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Category: News & Updates

All ATV trails lead to Tucker Ridge

Taking the ATV's up the logging to Kirkland Ridge. Miles of trails to ride and a great way to spot Moose and Black Bear.
Taking the ATV’s up the logging to Kirkland Ridge. Miles of trails to ride and a great way to spot Moose and Black Bear.

It’s not all hunting & fishing on Tucker Ridge… ATV trails crisscross throughout Maine with shared access routes to get to them.

The most popular time is right after mud season (Spring in Maine), when the trails are hardened up and have been opened for the season.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to “Wheelin’ Season” locally.

At Tucker Ridge Outdoors, all roads in the vicinity are ATV approved. Leave your car or truck parked at the cabin and enjoy your outings by ATV.

From birding to moose watching,  picnics to trail rides, you can do it all on your wheeler from Tucker Ridge.

What are you waiting for? Book a stay and load up the 4 wheeler’s!ATVs

 

 

 

 

IFW proposing new rules and clarifications for 2017 fishing season

DIFW Shield smallNotice of Agency Rule-making Proposal

 

Brief Summary: The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing regulation changes for the upcoming ice fishing and open water fishing seasons. These regulations are needed to provide for the effective conservation of Maine’s inland fisheries, and enhance fishing opportunities throughout the State. Some of these changes have occurred due to simplification and reformatting of the entire fishing law book. All of the proposals may be discussed at any of the 5 public hearings listed below.

View 2017 Fishing Regulation Proposals (PDF) or obtain a list of the proposals from the Agency Contact Person.

Anyone unable to attend a public hearing may submit written comments on any of the proposals. The proposals, if adopted, will become effective January 1, 2017. The Department is also proposing modifications and additions of waters to the State Heritage Fish waters list.

Public Hearings:

July 26, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. – Northeastland Hotel, Red Room, 436 Main Street, Presque Isle
July 27, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. – Stearns High School, Auditorium, 199 State Street, Millinocket
July 28, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. – Ramada, Breakfast Room, 215 High Street, Rt. 1 & 3, Ellsworth
August 2, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. – University of Maine Farmington, Olson Student Center, N. Dining Hall B, 111 South Street, Farmington
August 4, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. – Comfort Inn, Breakfast Room, 199 Pleasant St, Brunswick

Comment Deadline: August 17, 2016

Contact Person for this Filing: Becky Orff, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State Street 41 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333; phone: 207-287-5202; fax: 207-287-6395; e-mail: Becky.Orff@maine.gov

Financial Impact on Municipalities or Counties (if any): No fiscal impact anticipated.

Statutory Authority for this Rule: 12 MRS Sections 10104, 12452 & 12461

Source: www.maine.gov/ifw (Press Release)

How Maine leads as a model for black bear management

The Dept of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife discuss how hunting & trapping black bear in Maine is a vital population management tool…Maine’s bear program is a model for states with bear conflict and population control issues.

 

Follow Maine’s black bear biologist, Randy Cross, as they study the black bear population. Go with them into the forests as they trap during the summer, and follow them in the cold of winter when they visit the dens to count how many cubs enter the population. Source: Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

Behind the scenes at a moose tagging station

So you won your first ever moose permit, you’ve bought your tag and you just put a 900lb bull on the ground on opening day. Here’s a little background on what you might expect when you show up to tag your moose…

Maine Moose Permit Deadline Fast Approaching

A reminder from the Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

Don’t miss your opportunity to apply for the 2016 Maine Moose Permit Lottery

 

Hunters who dream about the hunt of a lifetime are reminded that application deadlines are quickly approaching!

Paper applications for the 2016 Maine moose permit lottery must be postmarked by April 1, 2016, or delivered to 284 State Street in Augusta by 5:00 PM on April 1, 2016.

Paper applications are available by contacting the Department at (207) 287-8000 or from our website at www.mefishwildlife.com.

The deadline to apply online is 11:59pm on May 16, 2016. The online application process is fast and simple and provides instant confirmation. To apply online, please visit https://www5.informe.org/online/moose/.

