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Sunday, June 6, 2010

My winter guest

Nearly a month ago, after work one afternoon my wife, Sandy, told me about this pretty bird that had been hanging around the bird feeder in our back yard. When she went outside, it came close as it foraged. She described it as a beautiful bird but wasn’t sure what species it was. She got out the bird identification book and the picture she showed me was a Partridge! I got online and did a little research. Partridge like to eat apples, berries, insects and the tiny frozen buds on various trees gets them through in winter. They are solitary and usually keep to themselves except during mating. The difference between male and female is small. But after looking at our partridge closely and looking at photo’s from our book; we think it’s a female.
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 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.

2nd Newspaper Column

The Salt Water Registry/License

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: 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 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!

Newspaper column

I write a bi-weekly outdoors column for the Penobscot Bay Press. It is seen in three local newspapers. The Weekly Packet, Island Advantage and the Castine Patriot.

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

Tuna have been sighted !

I just got a report from an offshore lobster fisherman of tuna busting on top 6 miles west of Metinicus Island. That's well with the reach of my boat! Plus it means they could be right off Seal Island and MDI Rock any second! I'd be out looking if it wasn't for all the rain, wind and thunderstorms all this weekend! There are stripers in the St George river ( it's the other side of Penobscot Bay) I'll be out every afternoon this coming week either with fishermen or doing scouting on my side of the bay and up into the Penobscot river. I'll keep you posted.

I have openings on my boat for the upcoming season so give me a call!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

1st post on my blog

Hi all! I hadn't posted to my blog all winter and when i tried it was GONE! Guess i need to keep up so i don't get deleted.
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 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!