Spring means more outdoor activities – Knox County VillageSoup

AUGUSTA — Spring has arrived and for many that means hiking season is almost here while fishing season continues.

Here’s outdoor news from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

Hiking

Before lacing up hiking boots, the Maine Warden Service has a few reminders:

• Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Should anything happen, this will be essential in helping the Maine Warden Service and other search and rescue personnel find you.

• Be aware that conditions vary greatly from state to state and at different elevations. It may look like spring in southern Maine, but in the north and at higher elevations there is still plenty of ice and snow. Some trails are extremely muddy and closed to prevent trail damage – look for a trip.

• Dress for the weather and in layers.

• Hiking boots with ankle support and tread are ideal. It’s best to avoid icy conditions altogether, but just in case, pack a pair of crampons or vines.

• Be prepared for having no cell phone service. Know the route without using a mobile phone.

• Remember that it gets dark much earlier in spring than in midsummer. Plan accordingly and always carry a flashlight.

• Pack essential items, including high-protein snacks, water and a fire starter.

• Roads may be impassable due to mud, snow or a combination. Have a plan B and stick to the places you know in the spring. Save your biggest adventures for later in the season.

• Respect the terrain by picking up and staying on the trail. Ninety-four percent of Maine’s forest land is privately owned, and more than half of that area is open to the public. This access is a gift, and to preserve it, everyone must do their part.

Whet the appetite for fishing and go wet a line. Photo courtesy of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Nautical survey

Take a few minutes to share information with MDIFW about fishing and/or boating activities on Maine’s inland waters.

Maine’s open water fishing and boating season has begun and the organization is asking boaters and anglers to fill out a short survey to help him better understand the current participation and/or use of Maine’s inland water bodies.

Sin

Do you dream of launching a line? Many fishermen are. No matter how much you love ice fishing, the anticipation of a first cast in open water is always enjoyable.

For many anglers, the break out of the ice is a prime time to fish landlocked salmon and lake trout, while others wait for the streams and rivers to warm up before casting a line. The old adage that trout bite when “the leaves of the alders are as big as a mouse’s ear” is still weeks away in most parts of the state, but for those who can’t wait any longer , the organization has some suggested places and tips to try. in the April fishing report.

In some parts of the state, it’s still possible to tip and enjoy the last few days on hard water.

If you haven’t checked the map display of special fishing laws, you’re missing something. The Fisheries Laws Online Fishing Tool (FLOAT) is a way to see which waters are regulated by the Special Fisheries Law. Don’t forget to also read the general laws.

Remember the water is extremely cold this time of year and water levels are often high and fast moving – always wear a life jacket. If you are ice fishing, be extremely careful on the ice.

Kayakers on the water. Photo courtesy of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Early Spring Fishing Tips

“Fish slowly. Very cold water makes fish lazy and trolling too fast with live bait or lures is a sure way to miss catches. Take your time and your patience may be rewarded,” said Nick Kalejs, fisheries resource biologist.

“For anglers looking to fly fish in the month of April, we suggest using a ‘dropper’ fly or tandem streamer rig. Whether you’re trolling, nymphing, swinging, or casting streamers, adding a dropper fly allows you to cover multiple depths, layouts, colors, and sizes at once. Experiment using streamers, wet flies and nymphs until you find a tandem rig that works, just make sure the smallest fly is the second one attached,” said Colin Shankland, biologist for Fisheries Resources, and Jake Scoville, Fisheries Resources Technician.

“If you’re fishing in a river or stream, let the current do most of the work. Let your bait or lure drift a little. The fish are still a little lethargic due to the cold temperatures, so a quick presentation could result in a strike for the day,” said Jason Seiders, Fish Resource Supervisor.

Remember that most lakes and ponds in Maine open to ice fishing stay open until April.

Southern Zone: Under general law in the Southern Zone, lakes and ponds are open to ice fishing and open water fishing year-round (unless otherwise stated in the Special Fishing Laws section) .

North Zone: In the North Zone, lakes and ponds with the special season code “A” are open to ice fishing and open water fishing all year round; lakes and ponds with season code “B” are open for ice fishing until April 30. Click here to search for Maine’s special fishing laws (search for “A (open”) or “B (open”) in the regulations column to find waters open to ice fishing) or use the Online fishing based on the Fishing Laws (FLOAT) map. After April 1, once the ice is gone, you can fish in open water on most lakes and ponds in the northern zone.

Enjoy your time on the water and remember:

• Leave No Trace — Realize what you bring.

• Park in public or designated areas — Do not block paths or other roads. Pay attention to muddy and soft roads.

• Respect private property — Use public access sites or areas where you have permission to park or access.

• Be Prepared — Check the weather, bring what you need for the day, and let someone know where you’re going and when they’ll be back.

• Take care of the catch — If you do catch and release, do it quickly and responsibly. If someone harvests the catch, bring it home.

Black-capped Chickadee in flight. Photo courtesy of Joe Alvoeiro/Shutterstock

State taxes support wildlife

Filing Income Taxes in the State of Maine? Check the titmouse. Donating to the Chickadee Check-Off helps non-game, threatened and endangered species in Maine.

Here are some project updates that depend on funds from the Chickadee Check-off and the Loon Conservation Registration Plate:

The black tern is Maine’s rarest tern and has been in continuous decline since 2007. To better understand the return rates of Maine black terns to their breeding wetlands, the MDIFW began coloring adults last summer . Additionally, to contribute to a larger migration connectivity project in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan, the MDIFW also equipped five adults with geolocators. Geolocators have a light sensor and use changes in ambient light levels to estimate sunrise and sunset times, from which latitude and longitude can be calculated. Derived locations will shed light on where birds go during migration, identify areas where different subpopulations mix, highlight important stopover and wintering sites, and potentially uncover priority conservation issues on these sites.

Bumblebees are one of the most valuable pollinators of flowering plants, including many of our favorite wildflowers and cultivated flowers, as well as important Maine crops like apples and blueberries. Unfortunately, over the past 25 years, some bumblebee species have virtually disappeared and others are in significant decline. Habitat loss, pesticides, intensive agricultural practices, and diseases and parasites introduced by commercially bred bumblebees all likely play a role in the decline of bumblebees around the world.

In Maine, we know a lot more about our native bumble bee fauna thanks to the Maine Bumble Bee Atlas (MBBA), a six-year citizen science project that has documented what species live here with us, where they are, and what their lives are. conservation state. is.

One can help support projects like MBBA that provide valuable information about Maine’s non-game and endangered species by contributing to the “Chickadee Check-off.”

A record number of peregrine falcons, 41 pairs, were documented in Maine in 2021. Peregrines that nest further north in Canada and Greenland still pass through Maine during fall migration, but the state’s breeding population has disappeared. from 1962 to 1986. During the period from 1984 to 1996, the MDIFW reintroduced 154 young falcons from captive breeding programs conducted by The Peregrine Fund.

Thanks to MDIFW partners from Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and the US Forest Service – White Mountain National Forest, the restoration of the Pilgrims in Maine after 24 years of absence was a success.

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at [email protected]

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