Friday, May 29, 2009

Maine Family Free Fishing Days May 30-31

Weather forecasters are predicting a nice weekend, and what better way to spend it than to go fishing – or take your children fishing!

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is promoting Family Free Fishing Days this Saturday and Sunday, May 30-31 to encourage people to get out and experience Maine’s waterways.

This free fishing event is open to any person except those whose license has been revoked or suspended. All fishing regulations apply. For a complete list of fishing regulations, including limits and sizes, visit and click on “fishing.”

Fishing, whether on open water or on ice, is one of the most popular activities in Maine, drawing thousands upon thousands of residents and out-of-state visitors to the state’s nearly 6,000 lakes and ponds and almost 32,000 miles of rivers and streams.

Approximately 286,000 people annually purchase fishing licenses in Maine, and the sport has a $300 million impact on the state’s economy.

This weekend is the last of two free fishing weekends offered this year.

“Parents and grandparents, it seems, always are looking for ways to introduce youngsters to Maine’s outdoors, and Family Free Fishing Days is the perfect opportunity to do that. Why cast a line on a video game system when you can do the real thing this weekend? The anticipation of catching a fish, and the experience of seeing one at the end of a line, are experiences that will stay with you and your young ones.”

Want to continue the fishing experience throughout the year? Fishing licenses are available for purchase on IF&W’s Web site,, at any of the more than 285 MOSES licensing agents statewide, or at town offices and other locations.

They also are available at our main office at 284 State St., Augusta.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vermont Moose Hunting Application Deadline is June 2

The deadline to apply for a Vermont moose hunting permit is Tuesday, June 2.

The application must be postmarked no later than June 2, or delivered by 4:30 p.m. on that day to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department in Waterbury.

Applications are available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website ( Under “Hunting and Trapping,” click on Lottery Applications. Applications also are available at license agents statewide.

Lottery applications are $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Winners of the permit lottery will purchase resident permits for $100 and nonresident permits for $350.

Hunting season dates for 2009 are October 17-22, or October 24 through November 1. A total of 1,230 hunting permits will be issued, and about 600 moose are expected to be taken.

“We are managing Vermont’s moose population to keep it in balance with available habitat,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s lead biologist on moose. “Carefully constructed hunting regulations enable us once again to enjoy having moose in Vermont on a sustainable basis, while their numbers are maintained at levels that fit habitat capacity and the needs of people.”

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Get ready for big fish

Spring has come and the fish are ending their spring time activities and will be heading out to their summer haunts. It is getting to be that time that you are going to start catching some very big fish once again and then the fun of fishing is really going to kick in. Many of you like to fish with lures and catching fish on these is a lot of fun. Topwater lures are a great way to catch fish and fishing these around shoreline objects and weeds can be very fun. Not to mention that when a fish attacks your bait and the water explodes around it is some of the most exciting ways to catch a fish. As the waters get warmer the fish are going to get a lot more active and want to chase your lures. Fishing is a great time to spend with your family and see if they want to go to the lake and try their hands at finding and catching these big fish.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fish are moving

Spring is the time that the fish are engaging in their spawning rituals and as they start wrapping these up, the females will be leaving the shallow areas for some much needed rest. The males will still be found near the shorelines for a while yet while they protect the young. But the females are moving out deeper for their much needed relaxation and you are still able to catch these fish. Post spawn fishing can be some of the toughest fishing but if you intercept their migration routes, can also be some fantastic fishing. These fish leave the shallows and move out to the next feature in a given lake, be it weed lines, deep drop-offs or nearby underwater humps. Fish these areas with slower moving baits and this may entice them into biting. Pay close attention to your electronics as any little different feature will hold some of these fish. Post spawn fishing can be a tough time to fish but determination will allow you to catch some of these fish.

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Maine, “What Would You Do? An Outdoor Skills Quiz” available online for children, educators

Do you know what you should do if a see a bear nearby when you’re picking blueberries? Or if you see a turtle on its back along the side of a road?

These are two of the 12 questions posed in the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s newest booklet, “What Would You Do? An Outdoors Skills Quiz,” now available for parents and teachers to show their children or pupils before summer vacation begins. It’s also a fun activity for adults!

