Advisory Council Meeting
April 30 , 2019 @ 9:30 a.m.
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (upstairs conference room)
284 State Street, Augusta
Judy Camuso, ommissioner
Timothy Peabody, Deputy Commissioner
Mark Latti, Communications Director
Nate Webb, WRAS Supervisor
Kelsey Sullivan, Game Bird Specialist
Shevenell Webb, Furbearer Biologist
Francis Brautigam, Director of Fisheries and Hatcheries
Jason Luce, Warden Service Sergeant
Becky Orff, Secretary/Recorder
Don Dudley (Chair)
Jerry Scribner br> Sheri Oldham
Brian Smith - by phone
Gary Corson, New Sharon
Jeff Reardon, MTA
Don Kleiner, MPGA
Karen Coker, WildWatch ME
John Glowa, China
Dave Goodson, Rangeley
I. Call to Order
Don Dudley, Council Chair, called the meeting to order.
Introductions were made.
III. Acceptance of Minutes of Previous Meeting
A motion was made by Mr. Fortier to approve the previous meeting and that was seconded by Mr. Gundersen.
Vote: unanimous - minutes approved.
A. Step 3
1. Bear Trapping
Mr. Webb stated we were recommending a couple of minor changes. Based on public comment, under 4.7 we added a sentence to clarify that the tree used as an anchor for the cable restraint did not count as something that could cause entanglement which was our intent, and we wanted to clarify that. We were also recommending removing the word "small" prior to sticks to give trappers more latitude for material they could use when building cubby sets and walking and stepping sticks. The intent was the same, we wanted to ensure trappers weren't using something that could cause entanglement. In recognition that bears were a larger animal and the swivels and devices were larger than regular foothold trapping, it made sense to remove that word and give more flexibility. There were no other changes recommended to the original proposal.
A motion was made by Mr. Gundersen to accept the proposal as amended, and that was seconded by Mr. Fortier
Vote: 9 in favor, 1 opposed (Mr. Sage) - motion passed.
2. Migratory Bird Season 2019-20
Mr. Sullivan stated on the brant season for the coastal zone there was a change. We needed to count backwards from the very end of the brant season in the coastal zone, so 30 days back from January 6 would be the season date. There were no other changes from Step 2.
A motion was made by Mr. Sage to accept the proposal as amended, and that was seconded by Mrs. Oldham
Vote: unanimous - motion passed
B. Step 2
1. 2019 Moose permit allocations
Mr. Webb stated the comment period had ended and we received one written comment in support. We held a public hearing and there were no attendees. We were not recommending any changes to the proposal at Step 2.
Council Member Comments and Questions
Mr. Lewis stated he had found two moose calves that had died. Had we been receiving more reports of that.
Mr. Webb stated we were actively in the season and staff were responding to incidents. To date we were at 60% calf mortality in WMD 8. He thought we were at 48% in WMD 2. Typically, at that point in the year, the mortalities began to taper off. In WMD 8 it was typical of what we had seen since we started. Most years calf mortality had exceeded 50%. In WMD 2 it was looking a bit higher than what wed had. Every year we learned new things, the one positive thing was that the adult cow mortality was still very low, wed had 2 or 3 across the study areas. It seemed to be a calf survival issue once they reached a certain age they seemed pretty durable. If we saw exceptionally high calf mortality once the winter mortality period ended, we could recommend some changes in permit numbers at Step 3. Mr. Kantar did not think it was warranted at this time.
Mr. Scribner asked what we were seeing for winter tick loads.
Mr. Webb stated it was comparable to previous years. The combination of relatively abundant winter ticks coupled with the long winter, it was an energetics thing. You could have fewer ticks but a longer winter and the outcome would be the same. Tick counts last fall on harvested moose were a bit lower.The mortalities we saw almost without exception had high tick load and extremely low body weights.
Mr. Farrington stated he had someone ask why we increased the numbers in WMD 9. It had always been 75 and it had gone up to 100. The person had read Lee Kantars report that said the moose population was stable to decreasing, but we increased the permit numbers by 30%. It didnt make sense.
