Thursday, December 9, 2010
America’s Great Outdoors Listening Session
In early September, I was invited by my friend and colleague, Cheryl Daigle, of The Penobscot River Restoration Trust, to a listening session at the Bangor Civic Center. This meeting was hosted by the federal government. President Obama has tasked various departments to generate a report, due November15 of this year, about the state of Americas great outdoors. There were many federal representatives attending. Nancy Sutley, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality. Ann Mills, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. Will Shaforth, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Jon Jarvis, Director, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, and Stephen Perkins, Director, Region 1 Office of the EPA. There were more, including various Maine luminaries and outdoors VIP’s.
President Obama wants to create a dialog on what is right...and what is wrong with our outdoors activities, lands and heritage. Mr. Obama has tasked many Federal Departments to do the research and report back to him. They visited 27 different areas all over the US. I’m happy to report that Bangor showed the highest attendance of all 27 meetings, with over 350 attendees! Many differing outdoors representatives were in attendance. Fishermen, hunters, hiking groups, guides, lodge owners, snowmobile clubs, hikers, bird watchers, atv clubs, northern Maine landowners, conservation groups, Native American tribes and many more. The idea was to bring as many different ideas and opinions to the table to discuss and give opinions.
The meeting began with welcome and opening remarks by the aforementioned federal folks. Then, some of Maine’s leading outdoors community members gave statements. We all then split off into 6 conference rooms with approximately 50 people in each. In my room we were joined by Ann Mills and her assistant. There were 3 young ladies taking minutes. Every word spoken was supposed to be recorded so it could all be used for the report. We basically took turns making statements that would go into a database for the report.
I was sure that I was invited so I could speak about the Penobscot River dam removal project. It is a great accomplishment and Cheryl is always trying to gain support and publicity. I’m a big supporter and have worked with her in the past promoting it. I was prepared to do just that. But I thought that this might be a chance to make some comments about the state of our marine fisheries and just how BAD a job our government has done to the resource. I called the former president and current president of the Maine Charter Capt Association. I told them what was up. After some discussion with those two, I went to the meeting prepared to speak my mind!
I began with my positive comments about the river project. Then I abruptly changed direction. I said I worry about what the true agenda of this strategy for Americas outdoors is. I fear it is about wildlife sanctuaries and marine protected areas. Where you can look but no hunting or fishing…paddle but not power boat…hike but not drive an atv…snowshoe but not snowmobile… we need to protect traditional hunting and fishing activities first and foremost! Please make sure to represent all Americans. Not just a privileged few. I talked about the terrible mismanagement of the striped bass resource. I blamed the feds for the lack of fish. I complained about our government supporting the last reduction menhaden fishery in the U.S. Our government is subsidizing a company located near the Chesapeake Bay. This company is allowed to basically take all the menhaden they want. These fish are used to make fish food, fertilizer and oil. All of which are available from cheaper sources! If not for government money the company could not stay in business. Most of you don’t realize it, but menhaden is THE most important fish in US waters. With the lack of herring, lobster fishermen could use it to supplement the herring. Recreational fishermen need it for bait too. What we get is very expensive and shipped from the Gulf of Mexico! Unfortunately, there are virtually NONE in Maine waters. The few we have need to be left alone. We hear about red tide closing the shellfish beds almost every summer. The menhaden is the only fish that can actually consume red tide algae and eliminate it from the bays and estuaries! They feed on it and other types of algae. If Penobscot bay had a proper population of menhaden it would virtually eliminate the red tide problem! So in effect, to save a very few jobs, the feds put out of work hundreds if not thousands of clam diggers and mussel fishermen. To support approximately 150 jobs at this company, they encourage the removal of the best source of food for everything from stripers and bluefish to ground fish, tuna, sharks and many other species. Do you wonder why we have no fish to catch off the Maine coast anymore? Wonder no more. This is a HUGE reason, among many other factors. I looked Undersecretary Mills square in the eye and said, “I WANT MY STRIPERS BACK!”
Write your senators and congressmen. The only way things will change is if your voices are heard!
On a happier note…. Did you get your deer yet?
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Funny thing, I dreaded getting on facebook but, now that I am it's a hoot! I've even found at least one old high school classmate!!
Here's the link to Eggemoggin. Pics, news and such... and you can get to my other page through it too!
PLEASE!! if you go to the page make sure you hit the like button. The more likes I get the higher up in rankings i go!
