Meeting Minutes

March 23, 2021 @ 9:30 a.m.
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Virtual (Microsoft TEAMS) meeting


Judy Camuso, Commissioner
Timothy Peabody, Deputy Commissioner
Christl Theriault, Assistant to the Commissioner
Nate Webb, Wildlife Division Director
Lee Kantar, Moose Biologist
Kelsey Sullivan, Game Bird Biologist
Dan Scott, Warden Service Colonel
Becky Orff, Secretary/Recorder

Matt Thurston (Chair)
Brian Smith
Jerry Scribner
Kristin Peet
Bob Duchesne
Al Cowperthwaite
Shawn Sage
Lindsay Ware
Shelby Rousseau
Vacancy in Piscataquis/Somerset County

24 citizens & Department staff

I. Call to Order

Council Chair, Matt Thurston called the meeting to order.

II. Introductions

Introductions were made.

III. Acceptance of Minutes of Previous Meeting
A motion was made by Mr. Sage to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and that was seconded by Mrs. Rousseau.

Vote: Two (2) abstained (Mrs. Peet and Mr. Scribner as they did not attend the previous meeting) seven (7) in favor; none opposed - minutes approved.

IV. Rulemaking

A. Step 3
There were no items under Step 3.

B. Step 2

1. Notched Pond horsepower restriction petition

Commissioner Camuso stated this was a re-review of the Notched Pond horsepower restriction petition. Colonel Scott would give a summary of Warden Service calls for service and interactions on the pond.

Colonel Scott stated they searched their records management system and since 2016 there were six (6) different calls for service at Notched Pond for operation of motorboats and personal watercraft. One was in 2016 which resulted in a summons for an unregistered boat. The complaint was a headway speed violation and harassment of loons and wildlife. The warden located the boat and it was unregistered. In order to summons a person for headway speed the caller would have to provide a statement and testify, or the warden would have to observe the behavior. It was addressed with an unregistered watercraft violation and a warning for headway speed. The other five (5) calls for service were in 2020 in the last weeks of May and June. They ranged from jetskis speeding around the pond types of complaints to some dangerous situations with motorboats operating there. Out of the five calls, wardens responded twice directly to the pond and both times issued warnings to the operators. Several of the complainants wished to remain anonymous. Without written statements providing what was seen in order to bring charges forth to the court, the wardens would need to observe or issue a warning. The other situations, the wardens receiving the calls were from a considerable distance away and spoke with the complainants and documented it in the records management system. One of the challenges was overall staffing, Notched Pond was one of thousands and they could only be so many places at once. If the warden wasn't there to observe the activity and the folks filing the complaints werent able to provide a statement and identify the boat and operator, we would often address the issues with warnings in an attempt to fix the problem.

Council Member Comments and Questions

Mr. Sage stated where the Council had heard the proposal before and some of them would be leaving the Council, could they move the proposal to Step 3 for a vote and clear it off the agenda for the new members coming in?

Commissioner Camuso stated yes.

Mr. Thurston asked if Mr. Sage was referencing the Notched Pond item, or all the items under Step 2?

Mr. Sage stated they could do all three.

Mr. Sage made a motion to move the Step 2 items to Step 3 and that was seconded by Mr. Smith.

Vote: no one in opposition - motion passed.

Mr. Thurston stated they would stick with item number one which was the Notched Pond horsepower restriction petition.

Mr. Sage made a motion to approve the horsepower petition as presented and that was seconded by Mr. Smith.

Ms. Ware stated she was not ready to vote on the proposal. She felt she would need to abstain from the vote.

Commissioner Camuso stated they could hold the proposal at Step 2 and vote next month.

Mr. Duchesne stated he thought they might have a discussion period before they moved to vote as well. They had a motion and went right to a vote without discussion.

Commissioner Camuso stated they would have the discussion and hold until next month.

Ms. Ware stated she would like to have additional weigh in from Warden Service about possible implications or what it would mean to enforcement if the proposed rule passed.

