Public Hearings for Rulemaking Proposals


ADVERTISE: July 25, 2018

AGENCY:  09-137   

CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Chapter 1. Open Water and Ice Fishing Regulations; Chapter 1-A. State Heritage Fish Waters

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. The list of proposals may be obtained from the Agency Contact Person or online at: mefishwildlife.com Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may submit written comments on any of the proposals. The Department is also proposing additions and deletions of waters to the State Heritage Fish waters list. The proposals, if adopted, will become effective January 1, 2019, with the exception of one heritage water being removed from the list effective October 1, 2018.

PUBLIC HEARING: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. – Hilton Garden Inn, Ballroom C, 250 Haskell Road, Bangor

COMMENT DEADLINE: August 24, 2018

CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING: Becky Orff, Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, 284 State Street, #41 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333; becky.orff@maine.gov

FINANCIAL IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES OR COUNTIES: None anticipated.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THIS RULE: 12 MRS Sections 10104, 12452 & 12461

PRINCIPAL REASON OR PURPOSE FOR PROPOSING THIS RULE: These proposals are designed to provide for the effective conservation of game fish throughout the state, and provide for a variety of fishing opportunities.  The proposals set specific season dates, bag limits, length limits, taking restrictions and other special regulations designed to accomplish fisheries management objectives.  The list of proposals contains information regarding each proposal. 

IS MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE IN THE RULE ?   YES  X  NO 

ANALYSIS AND EXPECTED OPERATION OF THE RULE:  These regulatory proposals are based upon current information regarding the status of game fish populations and their use.  Appropriate adjustments to the regulations are proposed to control exploitation, and enhance the quality and variety of fishing opportunities throughout the State.
Some waters will also meet the criteria and be added to the State Heritage Fish waters list, and some either do not meet the criteria or existing restrictions undermine efforts to conserve other native fish and are proposed for removal. The proposals, if adopted, will become effective January 1, 2019, with the exception of the removal of Crescent Pond from the Heritage Fish Waters list effective October 1, 2018.  

BRIEF SUMMARY OF RELEVANT INFORMATION CONSIDERED DURING DEVELOPMENT OF THE RULE (including up to 3 primary sources relied upon): Proposals are the result of the vetting process of the fisheries division law and rule committee. Biological information, public outreach, angler counts and survey results on individual water bodies are taken into account. 


ADVERTISE:  August 8, 2018 

AGENCY:  09-137  Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE:  Chapter 4.01 (G. 1.b. and 3-A) – Upland Game and Furbearing Animals

BRIEF SUMMARY: The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing to amend dates for the fisher trapping season to allow two additional weeks of trapping in WMDs 12,13 and 15-29.  The amended season for trapping of fisher would be November 15 to December 31 annually.  The bag limit remains at 10 fisher per trapper. An amendment is also being proposed for the areas open and closed to the trapping of beaver in WMD 25. A complete copy of the proposed rule can be obtained from the rulemaking contact person listed below.

PUBLIC HEARING: August 28, 2018 at 5:30 P.M. at the Augusta Armory, Room 209B, 179 Western Avenue, Augusta

COMMENT DEADLINE:  September 7, 2018

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: No fiscal impact anticipated.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THIS RULE: 12 MRS 10104

PRINCIPAL REASON(S) OR PURPOSE FOR PROPOSING THIS RULE:
To establish fisher trapping season dates and individual township openings and closings for the beaver trapping season.  At the request of the town, the closure for trapping of beaver in WMD 25 for Alna has been removed.   
 
IS MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE IN THE RULE?   YES  X  NO 

ANALYSIS AND EXPECTED OPERATION OF THE RULE: In 2015, the trapping regulations for several species were altered to reduce the chance of accidentally capturing lynx, which are listed as a threatened species by the federal government.  Unfortunately, these changes resulted in reduced trapper participation, and caused a significant decline in harvest for fisher.  Therefore, we are proposing to extend the fisher trapper season by 2 weeks in southern and central Maine to allow more opportunity for trappers to sustainably harvest this species. A statewide annual bag limit of 10 fisher per trapper will remain in effect to prevent high harvest levels by individual trappers.  Townships or portions thereof are opened and closed on an individual basis to manage local beaver populations within the general season framework in response to the amount of habitat, past harvests, and complaints of beaver damage to public property. 

BRIEF SUMMARY OF RELEVANT INFORMATION CONSIDERED DURING DEVELOPMENT OF THE RULE:. The Department regularly adjusts furbearer hunting and trapping regulations in response to emerging scientific information, changes in trapper participation, and biological data.  Since 2015, trapper success rates and total fisher harvest have remained relatively constant, indicating that current harvest rates are sustainable and that the population could support the small increase in harvest that may result from a lengthened season. Regional wildlife biologists consider requests from landowners to close areas to beaver trapping, in conjunction with the amount of habitat, past harvests, and complaints of beaver damage to public property.  This information is used to develop a recommendation on closures for the upcoming trapping season.

AGENCY WEBSITE:  mefishwildlife.com 

E-MAIL FOR OVERALL AGENCY RULE-MAKING LIAISON:  Becky.Orff@maine.gov