Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Maine Spring Wild Turkey Season Opens May 4; Youth Only Day May 2

Maine’s spring Wild Turkey hunting season opens Saturday (May 2) with a Youth Only Day to encourage young people to learn about the sport, and for adults it opens on Monday (May 4).

Hunters must have a valid Spring Wild Turkey Permit and a valid Maine resident hunting license, or a valid nonresident or alien big game hunting license in order to hunt turkey. A valid archery license also permits hunting of wild turkey with bow and arrow in Maine.

Hunters can purchase their permit to harvest online using MOSES at, at any of the more than 280 MOSES or licensing agents statewide, or at IF&W headquarters in Augusta.

Maine’s wild turkey season is from May 4 to June 6, 2009.

Spring Legal Hours: One-half hour before sunrise until noon (12 p.m.) local time.

Spring Areas Open to Hunting: Wildlife Management Districts 7, 10-18, and 20-26.

Spring Bag Limit: One bearded wild turkey per permit holder per season

Spring Legal Method for Taking: Only shotgun gauges 10 through 20 using shot sizes 4 through 6, or bow and arrow may be used

Calling devices: Electronic calling devices are legal

Youth Day: Once again this year, junior hunters who are interested in wild turkey hunting will have their own day this Saturday, May 2, before the regular season starts. The rules are:

Age: Youth hunters who are 10 years of age or older and under 16 years of age

Permit and License Needed: Eligible youth hunters must possess a junior hunting license and a Spring Wild Turkey Permit

Adult Supervision is Required and Rules: The qualified adult must be a person 18 or older who has been approved by the youth’s parent or guardian and must hold a valid Maine hunting license or have completed a hunter safety course. The accompanying adult cannot possess a firearm or bow and arrow during Youth Hunting Day

Bag Limit: Junior hunters may bag one bearded wild turkey with a firearm or a bow and arrow

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Maine Study: Soft plastic lures harming Maine’s trout, salmon

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W) is strongly encouraging anglers to protect Maine’s fish by changing from soft plastic lures to biodegradable ones.

Maine fisheries biologists are reporting increasing numbers of angled trout and salmon with indigestible soft plastic lures in their stomachs, according to John Boland, IF&W Fisheries Division Director. A discarded soft plastic lure consumed innocently by a brook trout from the bottom of a freshwater shoal likely remains in that fish’s stomach for the rest of its life and may cause health issues such as ulcers and weight loss.

Soft plastic lures are most commonly used by bass anglers, often in waters shared with trout and salmon. IF&W is cooperating in studies on the effects of soft plastic lure ingestion by trout and salmon, including one recent experiment at Unity College, which was conducted by IF&W Pathologist Dr. Russ Danner, Unity College Professor Jim Chacko, PhD., and IF&W Fisheries Biologist Francis Brautigam, and in another study currently underway at Southern Maine Community College.

The study conducted at Unity College found that 65 percent of brook trout voluntarily consumed soft plastic lures if they simply were dropped into water.

“We found that fish retained the lures in their stomachs for 13 weeks without regurgitating them,” according to Dr. Danner. “They also began to act anorexic and lost weight within 90 days of eating a soft plastic lure.”

Without regard to the chemical toxicity of ingested soft plastics, the fact that these lures are occupying space in a trout’s stomach limits the amount of space available for natural food. There is a lot of veterinary medical evidence that foreign bodies in the digestive tract cause ulcers, weight loss, and anorexia.

“We strongly encourage anglers to voluntarily purchase biodegradable and food-based lures rather than soft plastic ones,” Dr. Danner said. “Also, we are asking anglers not to discard plastic lures into any waters, and also to attempt to retrieve any soft plastic lures that have become unhooked”.

For millennia, trout and salmon have foraged the waters of Maine for nutritious natural forage such as small fishes, insects and other invertebrates. In the last 20 years, food mimics made of soft plastic has begun to compete with these nutritious natural forage items. The effects of soft plastic lure pollution on freshwater ecosystems are not well understood yet, but it is unlikely that eating soft plastic lures will be found to be a good thing.

“The wide assortment of soft plastic fishing lures is staggering,” Dr. Danner said. “Soft plastic lures come in every color, a myriad of sizes, and resembling every swimming, crawling, and flying creature a fish could imagine eating. Large fish searching the waters of Maine are bound to come upon brightly colored soft plastic lures lost or discarded by anglers and consume these imitators of natural food items.”

There are estimates that as much as 20 million pounds of soft plastic are being lost in freshwater lakes and streams annually in the U.S. The average life expectancy for these soft plastic lures is more than 200 years.