Colonel Scott stated it would likely be increased complaints similar to the headway speed complaints if someone observed someone on the pond operating a boat that had more than 10 horsepower. We would respond and if that was the case and it was able to move forward in the court system they could be summonsed for a violation of a Commissioners rule.

Mr. Duschene asked how many residents currently on the pond had motors greater than 10 horsepower? Just because they had a lot of horsepower didnt mean they were going to go fast. He wondered if there were unintended consequences happening if they suddenly outlawed homeowners boats that were currently on the pond.

Mr. Smith stated the warden would have the discretion for a warning for a first-time offense for educational purposes, correct?

Colonel Scott stated they always had discretion to issue a warning to someone. They had the same questions and issues on other lakes and ponds. There were a lot of people that had boats over a particular horsepower that operated them appropriately. There were other laws in place to address inappropriate or irresponsible behavior.

Mrs. Peet stated she had missed a couple of meetings, but one of the last meetings she missed she submitted comments about the proposal. She was in favor of it passing, but most of the Council was not. She was not sure what had changed. She thought the guidance from IFW was it may be an issue with one or two people and to legislate for an entire pond might not make sense. She felt a little lost and hoped someone could explain why there was a difference now in most of the Council.

Commissioner Camuso stated the Council voted on the proposal and at that time we did not have the record of complaints from Warden Service. There had been an error and the communication was not received. When that was realized, we decided in all fairness to bring the proposal back and let the Council make the decision with all the information.

Ms. Ware stated it was mentioned there were five (5) complaints in 2020. There were comments from the public about safety issues and there were complaints. Was there any additional information or discussion they could have about the safety aspect.

Colonel Scott stated the complaints that came in were on May 23rd, 25th and 29th and they all reported jetskis and power boats causing issues speeding around the pond and in some cases violating the headway speed law. Concerns about smaller bodies of water around the state were areas where you could operate a large motorboat outside the headway speed zone, but those areas were sometimes small. The complaints were around concerns with swimmer safety and also erosion. The reason for the headway speed law was to protect swimmer safety anytime there were larger boats on lakes and ponds that were speeding around.

Mr. Duchesne stated whenever the issues came up it was easy to think of the jetskis and water skiers too close to shore as the issue, but limiting of horsepower was always the recommended tool for that. He was not sure that was the appropriate tool. He came back to the example of someone with a pontoon boat that went out for a headway speed sunset cruise in the evening. He did not necessarily want to ban those people from using their own property. The same as with a bass boat with an 85-horsepower motor and an electric motor they can use and go less than 1mph. He did not want to use the wrong tool. He thought people that wanted to make complaints would be advised to take video of what was going on so they could show the wardens and maybe that would help some of the problem.

Mr. Smith asked if there was anyone on the pond opposed to the 10-horsepower restriction petition? On the ponds that were restricted to 10 horsepower, were there signs up stating that at the boat launch or somewhere conspicuous?

Colonel Scott stated in some places there were, but horsepower restrictions were published in the boating lawbook and the Department website.

Mr. Scribner stated it appeared there were 30 or so lakes and ponds that fell into the motor size restriction of 10 horsepower being prohibited, he heard the statement regarding signage. What had the Departments experience been in trying to enforce the restriction on the current waters with horsepower restrictions.

Colonel Scott stated they did not receive a lot of complaints about it. Very often, once the restriction was placed on a body of water it was pretty straightforward if you were boating there with more than the associated horsepower you would be in violation. There was legal precedence behind the statues and in many of the areas that had restrictions there was good compliance.

Mr. Scribner stated on some of the bodies of water, were there some that when the restriction was implemented landowners already possessed boats with greater than 10 horsepower and if so, what kind of ramifications did instituting the restriction cause?

Colonel Scott stated he could not speak specifically to that. In many situations the complaints were coming from people who had camps on the pond and the complaints were directed towards someone who was staying at a camp. He would surmise there were people who already owned boats that were impacted by the restriction.

