Advisory Council Meeting
August 16, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
284 State Street, Upstairs Conference Room
Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner
Judy Camuso, Wildlife Division Director
Francis Brautigam, Fisheries Division Director
Tom Schaeffer, Regional Wildlife Biologist
Bob Cordes, Special Projects Coordinator
Joe Overlock, Fisheries Management Supervisor
Shon Theriault, Game Warden Captain
Becky Orff, Secretary/Recorder
Don Dudley (Chair)
Fern & Sylvia Bosse
Jim Fleming, Kennebec Valley Furtakers
Chris Bartlett, Eastport Deer Committee
Gary Corson, New Sharon
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. Gundersen to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and thatwas seconded by Mr. Fortier.
Vote: unanimous - minutes approved.
A. Step 3
1. Any-deer permit allocations 2017
Ms. Camuso stated we held a public hearing in July and it was lightly attended. We were not proposing any changes from the original recommendations. We received public comments which were mixed primarily on WMD 27.
A motion was made by Mrs. Oldham to adopt the proposal as presented, and that was seconded by Mr. Lewis.
Vote: unanimous - motion passed
B. Step 2
Furbearer Seasons/Beaver Closures 2017/18
Ms. Camuso stated this was a list of beaver closures as requested by landowners. There weren’t really any changes from last year. The season dates had been adjusted for the calendar, but there were no real proposed changes to the trapping rules this year. A public hearing was scheduled for August 21.
There were no further questions or comments.
2. Fishing Regulations/State Heritage Fish Waters 2018
Mr. Brautigam stated 5 public hearings had been held. The turnout was very light, at the Brunswick meeting no members of the public attended. Overall there wasn’t one particular item in the packet that seemed to draw a lot of attention and public comment. We had received some written comments.
Council Member Comments and Questions
Mr. Gundersen stated he had received an email from a person up north complaining about what we were doing with the bass season, eliminating the size and bag limit there because of the smallmouth bass fishery.
Mr. Brautigam stated the purpose for going to no size or bag limit on bass in the north zone was confusing to people. There were a couple of goals with that initiative, one was we recognized that the northern part of the state harbored our best and most robust wild salmon and trout populations. As a matter of practice anytime we had a new infestation of bass into a new water body in Maine, and that was mostly eastern and northern Maine (most of the southern and midcoast area had bass in those waters) we automatically applied an S-13 regulation which was a no size or bag limit on bass. We didn’t do that because no size or bag limit on bass necessarily influenced the population size in any way, it was really a tool we utilized to message to the public that those waters that received illegal introductions were not going to be actively managed by the Department. In the proposal we imposed essentially an S-13 on the north zone so any new waters that became infested were automatically covered under no size or bag limit on bass without having to impose a special regulation on that water body. The goal was not to reduce those populations through recreational angling, but a lot of people felt that was the reason we were doing it. Before advancing the proposal we reached out to all the northern region biologists and asked if they had waters with significant bass fisheries where they were actively managing those waters and we would create an exception. We had 8 or 9 in Region D, a couple from Region E, we may have had a dozen or so waters where we retained the current bass general law.
Mrs. Oldham stated she thought the public comments that had been received had been very good with some very good suggestions. Were we considering taking any of those suggestions into Step 3?
Mr. Brautigam stated we would review all the comments and have a narrative on those comments.
Mrs. Oldham stated the comment on the change about allowing bait to be taken by hook and line and the concern that could be transported. The restrictions on live bait were put in for a very specific reason and it seemed some people could take advantage if we opened the door even a little. She thought that needed to be looked at again because we were trying to not get these illegal introductions. In reading the public hearing minutes about the level of review that was done and the four levels, but when the changes that had been recommended a lot of the explanation was to simplify the rule book and when people tried to get more information about how that review took place for that particular body of water they weren’t able to get that material. She thought this was always going to be a transparent process.