You can also click on the badge to the right.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
My Grandson Talis Christian Petrick just celebrated his 2nd birthday. His Grandma and I went to Windham for the party!! Next spring and I'll be buying him his first fishing rod!! He wasn't much on opening all his gifts but, He sure did like the cake!! ;) It's ok...I used to like the packages more then the gifts myself!!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Over the last four hunts we've limited out 3 times and the one time we didn't it was still a dozen ducks between 3 guys! Today my guys had never been sea duck hunting before and weren't sure what to expect. Three hunters shot the limit of 12 eiders in just a half day....We were set up by 7:15- 7:30 am.... Wasn't a half hour and I heard BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!!! By noon we were done! The guys were floored at how much shooting they had. They couldn't believe what it took to drop thoise big eiders. I had to take care of a few cripples for them. Next time they're bringing BBB or T shot! They were using #2's. It works ok but if you don't hit them dead on it makes for a few wounded critters. ( which I take care of).
I liked these fellas for one big reason...they crippled two ducks...I went over to finish them off. I shot at them once and they dived and were gone for good...What happens sometimes is eiders will be wounded and if you can't take care of them in a few minutes time...they go to bottom and grab hold of something till they expire....
I called my guys on the radio and told them that those were two dead ducks...and they counted towards the bag limit, even though we didn't retrieve them. I hoped they were ok with it. To me that is the ethical and honorable thing to do...They were dead ducks shot by those guys! Even though they weren't in the boat. To a man they agreed and understood my reason....
Like I said..these were 3 good guys!
If you want to flatten a bunch of ducks....if you like to shoot a box or two of shells....and if you want to have a great adventure.....call or email me to book a hunt!
Friday, October 29, 2010
I have hunts next week but I have openings if you want to enjoy some fast gunning for big fast flying ducks!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I also have openings into mid to late november! Call or email me to book a hunt.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I get a lot of calls to go striper fishing. I've turned them all down in the last few years. Penobscot Bay simply has no fish to catch.....
But, if you come to my area and really want stripers, I'll provide the transportation, boat, bait, tackle and know how. It's a bit of a ride each way but it is still an amazing fishery and worth going!
Friday, September 3, 2010
Ann Mills, deputy undersec for nat resources and environment
dep assistant sec for fish, wildlife and parks
the director of the nat park service
director, region office of ecosystem, EPA
They started off with statements.
Then local outdoors officials participated with a Q&A for an hour or so. Then we broke off into working groups of about 50 people per room...there were six rooms..each had two fed officials and three admin assistants that took the minutes. all the comments are supposed to be fused into a report for the President. What follows are my remarks...it's just my notes...and I did change a little on the fly but....it is basically what i said.
I really don't know if it made a difference ..but i feel better after saying my opinions...
National outdoors conversation remarks
Good afternoon. I want to thank my friend and colleague Cheryl Daigle for inviting me to attend America’s great outdoors listening initiative. My name is Pete Douvarjo. I’m the owner of Eggemoggin Guide Service, located in Sedgwick. I’m also the Vice President of The Maine Charter Capt’s Assoc. Our membership includes nearly 80 charter Capt.’s up and down the coast of Maine. The Maine Charter Capt’s Assoc has publicly stated our support for the Penob river Restoration Project. Myself and our members, all depend on healthy rivers and bays to sustain our small businesses. This ambitious project was quite a surprise when one Monday morning, I awoke to read in the Bangor Daily News, that a disparate group of people got together and made an agreement to try and restore this historic watershed. I must say that doing all this work and doing it under the radar, so to speak, certainly impressed me! While it may not be returning back to the original river it once was…It is a great start and will, as you all know, open approximately 1000 miles of spawning habitat to the diadromous fish that are most important to myself and our membership. The Penobscot is the largest watershed in the state…and I believe the 8th or 9th largest watershed in the nation!! In my opinion, what will follow in the wake of the two dams being removed and the howland dam bypass, is going to be astounding! Within a few years the returning alewives and herring alone will number in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions! Those returning prey species will feed the predatory fish that live in Penobscot bay, the river and up into the river’s backwaters. They will be preyed upon by cod, haddock, striped bass, blue fin tuna and others. Having more food for those predator fish will mean an increase in the fish we all love to catch. As the herring and alewife begin the spring spawning migration, they will be preyed upon. After the spawn up river they will return to sea to again feed hungry predators. Their eggs and later, as juveniles, the baby herring and alewives will become food for smallmouth bass and land locked salmon , upriver! We will soon see bigger and healthier fish upriver, in what is already, a world class smallmouth bass fishery. Then in the fall, juvenile baitfish will leave the river and become once again, prey to all the creatures in the bay. I for one can’t wait to see the result of this most worthy and ambitious project.
