Maine State Records Update
The Maine state records program was turned over to the Maine Department of Marine Resouces (DMR) from the Maine Sportsman. The Maine Sportsman is Maine's number one hunting and fishing periodical and has been the keeping the saltwater fishing records for many years. The DMR is the Maine government's division that deals with saltwater applications. Until now, the DMR has been concerned with marine patrol enforcement, research and commercial fishing issues. This is a big step for the saltwater angler as it will be the first time that the state has recognized the saltwater recreational fisherman as an important asset to the fishery.
Bruce Joule, a top marine resources scientist at the DMR, is spearheading the Maine state saltwater records program. Bruce, myself (Tim Tower) and Cal Robinson, owner of Saco Bay Tackle Co., negociated with the Maine Sportsman to allow the state to take over the records porgram.
The three of us formed a committee to produce a Maine state saltwater records application and accompanying rules and regulations for accepting a fish as a state record. Cal and I were already part of the previous records committee with Harry Vanderweide, editor and general manager of the Maine Sportsman, and George Pulkkinen, advertising director at the Maine Sportsman. The new application and rules and regulations were adapted from and are very similar to the previous ones we developed with the Maine Sportsman. These changes are reflected in the minutes of the first committee meeting in the following text.
Maine State Records Committee
Minutes of First Meeting
The first annual committee meeting to review, verify and confirm Maine saltwater anger records was convened on January 11, 1996 at the Department of Mairne Resources, West Boothbay Harbor. The following individuals form the committee:
a. Bruce J. Joule, Maine DMR and acting chairman
b. Capt. Pat Keliher, Maine hunting and fly fishing guide
c. Capt. David Linney, Maine commercial harpoon tuna fisherman
d. Capt. Cal Robinson, owner Saco Bay Tackle C o. and Maine freelance charter captain
e. Capt. Tim Tower, Maine party boat captain and president of Bunny Clark, Corp.
The following topics were discussed:
1. Review of existing state records
is the current information correct
what information do we have on file
Committee action: Recommended harpoon category for the mako shark be deleted. Only bluefin tuna and swordfish are eligible in this category since these two species have historically been taken this way. The committee also did not want to encourage the indiscriminate harpooning of sharks just so an individual could lay claim to a state record. The committee updated and verified existing records or lack of for each species and category.
2. Review of species list: additions or deletions of particular species
Committee action: deleted yellowtail flounder, black sea bass, tautog; added shad. The current list is not inclusive, it may be amended any time by the committee
3. Review of one potential new record (porbeagle)
Committee action: verified new records in the porbeagle, bluefin tuna and the halibut categories
4. Review content of application and rules
Committee action: current categories all acceptable, agree upon the addition of an all-tackle fly rod category
5. Discuss application/rules format
Committee action: cleared up any confusing wording and graphics; agreed to add necessary rules for fly rod category.
6. Discuss PR for program
Committee action: upcoming sportsman shows will be good venues for publicizing program, Maine Sportsman will do articles, handouts to be available at tackle shops, busy marinas, launching areas, etc.
- An updated list of all past and current record holders will be compiled
- Application and rules will be rewritten to reflect grammatical changes and addition of fly rod category
- Both of the above will again be reviewed by the committee before final printing
- Letters will be sent to all past and current record holders notifying them of their status
- Photos and outreach materials will be prepared to adequately publicize program
To obtain copies of the Maine state saltwater records application and the rules and regulations you can write to Bruce Joule at: Maine Department of Marine Resources, Bureau of Marine Sciences, McKown Point, West Boothbay, Maine 04575. You can also call at telephone number 207-633-9500 or e-mail directly to Bruce at email@example.com.
March 27, 1996 Update
The Maine State Records Committee completed a revised Maine State Saltwater Record Application (MSSRA), the rules and regulations for qualifying a Maine state record saltwater game fish and a new list of Maine saltwater record holders on March 15, 1996. The MSSRA looks much the same except for a few small changes and some added graphics to help the applicant complete the form. We added a fly rod category in the rules and regulations. The revised Maine state saltwater records list includes past and present state saltwater record holders as well as all the vacancies in the different categories. Bruce Joule has taken all these revisions and has combined them into one complete document that can be obtained by calling or writing the DMR at the above address. In the meantime, I am including a copy of the "Rules and Regs" below with photos of the new MSSRA.
