Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

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Editor
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Maine Is at War Over Ice Fishing

RAGGED LAKE, Maine -- At public hearings, on the Internet, ice-fishing Mainers call this a class war.

N.J. born Ted Koffman fly-fished in Maine as a kid, still does. Snowmobiles/heated fishing shacks, he says, "are out of keeping with the call of the loon."

Thom Watson, born in Louisiana: "My dad, a duck hunter, used to say ice fishing was like a hunter sitting by a fireplace looking up the chimney waiting for a bird to fly over."

Source: [i]Wall Street Journal, By BARRY NEWMAN, March 13, 2007; Page A1[/i]

KathyP
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Sadly, I have never been ice fishing. My only knowledge of it is what Hollywood fed me in "Grumpy Old Men" and I gotta say, if that is what it is like, I would so totally want to be a part of that! It looks like a blast (again, what I saw in the movie), complete with little communities springing up on these frozen ponds/lakes, whatever they are.

Heaven forbid people actually have fun and enjoy each other's company. :roll:

Henry Clay
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Quotes and pics would make lovely campaign mailers two weeks before an election.

Lenny
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Mr Koffman seems a bit high and mighty to me. Im an avid flyfisherman and dont even own spin fishing equipment, but I also love to ice fish and bring the kids whenever the weather allows. It is great fun. What the hell else is there to do for 6 months of winter? Anything that gets kids outside is good in my book. Guys like Mr Koffman give us flyfishermen a bad name.

Northarrow
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

One was born in New Jersey – one was born in Louisiana.

This serves as a validation of ice fishing, not a condemnation.

pmh
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Since when would anyone sledding or ice fishing hear a loon? How many loons are there near the megamalls, suburban "developments" & plastic food joints? Whatta buncha hooey!

BlueJay
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

pmh [i]- "Since when would anyone sledding or ice fishing hear a loon?" [/i]
Yeah, but they obviously don't know that. :wink: Insufferable, stuffed-shirt, elitist prigs ought ta' go back to where they came from. We'd all be better off.

pmh
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

An added thought to the notion of "class" here: ice fishing in Maine is a far older tradition (by many hundreds of years) than importing summery know-it-alls.

JimP
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

[url=http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB117373740342034593-lMyQjAxMDE3NzEz... Article[/url]

[quote]At public hearings and on the Internet, ice-fishing Mainers are calling this a class war. It's bait dealers who serve about 80,000 locals versus guides and outfitters who service 250,000 tourists; it's folks who see fishing as fun versus snobs who think it's an art; it's gluttons who catch-and-fry versus purists who catch-and-release.[/quote]

I question these numbers, 250,000 fly fisherman? I don't think that Maine even sells that many non resident licenses, and that includes all types of fishing.

I agree with the guy that said these guys give fly fisherman a bad image. I fly fish and these guys don't represent my views.

Rickie Keim
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I have yet to see a Loon on a frozen lake..........

am I missing out here? I've gone Ice fishing before, it's a blast. The last time i checked, you were fly-fishing in an open brook, stream or lake. Ummmmmm, has anyone clued these two nutty's on the fact that when you "ice fish" the lakes are actually frozen? When I use to go, we took an ice shack, but you still froze half to death while fishing. Perhaps someone should set these two up in the middle of a lake, without an ice shack, at -10F, with winds just whipping, and let them have at it. I wonder sometimes how long people like these two would have survived "back when", we might be a bunch of "backwoods" hicks up here, but I'd put my money on the fact that , if we ran out of oil tomorrow, we'd stand a far better chance of surviving than the likes of these two.

Bobbi

Butch Moore
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

This is one of the folks behind this session's anti-bait bills:

[quote]To Mr. Mallard, ice fishing is worse than artless. It's a menace. Buckets of live bait get dumped at day's end; lightly hooked bait escapes; fish that swallow hooks when they eat live bait die even if they're thrown back; and ice fishermen, unlike the sporting fly fishermen, take their whole legal limit home for dinner.[/quote]

cover_maine
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Methinks these flatlanders are baiting us on the issue? :wink:

Like looking up a chimney to go bird hunting? Funny line, but what an ignoramus!