Over the last four or five years my business has declined over 60 %. The main reason being… I have NO STRIPERS TO CATCH! The bay has been pretty much barren of life. We still get a few mackerel in the summer….there are a few cod and Pollock. With nothing but a great smallmouth fishery up river, I have basically, had very little to fish for. This is and has been a major problem. This season, I spent a small fortune on a new and bigger boat, suitable to go offshore. Plus all the very expensive, heavy duty gear and tackle. I have to travel over 30 miles from my home port to fish for tuna, sharks and ground fish. It was just five years ago. I was able to take clients out for 4 or 6 hr charters. We’d only have a 30 minute run to the striper grounds…we’d catch many nice fat, fresh fish. Then a short ride back to the dock. It was affordable, safe and great fun for all. And my 20’ Lund was comfortable, fast and very economical…very important in a small business. Those days are over. Spend a day offshore in 4 to 5 foot seas chasing pelagic fish...It’s hard work for a 54 year old man! I want my striped bass back! And my fuel bill has gone up dramatically. I charge what seems like an exorbitant fee for offshore trips but my expenses, my gear and all other associated costs are enormous. That is without anything breaking! If a tuna breaks off with a lure in it’s mouth it’s 25 to 90 dollars worth of lure!!
The problem in Maine starts with the problems in the Chesapeake Bay. Over fishing, pollution, mismanagement, poaching and disease is taking a toll on Chesapeake stripers. Those fish make up the majority of the stripers we catch here in Maine. Our federal gov has done a terrible job managing not only stripers but almost all other fish. The Atlantic Striped Bass management Council should be ashamed of the poor way they manage the striped bass fishery. They deny the fact that striped bass are in trouble and are in danger of another collapse such as the one in the mid 70’s. They’re seriously contemplating increasing the commercial quota on the harvesting of stripers. Ladies and gentlemen…THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL HARVEST OF THE STRIPED BASS AT ALL, NEVER MIND INCREASING IT !!!.
They will not listen to experienced charter fishermen. People with many years of experience who are on the water day after day…. People, who I dare say, should have the most input on the decisions dealing with managing fish.
5 years ago there were over 3.5 million stripers landed ,and most of them released, on the Maine coast. Two years ago there were just over ½ million. That comes directly from the federal marine statistics survey report.
All Atlantic states but two, have experienced serious declines in recreational landings.
The federal government allows a reduction fishery for menhaden. You have to understand, menhaden are the most important fish in the sea. They provide high protein/high fat food that grows fish big and healthy. I understand that commercial fishermen rely on menhaden for bait. Recreational fishermen need them for catching stripers . the fish need them to sustain themselves. And we all need them for a very important reason….they are the only creature I know of that can eat and eliminate red tide algae. Proper populations of menhaden can control those huge red tide outbreaks we’ve been experiencing recently. The bottom line is the federal government is directly responsible for the decline in menhaden and needs to step up to the plate and stop the reduction fishery and allow the populations to be restored so we can all utilize the resource fairly!
I want to see money put towards researching stripers and other game fish. New fish hatcheries are needed to jump start the diadromous fish returns once the dams are removed. That costs money. The white house and legislature need to find a way to fund this! It is vitally important.
The Penobscot can and will support striped bass spawning!! It may not be exactly a striper heaven like the kennebec, but it is more then adequate to give us our own native fish!
Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “The most feared introduction in the world is: Hi I’m from the government and I’m here to help…”
I read the entire memorandum released by the white house related to this nationwide white house proposal. In it, I saw fishing and hunting mentioned only briefly. I read lot’s of flowery language and nice friendly words. But I saw very little about what I and millions of Americans think is most important. I question why the National Fish and Wildlife Agency is not listed as part of this Presidential initiative. I would think they would be critically important in any decisions concerning our outdoors heritage.
I worry about what the true agenda of this strategy for Americas outdoors is. I fear it is about wildlife sanctuaries and marine protected areas. Where you can look but no hunting or fishing…paddle but not power boat…hike but not drive an atv…snowshoe but not snowmobile… we need to protect traditional hunting and fishing activities first and foremost! Please make sure to represent all Americans. Not just a privileged few.
