Diary of a River: I F & Where I’m At

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During hunting season we find it safer not to hike in the woods out back, so often in November we do our hiking on the trails of a local preserve or Wildlife Management Area. We hit Jamie Pond WMA in Manchester today and had the pleasure of watching one of the last I F & W trout stockings of the season. Jamie Pond provides water for the Hallowell Water District; there is a remnant of an old mill on the land, and it’s one of the feeder ponds to Cobbosseecontee Stream which empties into the Kennebec River in Gardiner. The I F & W crew were stocking three bodies of water with trout today as the last of the  rounds of the season. The Kennebec River  got stocked with over 13,000 brown & brook trout this year. This fishery management program attempts to keep a population balanced so that the stocks can be sustainable. One of the major threats to native fisheries is the illegal stocking of non native species by individuals seeking to have a body of water where they can catch their favorite sport fish. For example, a dude from away wants to catch the same game fish he’s used to fishing for at home in Michigan when he’s visiting his family camp in Maine. So he brings in a cooler filled with his selfish desires and dumps it into the pond in front of the camp. Illegal introduction of Black crappie, small and largemouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, and Northern Pike have decimated native fish stock. The Kennebec River drainage system coming from the Belgrade Chain of Lakes has had its premier stock of native landlocked salmon destroyed by the illegal introduction of Northern Pike.
It makes me think of folks who go to Morocco. Instead of going to a local cafe and experiencing the local mint tea they find a Starbucks so they can get the same Double Crappiatto they get back home.
I like to go to a place to experience that place as it exists for those creatures that are there rather than forcing that place to bend to my idea of what the experience should be. How else would I learn anything new?

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