“We need all anglers to do their part to protect Maine’s valuable fisheries from this serious threat,” Dr. Danner said. “Natural lure alternatives are available at many retailers and online, and should become the choice of people who love to fish Maine’s waters”.
If you wish to learn more about the experiment conducted at Unity College a report on the project was published in the Northern American Journal of Fisheries Management. It is available at

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cover Water for Fish

Now that spring is in full swing and the waters are still fairly cold, finding active fish can be a challenge. One technique that helps locate and catch fish is covering as much water as possible in a short period of time. Especially when fishing for bass we will be looking for active fish as opposed to working fish into biting. One lure that works fairly well in covering water and catching these fish is a lipless crankbait. There are many companies that produce these and find one that you feel will work for you. These baits you can cast a long ways out and are great for covering shallow water as well as deeper water also. Number one areas that these produce very well are shallower flats that have weeds on them. Cast the bait out and reel it back towards you while trying to knick the tops of the weeds coming back. If it gets stuck on a weed, rip it free and a number of times this is when the fish is going to hit. Try this out the next time you are looking for bass and you may be pleasantly surprised.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Useful Tips for N.H. Landowners, Gardeners, and Landscapers

New Ideas for Preserving Nature: Useful Tips for N.H. Landowners, Gardeners, and Landscapers -- Free Talk, Thursday April 30, 2009, at 7:00 p.m., Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H.

You can create a healthy, sustainable landscape that is also beautiful and enjoyable. With rural areas fast disappearing in the Northeast, an important way to preserve our identity as a place where people, plants, and animals can share the land is to integrate the landscapes around our homes, communities, and work spaces with the natural world. Find out how you can put these theories into practice and learn about a new way of shaping home grounds and public spaces in New Hampshire, at a free talk called "New Ideas for Preserving Nature; Useful Tips for N.H. Landowners, Gardeners, and Landscapers." The presentation takes place on Thursday, April 30, 2009, at 7:00 p.m., at Gibson's Bookstore in Concord, N.H. No pre-registration is required.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Vermont’s Spring Turkey Hunting Starts Soon

Vermont offers some of the best turkey hunting in New England according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Vermont hunters have established new spring turkey harvest records in eight of the last eleven years. In 2008, Hunters took a record 5,454 turkeys in both the youth weekend and regular May 1-31 seasons.

What makes Vermont’s spring gobbler season special? Vermont’s hunting is statewide during the spring season. Vermont’s turkey population is one of the highest in New England. You can buy a turkey hunting license without having to go through a lottery. The turkey license comes with two spring tags for two bearded birds, and one tag for a turkey of either sex in the fall season. Plus, you get to hunt the entire weekend, because hunting is allowed on Sundays.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

June 6 Is Free Fishing Day in New Hampshire

Free Fishing Day is coming on Saturday, June 6, 2009, so make plans to get out and try your luck on New Hampshire's ponds, streams and lakes. State residents, and nonresidents, too, can fish any inland water in the Granite State that day without a fishing license. Take advantage of the event to hit the water for a relaxing day of fishing with your friends and family. Bring your camera, because fish sure are photogenic!

"Most people who hook a fish once can hardly wait for the chance to do it again. Free Fishing Day is your chance to give it a try!" says Karina Walsh, New Hampshire Fish and Game's Let's Go Fishing program coordinator.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CT 2009 Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Season Opens May 6

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds outdoorsmen and women that the 2009 Connecticut spring wild turkey hunting season will run from May 6-30. Youth hunters can also participate in a junior hunter training day on May 2, which provides an opportunity for youth hunters to learn safe and effective wild turkey hunting techniques from experienced adult mentors. This year will mark the 29th year that sportsmen have hunted turkeys in Connecticut during the modern era. The statewide turkey population is estimated at approximately 35,000 birds. Last spring, 6,617 hunters took 1,558 bearded turkeys.

"During the past 25 years, spring turkey hunting has become an activity that many look forward to on an annual basis. Connecticut has some of the finest turkey hunting in New England," said Michael Gregonis, a Deer/Turkey Program biologist for the DEP Wildlife Division.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fishing report April 17 2009

Spring is definitely in the air and fishing in the boat once again is a great experience and when the weather cooperates as this day, what else should we be doing. Weather was suppose to be near 70 and calm winds but the morning had the calm winds but afternoon the winds kicked up pretty good.