Mr. Webb stated in WMD 9 those were all antlered permits. The harvest wasnt effecting cows, just bulls. The antlered bull component we managed based on two things, the bull/cow ratio and also the maturity or age structure of the bull component. WMD 9 consistently the bull/cow ratio had been very strong and exceeded our thresholds as well as the percent of mature bulls in the harvest had as well. Even though the population could fluctuate from year to year the bull component of the herd was doing very well. Our perspective was there was room for a small increase in the antlered harvest in WMD 9.
Mr. Farrington stated the bull population did not decrease like the cows?Mr. Webb stated the bull component in terms of total numbers tended to track what the cow herd did. It was the ratio and age structure of the bull herd that really drove our management and permit allocations for antlered moose.
Mr. Farrington stated he could understand the persons concern when we were told to use the science, and the science said our population was decreasing and yet we were increasing the number of moose we wanted to harvest.
Mr. Webb stated that part of what we were learning from the project was there was growing evidence, and he felt NH and VT were reaching the same conclusions, there was a density dependent effect happening. It was possible the high calf mortality we were seeing due to winter ticks was because we were supporting a quite high density of moose on the landscape. That high density was contributing to disease and parasite impacts we were seeing. This was why we were recommending an increase in antlerless permits in some WMDs where we felt the moose density was probably playing a role in the calf mortality. One of the solutions to improve the health of the herd, reduce calf mortality and increase productivity and reproduction of the cows likely would be to reduce the moose population from where it was now. That was extremely challenging from a social perspective.
Commissioner Camuso asked Mr. Webb to brief the Council on the North American Moose conference.
Mr. Webb stated annually there was an international moose conference and it rotated from Canada, U.S., Europe, but in June it was going to be in Maine at Sugarloaf on June 10-14. It would be attended by folks from all over the world. There was a core group from Canada and Alaska that attended each year. Moose biologists from other states of the lower 48 often attended as well.
Commissioner Camuso stated this was where all the cutting-edge research would be presented. If they were interested she strongly encouraged them to attend.
Mr. Fortier stated it would be helpful if mortality information was posted on the website or advertised to show it was the basis for permits being issued. It would help people understand why we did it.
Mr. Webb stated he felt we were coming to a crossroads with moose management. It was laid out in our moose management plan and big game plan. We were learning the moose herd in Maine was essentially being managed by parasites. That was what was holding the population where it was. As an agency and a public, we had to decide if thats what we wanted, or did we want to manage them with hunting at a lower density but potentially healthier, more productive level.
Mr. Sage asked about handouts for safety classes to explain the science behind the moose permits.
2. Ch. 20 Taxidermy - Freeze-dried classification
Deputy Commissioner Peabody stated the focus was to create the freeze-dried classification. The public comment period had ended and no public comment was received. Mr. Lewis had commented at the last meeting and based on that there was one change to the rule under cleanliness of specimen to change from bleached to whitened. That was the only change proposed from Step 1.
Mr. Lewis stated the bleaching broke down the bones. They used a peroxide based 40% by volume to whiten them and it didnt break the bone down.
3. Wild Turkey hunting - fall season
Mr. Sullivan stated he would try to summarize the comments that came in. There was a portion of them that were very supportive of the proposal. He felt there was more in general concern about the increased bag limits, start of the fall season and a lot of the comments were from folks that were part of the process in getting the turkey season going. From the comments, jumping from 2 to 5 birds in the fall was just a large change. It seemed there were more that were not supportive of that. Adding two weeks in the fall, folks were concerned with how it would affect the population next season or down the road. Two weeks more of a shotgun season could potentially significantly increase harvest, or it couldnt. These were the general concerns, more liberalization and time and the bag limit. With our proposal for liberalization we were trying to address, and this was in our management plan, recognizing that turkeys were abundant in many of the southern Maine districts. The goal was to keep the population in check in high density areas. The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) sent a letter and they had concerns with liberalization for the fall season for the length and bag limit. They commented in support of the shot sizes, but more for the TSS shot which was higher density and more effective in smaller gauges. He felt if it was just #9 lead shot or smaller shot and lead their comment would have been different. Their comment recognized the market was changing and there were more options. The concerns with liberalization from turkey hunters was the quality of the hunt the following spring. The reference to being able to take 5 birds in one day led to comments regarding flock shooting. It was worth further discussion looking at alternatives such as limiting to 2 birds or 3 birds per day if we went to 5.