Commissioner Woodcock stated he agreed the comments were restricted a lot by the numbers, we didn’t really have a volume of comments but the people that commented had great knowledge. The Administrative Procedures Act (APA) didn’t allow us to do all the things she was addressing and the reason for that was, the public would not know for instance if we changed a rule from “rule A” discussion and then made it “rule B” that wasn’t even associated with “rule A” in any way. They would have had no exposure to that rule so the Commissioner was not allowed in his recommendation to the Council in Step 3 to significantly alter the rule. You are allowed some leeway, but you can’t make a new proposal entirely because that would discount the public’s participation entirely. They would have zero understanding he was going to do that with the Council and they would vote and put in a new rule without them being able to comment. The APA was restrictive in that sense.
Commissioner Woodcock stated in terms of the specific comments, he thought a couple of the comments that were directed at movement of baitfish were very viable. The process for review was as healthy as we probably had ever had. He was concerned from the beginning, the packet was quite large and we were telling people we were simplifying the rules. It didn’t look like a simplification process but the APA process required us to do a separate listing for each one. He felt we could have done a better job in the justifications with some of the proposals. The question was what did the public want to have for a justification.
Mrs. Oldham stated responding to the criticism that the justification “simplification” usually translated into more general law as opposed to protective mechanisms. How would the Commissioner respond to that criticism?
Mrs. Oldham stated responding to the criticism that the justification “simplification” usually translated into more general law as opposed to protective mechanisms. How would the Commissioner respond to that criticism?
Mr. Brautigam stated whatever fell within the realm of simplification, and we tried to categorize all the different rule changes just to facilitate the four tier review process. There was no simplification that resulted in any resource impacts. Simplification took place where there was not going to be a resource impact. In most cases we had simplification because we were dealing with either a lack of fishing pressure or decline in fish quality resulting in a need for more liberalized regulations to encourage harvest and removal. There was a general mandate from leadership for staff to look at opportunities at simplification where there were no resource impacts. So that’s what they saw, a lot of general law and liberalized regulations which made sense. Why not provide more opportunity where the resource could support that additional use and opportunity.
Commissioner Woodcock stated we had been preaching catch and release for 30-40 years and many people had come around to that regimen. Couple that with economic social factors and what we’d found, especially in more remote waters was that we didn’t have any fishing pressure. If we didn’t change the regulation and try to address it, his concern was that we would end up with fish that were smaller. If we didn’t have people taking fish from a body of water, there would be more fish in that body of water than we wanted and usually that resulted in a diminished size and quality. We tried to address that in some of the remote ponds by saying you could take more fish.
Mr. Thurston stated people would need to change their perspective on how they looked at the resource and the numbers of the resource.
Mr. Lewis stated one of the comments he read from Jeff Reardon, what he said about the bass and up north. In his area and Mr. Wheaton’s area the movement of fish, he couldn’t imagine how many trout ponds were now no trout, bass ponds compared to what they were 20 years ago. It didn’t seem like a very long time, but it was through his area now and all the way up to Mr. Wheaton’s. How far north some of the largemouth bass were was ridiculous and something had to be done, we had to try. He thought the proposal was good the way Jeff Reardon had worded it, it made more sense in a way to explain it to people. The public hearing in Ellsworth he spoke with Mr. Brautigam. The packet of over 200 proposals, he didn’t have the time to research it and he felt like he should be able to get what he could. They had this whole packet so did they vote the whole thing down because of a couple that they really had an issue with? It was how the procedure worked but he agreed that it was not the information that they needed and if there was a four step process somehow if they could understand because generally when he talked with staff he got a reasoning and it made more sense. Just to get the packet and read it it was hard.
Mr. Brautigam stated as we got into a more normal rulemaking mode most of the time moving forward it would not be restructuring and simplification effort we would be dealing more with addressing management needs and issues. The packet would be smaller. One of the new changes we implemented was all staff proposals were supported by a written justification. We did not include it in the packet because the size. Moving forward with leaner packets, which was the plan, so the public will have more opportunity to look at what we’re doing and understand it and we can support that potentially with those justifications.