Fished the same lake as last time and decided that with the water temps in the upper 40’s that I would spend my time covering as much water as possible. So with one rod having lipless rattling bait and the other a shallow diving crankbait, I would be able to move quickly along and search for active fish.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

RI Opening Day and Trout Parks are Fun for All

Families encouraged to join in and help

LOOKING FOR A WHOLESOME EXPERIENCE THAT THE ENTIRE FAMILY CAN ENJOY THIS WEEKEND? Whether trout parks for families with children or remote rivers, streams, lakes and ponds for the experienced angler, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has just the thing for you - fishing.

OPENING DAY – April 18, 2009

Among the trout stocked for Opening Day are 2,500 surplus broodstock like this broodstock brown trout."Opening Day is the single biggest day of the fishing season for Connecticut anglers," said Susan Frechette, Deputy Commissioner of the DEP. The agency estimates that over 200,000 people will be out fishing including anglers of all ages. "Opening Day is a state-wide event that has traditionally brought families outdoors to celebrate the arrival of spring," said Deputy Commissioner Frechette.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Fishing report April 14 2009

Oh to have spring days once again and to see the open waters of our favorite lakes and ponds once again. Sad to see the ice leave but many of us are ready to bring on the open water season and that is where you are going to see us from now on.

The decisions we have to make when picking out the first few spring trips is always a mind boggling thing but a choice was made and off to the lake I head. Fishing during the week has a few advantages and the main one is you don’t have to deal with much traffic on the water.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

NH Outdoor Summer Youth Activities Offered at Owl Brook Hunter Education Center

Youth age 10-15 will have a chance to learn about the shooting sports, bowhunting and other outdoor skills at summer youth activities being offered in July and August at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness, N.H. Sessions are open to individuals, as well as area recreation departments, scout troops and other youth groups.

Pre-registration is required and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited -- enrollment is capped at 20 youth per day -- so register early. To sign up, call (603) 536-3954. There is no charge for the sessions. Participants must bring a bag lunch.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NH Beyond BOW Kayak Fishing Class for Women, June 12-14, 2009

Women interested in learning how to fish from a kayak can sign up this month for a new "Beyond B.O.W" Kayak Fishing Weekend Workshop, which will be held June 12-14, 2009, at Purity Spring Resort in Madison, New Hampshire. The workshop brochure is available now at Registration will open on April 13. The workshop is part of the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (B.O.W.) program, which is sponsored by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation.

The goal of this course is to introduce attendees to fishing from a kayak. This event is for experienced kayakers with some spin fishing experience. Some of the topics that will be covered during the weekend are: rigging your kayak for fishing; fishing techniques - casting, using lures, bait and trolling; fishing equipment and tackle; what to do when you catch a fish; and safety. Attendees must supply their own spin casting rod and kayak.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fishing report April 10 2009

Well spring has finally come to New England and the open water season is underway. At least for southern New England most if not all waters are ice free but there still may be some ice in the northern regions. Many anglers have been venturing out already searching for their fish species of choice.

We are no different and my fishing partner is set on catching some pickerel this early season and wanted to try his hand at it. There is a reservoir not far from our home and is a shallow town water supply and this place is loaded with pickerel. Have only fished there a couple of times, and have been noticing that the size is on the smaller part but for a kid that doesn’t matter.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

NH Fly-Fishing A-Z: Beginner Workshop May 16-17 in Hillsborough

As you start daydreaming about warm summer days, why not consider learning about the traditional and timeless sport of fly-fishing. An upcoming free weekend workshop offers a chance to explore fly-fishing, an activity that will provide you with hours of enjoyment in the outdoors. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's "Let's Go Fishing" Program is pairing up with the New Hampshire Division of Forest and Lands to host "Fly-Fishing A-Z" on Saturday, May 16, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, at Fox Forest in Hillsborough, N.H. There is no charge for the class.

To sign up, you must print out and return a registration form, which can be found on the Fish and Game website at Registration forms can also be obtained by calling Lisa Collins at 603-271-3212 or emailing

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Friday, April 10, 2009

2009 Spring Gobbler Season Looks Good for N.H. Turkey Hunters

New Hampshire's turkey hunters can expect a productive spring gobbler season, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game Department turkey biologist Ted Walski. The spring season opens Sunday, May 3, and runs through May 31 statewide. The N.H. Youth Hunt Weekend precedes the season, taking place on April 25-26 (Saturday and Sunday).

"Hopefully, turkey hunters were out sometime during March checking on the whereabouts of turkey flocks before snowcover disappeared and the flocks began to break out of their wintering sites and disperse across the landscape," said Walski.