Mr. Lewis stated if we were trying to reduce the population we may not get the goal we were looking for.
Mr. Sage stated his main concern was with the .410 shot size. He knew there were new shot sizes out there, but people were not going to go buy them. They werent going to go to Cabelas to purchase it, they would go to the local hardware store for $5. Mrs. Oldham had statistics to share.
Mrs. Oldham stated Mr. Fortiers comments last month were true, the new .410 with the federal heavyweight TSS would kill a turkey at 30-40 yards. The cost of those shotguns was not inconsiderable and for 5 shells the price ranged from $30 to $48. To pattern the shotgun would cost around $50. We were not saying if you had Grandmas .410 and bought #9 lead which had...3 mag, .410 bore, #4 shot, 98 pellets vs. 12 gauge or 20 gauge, 274 and 164. The regular .410 shotgun with #9 shot and try to shoot a turkey at 30 yards you would cripple a lot of birds. She did not think depending on hunter ethics as a management tool was a wise decision. We had to have laws and rules for 95% of the population and they were going to use lead. 10 gauge, #2 shot we would have more hunter mortality. Did we want to try to buy turkey loads in 16 and 28 gauge? Cabelas and ballistic products, there were none. It didnt make sense to expand the weaponry or the shot size. It terms of meeting our objective, it didnt appear to have anything to do with that. She was sure there were some that wanted to harvest a turkey with their .410, but we couldnt make rules for the small minority. We were going to cripple birds and that was poor hunter ethics.
Mr. Sage stated he read all the comments, and one person commented that the .410 shotgun was an experts rifle. He was sure there were good hunters out there that could bag turkeys with a .410 and the proper ammo, but a lot of kids started out with a .410. They were not going to buy $50 ammo to hunt turkeys.
Mr. Fortier stated the market changed with firearms and where the need was the market would start to grow. The price of expensive ammo would come down and the technology and firearms would grow.
Mr. Dudley asked if it would be possible to limit it to the new shots, the tungsten loads.
Mr. Sullivan stated we had not been familiar with TSS (tungsten super shot) and thought it was a trademark product, which it wasnt. Other companies were making it such as Browning, Remington, etc. We were concerned about trademark rules, but because it was not a trademark there was a possibility that we could limit it. There was a small interest group that was interested in promoting it. If we were to open it up and limit to the TSS he thought that would address the folks that were originally wanting to promote it at the legislative level.
Mr. Sage asked in order to reduce the number of birds, was it necessary to have the .410? There were other shotgun options that were proven to harvest turkey. We had to look at it as a whole, if our goal was to harvest 5 birds to take the turkeys from a nuisance problem down to manageable.
Mrs. Oldham stated our research was not complete. She understood the pressure to reduce the population. What was in the proposal was not only a dramatic increase in bag limit, but also controversial shotgun and shot load changes. Perhaps the proposal would be more acceptable if we modified the bag limit in terms of the objective to reduce the turkey population. The discussion about shotgun sizes and loads really didnt impact the objective.
Commissioner Camuso stated the request for the change in shot loads had been brought to the Commissioner for at least the last 4 years. It was not a new discussion. There were multiple requests to adjust the shot load as other states had done.
Mr. Webb stated that part of the feedback we were getting was that, setting the .410 aside, the 12 and 20-gauge people argued that it was more humane because there were more pellets and denser. The .410 was a component of that, but there was also pressure saying we were not allowing the most humane loads that were available.