Mr. Cowperthwaite stated he thought there was someone on the pond that had a pontoon boat with a larger horsepower motor that was opposed. If there was a shoreline speed limit and the Legislature was considering allowing them to ban personal watercraft he felt those two mechanisms would solve the problem at Notched Pond.

Ms. Orff stated she went back to the minutes from the public hearing. There were eight people that attended with five submitting testimony. They all commented in favor of the horsepower restrictions. Written comments received on the first advertisement of the proposal, we received three comments which were all in favor. Written comments on the current advertisement of the proposal, only the petitioner sent in comment regarding calls for service to warden service.

Mr. Sage stated it was the Long Pond petition proposal where the individual with the pontoon boat had commented.

Mrs. Peet asked about the calls for service to warden service. When the wardens went there, was nobody willing to put their statements in writing, or the complainants did not want to be on file?

Colonel Scott stated the notations he had of the five times things came up in 2020, at least three had notations that the complainants wished to remain anonymous. The other two were not noted one way or another.

Mr. Thurston stated the discussion was helpful and the item would be at Step 3 at the next meeting.

There were no further questions or comments.

2. Ch. 24 Licensed Guide rules Mrs. Theriault stated last spring we did a major overhaul of the Chapter 24 guide rules. Part of that was to allow current hunting and fishing guide classification license holders to be able to take their recreational classification test and not have to take the entire oral board exam, just a written exam and pay the $100 fee. Somehow, the portion for renewals was omitted or those that already had their hunting and fishing classifications to be able to upgrade to get the recreational classification and that was the intent of the proposed rule. As of January 1, 2021, we had already implemented the new exams which combined a hunting and recreational classification or a fishing and recreational classification. That option was available to first time applicants. The proposal also clarified that somebody who currently had their hunting or fishing classification and came in prior to their renewal date and wanted the recreational classification could do so without having another background check. It also made it clear that the recreational test, the expiration on the classification would align with their hunting or fishing classification. We were hoping to move the item to Step 3. Only three written comments were received, and they were all in support.

Mr. Thurston asked if there were any questions or discussion before moving to Step 3?

There were no further questions or requests for discussion.

A motion was made by Mr. Smith to move the item to Step 3 and that was seconded by Mr. Scribner.

Vote: unanimous in favor; item moved to Step 3.

A motion was made by Mr. Sage to approve the proposal as presented and that was seconded by Mr. Smith.

Vote: unanimous in favor; motion passed.

3. 2021-22 Migratory Game Bird rules

Mr. Webb stated this was an annual rulemaking effort to set the bag limits and season dates for duck, geese and other migratory birds. There were two substantial changes this year one being an earlier start date for woodcock to September 25 to align the start date with grouse and other upland species. The other change was to end the season for common snipe and rails two weeks later due to a change in the way states that did not allow Sunday hunting were accommodated for in the Federal framework. The remainder of the proposal were adjustments to the season dates based on the calendar. A public hearing was held on February 9th with three participants providing comment. They were primarily related to the closing date of the coastal zone. Based on feedback and further discussion with the Waterfowl Council, the Department was moving the proposal forward as originally presented.

Council Member Comments and Questions

Mr. Smith stated he had discussion with some of the coastal zone hunters and because of the warmer weather and later closing date for regular ducks wondered if it might be better within the framework to put the closing on the same date as sea ducks on January 15th , a week later than January 3rd.

Mr. Sullivan stated there were three comments at the public hearing and some written comments related to the subject. The suggestion from those folks was to go to January 8th. The comments raised valid points but looking at the coastal zone season we set the dates in order to maximize the number of Saturdays and capture Veterans day, and also taking into account the falconry season. There was some concern with increased coastal zone hunting later into the winter on increasing stress levels especially for black ducks which headed for the marshes. Thing were getting colder and blocked up with ice and they had fewer places to go so there was more hunting pressure which could increase stress levels and effect survival fitness. Eagles were also putting more pressure on black ducks as the winter set in. Those were things we looked at with the coastal zone. He reached out to the falconers and one provided comment they were not in favor of expanding the season. Discussing the comments with the Waterfowl Council they had a vote and of the ten members Mr. Sullivan received responses from nine; five were in support of moving the coastal zone end date to January 8th; four were not in favor; one did not respond. Based on there not being a clear majority Mr. Sullivan would take the comments into consideration when planning for next years season. We did recognize that things were becoming milder in January.

