Trout Unlimited donates trailer to restore fisheries

The Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited gave the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife a road trailer that will be used to transport equipment into ponds in southwestern Maine that have been targeted for pond reclamation.

Region A fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam said: “Reclaiming ponds is the cheapest, easiest way to restore quality brook trout fisheries in this area.”

The ponds to be treated have been overrun by perch and minnows at the expense of native trout. These fish have been illegally introduced either accidentally from minnow buckets or intentionally by illegal stocking. The chapter is working with IFW to reclaim five ponds in the next five years through their project, named 5-in-5, which is driven by the chapter’s fund raising efforts, including $15,000 over the next three years.

The Sebago chapter is Maine’s largest Trout Unlimited chapter, with a membership of more than 500.


LePage, state agencies urge boaters to use caution

With five fatalities recently on Maine’s coastal and inland waters, the Maine Marine Patrol and Maine Warden Service are working with Gov. Paul LePage to remind boaters and anglers of the inherent dangers that can occur when unprepared to respond to changing conditions or accidents.

Two people have died in sea kayaking incidents in the Bar Harbor and Lamoine areas this year, and three people have died while fishing from a boat or on a sandbar and while recreational boating.

On Saturday, Gov. LePage discussed water safety in his weekly radio address.

“Whether you’re a Mainer or a vacationer I hope you’ll stay safe on our waters this summer,” LePage said. “Please wear a life jacket. The Maine Warden Service and Maine Marine Patrol recommend that everyone wear a life jacket while on the water.”

There are many things you can do to reduce the risks in paddle sports and boating:

Always wear your life jacket.

Don’t drink or use drugs and operate a boat. Alcohol’s effects are greatly exaggerated by exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise and vibration.

Begin by taking a paddling course to learn the basic kayaking and paddling techniques. There are many courses offered around the state.

Dress for the weather for both air and water temperature. This may require constant adjustment. Multiple layers of thin synthetic fiber clothing allows for wide variations in temperature and weather. Some form of paddling jacket is highly recommended, and possibly a wetsuit, depending on the time of year.

Vibrant colors are most visible to other boaters.

Give someone or file a float plan of where you are embarking from, your intended route, as well as your return time. A great sample form can be downloaded at www.MaineSea

A handheld VHF radio in a waterproof bag is essential for notifying authorities in case of emergencies. Cell phones are good, but they don’t always work out on the ocean.

Be sure to label your kayak and equipment with your name and contact information.

Keep emergency supplies on board in a floating pouch, complete with maps, flares and a first aid kit.


IFW officials will answer questions about department

Chandler Woodcock, commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will lead a public question-and-answer session during a Sportsman’s Forum hosted by the Windham-Gorham Rod and Gun Club and the Sebago Lakes Anglers Association on Aug. 10.

Woodcock will answer questions about his role in the department’s efforts and about hunting, fishing and outdoors-related topics in Maine.

The public is invited to participate in the free event, which will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Windham-Gorham Rod and Gun Club on Tow Path Road in Gorham.

Dessert, coffee and soft drinks will be available.

Deputy Commissioner Andrea Erskine, a 25-year veteran of IFW, will also be on hand to answer questions about the department.

Fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam and Wildlife Biologist Scott Lindsay, both based out of IFW’s Gray office, will join Woodcock and Erskine.

For more information on the event, contact Bob Chapin of the Windham-Gorham Rod and Gun Club at 655-1028.

— From staff reports