Mr. Thurston stated there was a very passionate group of people out there, there were segments of the industry built for those people. He would like to enhance their ability to harvest. TSS was offered by other manufacturers. We should have flexibility to allow that industry that was specifically for the turkey hunting population. If we enhanced the rule for the 12 and 20 gauge we would have better kill ratios and more effectiveness.
Mrs. Oldham asked what their thoughts were on the 10 gauge #2 shot.
Mr. Scribner stated he understood the smaller pellet size because he used the Federal 3rd degree and he had not seen a more lethal turkey load with the #5, 6 and 7. The #7 were TSS, much denser so whether you were shooting a bird at 10-yards or 40-yards there was shot size with densities and spread pattern that would lethally and ethically kill birds at all ranges. He did not understand the #2s.
Mrs. Oldham stated that was brought up because of range and the increase chance of hunter injury.
Mr. Lewis stated it was getting to a point, years ago bows were not ethical. People were going to make bad shots and wound a lot of stuff. We would not have a lot of people hunting with a .410 but there was a small group that wanted to be able to do it.
Mr. Scribner stated he would equate it to the rule for deer hunting where a .22 magnum was legal. How many people hunted with a .22 magnum? We needed something reasonable on the books. Back to the NWTF, he did not think we would be having the discussion if it wasnt for them and everything they had done for turkey introductions. In terms of the .410, that was not something he would live or die on. In terms of the shot size he was seeing that as being something that was improving. He could not understand the #2s, he did not know where that came from.
Mr. Sullivan stated when they were tasked with the rule they looked at it as a broad brush anticipating changes down the road. There were other states that allowed #2 as well. They referenced safety at 35 yards, and accidents and reduction at shot size #4 or smaller as significant. It increased quite a bit when you went to a #3 or #2. It was worthy of discussion.
Mr. Fortier stated when teaching hunter safety classes when dealing with turkeys it differed from deer hunting. Up north there was a lot of wide open country and tight brush area, where western Maine was pretty condensed. In other states that allowed different types of shot and shotguns, was it because they were in a denser area?
Mr. Smith stated he did not think there had been a fatal turkey hunting accident in Maine. He would like to keep it that way. He was on the wild turkey working group and worked with the NWTF. The reason they went from #4 to #7 shot was to prevent not only crippling of birds but a fatal accident. He was also opposed, based on the reason in a lot of the emails, of starting the season before October 1 in the fall and going to a 5-bird limit. Maybe 3 or 4 was fine, but if we had a bad nesting season because of rain or a bad winter the turkey population could plummet like it had in many states. He was opposed to switching from 4 to 7 shot, smaller than 20 gauge, starting the season before October 1 and going to a 5-bird limit.
Mr. Scribner stated they hadnt talked a lot about the season opening and also the bag limit. Going back to the letter from NWTF, they stated, we strongly believe that the authority for setting bag limits and season must remain within IFW. Mr. Scribner totally agreed. He was very concerned with the number of bills that had been proposed and also seeing the liberal nature of some of them. If the Department didnt take action that was viewed by the public as bagging more turkeys in those WMDs that could support that, the Legislature was going to take it out of IFWs hands. He had turkey hunted since their introduction in Maine and back when the Department hired the company to do the survey of how the general population felt about various big game species, it was evident the majority of people were ok with the turkey population. This was in about 2015. There were more that felt there were too many as compared to deer, moose and bear. The biggest majority felt the turkey population number was ok. Since then, as an avid turkey hunter he spoke with landowners to gain access and it was evident the trend in those WMDs, particularly WMD 23 and 25 where he hunted, it was evident those landowners were trending towards feeling there were too many turkeys now and the Department had to take steps to mitigate that. He would like to see the Department be able to continue to manage the population in a reasonable manner. He had asked for an annual review because it would only take one bad winter or bad nesting season to knock the population down. In his scouting, he had seen 100 birds a day in WMDs 23 and 25 so it was evident that in those WMDs there were plenty of birds to have a more liberal bag limit. The NWTF was opposed to going to 5 birds in the fall. It sounded like they would support 3 in the fall. If, in those WMDs where we had higher density then what would be deemed reasonable by the public, we kept talking about a fall harvest and in those WMDs bumping it up from 2 to 5. Wouldnt it be reasonable to go from 2 to 3 in the spring and 2 to 3 in the fall? He would think that would be something that potentially NWTF could better support that the public would view as taking a step in the right direction. In terms of the early start, he thought NWTF had some good points from a biological perspective in terms of harvesting birds earlier in September. If we left it in the hands of the Legislature we would get things like November hunting which required turkey hunters to hunt in blaze orange and there would be some knocking off turkeys with .306 deer hunting in the fall. He did not want to see Mr. Sullivans proposal that was headed in the right direction get scuttled and be turned over to the Legislature because the Department didnt take action.
