Stories about Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

A black bear stands at the edge of the forest in Hancock in June 2014.

Maine wildlife agency spent $31,000 to defeat bear hunting referendum

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Dec. 12, 2014, at 2:52 p.m.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spent at least $31,000 on campaign materials, television ads, debate coaching and staff time to fight Question 1, the citizen initiative to ban bear baiting, trapping and hounding in Maine. The spending was detailed in internal agency documents and invoices released to …

Crawling with wildcats: Maine lynx population booming

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Jan. 20, 2014, at 1:51 p.m.
The Canada lynx. Perhaps no creature is better suited for the harsh winters of northern Maine. The deep snow. The sub-zero temperatures. The dense evergreen forests. For the thick-furred lynx, these things spell home.   Yet in the 1960s, when these wildcats were hunted for a bounty of $15 for …
This photograph of a wolflike animal purportedly was taken in the Gorham area in October. However, a state wildlife biologist, while agreeing the animal resembles a wolf, is "very skeptical" the scene was photographed in that part of Maine during the fall, suggesting - because of the vegetation and plant matter - that the locale looks more like Oregon.

Debate continues over making Maine a home for wolves — and whether they’re already here

By Tim Cox on Jan. 02, 2014, at 3:33 p.m.
Are there wolves in Maine? While most wildlife experts agree that Maine would be a great place for wolves because it has abundant habitat to support them, they say there is no resident population of breeding wolves here. But a group that advocates for the natural recovery of wolves in …
An angler tries his luck on the West Branch of the Penobscot River near Abol Bridge recently.

Cooler nights mean hotter fishing across the state

By Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on Sept. 20, 2013, at 11:42 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fisheries biologists are preparing fishing reports that may help anglers in the weeks ahead. Here’s the report that the DIF&W released on Friday. Down East region The nights and days are getting cooler Down East, and according to DIF&W fisheries …
 Lisa Bates, assistant project coordinator for Unity College bear studies, recounts a helicopter crash she and her pilot survived while looking for bears that occurred on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Bear researcher looking toward future after helicopter crash

By John Holyoke on July 12, 2013, at 12:14 p.m.
Ask Lisa Bates to describe herself and she uses words like “stubborn,” “strong-willed” and “driven.” Ask her if she’s a thrill-seeker, and she’ll say she’s not, even though she regularly crawls into bear dens as part of her job as a black bear researcher. “I don’t even like to go …

Helicopter crash happened during Unity College bear research

on July 05, 2013, at 2:55 p.m.
BURNHAM | A bear researcher working for Unity College escaped serious injury and helped the pilot to safety after a helicopter crash Wednesday evening. The name of the pilot, who is 58 and from Bowdoinham, has not been released. However, the Physicians for Social Responsibility Facebook page identified him …

Bass illegally introduced into Vienna trout pond

on May 02, 2013, at 1:49 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Central Maine may now lose one of its few remaining high-quality brook trout waters to yet another illegal fish introduction. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists confirmed the presence of smallmouth bass in Kimball Pond in Vienna, on April 26, accord to a DIF&W press release. …
Phil Corriveau (left) of Fort Kent and Warden Adrian Marquis tend to Paul Lessard on Wednesday morning in St. John Plantation after the 64-year-old snowmobiler was found trapped under his overturned sled in a ditch just off the trail.

Snowmobiler survives 20 cold hours trapped under his sled

By Julia Bayly on April 03, 2013, at 6:26 p.m.
SAINT JOHN PLANTATION | A Massachusetts man was taken to a Bangor hospital Wednesday after spending more than 20 hours pinned in running water under his snowmobile. Paul Lessard, 64, of Milford, Mass., was reported missing around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday by his friend Nelson Gagnon of Wallagrass, who said …
A barred owl from the Birdsacre Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary eyes curious visitors during a presentation that also featured a great horned owl and a saw-whet owl at the Curran farm Saturday.

Maine citizen scientists wrap up 10-year owl study

By Aislinn Sarnacki on April 03, 2013, at 2:20 p.m.
She placed a boombox on the hood of the car, pressed play and stood back. Silence. She waited, her breath catching the moonlight as it hit the freezing air and condensed into a trail of fog. Stars twinkled. A lone frog peeped.Story continues below advertisement. After a few minutes, the …
Andrea Reny of Round Pond paddles past Moose Peak Light on Mistake Island. The 72-foot lighthouse marks the entrance to Main Channel Way and Eastern Passage near Beals Island.

Paddle Smart to flood Bangor with presentations and prizes this weekend

By Aislinn Sarnacki on March 26, 2013, at 3:02 p.m.
Believe it or not, spring is here, and soon, ice will melt away from Maine’s many waterways. It’s just about time to dust off paddles, clean creepy crawlies out of cockpits, and recall just where you crammed the life jackets last fall. The next step is to brush up on …
Mt. Kineo which was acquired through the Land for Maine's Future Program in 1990, rises out of Moosehead Lake in 2007.