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RI urges anglers to exercise precaution and put safety first on opening day of fishing season this Saturday April 11

The Department of Environmental Management is advising the more than 20,000 anglers that are expected to turn out at dawn Saturday - the opening day of the 2009 trout and general freshwater fishing season - to exercise personal safety precautions while in pursuit of the season's first trout

In light of the seasonal cold water temperatures, anglers should make an extra effort to take personal safety precautions, such as not standing too close to the shoreline and being aware of their surroundings, so that they can enjoy a safe 'opening day' fishing experience. Boaters are also being urged to take appropriate safety precautions, particularly those who fish from canoes on lakes, ponds and rivers with dams. Even though the air temperatures are rising, water temperatures are still low and situations can quickly turn dangerous. State law requires that boaters always have personal flotation devices for each person, and that they do not drink and operate a boat. Boaters should also be sure their craft is seaworthy before going out on the state's waterways.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

NH Designated Trout and Fly-Fishing-Only Ponds Open April 25

Fishing in New Hampshire's designated trout ponds and fly-fishing-only ponds opens this year on April 25 (the fourth Saturday in April), offering anglers the chance to experience exciting fishing in some of the Granite State's most scenic surroundings. These ponds are managed specifically for trout and fishing is allowed through October 15.

"These trout ponds are often the best waters in a given area for a variety of reasons," said New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Fisheries Biologist Don Miller. "Excellent habitat, low species competition and the fact that these ponds are closed to ice-fishing allow these waters to be managed for the trout fishing enthusiast." Ponds managed for trout may be stocked with one or more species, including brook, rainbow and/or brown trout, with age classes ranging from "yearlings" (8-12 inches), 2-year olds (12-15 inches), and 3+ year olds (measured in lbs.!).

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Fishing is Here

Spring has finally arrived here in New England and now is the time to take kids out to the local pond. Open water is an exciting time for fishing as the cold winter is gone along with the ice and warmer days are in store. Now that the ice is gone, the waters are going to start warming and the fish are going to start feeding heavily for the spawning season ahead. This gives kids a great opportunity at catching some very big fish and you won't need to be in a boat to do it. Fishing from shore in the spring is exciting and using bait will add to the success rate as well. Find some deeper waters near shore and also shorelines that are in the sun most of the day and this should increase your chances at catching some fish. Baiting a hook with a good sized minnow and using a float for a strike indicator, will get your kids hook on fishing for a lifetime and wanting to do it again tomorrow.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

NH Instructors Needed: "Let's Go Fishing" Wants YOU!

Attention experienced anglers! The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department needs you as a volunteer fishing instructor for the Let's Go Fishing program, where you'll have a chance to teach basic and/or fly fishing to youth and adults.

New this year, individuals being certified must attend two free half-day training sessions. The first training will cover the ins and outs of the N.H. Fish and Game Department and Let's Go Fishing program's (LGF), policy and procedures. The second session will focus on a specific program - either basic fishing or fly fishing; this will be a hands-on experience where prospective instructors will be put through an abbreviated "real life" LGF course. Topics covered include ethics, pond ecology, rules and regulations, equipment, safety and skills. If instructors want to teach both basic and fly fishing courses, they will need to attend a hands-on training session for each, in addition to the first overview training class.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Video from BWS OutDoors

Here is a recap video of our New England Ice Fishing 08/09 recap of fishing freshwater species of fish

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Maine Deadline for Moose Lottery Paper Applications Extended

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has extended the deadline for Moose Lottery Permit paper applications by a month – to May 1.

Persons who choose to submit a paper application for the 2009 Moose Permit Lottery must have their entries postmarked by May 1 or deliver their applications to IF&W’s Augusta office by 5 p.m. on May 1.

This year, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife moved its Moose Lottery application process online, and to much success. Applicants are finding the online system – at – convenient and easy to use. For people applying online, IF&W is extending the deadline for applications by six weeks. This year’s online moose lottery application deadline is 11:59 p.m. on May 15.

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Vermont Kids’ Fishing Events Being Held This Spring

Here’s a great opportunity for young people to give fishing a try. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has released a list of more than 60 upcoming fishing events, most of them intended just for kids.

The department has a “Children’s Fishing Program,” which provides kids with the opportunity for a successful fishing experience at locally organized fishing events. The program provides free trout to the children of the state. Organizers of these events often are charitable, community, or non-profit groups such as fire departments, fish and game clubs, Rotary, Lions, town recreation committees, 4-H clubs, and scouts.

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