Mr. Sullivan stated he wanted to clarify a portion of the proposal that Mr. Smith brought up for discussion at the last meeting. On page 3, Section B. Sea Ducks, a note was highlighted at the bottom of the sea duck season. The highlight was not a change, it had been in place for a number of years but had been omitted from the section inadvertently.

Mr. Thurston stated he would take a motion to move the item to Step 3.

A motion was made by Mr. Smith and that was seconded by Mr. Duchesne to move the proposal to Step 3 for a vote.

Vote: unanimous motion approved

A motion was made by Mr. Smith and that was seconded by Mrs. Peet to approve the proposal as presented.

Vote: unanimous motion passed

Commissioner Camuso stated Mr. Sullivan would like to give a brief update on a potential change for the 2022-2023 migratory bird season.

Mr. Sullivan stated there was a proposal at the flyway council meeting in March to eliminate the special sea duck season. With that elimination, there may be implications to regular duck season and preferences of sea duck hunters in coastal zone regular duck hunters because eliminating the special sea duck season would put sea duck hunting tied to the regular duck season dates. Any sea duck hunting or coastal zone regular duck hunting would have to be the same dates and also the same total bag limit. In 2016, they made a change at the flyway level to reduce the sea duck season to reduce harvest because of concerns with sea duck populations in general. Since that change, they had seen significant increases in harvest not decreases so the council and tech committee felt it pertinent to move forward with a proposal to eliminate the sea duck season. There would still be sea duck hunting, but within regular duck season dates. That would be voted on by the service regulations committee. Generally, recommendations from the wildlife council passed. Sea duck hunters were aware of the potential season change.

There were no further comments or questions.

C. Step 1

1. Adaptive Moose Hunt (WMD 4)

Mr. Webb stated Mr. Kantar gave an overview of the proposal and the need for the project at the previous Council meeting. A memo had been distributed that explained how the Department anticipated the adaptive hunt would operate. We would take the western half of WMD 4 in northwestern Maine, split that into a north and south subunit and issue antlerless permits in those two subunits during late October into the first week of November during three distinct hunt weeks in order to increase antlerless moose harvest. In that area we would evaluate whether or not reducing the moose density could impact or reduce the impact of winter tick on moose. Most of the laws and rules associated with the regular moose hunting season would apply other than those smaller subunits and the permits allocated specifically in the smaller areas as well as the additional hunt weeks which were in addition to the regular hunting season framework. We recommended requiring hunters that drew one of the permits to attend a pre-hunt briefing that we would offer prior to receiving their permit to give us an opportunity to go over the nuances of the hunt and make the hunt as successful as possible.

Council Member Comments and Questions

Mr. Scribner stated it was his understanding that the lottery for the adaptive moose hunt was separate from the regular lottery. If someone applied for the adaptive moose hunt and was selected, their bonus points would go to zero and they would be viewed as being successful in the lottery process, was that correct?

Mr. Webb stated it would be a new segment in the regular lottery, but the permits would be drawn after all the permits associated with the regular hunt had already been drawn. The only way a hunter would draw an adaptive unit permit was if all the regular moose permits had already been allocated. This would be the last step in the draw process. If someone indicated they would like to be put in the draw for an adaptive permit and they drew one of the permits that would zero out their bonus points. The statute was clear on how bonus points worked. We wanted to ensure hunters that were drawn for a permit were committed to participating in the hunt and putting in the effort.

Commissioner Camuso stated that was part of why we were requiring folks that were drawn for a permit to attend a briefing so we could explain to them fully before they received their permit.