The quiz was written by IF&W Natural Sciences Educator Lisa Kane, who for more than 20 years has taught outdoors and wildlife conservation classes at school events, children’s programs, the Maine Wildlife Park and Swan Island. It was illustrated by Tom Merriam, an outdoors artist whose work also graces the Sportsman’s License Plate, and was designed by Deborah Turcotte, the Department’s spokeswoman.

“This appealingly illustrated online quiz gives kids of all ages a chance to see how they’d react in the common outdoor situations depicted,” said Kane. “Hopefully by taking the quiz, kids will learn what the right things are to do in certain situations when boating, camping, snowmobiling or interacting with wildlife.”

The booklet is simple to read and easy to use ­­– and is a great addition to any safety day programs currently being scheduled schools statewide in anticipation of summer vacation.

“A current state and national concern is how to get kids to recreate outside, and once they’re there to make sure they are acting safely and ethically,” Kane said. “Teachers might use the booklet as a stepping stone for kids to share some of their own outdoor adventures, either by writing a story or giving a talk. Teachers also might use the quiz prior to a field trip, to ensure kids know how to act appropriately and safely while visiting a state park, beach or other outdoor venue.”

To read and share the booklet from your home, school or work computer, visit

A printer-friendly version also is available online for teachers. The booklet can be printed on standard copy paper, and then the sheets are cut in half, with one stack placed on top of the other. Just staple and it’s ready to be used by your students! It’s available at

If you’d like to know more about the work being done at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the latest edition of its magazine, Maine Fish and Wildlife, now is online in an easy-to-use flip format. Inside this edition are videos on why Maine is a world-class fishing destination and how much of an economic impact outdoor activities have on Maine’s economy. You also can hear what a Great Blue Heron sounds like! It can be viewed at

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Connecticut Vacationers To Leave Firewood at Home this Memorial Day Weekend

With the start of the summer season this Memorial Day Weekend, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) are asking campers, vacationers and Connecticut citizens not to transport firewood to prevent the spread of Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) and other wood pests.

The Asian Longhorned Beetle is a serious pest that can kill hardwood trees that are common in Connecticut. This past August, federal agricultural officials confirmed the presence of ALB in nearby Worcester, Massachusetts and there is concern that it could spread into Connecticut. Approximately 64 square miles in Worcester and surrounding towns are regulated due to the ALB infestation. Infested trees are being removed and destroyed.

ALB has NOT been found in Connecticut to date. Due to the proximity of ALB infestations in New York City, Carteret, NJ, and Worcester, MA, Connecticut residents and visitors must be on the look out for this pest and take steps to prevent movement of wood that could carry insects to new locations in our state.


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Endangered Piping Plover Nesting Season Underway on N.H. Beaches

Four pairs of piping plovers have returned to the New Hampshire seacoast this spring to nest and raise their young. These state-endangered and federally threatened migratory shorebirds have been nesting each year at locations on Hampton and Seabrook beaches since 1997, when they were first discovered by a jogger running on the beach.

"We have three nests established so far; two are at Seabrook Beach and one is at Hampton Beach State Park," said Samantha Niziolek, the 2009 piping plover monitor for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. Each of the nests has a protective fence around it, and is covered with netting to keep predators away and protect the birds and their eggs during incubation. "The fourth pair has mostly been seen in Seabrook, although nesting scrapes in the sand have also been found in Hampton," Niziolek said. "We're not sure where this pair will decide to nest; they are our mystery couple right now."

So far, things are going quite well; good weather and early nesting means the chicks will hatch early and be able to fly before the Fourth of July holiday. According to Niziolek, the nest at Hampton Beach State Park should be the first to hatch, with chicks expected right around Memorial Day weekend. The two nests in Seabrook are both expected to hatch soon after, during the week of June 4-13.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Free Fishing Class in Rindge, N.H., Starts June 4

With summer right around the corner, are you looking for a fun way to get outside with family and friends? Try fishing! If you don't know the first thing about rigging a rod and finding a place to fish, but want to give this economical and enjoyable pastime a try, get started by taking a free class offered by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's "Let's Go Fishing" Program and the Rindge Recreation Department in June. You'll get a jump on the summer season and discover a recreational activity that everyone in the family can enjoy. All for free!