Mr. Fortier stated with technology and the way things changed so fast, it may be the process we’re doing with the public he wondered if that needed to be reversed on how we got public input first and then go forward with the public hearings and that way we could take all the comments and put them into the proposal. Up north there were not many at the hearing, but at the same time they were happy about the hook and line for live bait. If you were fishing on the St. John you could fish on this part and you could do hook and line and that was it, but you couldn’t go up the river 5 miles and do hook and line. One of the gentleman also brought up about rubber lures and how many there were on the lakes. There were good things that came in the public hearing comments that maybe there was a way we could get that information before so it could be part of the packet.
Commissioner Woodcock stated the notion was a pre-process information piece where people were made aware of things that were happening around the state in terms of what we were considering before it went into the APA process. Then, they would be more aware before the packet came at them. The packet was intimidating and they discussed what could happen in the future.
Mr. Wheaton stated it was time the biologists got out of the office and into the field. They needed to see the hooks and the lakes and how people were fishing. He fished over 100 days every summer and caught many fish. He took a bass on Spednik Lake which had a rubber lure coming out the anal vent and another in its throat with a stainless hook. The rubber had expanded due to the body acids of the fish. He had caught rubber in landlocked salmon. We were making all these rules, and if he went down Baskahegan Stream, the head of the St. Croix and looked over the side of the canoe you could see every type of rubber tail. He did not let anyone in his canoe use rubber, it was killing the fish and the industry. He did not like what the Commissioner said about not killing five fish, or killing a few big fish. If we had a poacher on deer, probably next year we would have a deer back. If someone killed a 4 or 5 pound smallmouth in his neck of the woods it would be 25 years before they got another one. Killing them was not the answer. All the new baits and lures, we were killing what we loved. He was a bass fisherman, but he did not think the bass industry should have the right to kill every trout and salmon when they were bass fishermen. We needed to protect the resource and we couldn’t protect it by not looking at what had come along. Anybody could buy a GPS and find the fishing hole. He had one of the best bass lakes where he was and saw it gone by the introduction of alewives which was and still was a problem. He thought there was more they could do, not just have regulations on what they could catch.
Commissioner Woodcock stated the discussion had been about remote trout ponds when he commented on taking more fish; he was not speaking about bass.
Mr. Dudley stated the emails were good and the fishermen that sent them obviously did a lot of research to say what they did. What was not good were the public hearings. We were down to 3 or 4 people attending. Times had changed and he did not know what was the best way. We held public hearings and in one case there were zero people there.
Mrs. Oldham stated it was a waste of resources.
Mr. Dudley stated he didn’t think it had always been that way. The any-deer permit hearing there were 4 people and that was for the whole State of Maine. He thought there was a different way to do it, but he didn’t know what that was.
Mr. Farrington stated one of the concerns was not being able to regulate the bass on Indian Pond, there were a couple of guys in his area and that was how they made their livelihood now. When the fishing on the East Outlet slowed down they went into the West Outlet and Indian Pond. The number of people coming into the area to go bass fishing was quite large. There were probably more bass boats fishing on Moosehead Lake than there were people fishing for salmon and trout. He was glad we left Moosehead Lake S-13 because the bass should never have been put in there, but they were never going to get rid of them. If we were making exceptions to some ponds that were productive and people were making their living from it why not Indian Pond. If it had a scientific reason behind it, since he had been on the Council everything they did was based on scientific reason and simplification of the law book wasn’t really a scientific reason. Regarding the heritage trout waters, he assumed we still had a list of ponds that were going to be considered once they had been surveyed. It would make sense to him in the idea of conservation to leave them with the same laws we had on the heritage trout ponds that had been identified rather than open it up and then 2 or 3 years out, who knew how long it would be before it went through the process to be considered. It could be fished out or have damage done. If we were going to make a mistake he’d rather it be on the conservative side. If they were on that list to be considered as a heritage water, it would make sense to leave them the same as the heritage waters until it was decided rather than killing that resource off by opening it up and giving them 5 fish. The brook trout was the one thing a lot of people came to Maine for.