Mrs. Peet asked about the statute that governed the allocation of the permits. She would like to propose that 20% of the permits (100 permits) were given to the Mic Mac and Maliseet tribes who did not currently have any trust or reservation land they were able to hunt on. That was a community that would use the permits for sustenance purposes and she thought that would be a great show of solidarity with the tribes by the State if that were able to be done.

Commissioner Camuso stated that would require a statutory change. Legislation determined the priorities given to those applying for the lotteries.

Mr. Kantar stated in reference to getting the word out on the hunt, the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife recently released their permit recommendations. One of the interesting parts of that, even though they had very few permits and a small geographic area where the moose were, they reiterated what we had done in Maine and NH as far as research on moose density and winter tick. Based on their data they wanted to keep their moose below a moose per square mile. We would also have a feature story in May 2021 on moose and winter tick in the Natural History Magazine.

There were no further questions or comments.

2. Moose Permit Allocations 2021

Mr. Webb stated we updated moose permit numbers every year. A meeting was held to review all the information available on the moose population based on research and data. Based on the information, we were recommending 345 more permits statewide from 2020. Most of those were small increases in WMDs 1-9. We were proposing 50 antlerless permits in WMD 8 which was a more substantial change. There hadnt been antlerless permits issued in that WMD in recent years, but we felt based on the research specifically in WMD 8 as well as the broader effort underway to collect information on the impact of winter tick that managing the population in that WMD through the use of an antlerless harvest was very important for the good of the resource. There were no substantial changes otherwise. The permits being proposed in the adaptive unit were in addition to the permits allocated for the regular hunt.

Council Member Comments and Questions

Mr. Scribner stated in Table 1. in the handout, in WMD 7 and 9 it spoke to, "recommending public consultation to issue cow permits for moose population health." Would that be through public hearings?

Mr. Webb stated WMDs 7-9 were in the hot zone for what we observed for impacts due to winter tick due to both the relatively high density of moose as well as those WMDs were towards the southern end of core moose range. In the past there had been fairly significant local opposition to issuing antlerless permits in the area because of the importance in that part of the state for moose viewing and tourism. We had proposed permits in WMD 9 in the past and removed the recommendation based on public feedback. We would need to hold local public meetings to help share information and the biological reasons to support managing moose to a lower density in that part of the state. We viewed the adaptive hunt as a broader effort to collect information we hoped would support that public outreach. If the hunt showed reducing moose density could improve moose health and reduce impact of winter tick, our hope was we could use that example to help with our communication with the public regarding the need to manage moose at a lower density.

Mr. Thurston stated when he looked at the cow permits for WMDs 7-9 we were proposing 50 permits in WMD 8. There were zero permits being issued in 7 or 9. We would be getting data from WMD 4 with respect to cow productivity, etc. and we were looking for more data from WMD 8 because it was regionally different, or it was a hot zone?

Mr. Webb stated we had a great deal of information from WMD 8 as it was a study area for the past few years. He asked Mr. Kantar to clarify.

Mr. Kantar stated in WMDs 7-9 he would like to have issued cow permits there years ago. WMD 8 was ground zero for winter tick impacts. Fifty cow permits across 2,000 square miles was just a start to where we should be. The permits being recommended in WMD 8 had to do with the social aspect. The biology and science was there in spades. WMD 7, there had been some communication with people who lived and guided there. There had always been questions about access around WMDs 7 and 13. There were no further recommendations at this point for WMD 7 until we could continue further discussions. WMD 8 had excellent access across the zone.

Mr. Thurston stated WMD 4 was chosen to be the adaptive zone, could Mr. Kantar give some perspective on 4 over 8.

Mr. Kantar stated looking at latitude in the state, there was a sweet spot centered around WMDs 7-9 where the elements of winter tick numbers, moose density and warmer winters or shorter winters had made that ground zero for ticks impacting moose. As you went further north into WMD 4 we believed there was a place where that continuum of impacts changed with the extreme of less effects happening into WMDs 1 and 2. There were still impacts from tick, but the worst impacts were towards WMD 8.