The "Introduction to Fishing" class will be held on Thursday evenings in June, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Rindge Recreation Department, 283 Wellington Road, in Rindge. The class is open to anyone; however, we recommend that those age 16 and under be accompanied by an adult. Reserve your spot in the class by contacting the Rindge Recreation Department at (603) 899-6847. The class is free, and registration is first-come, first-served. All equipment and materials will be provided. You do not need to have a fishing license to participate.

The first three Thursdays (June, 4, 11 and 18, 2009) will be spent at the Rindge Recreation Department, where you will learn about equipment, safety, knot tying, fish identification, basic ecology and different casting techniques. On the fourth Thursday (June 25) we will head out to the local lake and put your newly learned skills to the test!

New Hampshire Fish and Game's "Let's Go Fishing" program has taught thousands of children and adults to be safe, ethical and successful anglers. Find out more at The program is federally funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works to conserve, manage and protect the state's fish and wildlife and their habitats, as well as providing the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources. Visit

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fishing May 13 2009

The waters here in New England are warming nicely with the latest weather being sunny and warmer air temps as well. This is allowing the weed growth in most lakes to get a good start and finding green weeds at this time of year along with warmer water is the ticket for catching fish.

Spring time is when the fish are getting ready to move into shallow areas for their spawning ritual and with the waters in the low 60’s, fish will be found. Afternoons seem to fish a little better at this time of year as the waters warm a few more degrees as opposed to the cooler mornings but once they are into the spawn, then time of day won’t matter that much.


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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Enjoy Vermont Days, June 13th and 14th

The weekend of June 13 and 14 is a great time to celebrate the arrival of summer and enjoy a free sample of Vermont’s excellent fishing, state parks, and historic resources. All Vermont State Park day areas, state-owned historic sites, and the Vermont Historical Society Museum in Montpelier will be open at no charge.

This year, Vermont is also celebrating the State’s first Forestry Centennial – the 100th birthday of the Division of Forestry and our first state forest.

June 13 is Vermont’s Free Fishing Day -- the one day in the year when residents and nonresidents may go fishing without needing a fishing license. It's a great opportunity to take the family fishing and create memories to last a lifetime.


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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fishing Report May 9 2009

Another beautiful day in store for New England and my little fishing partner was biting at the bit to wet a line again. Decided to try our hand once again shore fishing and he wanted to see if he could catch another big bass. So we arrive at that pond once again and there are numbers of people already there fishing. Was lucky to get the last open area and started fishing like he generally does with big shiners in search of big fish. Didn’t take long and the fish were biting in this spot as well with a few small pickerel coming in and one very nice perch.


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New Hampshire North Country Fly-Fishing Workshop June 6-7, 2009

Need an excuse to visit beautiful northern New Hampshire? Have you been thinking about learning how to fly fish? If so, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's "Let's Go Fishing" Program and the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation have a perfect opportunity for you. "Fly Fishing: The North Country Experience" is a beginning fly-fishing weekend offered June 6 and 7, 2009, at Coleman State Park in Stewartstown, N.H. This free course will give you the chance to learn about the traditional and timeless sport of fly-fishing.

To sign up, 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 Registration forms must be received by May 29, but sign up early because class space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants will be notified within two weeks before the workshop if they are registered. The class is open to anyone age 13 and over, however those 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Maine Moose Permit Lottery Applications Due Friday, May 15

Applications for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s 2009 Moose Permit Lottery are due by 11:59 p.m. this Friday, May 15. The only applications still being accepted are those filed online at

“We’re encouraging applicants to apply online during the day or at their earliest convenience before the close of business on Friday,” said Bill Swan, IF&W Director of Licensing. “That way, if any questions arise, applicants can contact us so we can assist them.”

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife can be reached at (207) 287-8000.

This year, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife moved its Moose Lottery application online, and thousands of applicants have found that using the Internet to apply is easy and convenient.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is issuing 3,015 permits for the fall harvest.

Realizing that some interested hunters do not have a computer, IF&W offers the following suggestions:Use a computer at work during lunch or a break;Use a computer at a local library or an Internet café;Ask a friend or relative with a computer for help.

The 2009 Moose Permit Lottery Drawing will be held Thursday, June 18 at the University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Sports Center, located on 23 University Drive, Fort Kent. Doors open at 3 p.m., and the drawing of names will begin at 6 p.m.