Commissioner Camuso stated the Legislature did vote to carry over one of the turkey bills with the understanding they would review what the Advisory Council voted on. The bill they held over would eliminate turkey permits, turkey tagging and expand the fall season to 8 birds. The Department did experience a lot of complaints with turkeys. Personally, almost every place she went, she heard people complaining about turkeys. We were balancing a fine line where we didnt want turkeys to become like Canada geese with a nonstop nuisance problem. The beauty of the Department doing rulemaking on the bag limit was that we would do it annually so that a bag limit of 5 for next fall did not mean it would be a bag limit of 5 in perpetuity. It would be reviewed annually. It was critical we maintain tagging of turkeys. We needed to show aggressively that we were listening to the public and responsive to what they were asking for. She wanted recommendations to be science based and reasonable.
Mr. Thurston asked when turkeys would become their own problem much like moose had become their own problem. We didnt want to have so many birds they began to impede their own health.
Mrs. Oldham stated if we were going to be aggressive with the numbers, and it sounded like we needed to be, the tagging was important to track the numbers.
Mr. Sullivan stated we had two more years of the research project and we were trying to get representative information in similar WMDs and then carry over that information. With the research project and maintaining the tagging it would be an ongoing thing.
Mr. Farrington stated they were allowed 2 turkeys now in the fall, what percentage of those turkey hunters filled their tags?
Mr. Sullivan stated 38% took two turkeys last fall. He doubted people would take more than three.
Mr. Scribner stated according to NWTF they said we had 18,000 turkey hunters in Maine. It was $20 per permit, $360,000. He knew it was not related to the proposal, we had 180,000 people that bought hunting licenses, if we were to offset that with a $2 increase on the general hunting license then we wouldnt have to have a turkey permit. It would be fund neutral. He didnt hear anything in terms of the spring season. Why did we focus just on the fall and not bump it up 1 in the spring and 1 in the fall vs. 5 in the fall?
Mr. Sullivan stated targeting the fall was open to females. If we were trying to reduce a turkey population our best bet was to reduce the brood stock. That was why we focused on the fall.
Mr. Gundersen asked if there were as many hunters in the fall as in the spring.
Mr. Sullivan stated we tagged 3,500 turkeys last season. We didnt track fall participation, it was one universal permit. In terms of the spring that was something we were going to look at following the research project. Our goal had always been to maintain the quality spring hunt.
Commissioner Camuso stated to clarify, the tagging fee for turkeys was $2 which the registration station kept, the Department did not get any money for tagging turkeys. We made it as affordable as possible while still trying to compensate the tagging agents for their time and effort.
Mr. Webb stated we paid the web provider $1 per transaction so it was actually a revenue loss.
Mr. Lewis asked about winter severity and what that did to the adult birds. Last year they had a cool, wet spring and down his way they didnt see any young turkeys until into August. Did they possibly have a couple clutches?
Mr. Sullivan stated they only had one. The females would nest their first year. Females would re-nest up to 3 times.
Mr. Sage asked for the agricultural people that were having issues, was there a list compiled that turkey hunters could contact them for permission to hunt on their land and help with the issue?
Mr. Sullivan stated that was something in the management plan identified as one of many tasks.