The good, bad and pricey parts of using public money for land conservation

By Abigail Curtis on Feb. 23, 2013, at 4:47 p.m.
BELFAST | Over the past 25 years, millions of Maine taxpayer dollars have been used to conserve more than half a million acres in the Pine Tree State through the state-run Land for Maine’s Future program. The question of whether public money should be used to purchase or otherwise …
In an attempt to keep motorists from hitting eagles, state officials have set up a variable message sign newly set near mile 242 on Interstate 95 in Medway, seen here on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.

Bald eagle crossing signs up along I-95 as strikes becoming more common

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 23, 2013, at 1:19 p.m.
Bald eagles used to be an endangered species. Now they are numerous enough that state officials are working to keep them from becoming road kill. The confluence of the Penobscot River, Interstate 95 and Route 11 and the thick woods near them make a seven-mile stretch between Medway and Sherman …
Yellow leaves are the dominant color along the Penobscot River in Winterport (left) and Orrington (right) on Oct. 17, 2012. The Penobscot Nation is seeking an injunction to stop Maine game wardens from policing the river and preventing tribal members from engaging in sustenance fishing.

Potential intervenors lined up in Penobscot Nation lawsuit over authority of river

By Dawn Gagnon on Feb. 19, 2013, at 1:13 p.m.
BANGOR | Eighteen municipalities, companies and sewer districts on the Penobscot River are seeking intervenor status in the Penobscot Nation’s lawsuit against the state ’s attorney general. Former Attorney General William Schneider originally was named in the federal lawsuit, filed last August. The lawsuit since has been amended to …
A bull moose stands in an open area of Maine's Wildlife Management District 19. Lee Kantar, a wildlife biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, performed a moose survey by helicopter Tuesday morning, Jan. 29, 2013.

Helicopter surveys bolster moose research effort

By John Holyoke on Jan. 31, 2013, at 3:20 p.m.
IN THE AIR OVER TOWNSHIP 40 MD | Atop the list of things you might not want your helicopter pilot to say when you’re on your first-ever flight, and his high-powered Bell 407 chopper is midway through a catch-your-breath corkscrew turn so that he — and you — can …
Ranger Chris Silsbee checking the ice on Telos Lake in January 2013.

Ice conditions improving, caution still urged

By John Holyoke on Jan. 25, 2013, at 6:35 a.m.
Ice anglers say it every year: “All we need is a good cold snap, and the lakes will start making ice like crazy.” Cold snap: Check. But after a mild spell earlier this month, those who recreate on the state’s lakes and ponds should still use caution, officials of the …
Paul Firminger holds an elver in his hand at South Shore Trading Co., an elver buying station, in Portland, in May 2012.

Tribes, state at odds over how to regulate lucrative elver fishery

By Nick McCrea on Jan. 18, 2013, at 7:49 p.m.
BANGOR | Representatives of Maine’s Indian tribes said Friday they want the state to respect their right to regulate their own fisheries and take advantage of a tiny creature that fetches a big price — the elver. State officials said they want to ensure federal restrictions are followed because …

New fishing regulations approved by inland fisheries and wildlife council

By Terry Karkos on Jan. 07, 2013, at 6:27 a.m.
AUGUSTA | A remote 84-acre wild brook trout pond in northern Franklin County is one of several statewide water bodies to be affected by new fishing regulations. As of the open water fishing season on April 1, it will be illegal to use or possess live fish at Twin …
An adult great blue heron perches beside at least one nestling (others could be hunkered down) at a colony in Kennebec County.

Maine working to save great blue heron colonies

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Dec. 05, 2012, at 1:56 p.m.
In flight, great blue heron’s wings stretch six feet, tip to tip. Wading through water, the majestic bird stands more than three feet tall. And when it comes to building nests, the heron doesn’t hide away. Like the osprey, it constructs a large stick nest, high in a tree, 100 …
Piping plovers are among the birds that can be most susceptible to weather events like Hurricane Sandy.

Maine wildlife weathers Hurricane Sandy

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Oct. 31, 2012, at 11:33 a.m.
On Sunday, Mainers were purchasing batteries, candles and nonperishable food. And on Monday, deck furniture and Halloween decorations were hauled indoors before Hurricane Sandy crept up the east coast and blew it all into Canada. Thanks to news reports and satellite imagery, we could prepare for the storm long before …
Sen. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, speaks during a debate on bond issues during a special session in July 2005 at the State House in Augusta.

Irving lawyer suggests unusual settlement of John Martin’s store bankruptcy

By Judy Harrison on Oct. 30, 2012, at 5:50 p.m.
BANGOR | A federal bankruptcy judge has been asked to approve an unconventional proposal to settle more than $300,000 in debt that an Eagle Lake convenience store, co-owned by Rep. John Martin, owes creditors. Martin, a Democrat and former speaker of the Maine House, is running for re-election in …