Mr. Brautigam stated even where we were at with the remote pond survey project, most of the waters that were remaining were extremely remote. There were waters that many of which we were not going to find brook trout in. The project was winding down and what was left on the landscape was going to be pretty difficult to access. His comments were neither in support nor opposition to Mr. Farrington’s statement, he just wanted him to be aware.
Mrs. Oldham stated she thought they had been given reassurances once before that these ponds under consideration for state heritage water designation would not be stocked.
Mr. Brautigam stated waters under consideration, they could not be considered until they had been surveyed.
Mrs. Oldham stated there was a list of waters, she thought Trout Unlimited had done a lot of work about proposing certain waters to be surveyed. She thought it came up last year when there weren’t the expected number of waters so designated. She specifically asked with those other waters that had been identified by the volunteer group that they would not be stocked because obviously then they could never be designated state heritage waters.
Mr. Brautigam stated we had some waters that either had information to evaluate their status and whether they should be nominated and or we identified waters where we didn’t feel we had sufficient information to make a determination so those waters were being scheduled to be resurveyed. They wouldn’t be stocked, we didn’t have enough information to decide whether they were going to be advanced or whether there was a justification to be stocked. The reality of the process was they wouldn’t get stocked because we didn’t have enough information to evaluate what was in them, whether they should be nominated so there was no justification to consider a stocking proposal. They were waters that weren’t likely to be stocked, they weren’t in places where the likelihood of stocking was very good.
Commissioner Woodcock stated we had a list of waters that didn’t make it to the heritage list but they were on a list to be resurveyed by our group or sometimes they came in for a first time from other members of the Audubon/Trout Unlimited team. They had a list of bodies of water they were targeting. We had to advertise before stocking waters, we were under close scrutiny with what was being stocked. Regarding Mr. Farrington’s comments, there had been two discussions that in the future there would have to be some really pertinent decisions made. One of them was muskie and the other was a pond like Indian Pond, those bass of Indian Pond were illegally introduced. It once was a great trout and salmon body of water. It was a body of water that was being managed as an illegally introduced body of water. What did we do? We had been invited to the muskie tournament and he was not inclined to get involved with illegal introductions as a supporter. The question was how long could you keep that stance and be viable. If you were 25 years down the road from the illegal introduction and it’s become a significant fishery for the illegally introduced fish, were we still saying we didn’t want any part of anything that’s been illegally introduced? It had been discussed at length and would be on a broader scale in the future.
Mr. Farrington stated there were people making a living from Indian Pond. We were going to make an exception for 6 or 7 ponds for “scientific reasons.”
Mr. Brautigam stated the guidance that went to staff was in identifying waters that there were significant fisheries that were worthy of management under current general law and were along and close to the boundary line we were really trying to preserve the intact north zone as much as possible. Bass were slowly moving south to north but if we had waters that were close to that line, those were the ones we were willing to take in and entertain a change. If we had waters way inland where we had special management it made it very difficult for the consistent messaging we were striving for.
Mr. Wheaton stated in his area they had West Grand Lake with salmon and trout or East Grand, the fishways on the dam at West Grand and East Grand had the steps and turns. They had a tremendous largemouth population in Big Lake and smallmouth too. Smallmouth were in West Grand, but if they wanted to stop largemouth from getting up there and on East Grand why not build the fishway with velocity they could not swim in. Rather than have the steps, if they had the speed of the water coming down the chute they knew a salmon or trout could swim in but not the bass they couldn’t get in there.
Mr. Brautigam stated we had utilized some hydraulic jumps dealing with pike in the Penobscot River in order to prevent pike expansion throughout the drainage. On West Grand, there was a hydraulic jump there. The strategy was in use to try to limit establishing expanded populations of non-native fish. There were other agencies (Federal) that had concerns because their species of interest were sometimes impeded by the hydraulic jumps as well.
Mr. Fortier stated one of the problems he saw IFW facing was on the St. John River, you could be on the Canadian side and there were different rules fishing on the American side. It affected the whole river the way it was taken care of.