C. Step 1
1. Furbearer Rules
Mrs. Webb stated the first change we were proposing was to extend the beaver trapping season in southern and central Maine. Currently, the season ended March 31 and we were proposing to extend it by two weeks so it would end April 15. As we did every year, the general public could request areas to be closed to beaver trapping and this year we only had one change in WMD 6 in Ft. Fairfield. The next change we were proposing was to have tagging time limits for otter taken after the general trapping season closed. Currently, any otter taken after December 31 if caught by accident, could be kept by beaver trappers. We were proposing to add a time limit for any otter taken January 1 - 30. That aligned with when beaver trapping was allowed, general trapping season was closed. Any otter taken after January 1 would have to be tagged within 10 days. To be consistent with bobcat that were also a CITES managed species, currently, all bobcat taken by hunting had to be tagged within 3 days. We were proposing to make that consistent with otter of 10 days. Currently, any coyotes taken could not be gifted or given away to a friend until they had a permanent tag. We wanted to make it easier to utilize all coyotes taken and allow gifting for coyotes to take place before the permanent tag was put on them. We were proposing gifting of untagged coyotes. People could make their own label with the hunters name, town it was taken in, the date, etc. That person could take it to the fur registration station with the information. We were also moving to electronic registration of furbearers that fall. People would have the opportunity to tag in real time with that information coming in. With some of the time limits for otter or bobcat we didnt currently have any concerns with their population, they were very healthy, but it gave us the opportunity to make changes if necessary. Covered floats regarding muskrats and that was simply a minor revision to the definition so that covered floats when set, placed and tended were completely surrounded by water. That was to reduce non-target species. A new bill was passed for upland game hunting and changed the start date for the hunting season for snowshoe hare, gray squirrel, ruffed grouse and bobwhite quail, would be last Saturday in September.
Mr. Sullivan asked why ring-necked pheasant was not included in the season start date change.
Commissioner Camuso stated we could change that, it did not come up with the Committee
Mr. Webb stated the bill that passed was specified those four species, but we had the authority to do that for pheasant.
V. Other Business
1. Wild Trout Conservation - North Zone General Law Concept
Mr. Brautigam stated this effort was pretty significant in scope. We were talking about going from a culture where you could use bait pretty much anywhere with exceptions, to the complete opposite where you couldnt use it anywhere except where we allowed it. The goal was to reduce unintended introductions of baitfish that competed with native trout and charr. For the most part, comments that were received on the proposal had been in support, but with some concerns. A lot of the public sentiment that was expressed focused on issues beyond the scope of the proposal. Many of the comments focused on how staff applied the guidance in identifying waters that wed be retaining live fish as bait. In response to the public input, we met with staff in the affected regions and looked at how they applied the guidance. We determined, based on those discussions, that staff did apply the guidance in a manner that provided broad based support for the regulation proposal. In response to the public comments that came in, mostly from special interest groups, we wanted to take another look at the guidance that was applied to staff in developing the list of exceptions. We were planning to redefine the guidance to provide clearer information to staff that would create more consistency in how the guidance was applied. We would have advanced to Step 3, except after the close of the comment period, we reached out to the Attorney Generals office and explained we had revisions to the list of exceptions. As 14 days had lapsed since the close of the comment period, we did not have the latitude to revise the list. We had to pull the proposal and start anew. We would redevelop the list of exceptions where we would be allowing live fish as bait under the no live fish as bait general law in the north zone.
Council Member Comments and Questions
Mr. Thurston asked with some of the concerns of some of the organizations and individuals, would there be some reflected change with the new proposal?
Mr. Brautigam stated yes.
Mr. Lewis stated it was something that needed to be addressed, someone had a place on a heritage pond and people ice fished it and it was closed to ice fishing and they got a fine. But, they used live bait and brought it in. Was there something we could address as a Department to make that more of a penalty.
Mr. Brautigam stated he was anticipating more discussion about improving efforts to conserve our native fisheries and that would include heritage waters. Enforcement was always an issue. He had been involved in reclamations in southern Maine. They had people come in the winter time and fish with bait and mess up a significant investment rebuilding the fishery.