Guess neither one of these gents have been in a shack in the midcoast with the smelt are running. We filled 4 5 gallon buckets with fish....fried some right there with bacon and onions on the wood stove! Oh that the lowly ice fisherman should endure the shame of actually consuming the fish and not do the noble catch and release....why, by the standard they set ice fishermen are subhuman and not worthy of the term "sportsman."

I guess the ice-fishing critics probably aren't all that big on the real purpose of the chumming sport....an ancient concept they probably don't practice all that much.

It's called CONVERSATION! Most of the world's problems have been solved in a smelt shack! Particularly important facts of the day, such as Red Sox vs. Yankees and so on and so forth.

And how quaint that the WSJ would pick up the story. The authors probably think there is no better sport than to pick on than those and a fishing method perceived to be beneath them. Yes, authors, go back to the Mall from whence you came!

Wilson
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

I can see being concerned about certain bait species infesting our waters if there is a basis for that concern, but otherwise if someone wants to spend their time differently than these two guys, what's it to 'em? If there is a problem with a particular bait, that doesn't mean there is a problem with ice fishing, or with people who enjoy ice fishing, does it? Unless, of course, they are intolerant.

pmh
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Let's toss a bit more fat into the fire:

Some of the common names for some of the common species of baitfish are not legally recognized names for baitfish. But these "beyond the pale" names are being used by some anti-ice sorts as supposedly neccessary for fisheries managment. But given that a certain baitfish may be known in Sidney by one name, in Augusta by another and on seven lakes by fourteen common names makes this whole exercise difficult, confusing, and provides innumerable mirrors with and without smoke behind which various newly-promoted ivory tower types can lurk as they, like true enviro-zealots and yup-yups continually nibble-nibble-nibble at what was once the State of Maine and the generations-long traditons of its inhabitants.

Bluntly: there's been an inordinate ammount of smoke blown at this issue, but a miniscule at best bit of fisheries science.

Doug Thomas
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

When the law changed so that parts of the Kennebec River were off limits to worm fishing, people got together and had a small pond west of here designated as a kids only fishery. When they wanted to allow the kids to ice fish on the pond some of these same groups did everything they could to stop them.

When a kid can't take a can of worms and go fishing in Maine it's going to be a sad day.

Wilson
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Doug - Amen! I remember spending the summer mornings of my youth catching enough perch and pickerel to provide lunch for myself and my siblings. I shudder to think of the mercury we ingested, but I have fond memories of those mornings.

JimP
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

I glad you remember that Doug. TU as well.

Editor
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

DEPARTMENT OF INLAND FISHERIES & WILDLIFE

Division of Public Information and Education
207-287-8000
284 State Street, State House Station #41, Augusta, ME 04333

For More Outdoor Information, and Sporting Licenses 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week, Please Visit:

http://www.mefishwildlife.com

or contact

ifw.webmaster@maine.gov

Current Activities of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Research Group

For over two months our colleagues in IFW’s regional offices have been providing excellent information and observations in their weekly fishing reports. This week they have a break, which gives staff here in the Fisheries Research Group located in Bangor an opportunity to write about some current activities that should be of interest to anglers in the state.

Stream Surveys and the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture

This year is shaping up to be a very exciting year for brook trout and stream research in general. IFW is embarking on a major effort in conjunction with the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV) and our partners to collect pertinent information on stream fisheries and habitats over the next two years. Many may recall that the EBTJV’s recent status assessment of brook trout populations from Maine to Georgia found that Maine is not only the state with the greatest extent of wild trout resources, but we are also one of the states in greatest need of updating our basic information regarding the status of our brookies. To put this in perspective, Maine lacks adequate information for about two thirds of the state’s area to accurately assess the condition of wild trout and their habitats for the EBTJV.

As an effort to address this need, we will begin a two-year statewide stream survey effort this year. Five seasonal crews will be brought on board this summer to conduct standardized surveys for brook trout and other fishes as well as to gather some basic fish habitat information at the surveyed sites. This is no small task, nor could it be possible without the generous contributions and assistance from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Trout Unlimited’s Maine Chapters, and the Maine Chapter of the Izaak Walton League.

