Outdoor News

September 2017
Edited by V. Paul Reynolds

September. Music to the senses. The cadence quickens. Time to bid summer farewell and make plans for Maine's finest hour and Mother Nature's supreme orchestration: the debut of Autumn and those magical October days. September's song includes a landscape of golds and rust-colored ferns. Windless days of apple picking, ripened Big Boys and dedicated anglers squeezing in a few more hours on the waters.

Hiking mountain trails and camping can be great this time of year. Cool nights for deep sleeping and bugless afternoons for lingering beside still waters. For hunters, there is bear season, special archery season for deer, an early goose season and much planning to be done.

There are dogs to be trained, guns to be sighted i n, camp roofs to be fixed and woodlands to be scouted for deer and moose. And for those true hunter-gatherers, there are wild mushrooms aplenty and vine-ripened blackberries to be plucked and put up in jam jars and pie plates.

Maine in September. Next to October, who could ask for anything more.

CAPTION FOR PHOTO ABOVE: Chase Stokes of Ferrisburgh, VT holds the new Vermont state record carp he caught while fishing the Otter Creek in April. It weighed 33.25 pounds and measured 40 inches in length.


Club News

If your club or outdoor organization has news or photos that warrant publication in the Northwoods Sporting Journal, send them to: Club News, NWSJ, P.O. Box 195, W. Enfield, ME 04493, or e-mail news to: info@sportingjournal.com



Maine - Casco Hatchery Project

Construction continues ahead of schedule on the Casco Hatchery Pipeline Replacement Project. Currently, the new water intake pipe is fully assembled and crews are pressure testing the 3,900’ pipeline in preparation for lowering it to the lake bottom.

If the testing and preparations proceed as planned and there are no unexpected delays, crews could begin lowering the pipe into place before the weekend. Lowering the pipe into the proper position is expected to take up to three days.

The on-water construction portion of this pipeline project is currently two weeks ahead of schedule. Once the first intake line is in place on the lake bottom, crews will then focus on assembling a significantly shorter, second intake line for the Casco Hatchery. This 315’ pipeline will be assembled in the same manner as the first, but will not extend as far or as deep as the first line.

Currently, the pipeline is secured and floating along the southeastern shore of Pleasant Lake. The pipeline is marked with caution signs, warning lights and safety buoys. Once the pressure testing is complete, the floating pipeline will be moved to the area where it will be lowered to the lake bottom. The new intake pipe is replacing the original intake line, which stopped functioning last summer. While the diminished water flow did not interrupt hatchery production last year, failure to replace the intake this season would mean a lost year of production. The Casco Hatchery raises landlocked salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout which are stocked throughout the state. It is the only state hatchery that produces rainbow trout and the Sebago Lake salmon strain. The Casco Hatchery, established in 1954, produces over 85,000 catchable fish annually. Over 300,000 people fish in Maine each year, injecting $319 million into Maine’s economy annually.


Vermont - New Fish Records

Two fish caught in tributaries of Lake Champlain earlier this year have been certified as new Vermont state records.

A new state record carp, weighing 33.25 pounds and measuring 40 inches in length, was caught in Otter Creek in April by Ferrisburgh angler Chase Stokes. Stokes, an accomplished Vermont youth angler, caught the carp while fishing in the town of Panton. The fish had a total girth of 26.5 inches at its widest point.

A second state record for the species of redhorse sucker has also been certified. Mike Elwood of Burlington landed a redhorse sucker in the Winooski River in May which weighed 9.96 pounds, measured 29 inches in length and had a total girth of 18 inches. Elwood caught the redhorse sucker while fishing in the town of Colchester.

The former record carp weighed 33 pounds and measured 35 inches in length, while the previous record redhorse sucker weighed 9 pounds and measured 27.5 inches in length.

Both of the new records were made official this week after a thorough inspection process by fisheries biologists from Vermont Fish & Wildlife. The records are for the traditional method of angling, in contrast to records for bowfishing which are also recognized for both species.

“The two fish add to the remarkable list of record fish being caught in Vermont year in and year out,” said Shawn Good, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “15 state records have been set for individual species of fish since 2010, and that list will likely grow as more and more anglers chase many of Vermont’s lesser-known, non-traditional fish species.

“We currently certify records for 41 different species of fish found in Vermont, so the opportunities for anglers to learn about and target trophy-class fish of a range of species are tremendous,” added Good. “Chase and Mike are both accomplished anglers and long-time participants of our Master Angler program, and their catches are certainly indicative of both their talent and passion for fishing.”