Commissioner Camuso stated maybe we could look at a mandatory revocation. That was a pretty strong disincentive for bad behavior.
Mr. Thurston stated when we had these passionate issues it always came back to messaging by the Department and how we got the word out. No matter what side of the issue you were on, at least you understood the issue and why the decision was made. Communication with the general public was critical.
Commissioner Camuso stated as an agency we would soon be doing a strategic plan to come up with priorities for what we wanted to accomplish in the next 4-8 years. For her personally, increasing staff in the Information and Education division would be a top priority.
Mr. Dudley asked how did we get to the public? Our public hearing attendance was one issue. How did we get around that? No one was showing up.
Mr. Brautigam stated to Mr. Lewis concern about people using live fish as bait, even though it had been part of our discussion as a division they focused more on the bigger predatory invasive introductions. One of the great things about no live fish as bait general law in the north zone was that was right out on the table. That would be an educational instrument in and of itself. People would be asking why that was an issue. It would create awareness on the topic and we would be able to emphasize that down the road.
VI. Councilor Reports
Councilors gave reports
VII. Public Comments & Questions
Don Kleiner stated just an observation; the disconnect between hunters and the public on turkeys was breathtaking. People had had it with turkeys and it was showing very strongly at the Legislature. There was pretty strong sentiment that if we didnt do something, he thought there would be a move to eliminate seasons and make them vermin which was his fear. He knew it was stronger in central Maine where he lived.
Jeff Reardon stated on the rulemaking process, he continued to not understand why IFW rulemaking was so much less open to changes in response to comments that came in from the public than other agencies. The idea that it had been open for 14 days so you couldnt make changes, he spent 3 years going back and forth with LUPC over the adjacency rule changes. It seemed so different from other agencies, this agency. Mr. Reardon had met with the AGs office and thought that was the advice we were getting from them, but it was different for this agency than others. It made it harder for us to do rulemaking in a way that responded to significant input from the public. On the outreach piece about live fish as bait, in the old days there was a consistent message from the first edition of Maine Fish and Game magazine had an article titled, Trouble by the Bucket Full. That was a consistent message in Maine Fish and Game magazine through the mid-1980s and that messaging from the Department stopped. It was a message that was promoted very effectively by the Department for a long time and he hoped we could get back to it. He asked if we would have to repromulgate the rule or just go out for additional public comment?
Mr. Brautigam stated we would be starting over. We were revising the existing list, it would be less of an effort than last time.
Steve Brook asked if the rule would be advertised separately or rolled into the next set of fishing rules?
Mr. Brautigam stated he felt they would track as two separate rules.
Gary Corson asked if the concept of the proposal was going to change or was it just the list.
Mr. Brautigam asked what Mr. Corson would like to see.
Gary Corson stated definitely the regions. In order to understand the first list a tremendous amount of work had to go into it.
Mr. Brautigam stated in the past those that carefully reviewed our decision making in the fish world had emphasized the need for watcodes and those were included on the original list. It was a bit of a surprise there were some other fields that they also needed.
Gary Corson stated normally when we provided rule changes we provided a page for each one. It gave a purpose; there was a lot of information on those pages. The proposal was nothing but 3 columns, watcode, water, town. Were we going to provide more information with the new list?
Commissioner Camuso asked if he would like the information broken down by region with an overview of the purpose and why these particular waters were added to the list, similar to the regular regulation proposals.
Gary Corson stated definitely the regions.
Mr. Brautigam stated the list was long and we had tried to keep it as simple as possible. A number of the public members already had our database they could work with to manipulate the information.
Gary Corson asked if there would be public hearings?
Mr. Brautigam stated we may want to have a hearing. We had vetted the issue pretty well, we were just fine turning the list of exceptions. He did not feel there was much of a need based on the attendance at the two hearings that were held.
VIII. Agenda Items & Schedule Date for Next Meeting
The next Advisory Council meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. in Augusta.
A motion was made by Mrs. Oldham and that was seconded by Mr. Sage to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.