The Maine State Senate passed a bill to open the Penobscot, St. Croix and Saco rivers for C&R fishing of sea run salmon. admist concerns that the runs are still much too weak to be opened for sport fishing of any kind. Sen. M. Kilkelly, D-Wiscasset expressed concerns over the fragile remnant runs, among others. According to the Bangor news, the bill (LD 2579) will now proceed to the house.
My opinion on this matter, despite being a very enthusiastic salmon angler, leans toward the environmentalists. Maine has historically shown little concern for the salmon that once were part of it's legacy, now this bill re-inforces a feeling of exploitation of a resource that was ill-cared for over the last two centuries.
Let the government show responsibility for the welfare of a run before promoting access to it's remnants for sport! Any of you guys in Maine want to chime in on this topic?
04-11-2000, 06:58 AM
Ed Baum the senior biologist for the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission summed it up best last week. When he resigned from the commission after 33 years of service in protest of the states treatment of these fish.
Do you have contact information or know how I might contact Ed Baum? (I like this guy)
I am thinking perhaps we could contact LL Bean and Kittery etc to do something to fight this bill. It would certainly send a good message to the public to have a fishing-oriented giant like Bean or Kittery stand with the Forum against this clear "exploitation without preservation" bill.
Ed would be key to strengthening the message to the public. When I started this site I was motivated to figure out how to use the web to make things happen. This seems to be a great cause and the timing is right. If nothing else we can do a good job communicating, if we do it right we can raise a lot of awareness and steer things the right way.
I hope to heck that someday the Saco, StCroix, and all Maine runs are healthy enough to support salmon angling - but I don't see this as the way to get there.
Pete if you aren't completely tied up with your masters program - do you have any contacts with statistics on current return rates and impact?
04-12-2000, 07:00 AM
Found out last night the bill was killed in the House saturday by about a two to one margin. Ed Baum has a website at http://www.maineatlanticsalmon.com/ he sells his book there and some other stuff. For return rates check http://www.state.me.us/asa/ and be prepared to throw up.
Great news, glad calmer heads prevailed... but as you point out the statistics were truly depressing, particularly the percentage of aquaculture escapees. Seems the nixing of the bill was just a small victory, the big battle is effective restoration of habitat, passage, etc.
To the friends in the PNW - you're lucky despite all the crap going on. It's worth every bit of fight to protect what's left.