Commissioner: Expect Changes to Fisheries
Chandler Woodcock, the commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, made a brief appearance on August 9 at a Bangor meeting of the Landowners and Sportsmen Relations Advisory Board.
This advisory board was created in 2002 to actively participate in landowner relations programs at state agencies. A report on the board’s August 9 meeting — and a look at the sorry history of the board and its predecessor — can be read on my personal website.
“The governor is very supportive of IF&W,” Woodcock told the group. “One of the first things he said to me was IF&W must protect deeryards.
“Be cautious about rumors. Don’t jump to conclusions. We are not disabling the department. I am not aware in any sense of any consolidation process. I have told the governor my concerns about consolidation. He’s not inclined to consolidation of natural resource agencies.”
Woodcock predicted the agency’s new landowner relations position would be filled by mid-October.
"We have arrived at the final stages of the (hiring process for the) landowner relations position and will begin interviewing candidates soon. I’m very pleased by the list of applicants available to us – some significant people,” he said.
Woodcock said he’s been pleased by the reception he has received from Mainers, including non-sportsmen, as he has traveled the state, and he emphasized the importance of environmental organizations' leadership in the recently concluded (and unsuccessful) fight to win a Constitutional amendment that would have given IF&W a small percentage of sales tax revenue.
Woodcock reported that significant changes are coming to fisheries management. “My intent is to have a quality landlocked salmon and brook trout fishery,” he said.
Rebuilding the deer herd, he also reported, is going to take patience and luck. "In some areas of the state we won’t have deer hunting like we had several decades ago,” he said.