Maine is considering a ban on four different kinds of non-native baitfish. This ban would reduce from 23 to 19 the number of bait species that could be sold and used within the state. As you can probably guess the bait shops and the fly shops line up on opposite sides of the river on this one.
Theresa Pelletier acknowledged that when white perch were introduced to Moosehead Lake years ago, the native landlocked salmon suffered. But her views on pike, another species that can take over a watershed, are economic.
"They are money-makers for us," she said. "We have a lot of out-of-staters who fish for pike."
Mike Holt, proprietor of the Fly Fishing Only shop in Fairfield, said he is very concerned about "protecting native species and preventing the spread of invasive ones." He said he supports banning the four non-native bait fish species, but he questions whether the Legislature should be making the rules. He would rather see Department of Inland Fish & Wildlife biologists determine the best policy.