Applicants are awarded bonus points for each consecutive year that they have applied for the lottery since 1998 without being selected and each bonus point gives the applicant an additional chance in the drawing.

Bonus points are earned at the rate of one per year for years one to five, two per year for years six to 10, three per year for years 11 to 15 and 10 per year for years 16 and beyond.

Since 2011, applicants can skip a year and not lose their bonus points. So if they applied in 2014 but not in 2015, they still have their points available if they apply in 2016.

The moose permit drawing will take place on June 11, 2016 at Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine.
For more information about moose hunting in Maine and the moose permit lottery, please visit: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/lotteries/moose/index.htm

Sugarhouses across the state open this weekend for Maine Maple Sunday!

From the Dept of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry:

March 21, 2016

For more information, contact: Samantha Howard at 207-287-7620mainemaplesunday-2016

Commissioner Whitcomb formally announces adoption of international grading system for maple syrup to promote the industry

AUGUSTA – Commissioner Walt Whitcomb today formally announced that Maine has adopted the international grading system for maple syrup. His notification, required for adoption of this international standard to take effect, comes in advance of this year’s Maine Maple Sunday, held Sunday, March 27, 2016. Most Maine producers have already implemented the voluntary standards in hopes of providing consumers with a better understanding of the natural product they are buying.

Maple Sunday is held annually, every fourth Sunday of the month. Participating sugarhouses will be open for visitors to enjoy freshly made maple syrup and candy, demonstrations of syrup production, sugarbush tours and a variety of other family activities.

Governor Paul R. LePage recently highlighted maple tapping season with Maine Maple producers on the Blaine House lawn by following an annual tradition: the tapping of a maple tree. The Governor recognized the economic contributions of Maine’s maple syrup industry and potential for continued growth.

“Maine’s maple industry contributes an estimated $48.7 million to the Maine economy,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “That includes a direct contribution of $27.7 million and multiplier effects. The Maine maple industry is working hard to realize its potential for creating more jobs, business opportunities and locally-produced products valued by consumers.”

The voluntary standards announced by Commissioner Whitcomb are designed to match those used by other countries in order to give consumers standardized information for selecting maple syrup. It is in response to a 2010 petition from the International Maple Syrup Institute, an organization of producers in the United States and Canada.

“The new system, utilized by most Maine producers, combines 4-5 different systems into one standard that is easier for consumers to follow,” said Whitcomb. “Customers benefit from a system that more accurately portrays what they are buying and how it tastes. Retailers can also more easily choose the grades they want to stock based on customer preferences.”

Maine Maple Statistics:

  • 545,000 gallons were produced last year, worth $17.4 million
  • Maine’s industry has an annual statewide economic contribution, including multiplier effects, of an estimated $48.7 million in output, 805 full-and part-time jobs, and $25.1 million in labor income
  • Maine has the third largest syrup industry in this country. Maine has the largest maple producing county in the country – Somerset County
  • Maine has around 1.4 million taps

Some sugarhouses will hold events on both Saturday and Sunday. For a list and map of participating sugarhouses, visit the Maine Maple Producers website: http://www.mainemapleproducers.com/

For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: http://www.maine.gov/dacf

IFW Commissioner Opens Fishing Season Two Weeks Early

From The Dept of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Press Office:

DIFW Shield smallFor Immediate Release: March 16, 2016

Effective tomorrow, Thursday, March 17, the 2016 Open Water fishing season will begin, two weeks earlier than usual, per an amended rule by the Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The amended regulation allows bodies of water that were closed to open water fishing until April 1, 2016 to become open to open water fishing effective March 17, 2016.

Anglers throughout the state may now get a chance to enjoy the early spring by fishing on their favorite waterway earlier than usual.

Many lakes in southern and even central Maine are completely ice free. The lower than average snowfall also means that rivers and streams are at low springtime flow levels, making for easier fishing.

