We’re releasing our salmon because we had them for a long time,” Emma McNeil, a student at Mary Snow School in Bangor, …

The wait is over: Prospective moose hunters will head to Bethel for drawing this weekend

on June 10, 2015, at 12:47 p.m.
For the last 35 years — since a Cub Scout  reached into a hopper and pulled out the first lucky name — Mainers have been fascinated with their moose-permit lottery. Nowadays, computers, not Cub Scouts, do the drawing. But on Saturday afternoon, when 2,740 hunters learn that they’ve earned a …
Natalie Feulner of the BDN fly fishes Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor under the watchful eye of her husband, Brian Feulner.

Word from the Woods: The waiting’s over! Moose lottery on tap

By John Holyoke on June 10, 2015, at 10:59 a.m.
For months (or years … or decades), Mainers have been awaiting this year’s moose-permit lottery, during which they’ll find out if they’ll be allowed to head afield on the hunt of a lifetime this fall. In all, 2,740 permits will be allotted on Saturday during a drawing that will be …

Casting with colleagues: If you don’t bleed, you’re ahead of the game

on June 08, 2015, at 9:36 a.m.
When you work in a building that sits on a stream, (which, in turn, empties into a mighty river just a few hundred yards away), it’s easy for your thoughts to start revolving around fishing. That’s my excuse, anyway. And ever since the Bangor Daily News moved downtown, and I …
David Ellis, originally of Conyers, Georgia, poses with the two turkeys he shot during a recent hunt in Maine. The 33-year-old hunter has bagged turkeys in each of the 48 states in the continental U.S. and says he needs to conquer just one more state, Hawaii, to become the youngest to achieve the U.S. Super Slam.

Maine turkey hunt helps man finish 48-state quest

By John Holyoke on June 05, 2015, at 5:53 a.m.
For the last nine years, David Ellis has logged thousands of miles and spent thousands of dollars in a quest to bag a turkey in each of the 49 states that have the birds. On May 25, thanks to the kindness of a landowner near Bath, the 33-year-old from Conyers, …
The invasive browntail moth caterpillar is abundant in Maine this year and can be harmful to humans. Microscopic hairs on the caterpillars can cause “a blistery, oozy rash and respiratory distress,” according to the Maine Forest Service.

Word from the Woods: We had a casting clinic, and nobody bled!

By John Holyoke on June 03, 2015, at 3:15 p.m.
From time to time, as part of a team-building effort — or something like that — those of us involved with outdoor and feature coverage at the BDN head afield for an adventure. For instance, last summer my new boss and I went out looking for moose. Just a couple …

Greenville’s Legere named ‘legendary Maine guide’

on June 03, 2015, at 10:21 a.m.
Back in 2003, the BDN began a marketing promotion designed to introduce its new outdoors writer — me — to those who have turned to these pages for generations in order to find out what’s happening in our woods and on our waters. The idea: Find one of the state’s …

As cold-water rescues pile up, caution urged on Maine’s lakes

on May 29, 2015, at 8:23 a.m.
Mainers consider Memorial Day weekend the unofficial start of the summer season, no matter what the actual calendar might say. But make no mistake: In many ways and in certain parts of the state, actual summer weather — and lake temperatures — still are weeks away. That’s the message Maine …
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