3. Eastport Special Hunt
Ms. Camuso stated Chris Bartlett and Tom Schaeffer were both there if the Council had additional questions. The City of Eastport was requesting another year of their special hunt. The proposal was for 30 participants, 10% of which would be off island residents. The change this year was that if you harvested a deer you could go back and get a second permit up to 90 total permits. Last year they had 30 participants and harvested 11 does. There was a firearms restriction on the island. There was a designated area on the island where people would be allowed to hunt. The hunt would take place the two weeks following the regular firearms season on deer.
Council Member Questions and Comments
Mr. Dudley asked if we had a goal for the number of does to be taken.
Mr. Schaeffer stated we were using as a gauge to success Mr. Bartlett’s results of annual surveys to the population of the Eastport residents of when they’re seeing results. They just finished a survey of their population and asked their satisfaction and what their impressions were. After the first year and 11 deer he didn’t think there were a lot of people saying job well done. Those were the metrics they were looking at, reducing the number of traffic accidents, relieving complaints about property damage, ornamental gardens, etc. and people’s perception that the deer were better under control. That was how they would gauge the success and try to address the issue rather than population data.
Mr. Dudley stated in the information they were given, they were given the buck kill from 2016 – 2011, 4 to 25 was this strictly due to the growth of the population of deer on the island or was there another factor.
Mr. Schaeffer stated that would be his assumption that was reflective of the population growth in that community. He was surprised at last year’s number and he was thinking about ways, this was in Washington County and the district it was in there could be some registration difficulties there. Eastport was restricted to archery only and he did not know how much room there was for registration error. Given the age structure of the does that were checked, that was a small sample size 11 animals, the age structure and the number of bucks he thought it was all indicative that Eastport did have a problem.
Mr. Farrington asked if the number of 30 permits was because of the number of sites they had to set people up on.
Mr. Bartlett stated it was based on limited areas they could hunt by standard ground blind. Also the city’s administrative capacity to work with each hunter to assign those properties. They found last year that 30 hunters was manageable given the limited amount of land and the limited amount of office time.
Mr. Gundersen asked how many deer were taken during the regular archery season.
Mr. Schaeffer stated those were the numbers they were just talking about. Because they were in WMD 27 up until this point they were limited to bucks only. The numbers have been climbing over time.
Mr. Lewis stated it was like when they went to the expanded zone in Brewer. They probably created more interest so there would be more people hunting there during the regular archery season. Places from Brewer and off shore islands in the beginning there was a large number of people. Eastport, he still maintained that the state created part of the problem. It was limited hunting because there wasn’t any land but we closed the doe hunt and there was no rifle hunt there. He believed it was our problem.
Mrs. Oldham stated this was the reason despite her dislike of special hunts, it seemed to her that a municipality that requested a special hunt could also take action to eliminate deer feeding. A local ordinance could be made that it was illegal to do that and she felt that would make sense and enhance the likelihood that they would see resolution of the problem.
Mr. Bartlett stated their deer committee had discussed that at length. Their difficulty was enforcement. When they talked to their local warden and police officers they would essentially have to make it illegal to feed any wildlife. As one gentleman pointed out at one of their meetings, if someone wanted to feed 50 pounds of grain to crows try to stop him. They had looked at other ordinances, Camden recently had one for no feeding of seagulls. They had not come up with a solution yet.
Mr. Thurston stated they had created some noise, and the bow hunting addicts out there wanted opportunity. They could help facilitate the issue tremendously if they could shoot does during the regular season. Eastport could get where they wanted to be much quicker.
Ms. Camuso stated they did open up WMD 27 to doe permits that year.
Mr. Dudley stated something they had not discussed was the fact that 11 does that were taken there were no ticks.
Mr. Scribner stated this was an abnormality with 11 does harvested not a tick was found. Given this was a coastal community there should be something we could learn. If the hunt was agreed to and they didn’t find any ticks the second time around he would like to know who could undertake a study to understand why there were no ticks in that location. Of anything that could come out of the special hunt it would seem that would be more important than anything else related to it. If the result of the second hunt was zero ticks found on the deer, who was going to undertake a study to understand what was abnormal about that locale that they might be able to transfer knowledge wise to other coastal communities.