Thank you for this time and congratulations to the Penobscot Restoration organization. This project is a shining example of what caring stewards of our great waterways can accomplish with nothing but an idea and will to start something. I am proud to be associated with you…
Sunday, August 15, 2010
inch maximum, we released it. I wanted to get it in the boat for a pic but we could not lift that fish over the rail! My spin rod butt cap is ruined...the lower portion of the foam handle is gone....I got up this morning feeling like I'd been run over by a truck... BUT, I can't wait to do battle again!
If you want a chance to catch a monster fish that will battle to the bitter end call or email me! I still have openings. These bruisers should be around into October.
207 359 2746
Thursday, August 12, 2010
207 359 2746
Saturday, August 7, 2010
It'll be great fun!
Contact Capt Dave Pecci to enter at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 207 442 8581
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Mid summer report! The tuna are just starting to show...not really enough to fish on yet but any day now...sharks will be right behind. Not much of a striper year so far :( . Cod fishing has been great out towards Seal Island. The Penobscot is really fishing great! Last two trip were 37 and 30 bass to the boat, with some smallies up to 20" in the mix! tight lines most all day!
I'll be out looking for tuna over the next couple days.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
The bird showed up a little while later. Being an avid bird hunter, Partridge is the best table fare of all our wild birds and it being Partridge hunting season, I headed for the shotgun cabinet! Oh boy, bad move on my part. I thought herself was going to wring my neck! Wanting to shoot HER bird and all. Soon as Sandy calmed down, I went to have a closer look. I stood on my back porch and it wandered up quite close and looked me over. A couple days later it was back and approached even closer. It went on like this for a good for a week or two. Pretty soon she would see me and come running across the yard right up to my feet! During the day, Sandy would see it eating frozen buds and it would peck around the cracked corn and sunflower seeds I had out for the other birds.
I started leaving out some purple grapes and the partridge happily devoured them. I ran out of those after a few days so I sneaked some of Sandy’s treasured blueberry supply and she liked those too. Next, I cut up some apples and those seemed to be her favorites.
Now, after a couple months, that bird greets me at the back door every morning. If I’m up before she is, I just give a whistle and out of the woods she comes. I put out my hand and say, “ C’mon up!” and she hops onto my hand. Most evenings just before dark we repeat our ritual. She even takes grapes from between my lips.
I can’t help but laugh at her. When the food is gone she gets quite cranky. Darn thing will start walking up and down my arm while scolding me with various clucks and squawks. Sometimes she pecks my head and ears till I relent and go in for more berries! This little bird has been giving Sandy and I countless hours of enjoyment.
Has this happened to anyone else? I’d love to hear from you if you’ve ever been adopted by a wild bird. I will share your stories if you have them.
Don’t forget about the two fly tying classes coming up at Craig Brook Hatchery in Orland. On February 6, Harold Shaw will teach you how to tie a pair of trout fly’s and on February 13, I will be showing you two salt water fly’s. You bring your vise and tools, plus some thread ( white or monofilament for my class) and all the other materials will be provided. The best part is it’s free. Classes are limited to ten participants. Contact email@example.com or call 359- 8999 to register.
Slims Fishing Derby is February 13 and 14. On Toddy Pond . Call 348-6938 to register. There’s many nice prizes and awards. Plus you may win a door prize just for buying a ticket. AND It’s for a great cause! Call 348-6938 for more info. Tickets are available at many local stores.
Many of you have heard about the new Federal Salt Water License (also known as the SWL). This has been met with some passionate and even angry response from many Mainers. The Federal plan that went into effect January 1st wants to get a count of all salt water anglers in every coastal state in the US. They want catch reports so they can better understand what are being caught, how many fish are being caught and angling methods. Without this data, it’s pretty difficult to make the proper decisions to help the resource and increase fish numbers. The latest estimate is the Federal fee will be between $15.00 and $25.00. It’s always been considered a right to go down to the shore and catch a fish or two. I understand. The problem is the Feds have already decided and we have NO CHOICE in the matter. It’s happened and we have to live with it! What’s vital for you to know is that if the Feds get the money, we will never see it and it’ll end up in the Federal coffers. If Maine passes its own registry, Maine gets to keep the funds. That money would be used to administer the registry and the left over funds can be used to help improve the fisheries in Maine!