Mr. Thurston asked with the collared moose, were we seeing an increase with respect to mortality?

Mr. Kantar stated WMD 4 was the only unit currently where we had put in GPS collars in January, 70 collared calves. Currently we were at 10% loss and he expected the next two weeks it would increase. A recently necropsied moose had a majority of adult ticks and feeding females engorged with blood. The sample showed we were on the verge of that time of year again. We wouldnt know the relative impact of mortality in WMD 4 until the end of April.

There were no further questions or comments.

V. Other Business
1. Airboat Rules Update

Deputy Commissioner Peabody stated the consensus-based process was a second attempt at rulemaking. Because of the controversy on both sides of the issue it was decided to try the consensus-based process. A 12-member stakeholder group was assembled. There were 3 persons representing the citizens side from Brunswick, Freeport and Harpswell; 3 persons on the airboat side representing shellfish harvesters; 2 shellfish municipal officers from Freeport and Brunswick; a game warden and a marine patrol officer. The focus was on reaching consensus on the decibel level. Five meetings were held which lasted 2 hours each, the last meeting was 3 hours. An on the water demonstration was also conducted in Freeport with 3 different airboats. There were two proposals circulated from the citizens side primarily focused on 75db in the morning and also 75db with a shoreline decibel reading during the day. The harvesters/airboat operators put up a proposal for 75db from 7pm to 7am and 90db during the day. A counter proposal from the citizen side was 75db in the morning and 80db during the day. The Department put together language for consideration for 75db in the morning and 90db during the day with some considerations for launching and moving the boat along quietly. The last meeting day was three hours trying to reach consensus. Consensus was not reached for the decibel level so rulemaking language was not presented to the Council. We were finalizing a report to the Legislature which would include the work done to this point. Some recommendations came out of the process, to continue working with the stakeholder group and to gather more information on airboat data. The stakeholder group was challenged without having a lot of data to work with for airboats operating on the coast of Maine. We did determine there was a challenge nationwide through conversations with other law enforcement agencies across the county. There were varying decibel levels for airboats across the country and there was a lot of challenge in being successful in measuring and prosecuting the outliers.

Mr. Thurston stated the bill, if it went to the Legislature would not be particular to one geographic area but for the whole state. It could affect more than just airboats depending what happened in the Legislature.

There were no further questions or comments.

2. Online Hunter Education

Deputy Commissioner Peabody stated this was requested at the last meeting to have an overview. During 2020 because of the pandemic, the Commissioner determined to go to full certification with online hunter education. A lot of the in-person classes were canceled due to the pandemic and there had been internal conversations about promoting further online hunter ed opportunities. Since we went fully online for firearms, we had 6,668 individuals that took online hunter education. The gender diversity was in the mid 30% for women taking the course. The age demographic of the group was in line with our target audience to bring new participants into hunting of 18-45. The same age distribution held for bowhunters, but crossbows was an older age group taking online hunter ed. Crossbows, there had been 3,673 individuals that took the online course in the past year, and 3,186 took online bowhunting. Along with the online courses, in-person programming through volunteer instructors were severely impacted by the pandemic. There were 88 classes scheduled for 2020, 690 individuals were certified and there was a decrease of 2,800 students from the pervious year due to the pandemic. The online courses picked up a lot of the need and desire to take hunter ed when the in-person courses were hampered.

Commissioner Camuso stated when we switched over to a fully online option about 30 other states had switched over and had the option available. Since September 2020 almost all states had a fully online option. The number of women taking the online class was very important to note, our average license sales for women was up 15%, and had been slowly increasing by 12%. It was a trend they were seeing nationally. There had been a lot of feedback across the country about women feeling more comfortable taking the online course, feeling it met their schedule better. It was something that would be monitored for safety and making sure we were adhering to the standards of hunter ed. She thought most states would be, as we were, utilizing hunter ed instructors in a different capacity. We would continue to offer the hands-on firearms training and make sure we had those opportunities available for anyone that was interested. We would also broaden some of the things we offered.