This effort will greatly enhance our knowledge regarding our fisheries for overall conservation and management purposes. We will collect much needed and more current information regarding the geographic distribution and population status of other stream fish species, such as non-native species and their potential effects on our wild trout. We currently have a pretty poor understanding of the level of occurrence of many unwelcome and known competitor species with trout in stream habitats. In addition, we hope to identify streams or areas that may provide opportunities for restricting the movements of competitor species into pristine trout habitats. Conversely, in areas and watersheds with minimal risks from non-native species, these surveys may identify streams or sites where improving conditions for natural trout movements may be beneficial by increasing overall available habitat or access to spawning areas.

Our efforts on this large-scale project will also provide many opportunities for interested groups or individuals to assist or get involved in a variety of ways. If you are interested in getting involved with conserving Maine’s wild brook trout, the EBTJV, or stream resources in general, I encourage you to contact me at IFW’s Bangor office (Merry Gallagher, Research Fishery Biologist, 941-4381 or Merry.Gallagher@Maine.gov).

###

Butch Moore
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Brook trout are fast becoming the "spotted owl" of the east. Also, do a quick Google search on the contact person in the IF&W press release and you'll see her mentioned frequently on the websites of left wing environmental groups.

pmh
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Wilson,

If you can remember those mornings, you probably didn't ingest an appreciable amount of mercury. :)

Wilson
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

I hope you are right, although at this point if something that slow moving hasn't killed me it will never catch up to the fast moving stuff. :)

thejohnchapman
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

It isn't a game, it is a harvest. Where is the sport in picking berries? Answer: there isn't any, but people like to do it anyway.

We have no need for the sporting elitists. If they don't like ice fishing, I support their right to not be forced to ice-fish. What a bunch of losers.

PS:

I have been ice fishing exactly twice in my life. I haven't been since 2003.

Brian Golden
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

[b][quote]80,000 locals versus guides and outfitters who service 250,000 tourists; it's folks who see fishing as fun versus snobs who think it's an art; it's gluttons who catch-and-fry versus purists who catch-and-release.[/quote][/b]

As a person who fly fishes,spin fishes,bait fishes and ice fishes this is not about being a "purist" vs someone who enjoys eating fish (and I love em). This is about protecting wild Trout and Salmonids. I don't have all the answers but I know wild trout populations in Maine have diminished.
Anyone that knows the history of Rangeley knows that invasive species did a number on the Brook Trout population years ago.

pmh
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

What Brian said.

But Houyhnhnms like Watson & Koffman don't have the barest clue that their feet are made of the same clay as everyone else's. Time was that editorial writers and newspaper cartoonists would turn Watson & Koffman into the latest and loudest bellylaugh - but they no longer dare to.

If you want "class" amongst flyfishers, let me tell you of the time I was camped alongside Munsungan Stream in sweltery August weather; the river was the temperature of bad tea and the dog & I were in danger of running out of beer - up the stream comes a "flyfishertype" wearing chest-high Orvis waders in the $250 range. He was wetter inside those waders than the river, but he didn't have the brains (didn't want to break character) to take them off & wade in shorts & sneakers!

Bigshooter
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I like to ice fish!

[img]http://www.mggraphics.net/pics/Jeffpike2email.jpg[/img]

And I like to Troll, and Plug, and Surf Cast and Fly-Fish and sometimes I like to drown a worm to catch a little-bitty 8-inch Brookie or 6 for a nice spring meal with a new mess of fiddleheads.

How sickening it is to deal with the elitists. No one can stand together anymore. On the range someone likes to whine because the type of rifle I am shooting isn't like theirs. In the water someone has to whine because my particular type of fishing that day does not match their "superior" technique. In the woods a hunter bellyaches because I shoot a deer with a rifle instead of the muzzle-loader I use on other days. Whatever. All these elite morons could use me as their friend. I fight for their rights like most others can't even imagine and all the while they are laughing at me for not being "smart" enough to hunt, fish or shoot like they do. One of these days I just may wake up and let them fight for themselves. I have everything I could ever want, need or desire in all these areas so if I look at the world through the rose-colored tunnel vision they do, I can make it for the rest of my life doing what I want, whenever I want to, and let them fight for me and mine for a little while.

