STATEWIDE — The State’s Fisheries and Hatcheries department is a valuable resource.
The State’s Fisheries and Hatcheries stock fish, provide opportunities for anglers, and maintain the state’s water and fish supply. For Director Francis Brautigam, his job includes reading testimonies to legislators, which can persuade a lawmaker to be in favor of a bill or not. He helps facilitate requirements and regulations and does all the hands-on administrative work for this chapter under Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Right now, the department is planning ahead and the community is welcome to play a part in it. Today during a meeting, Director Brautigam addressed some important questions viewers had. Mainly residents who are interested in getting their hands dirty in fishing.
Brautigam has worked with the state’s fisheries for over 30 years and said there’s nothing like it.
“What we have here in this state, we’ve got an abundance of clean, clear water and again, you don’t see that heading south of here. We’ve got 6,000 lakes and ponds. We’ve got over 32,000 miles of rivers and streams,” he said.
The team recently finished work on their latest 15-year plan.
“I’d like to think of the plan as sort of having three important priorities or goals. One being we want the public to know what we’re doing, how we’re structured, and how we operate.”
Brautigam said the plan will be easy to read for residents when it’s readily available.
“One component of the plan will highlight how we are organized and all of the work we generally do as a division. The second important piece of the plan that most people are most interested in is really the development of action in items that support the management of our most important game fish here in the state,” he emphasized.
He said there is one part that is most significant, “We’re going to be embarking on a stakeholder supported, a public supported development of water-specific management plan.”
The team will take the most important comments and suggestions from the public and choose which to work with.
“As part of this public process, once we have a draft plan, we actually plan to go to a technical editor to make the plan easy to understand and digestible for public use. We’ll probably do that by way of an email blast, we’ll be using that email address to notify you of this opportunity,” he said.
People who have fishing licenses will get the info as soon as it’s available.
To learn more about what Maine’s Fisheries and Hatcheries are up to, you can go online to maine.gov/ifw.