Good also noted that the frequency of record fish catches in Vermont in recent years provides added incentive for anglers to get out on the water this summer and fall.

“There seems to be some extra buzz in the Vermont angling community right now given the quality of fish being caught regularly across so many different species,” said Good. “It’s always exciting to go fishing, and it makes it that much more exhilarating when you know your very next cast could lead to a new state record.”

To learn more about Vermont’s record fish program, fishing in Vermont, or to purchase a fishing license, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.


New Hampshire - Gilmanton Promoted

James S. Juneau of Gilmanton has been promoted to Major and is the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's new Assistant Chief of Law Enforcement.

"The Law Enforcement Division is fortunate to have an officer with Jim's abilities and expertise to assist us with promoting the Department’s initiatives," said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. "Jim is a capable leader who cares about the well-being of his officers. He has always gone above and beyond the call of duty to strengthen the vital relationships between our constituents in the community and the Law Enforcement Division."

Among his many duties, Juneau coordinates and organizes activities of the field force, in cooperation with other law enforcement personnel, in response to emergencies such as drownings, searches, hunting accidents, forest fires, and floods. He manages hiring, training, and assignments of Conservation Officer Trainees, and oversees Field Training Officers. He is also responsible for federally funded programs involving Fish and Game Law Enforcement, such as the Joint Enforcement Program on the coast and enhanced enforcement on the Canadian border.

Juneau has served 20 years as a New Hampshire Conservation Officer. After his trainee year, he was assigned to the Alton patrol area, rising to Sergeant in 2004. In 2010, he was promoted to District Lieutenant and became the District Five Chief, overseeing Fish and Game Law Enforcement in south/central New Hampshire. Juneau joined the headquarters administrative management team at Fish and Game Law Enforcement with his promotion to Captain in 2015.

In 2006, Juneau was selected as the New Hampshire Wildlife Officer of the Year by the Shikar-Safari Club International. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science and Natural Resources from Cornell University.


Vermont - Fishing Regs Recognized

In its first year as a stand-alone publication, Vermont’s fishing regulations digest has earned top honors among regulation publications from throughout the United States.

The digest, officially titled “2017 Vermont Fishing Guide and Regulations,” scored 279 out of a possible 300 points in a highly-competitive, annual publications contest coordinated by the Association for Conservation Information.

The contest, which is the only one in the country exclusively for education, information and public relations professionals who specialize in conservation, recognizes excellence and promotes craft improvement through competition.

“We’re honored that the digest has earned the designation as the top regulations publication in the nation,” said Chris Adams, information specialist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife who helped coordinate the digest’s production. “It’s a testament to both the individuals who worked to produce the digest and the anglers who use the guide each year and provide us with critical feedback to continually make it better.”

Regulation publications from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission came in second and third with 270 and 267 points respectively.

The contest received more than 400 entries for consideration, a new record according to ACI, and winners were announced during the organization’s recent annual awards conference held in Nashville, Indiana.

Prior to 2017, Vermont’s fishing regulations were combined with the state’s hunting regulations in a single digest. The 2017 fishing regulations digest is also the first edition produced internally in recent years, having been written and designed entirely by staff from Vermont Fish & Wildlife, Vermont Life magazine, and the Chief Marketing Office.


New Hampshire - Free Archery Ranges

New Hampshire archers and bowhunters warming up for the fall archery seasons can practice their shooting skills at New Hampshire Fish and Game Department archery facilities at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, and at the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness. Both ranges are free and open to the public.

See a short video about Fish and Game’s archery ranges at: www.huntnh.com/archery

The archery ranges at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown are managed by New Hampshire Fish and Game. The Bear Brook woodland archery range features 15 targets and a 4-target practice range that is universally accessible. For more information on day use at Bear Brook State Park, visit www.nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/bear-brook-state-park.aspx, or call (603) 485-9874.

Fish and Game's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness offers another practice opportunity for archers. The Owl Brook woodland archery course features 14 game targets placed in a variety of challenging situations at varying angles and distances. The first target is wheelchair-accessible with signed parking nearby. The woodland course is free and open daily from dawn to dusk, unless otherwise posted. Broadheads are not allowed for safety and maintenance reasons. Owl Brook also offers a 4-target archery practice range that is open to the public, Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For directions, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/owl-brook.html.

N.H. Fish and Game's archery ranges are maintained by the Department’s Hunter Education Program, which is funded by Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, a user-pay, user-benefit program supported by an excise tax on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment. Learn more at www.wildnh.com/funding/wsfr.html.


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