Nah, I just like to scrap too much. Lucky for them. ;)

Editor
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

March 20, 2007

I don't have a dog in this fight, being from away, yet I see this as a slippery slope. If some Mainers are so concerned about "non-native" fish species that they will seek to legislate against shiners, when do they plan to rid the North Woods of [the] "non-native" and "invasive" smallmouth bass?

Mark Sofman
Rockville, Md.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Letters to the Editor, March 20, 2007; Page A17

JimP
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

[url=http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/state/070319met.html]PPH Story[/url]

I believe that there is a fairly significant error in this story. One that is very telling of the writers bias. She stated that the one fish that that bill was modified to remove from the bait fish list was the Emerald Shiner, it is the Blackchin shiner, (Notropis heterodon). A non-existent species in Maine that is proposed to be removed.

[quote]The bill to reduce bait fish varieties died in committee on an 11-2 vote, although the bill is being revised. The new version would forbid the use of one bait fish, the [b]emerald shiner[/b], because it is believed to be an invasive species.[/quote] (emphasis added)

I guess it is hard to get off the Progressive Fisheries Activism template, gotta convince the public that the Emerald's are invasive. Even thought there are credible reports from 80 year old fisherman that they were here when they were young.

I don't for the life of me know how a story like this gets passed off as news. This is clearly an op-ed. I think it is time for the WSJ to do another piece. They seem to have a better understanding of the problems than the local people. Well I say local people, tongue in cheek. I mean, how many of our Media Elites are actually born and raised Mainers? Mainer or not it is clear that this writer is not well informed and inclined toward the FFIM, TU SAM Watson Kauffman agenda.

I feel the need for me to mention that the number one, two and three causes of brook trout decline down here in our part of Southern Maine is building, building, building.... It ain't minnows, bait, or smelt it's sprawl, sprawl, and more sprawl. Then there are the second homes on ALL of the Lakes... Then the climate... This stuff kills me... The Cathance has been in a perpetual state of silt due to construction. I used to hunt birds back behind cooks corner in Brunswick before it was completely built up. Deer hunting in West Bath. I don't need anyone to tell me what I have lost or why I lost it.

[b]It ain't bait.[/b]

Butch Moore
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

Also notice that of the 5 people interviewed for the PPH article, 1 was a politician, 1 was an ice fisherman, and 3 were TU members. What ever happened to "fair and balanced" reporting?

Mainelion
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

They probably couldn't find more than 1 ice fisherman in Portland; however, you can find 3 fly slingers just by mentioning Fan Wing Royal Henchman in any coffee shop in the city.

Butch Moore
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

The one they found wasn't in Portland, and he was interviewed by phone. I suspect Ms. Flemming could've found more, IF she had wanted to find them. ;)

Brian Golden
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Dems Koffman/Watson: Maine Ice-Fishers Have No Class

[[b]quote]Also notice that of the 5 people interviewed for the PPH article, 1 was a politician, 1 was an ice fisherman, and 3 were TU members. What ever happened to "fair and balanced" reporting?[/quote]
[/b]
So is one to conclude from your comments that someone could not be a politician who ice fishes and is a TU member?
I know many many TU members that ice fish. I know it works well for you to make it "us versus them" arguement but it isnt.
I spin fish/bait fish,ice fish, and fly fish and I have trapped alot in the past.I'm far from being a "tree hugger"
By the way Jim I am from Portland and I agree that the sprawl issue is huge. When I was a kid we used to fish for brookies all over Southern Maine(with worms) and they were not stocked.

Lets not make it sound like anyone who belongs to TU or any other conservation organization or has concerns about protecting wild brook trout is from away /elitist/ flyfisher etc. There are many people that are concerned about protecting wild fish for our kids and grandkids to enjoy.

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