Ms. Camuso stated Chuck Lubelczyk from Maine Medical Center was aware of the situation and consulted with Eastport. He did not have a strong theory as to why, but his records also indicated they did not find ticks out there.
Mr. Schaeffer stated he had discussed a local theory with him. Eastport was plagued with fire ants and there was a local theory that perhaps the fire ants prevented the presence of ticks, most notably deer ticks. Mr. Lubelczyk raised a good point that Bar Harbor also had fire ants and they also had plenty of ticks and Lyme disease so that theory probably did not hold water. They intended to keep communication with Mr. Lubelczyk going forward.
There were no further questions or comments.
C. Step 1
1. Wildlife in Captivity Chapter 7 Rules
Mr. Connolly stated in the past legislative session there were a couple of bills that factored into what we were doing with wildlife in captivity. Part of the challenge was much like bass and other issues we had we had strong feelings on all sides of the issue and even in the same session with the same committee we got conflicting messages. It was a challenge and he felt we had struck a balance that provided for less regulation for things that could be handled safely and sold in pet stores and cared for and then restricted things that were more dangerous either to exhibitors only and then have a second tier of things which was category 2 restricted species which were things that required special care or experience in order to justify having those. We were putting forth a rule that would have those lists in it. We put the unrestricted list on the website and had gotten good feedback. We did get some comments on dwarf hampsters not being included so we looked at those and tried to address that as well. We had received some requests to look at the tropical fish. The original unrestricted fish list was constructed in response to individual inquiries. For example, angel fish where two or three species might be covered, but there might be five more that weren’t. We had been asked to look at those and create a little more understandable presentation of the fish and more consistent way to approach those so that people would be able to get things that were very similar; pretty much the same fish just a different species.
Mr. Connolly stated we had a technical committee that had representatives from the state regulatory agencies as well as some members of the public and university that were experts in the area. We also assembled subcommittees where we allowed some of the enthusiasts to provide input. They met regularly and tried to find a way to increase the participation and then circulated some of the lists.
Council Member Comments and Questions
Mrs. Oldham asked if the academic research people were all happy.
Mr. Connolly stated we worked with the University of Maine system and the Vice-President for Research directly and the University was very comfortable with the approach we had taken. We created a research permit which allowed the Department to permit the University to address those things that could be used safely in a lab where there were handling protocols. Any animal that was handled on a University campus because of the USDA requirements and the educational and research requirements had to have an animal use and care committee where there were specific protocols for the humane treatment of the animal, addressing of biological issues, risk to the public, so the University had all those protocols in place. Building off of those we would permit the University to handle animals that were on our list that we agreed to in advance. That would give them the flexibility over that two year period to bring those in and use those in research, handle them according to protocols that they had and then at the end of the project work through them with the protocols they had for disposing of the specimens that they had. It could be a blanket permit that would address all potential needs and they could respond to any grants that may come up. The University as a whole was very pleased to be working with us.
Mr. Fortier stated in trying to put the rule together, years ago they had Loring Airforce Base with 20,000 military coming in and out. Butterfield Lake that was there, everybody would dump their goldfish in there when they were leaving. When we opened it up we could create an industry that could bring in animals that were not from here. He saw people that could not even take care of their pets after a while and he worried about exotic animals that someone would get tired of and discard them. When we did not have those exotic animals here and then people were bringing them in no matter what we had for permits, we were going to have problems.
