Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING
May 15, 2013 @ 9:30 a.m.
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
284 State Street, Augusta

Attending:       Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner
Andrea Erskine, Deputy Commissioner
Christl Theriault, Assistant to the Commissioner
John Boland, Director of Bureau of Resource Management
Jim Connolly, Wildlife Division Director
Doug Rafferty, Director of Information and Education
Mike Brown, Fisheries Division Director
Chris Cloutier, Major, Warden Service
Judy Camuso, Special Projects Coordinator
Dana DeGraaf, Coldwater Fisheries Biologist
Becky Orff, Secretary/Recorder

COUNCIL MEMBERS
Cathy DeMerchant, Chair
Bos Savage
Sheridan Oldham
Harold Brown
Jeff Lewis
Mike Witte
Lance Wheaton
Dick Thurston

GUESTS
Reed Anderson, Camp Kieve
Chris Wentworth, ME Summer Camps
Gary Corson
Judy Finley
Rick Denico, Chair, Allagash Advisory Council
Fern Bosse


I.  Call to Order

Cathy DeMerchant, Council Chair, called the meeting to order.

II.  Introductions

Introductions were made.

III.  Acceptance of Minutes of Previous Meeting

A motion was made by Mr. Brown and seconded by Mrs. Oldham to accept the Council minutes for the last meeting. 

Vote:  unanimous – minutes accepted.

III-A.  Election of Chair and Vice-Chair

Council Chair

Motion made by Mr. Witte and seconded by Mr. Savage to nominate Jeff Lewis as Council Chair.

There were no further nominations.

Vote:  Unanimous – Jeff Lewis elected as Council Chair.

Council Vice Chair

Motion made by Mr. Witte and seconded by Mr. Thurston to nominate Lance Wheaton as Council Vice-Chair.

There were no further nominations.

Vote:  Unanimous – Lance Wheaton elected as Council Vice-Chair.

 

IV.  Rulemaking

A.  Step 3

1.  Controlled Moose Hunt

Mr. Connolly stated the only public comment received was from someone that was opposed to the controlled moose hunt and would like to see the permits switched over to the regular drawing.  This was not practical as the way the hunt was constructed was to address a specific problem in the time that it was held.  It was done in cooperation with the landowners there so it really was a very specific hunt to deal with an agricultural damage problem.

A motion was made by Mr. Savage and seconded by Mr. Thurston to accept the proposal as presented. 

Vote:  unanimous – motion passed.

2.  Youth Camp Trip Leader permitting

Deputy Commissioner Erskine stated we were not going to try to implement the rule for the upcoming season.  Camp season was about ready to start.  The intent was to put the rule in place and it would be ready for next year’s camp season. 

A motion was made by Mrs. DeMerchant and seconded by Mr. Savage to accept the proposal as presented. 

Vote:  unanimous – motion passed.

B.  Step 2

1.  2013 Any-deer permits

Mr. Connolly stated we issued some permits in Northern Maine.  The mild winters had done a great job in bringing the deer population back up.

Council Member Comments and Questions

Mrs. Oldham stated where we hadn’t had any antlerless permits in WMD 7 for a while; a question came up at the guides meeting.  Did that mean that archery for does was permitted in October?

Mr. Connolly stated yes, and the youth permits as well.

Mrs. DeMerchant asked if we had any positive feedback from Northern Maine.

Mr. Connolly stated we had received no comments. 

Commissioner Woodcock stated we had received some verbal comments noticing that the zones were open in the north and they hadn’t been.

Mr. Connolly stated there was a hand out in the packet showing the difference in permit numbers from 2012.

            C.  Step 1

1.  Moose Hunting – Add WMD 19 to November season

Mr. Connolly stated when the chart was passed out when going through rulemaking for moose hunting permits , there were permits in November that were included in that chart, but when the chart was converted into the technical language of the rule we missed adding WMD 19.  There was nothing different in terms of the allocations, it was just housekeeping to correct the language in the rule.

V.  Other Business

1.  A, B list presentation

Dana DeGraaf, Coldwater Fisheries biologist gave a presentation to the group explaining the history and status of the A and B list waters.  To view this presentation please visit…
http://prezi.com/60qr8639ryjt/managing-maines-brook-trout/?auth_key=b51ae33189f8a14c74dc19c2d00460cd057ef19f&kw=view-60qr8639ryjt&rc=ref-33580303

Council Member Comments and Questions

Mr. Savage asked if this applied to just lakes and ponds.  There were sustaining brook trout populations in other states that were in streams and brooks?

Mr. DeGraaf stated yes.  This was focusing on lake and pond populations. Maine did have a stronghold of the stream and river dwelling populations as well.  NH, VT and NY also had pretty substantial stream dwelling populations.

Mr. Lewis asked if when they referred to the 97% in Maine, was that including the streams?

Mr. DeGraaf stated that was mostly focusing on the lake and pond populations.  The majority of the presentation was focusing on the lake and pond populations and more specifically A and B waters.

Mr. Savage asked if there were federal funds associated with the projects.

Mr. DeGraaf stated there were.  The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture’s (EBTJV) partnership with the feds and state agencies, they’d get a little federal funding and also a lot of grant funding.  That typically would fund projects throughout the range and all the member’s states ranging from TN up to ME and then out to OH.  Each state or nonprofit applied for grant money.

Mr. Savage asked if it required legislative approval to add something to the A list or did they feel confident we were done adding to the A list.

Mr. DeGraaf stated his understanding was that we did not need to go through the legislature to add A waters.  B waters, the Department could manage and change the status of those waters in house.

Mr. Savage asked if the Department had stocked togue in the past in B waters and were there any plans to continue doing that.

Mr. DeGraaf stated it was his understanding that togue had been stocked in B waters since the list was established.  On some of the waters togue were native.  The stocking was there just to enhance the native fishery and provide opportunities for anglers.  He did not know if there were any current plans to continue stocking togue on the B waters.

Mr. Brown stated the Department was reviewing the A and B waters and looking at some inner specific stocking of lake trout in some of the B waters.

Mr. Savage noticed a slide did not list baitfish in the top 5 concerns for brook trout.

Mr. DeGraaf stated the EBTJV was a group of state and non-profit federal agencies and they were looking at large comprehensive data sets.  It was their assessment that focused on other fishing issues.  Baitfish did compete with brook trout for space and food, etc.  These were mostly professionals from outside of Maine that were going state by state and ranking threats.  They found that bass and other warm water species were presenting more of a threat.

Mr. Lewis asked if there was a map of how much water we had lost that was good brook trout water.

Mr. DeGraaf stated the EBTJV was in the process of updating their assessment.  They were requesting information from the states and would look at habitat loss or gain.

Mr. Savage stated we seemed to be drawing distinctions between lake and pond populations and river, brook and stream populations.  All those lakes and ponds had tributaries and outlets.  The brook trout spawned in them.  How did we distinguish between populations?

Mr. DeGraaf stated in those cases we couldn’t really distinguish between pond population and stream population.  Some of the remote waters being surveyed we only found brook trout over wintering in the water but in the spring they were moving into the stream to feed and spawn.  We did not find all age classes represented in that pond, looking at the stream and pond itself it was considered one population.  It was a case by case basis.  Genetics data would help us manage watersheds more effectively.

VI.  Councilor Reports

Council members gave reports.

VII.  Public Comments & Questions

There were no public comments.

VIII.  Agenda Items & Schedule Date for Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for June 15, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Greenville Headquarters.

IX.  Adjournment

A motion was made by Mr. Thurston and that was seconded by Mr. Brown to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 p.m.