Catch and release
Catch-and-release is an invaluable management tool. It’s the regulation that comes closest to allowing a fishery to be what it naturally is. Per the Department of Environmental Protection, Maine has nearly 6,050 lakes and ponds. Approximately 2,435 are listed on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s lake and pond database, indicating they contain fish.
Other than seasonal restrictions to protect spawning fish, only 15, or 0.5 percent, are managed for C&R, one of which is due to a recent emergency reclamation. Another 17 have species-specific C&R regultations, one due to a recent reclamation. Eleven are associated with non-native bass, and three with nonnative brown trout.
Just 32 lakes and ponds, or less than 1.5 percent of the total recognized by IFW, have a full or partial C&R rule, two of which are temporary emergency restrictions. Out of roughly 1,500 lakes and ponds where brook trout are present, only 16, or just over 1 percent, are C&R on such. Of the countless rivers and streams in Maine, only seven sections are designated C&R. Another 11 have species-specific C&R regulations, several of which are to protect federally endangered Atlantic salmon from species misidentification.
The Aroostook River has a unique watershed-wide C&R restriction on landlocked salmon, possibly to protect Atlantic salmon. There are just 18 sections of river and stream, and some tributaries, with a full or species-specific C&R restriction. Based on these numbers, I believe my assertion that IFW does not fully embrace catch-and-release, as quoted by John Holyoke in a recent article, was fair.
A different kind of gag
Pertaining to the BDN editorial on Aug. 30 titled “Misguided Change,” it is peculiar that the word “gag” is used only in reference to those who would promote abortion in Title X service programs. Ever give any thought to the muffling of cries that are truly inflicted on the innocent, unborn babies in the womb as they are ripped from what should be the safest environment, limb from limb?
I read with interest the article about those suffering with chronic pain who are unable to get medications to ease their pain because doctors are afraid to prescribe them. A beloved family member is in such a position. She is 92 years old and endures terrible pain every single day. She can’t get an effective medication because of the laws and even if she could, the government, not her doctor, would determine the dosage that she is allowed.
I am incensed and feel helpless to aid her in relieving her pain. How is it that the liberals shout that an abortion is between a woman and her doctor and that the government should not interfere, yet they have determined that a patient’s access to medication for chronic, debilitating pain should be between her and her legislators?