Anglers are likely to find more fish available in waters that were stocked last fall. Poor ice conditions meant less time for ice fishing, leaving many trout and salmon that normally would have been caught in the winter still there for spring anglers.

The early open water fishing season does not apply to waters with special season opening dates starting after April 1, 2016. This rule does not close any body of water currently open to ice fishing or open any water to ice fishing that is currently closed to ice fishing.

In addition, all waters with S-10 and “CO” designations will also be open to fishing. All other S-codes, tackle restrictions, daily bag, possession and length limits still apply as listed.

If you are fishing from a boat, the Maine Warden Service is urging boaters to wear their lifejackets. Prolonged immersion in cold water can kill, and wearing a life jacket can greatly increase your survival chances if you are in the water unexpectedly.

The beginning of the open water season also means that the department stocking trucks will be busy. The department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife begins an ambitious stocking program in mid-April and by the time ice starts to cover lakes in the fall, over 1.2 million fish will have been stocked in waterways across the state.

If you haven’t purchased your license yet, please visit www.mefishwildlife.com to purchase your license any time of the day, any day of the week

Please be sure to check the 2016 fishing law book for regulations specific to the water you wish to fish.

Ruffed Grouse are drumming

It’s about a month early here in Maine to start seeing and hearing the sights and sounds of spring. But along the ridge, inexplicably, it’s happening.

This sound in particular is one my of favorites, the visual even more stunning….

Ski and Snowshoe Trailer at Aroostook State Park

Get outdoors and try your hand (or feet as it were) at skiing and snowshoeing!

The Bureau of Parks and Lands will be pulling the Ski and Snowshoe Trailer into Aroostook State Park this month. This is a great opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy winter sports if you don’t own a ton of equipment for the whole family.

Date: February 22, 2016 – February 25, 2016aroostook

Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: Echo Lake, west off U.S. Route 1, south of Presque Isle
State Park: Aroostook
Event Type: Nature Exploration

Visit our Ski and Snowshoe Trailer daily, 10:00am – 2:00pm, from February 22 through February 25.

Equipment rental is FREE with regular park admission.

  • Cross-country skis
  • Snowshoes
  • Ice skates
  • Snow tubes
  • Sleds

Park staff will be on hand to assist and answer questions.

Contact Phone: (207) 768-8341
Website: http://www.maine.gov/aroostook
Cost: Free with park admission: $1.00 for ages 5-11, $3.00 for Maine residents ages 12-64, $4.00 for non-residents ages 12-64, $1.00 for non-residents 65 and older; persons under 5 and Maine residents 65 and older are free.

Fishing For Togue In Deep Water? Know these tips if you plan to release them…

By IFW Fisheries Biologist Kevin Dunham

Togue and other bottom-dwelling fish often have expanded swim bladders after being pulled up rapidly from deep water. This is known as barotrauma, usually when they are caught from water deeper than 30 feet.  Barotrauma is caused by the rapid expansion of gases in the swim bladder and other tissues as fish are retrieved to the surface.

When fishing near or on the bottom, try to bring your fish to the surface slowly to allow it time to expel gases built-up from water pressure changes.barotrauma

If a fish has a normal-sized swim bladder while it is swimming 60 feet below the surface, its swim bladder could double, even triple, as a fisherman gives it a quick trip to the surface.

A ballooning swim bladder is a non-issue if the fish will be kept.  If it’s a catch-and-release kind of fish, however, its life is in jeopardy.  With the equivalent of a beach ball in its gut the fish can’t swim back down.

The first thing is to understand the signs of a fish struggling with barotrauma, or “pressure” trauma.  The physical signs of barotrauma are:

  • Bloated abdominal area,
  • Bulging eyes,
  • Balloon-like tissue protruding from the mouth or other areas of the body (sometimes).

Sometimes lake trout can be gently squeezed to help force gas out of the swim bladder.  Gently press your thumb along the stomach near the paired belly fins and move it forward a few times to remove air from the bladder.  Fish suffering from barotrauma can survive if released properly and within two minutes of surfacing.