This is the first time that the permit drawing will be held in the St. John Valley. The University of Maine at Fort Kent, the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, and a planning committee of St. John Valley area officials and citizens are promoting the event.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fishing May 8 2009

Since we are into the month of May there is a lake that I usually frequent that has good numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass. At this time of year the fish are starting to cruise the shorelines and decided it was time to get the kayak out and venture around and see what we could find. There is no access for motor boats here so small water craft is the name of the game here.

Was a beautiful day with light winds, sunny skies and temps in the 60’s as well. There were already a few out fishing and scattered around so no one is near each other while they search for their secret spots. I had decided that I was going to concentrate on a shoreline that has produced well for me in the past and hopefully there will be some big girls swimming around these areas.


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Vermonts Trophy Trout to be Stocked at Burlington and Vergennes

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will be stocking about 800 two-year old “trophy” rainbow trout this week in Lake Champlain at Burlington Harbor and in Otter Creek below the Vergennes dam.

Fisheries biologists are considering the possibility of stocking trophy trout in Burlington and Vergennes annually in the future. “We have been discussing ideas to improve urban fishing opportunities, and these fish will provide an opportunity to determine if a trophy trout program is a viable option in these areas,” said State Fisheries Biologist Brian Chipman. “We want to assess how well the trout contribute to shore fishing catches in this area before we invest in a long-term program.”

Anglers are reminded that Lake Champlain regulations apply below the Vergennes Dam as well as in Burlington Harbor: There is a 12-inch minimum length limit and the daily creel limit is three trout.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fishing May 3 2009

With the weather lately being iffy at best my son wanted to go fishing again but didn’t want to go in the boat with possible storms coming through. So we headed to a pond to try some fishing and anything that wants to bite is on the agenda. He wants to fish for one species one day and another a different day, but today was about just catching fish and didn’t matter which ones.

We started off at a pond that we ice fish a lot at and there is a beach area that makes for easy shoreline access. My son is really into fishing with minnows now and after baiting him up and casting the lines out, wasn’t long and the bites were coming. But these fish weren’t taking the minnows enough to get hooked and a number of fish were missed and the action died after that.


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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fishing report April 30 2009

With a very warm trend that has passed through the New England area, figured that the waters were warming nicely and decided to head to New Hampshire and see what the fish were doing. Fishing during the week has a few benefits as the lake in general is vacant from boat traffic and allows you to fish where you want without fighting the crowds that do frequent this lake often.

Arrived at the lake early and the water was like glass as there was no wind, the sun was shining but winds were suppose to get strong later. The lake is at full pool and actually may be a little higher than normal at this point. Motoring away from the landing the water temperatures were reading the upper 50’s and this was no surprise and hoping for a good day of fishing.


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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Free "Let's Go Fishing" Intro Class Offered in Hancock NH

Have you always been interested in fishing, but didn't know where to begin? Here's a free chance to learn the basics, just in time for fishing season! The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Let's Go Fishing Program will offer a basic fishing class on Saturday, May 9, at the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock, N.H.

The class is open to all; however, those 16 and under should be accompanied by an adult. Reserve your spot by contacting the Harris Center at 603-525-3394 or emailing The class is free, and registration is first-come, first-served. All equipment and materials will be provided. You do not need to have a fishing license to participate.


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Friday, May 1, 2009

Fishing report April 25 2009

Massachusetts has school vacations twice a year and this was the week that the kids were home and wanted to take my son out once again. The winds have been blowing strongly once again but he has fishing on his mind and wants to put a few pickerels onto his line as well.

So we headed over to the pickerel pond to give his hand a try and he was not disappointed in the action as usual. The wind seems to always blow into this shoreline but that seems to help the bite and keeps the bait moving all the time. This seems to be the ticket for getting bites and after a slow start the action definitely picked up quickly.

Rest of the report:

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Vermont's New Walleye Regulation Reminder

With walleye fishing season starting Saturday, May 2, in much of Vermont, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding anglers of a new minimum length and daily limit set by regulation.

A new fishing regulation designed to improve walleye fishing in Vermont took effect in January. The new fishing rules apply to all waters of Vermont except Lake Carmi, Chittenden Reservoir and the Connecticut River.

Walleye and sauger now have an 18” minimum length and a 3-fish combined in the aggregate daily creel limit. The open season is from the first Saturday in May to March 15.


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