Our legislature is taking this up as we speak. DMR estimates it will cost 330,000 dollars to administer and enforce it here in Maine. If we can pass our own SWL with a 15 dollar fee per license for anglers 16 years and older, it will raise 2.5 to 3 million dollars. That leaves a rather substantial amount of money left over to do many things. The DMR (Dept of Marine Resources) has asked The Maine Association of Charterboat Captains (MACC) what we think should be done with this issue. MACC would like to see Maine require all anglers to register. Those fishing for diadromous fish such as stripers and shad would pay the fee while those fishing from shore or docks for mackerel and other non diadromous species would register without a fee. That way you’d still be able to go after mackerel and other local fish for free. You know how bad the striped bass fishing has become. This new source of funds in conjunction with the Penobscot River Restoration will be a huge benefit to our state. Three dams will be removed and/or bypassed. The diadromous fish will then have access to over 1000 miles of spawning habitat. Consider how quickly we can restore fish populations if DMR gets funding enough to raise thousands (if not millions) of herring, alewives, shad and stripers to be released to help ‘jump start’ the fish population!
I do understand the reluctance of many to pay yet another fee but look at it this way, $15.00 dollars is dinner for 2 at the local fast food joint. For 15 dollars a year the benefits we will see will go way beyond what we have now in our salt water fisheries. Maine has until next January to get the state license together or we lose the funding to Washington.
If you are fishing this year without registering and you get checked you will only get a warning. Next year there will be a penalty of some sort, probably a ticket and fine. To register go to this address: http://www.countmyfish.noaa.gov/ it just takes a few minutes and there is no fee till next year. I’d love to get your thoughts and ideas on this issue. I’ll be sure to pass them along to DMR.
For you fly tiers there will be two upcoming free fly tying classes at Craig Brook Fish Hatchery in Orland on Feb 6, 9 am till noon, you can learn to tie two freshwater flies and on Feb 13, 9 am till noon it will be two saltwater flies. I will be the instructor for the salt water tying. Bring your tools, thread and vise. Everything else will be supplied. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 359- 8999 to register. It’s free but classes are limited to ten persons.
And don’t forget about the second annual Slim’s Ice Fishing Derby on Toddy Pond February 13 and 14. Call 348-6938 to register. It’s for a great cause!
here's the first one ( reprinted with the editors permission)
Outdoors with Captain Pete
Welcome to my new column!
It is my hope that through this column, I can help inform local readers about issues concerning all outdoor related subjects. This column is for you- the reader. It will deal with many types of outdoor recreational topics including fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, kayaking, sightseeing and more. I want to keep you updated and educated to some of the important issues we are facing.
Did you catch the fish of a lifetime? Did you get your dream 10 point buck? I want to hear about it! I’ll be giving you tips on how to catch the ‘Big One’ ….What’s the proper way to set up your duck decoys … What is the best knot to tie your lure with…etc. I’ll be reviewing products that will help your outdoor experiences. There will be boating tips - like how to deal with that nasty ethanol that’s plaguing your outboard, plus many other topics.
Do you have an outdoor related event coming up you want to publicize? Let me know! In short….if it’s something to do with outdoor recreation, it’s something we can talk about. Feel free to email me with your thoughts, ideas or even criticisms. My email and website address is below. My phone number is on my website…Love to hear from you!
I am a Registered Maine Guide and Coast Guard licensed Captain. I’m also an officer and board member of the Maine Association of Charter Captains (or MACC for short). As the owner of Eggemoggin Guide Service located in Sedgwick, I’ve been fishing all my life and guiding people on both fresh and saltwater for 10 years along with guiding sea and puddle duck hunts. While involved with many different issues, most recently I’ve been involved with the Penobscot River Restoration project. Another issue is the Federal Government mandate for all states regarding the salt water fishing license. These are two issues that you need to be aware of !
In my next column I will try to explain in layman’s terms, about the salt water license and the recent meeting that I participated in with the President of MACC and Department of Marine Resources officials to discuss what we think of the new salt water license requirement. In the meantime I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new license so let me know what you think about it .
Captain Pete Douvarjo
I have openings on my boat for the upcoming season so give me a call!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The fishing season is almost upon us here in Downeast/Acadia Maine. I have bought a new boat. A 21' Parker CC. Big honda 130 horse outboard. I'm outfitting it for offshore tuna, shark and groundfish!!! 130 lb class stand up rods and reels. Big Spinning roda and reels for those days the tuna are crashing the surface. I still have my 20' Lund alaskan for inshore saltwater trips...my Penobscot River smallie trips and for sea duck hunts in the fall. YUP!! i now have TWO big holes to throw money into! I'm also writing a bi weekly outdoors column for Penobscot Bay Press. It is published in three papers. The Weekly Packet, The Island Advantage and the Castine Patriot. I will publish the columns I've written and all my future ones as i do them...In the next few days I'll post all the previous columns. Keep checking back to see my posts and to keep track of the fishing season as it goes on!