Mr. Connolly stated the Senate chair of the committee shared the concern and in fact he sponsored the bill to address exotic escaped wildlife and increase the penalties for people bringing in stuff illegally and releasing them. It was scaled depending on whether you had a permit and you released it or whether you never bothered to get a permit. We had included on the website for unrestricted species the caution that if you tired of them you shouldn’t just be releasing. The language cautioned people about getting things like parrots and macaws that could actually out live them. The other challenge was that directly in statute goldfish were covered as one of the things we should be looking at on our unrestricted list. The direction from the Legislature was, and this was what our rulemaking stemmed from, gave us guidance that said we were not supposed to prohibit everything. We were trying to use education to reach out to consumers (pet stores). Some people may be irresponsible and there was nothing we could do to prevent that. We had stiff penalties now and clear communication. We had public awareness and a great deal of discussion. A lot of good information had been put out on the hazards of invasive species and what could come.
There were no further questions or comments.
V. Other Business
There were no other items under Other Business
VI. Councilor Reports
Councilors gave reports.
VII. Public Comments & Questions
Chris Bartlett stated he wanted to thank the Council for considering Eastport’s request for a second special hunt. They should feel free to contact him if they had any questions.
Dennis Smith stated they may have seen his comments on fishing regulations. He had been working with landlocked salmon since the late 60’s. He was not happy with the way things were going, the salmon in his opinion were being displaced by bass and we were managing more for bass instead of salmon. He asked if the Council had read his proposals, very little of it went into the regulations. He used Department data to put the regulations together. Trap netting, they found 3+ salmon 7” difference in the size of them. Some were 15”-16” and 23” so this was what the regulation was about. At Long Pond there was a one salmon limit, and if they were allowed one fish they were not going to take the 14” one, they’d take the 21” the bigger one. That was why he put the regulation forth, he had two waters that had specials, Echo Lake was 18”-22” release slot and it was doing really well, 24” and 25” salmon.
Commissioner Woodcock stated the proposals we put out as advertised, we couldn’t have significant changes to them when they came to Step 3. Any new proposals we were asked to consider would have to be in the next cycle. We couldn’t have a new proposal after we had already advertised the rule.
George Smith stated last year his book was published on Downeast sporting camps and the history was we had gone from 300 to about 3 dozen. He asked the camp owners what their biggest challenges were and at the top of the list was the loss of hunters and anglers. The trout legislation, he proposed two bills. The Department reacted favorably to both the bills, but basically agreed to accomplish the goals. A working group was formed and Mr. Corson was on it. They had to report back in the next session and to make sure they got the job done the Committee carried forward one of his bills. One of the things he continued to advocate for was to protect the fish now until they did the survey and then if they found it was not justified we could take it off the list. Eastport, last year they had the discussion about letting them bait deer. He did not think it would ever be a success because they had to sit in one spot and let the deer come forward. The goal was to kill deer so why not allow them to bait, but it was a controversy in Eastport. He tried to help some of the hunters on Mt. Desert Island get their hunting done and even though the number of Lyme disease cases was skyrocketing the islanders did not want to hunt so they had not been able to achieve that. Exotic animals, that was his bill and when he wrote about exotic animals people read his column all over the world. This was an engaging issue for people. A lot of the people appeared to be angry. The Department had done a fantastic job, it was extremely controversial. His goal would be to have no exotic animals without a permit and if the animal got loose you had to report it. The unrestricted list that you could just have the animal was in the 1,000’s of critters you could have that really didn’t belong here. When he heard about the wind towers in Greenville, he thought it couldn’t be right because some of them were on conservation land where we bought the development rights years ago. He called the Nature Conservancy and asked, and they said in their negotiations they were offered the rights to wind towers but it was too expensive so they didn’t buy it. You couldn’t have a house there, but you could have a wind tower. That was really the wrong place for it so he hoped we would be able to stop that.
Dennis Smith stated he asked Mr. Brautigam and the Commissioner said they were going to regulate the salmon waters, there was nothing in the laws that he could see.
Commissioner Woodcock stated he saw Mr. Smith’s list, and he didn’t think we had anything on the list that applied. Talking about salmon waters in general he would have to check the list to see.
VII. Agenda Items & Schedule Date for Next Meeting
The next meeting was scheduled for September 13, 2017
A motion was made by Mr. Gundersen and that was Seconded by Mr. Fortier to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.