February 10, 2020

Maine: Victory for Sportsmen and Women in Committee’s Report of “Ought Not to Pass” on Nonbiodegradable Hooks and Lures Ban

Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator

On February 5, the Maine Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reported out LD 965 as “Ought Not to Pass.” This legislation would have prohibited fishing in inland waters using nonbiodegradable hooks or certain non-biodegradable artificial lures.

The Committee held multiple work sessions over the past two weeks, taking into consideration a report that had been amassed by the stakeholder committee that was established during last year’s regular sessions. This focus-group included several science-based angling organizations that work closely with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) on sportsmen-related policies in Maine and across the nation. Also serving on this stakeholder committee was a member of the Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council.

Maine has encountered legislation such as LD 695 in the past, but a 2014 report issued by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that delved into the ecological effects of non-biodegradable lures concluded that no lawmaking on the issue was necessary. CSF submitted testimony in opposition to LD 695 as it was introduced in 2019, and later commended the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for its decision to rest the issue with a focus group.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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