Mr. Sage stated he hoped the Department would be monitoring and if the death rate went up to revisit it. They had worked really hard to keep years with zero deaths. Until hunter safety came along, it was nothing to have 30-50 deaths per year. He also asked the Department to consider legislation to make it a crime for someone else to take hunter safety classes for someone.

Mr. Smith asked about online tagging for wild turkey.

Commissioner Camuso stated we were looked at as the agency to provide the science and we had solid data to support the science. What we had seen with other states when they went to online or phone in registration was compliance with registering dropped significantly. States that harvested 230,000 deer per year could survive with 25% compliance because that was still a lot of data. We did not have that luxury in Maine, so we were not comfortable at this point moving to an online system for bear, deer or moose.

Mr. Webb stated there were a couple of bills coming up at the Legislature that dealt with online tagging, one specifically for turkey. We would be providing testimony on the bills. We viewed our system as the gold standard, it was the model by which all systems were judged. We heard routinely from other states they wished they had a system like ours. It allowed us to do the best possible job managing the species and anything less would erode that ability to some degree.

Mr. Sage asked if Mr. Cordes could give the Council a synopsis of how the R3 program was going.

Mr. Cordes stated they had been moving forward since last summer, skirting around the pandemic and testing out some curriculum development. They had a good partnership with the Ladies Adventure Club in the Portland area to test out some firearms training, fire building, shelter building skills, winter tracking, etc. They held about two workshops per month. The Department would be starting some Zoom presentations on wild turkey. We were constantly building new stuff and testing it and spreading around to the clubs.

There were no further questions or comments.

VI. Councilor Reports
Councilors gave reports.

VII. Public Comments & Questions
Dan Walker stated he was one of the resident participants in the consensus-based rulemaking process from Freeport. He wanted to thank the Department and Deputy Commissioner Peabody for leading them through the rulemaking process. They did not reach consensus, they hoped to make some progress. Airboats had no decibel limit currently and they were basically unregulated other than very vague standards that were in place. During the Freeport demonstration they observed that the loudest reading that was taken from the loudest boat was 83db. He wanted to clarify that the resident group did not approve of 75db in the morning from the shoreline, it was an acceptance of what the existing decibel limits were currently which were 75db from 50 feet which was a huge difference. The proposal from the residents was 65db using a shoreline reading in the morning, and 80db during the day. They were understanding of the exception needed to get the boats up to speed and getting off the mud. They were hoping to put some parameters in place that not just every airboat could meet, but they aspired to meet. They hoped the report to the Legislature was a good road map to help the process and with some parameters that were not something the airboats were fully willing to accept because they knew their boats could achieve some of them. The study being recommended, they were supportive, and they would like the work group to continue. The study should not just look at what an airboat could and could not do, they should also be looking at what was appropriate for the amount of noise and sound in areas where there were residents and wildlife. That was a crucial part of the study going forward, it didnt have to be a study there was a lot of information out there that could be gathered. He heard a comment that it was a working waterfront issue and a slippery slope, the airboats were unique tools and uniquely loud and it was about airboats not about other things. Everybody supported the working waterfront; this was wanting to regulate something that was really loud for 1,000s of citizens. It was a statewide issue.

John Glowa stated he would like to comment on the adaptive moose hunt. It made no scientific sense for IFW to promote the killing of natural predators of moose that included wolves, coy-wolves and bears while saying there were too many moose. Stop killing the mooses natural predators. The adaptive moose hunt was a slaughter that would kill 100s of pregnant moose and would orphan and indirectly kill Maine moose calves under the guise of moose research. He would do everything in his ability to stop it.

VIII. Agenda Items & Schedule Date for Next Meeting
The next Advisory Council meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. via Microsoft Teams.

IX. Adjournment
A motion was made by Mr. Sage and that was seconded by Mr. Smith to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.