Rules And Regulations For Qualifying A Maine State Record Saltwater Game Fish
A Maine state record saltwater game fish is, by definition, the largest fish to be landed in one of four categories: harpoon, handline, rod and reel, or fly rod. In order to qualify for a Maine state record, proof of said catch has to be provided in the form of a completed Maine State Saltwater Record Application (MSSRA) and submitted to the Maine Department of Marine Resources, West Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04575. The MSSRA will be reviewed by the Maine State Records Committee (MSRC), meeting annually, and if accepted, the represented fish will become the new Maine state record. This record can be revoked at any time if significant proof can be provided that the angler or harpooner didn't catch the fish within the rules and regulations for qualifying a Maine state record saltwater game fish.
RULES AND REGULATIONS:
In order to qualify for a Maine state saltwater game fish record, the fish has to be caught within Maine state waters or off the coast of Maine and landed within the state of Maine.
Harpoon: A fisherman can receive the Maine state record for the largest saltwater fish caught with harpoon in only two fish species. These two species are the Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus Linnaeus, 1758) and the Atlantic broadbill swordfish (Xiphias gladius Linnaeus, 1758). This category was established because historically, in the state of Maine, harpooning bluefin tuna and swordfish has been considered a sport. A harpooner is not bound by the "landing unaided" rule and boating the fish in any manner after it is harpooned is sufficient to capture a state record as long as the other Maine state rules are followed.
Handline: A fisherman can receive the Maine state record for the largest saltwater fish caught by handline in all the registered species accepted by the state of Maine. A handliner is not bound by the "landing unaided" rule and boating the fish in any manner after it is harpooned or gaffed is sufficient to capture a state record as long as the other Maine state rules are followed. (Note: A rod and reel used as a handline quafifies the rod and reel as a handline under the rules.)
Rod and reel: An angler can receive the Maine state record for the largest saltwater fish caught on rod and reel in all the registered species accepted by the state of Maine. There is no limit to the line strength (pound test) providing that a conventional (non-motorized) reel is used with the line. The angler has to hook, fight and bring the fish to gaff, net or hand unaided. Using a harpoon to boat a fish caught by rod and reel will disqualify the catch for a Maine state rod and reel record.
Fly Rod: An angler can receive the Maine state record for the largest saltwater fish caught on a fly rod in all the registered species accepted by the state of Maine.
A. Rod: A fly rod shall not measure less than 6 feet. Extension butts are limited to 6 inches.
2. Angling Regulations:
B. Reel: A reel must be designed expressly for fly fishing. Electric or electronically operated reels are prohibited.
C. Line: Any type of fly line and backing may be used.
D. Leaders: Leaders must be no longer than 12 feet. There are no restrictions to its breaking strength or materials.
E. Fly: A fly may be dressed on a single hook, double hook or two single hooks in tandem. The eye of the second hook in a tandem rig must be not more than 6 inches from the eye of the first hook. The fly must be tied out of natural or synthetic fly tying materials. The use of more than one fly on a leader is prohibited. The use of any type of lure, hooked bait, baited fly or scented fly is prohibited.
A. The angler must cast, retrieve, hook, fight, and bring to net, gaff, or tailer unaided by any other person. Any aid given, except gaffing, netting, or tailing, will be grounds for disqualification. The use of a flying gaff or harpoon is prohibited. It is prohibited (and illegal) to use a gaff on a striped bass in the state of Maine.
Note: the fly rod category was designed to embrace the spirit of fly fishing. Any indication that the angler bent the rules just to capture a state record is discouraged by the MSRC.
B. If a vessel is used to aid the angler while fly fishing, the said vessel can only be used as a fishing platform and use of any type of motor or propulsion system, except to arrive at the fishing location and fight the fish, is prohibited. A fish caught by the trolling method will be disqualified from a Maine state record in the fly rod category.
C. Foul hooked fish will not be considered for a Maine state record in the fly rod category.
D.The actual leader and fly must be submitted with the MSSRA in order for a fish to be considered for a Maine state record in the fly rod category.
The following is a list of species that are applicable for a Maine saltwater state record. Unlisted species may be submitted for state record status but a final decision of acceptance or disapproval will be determined by a reviewing committee.
COMMON NAME: SCIENTIFIC NAME:
blue shark (bluedog) Prionace glauca (Linnaeus, 1758)
porbeagle (mackerel shark) Lamna nasus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
mako (shortfin mako) Isurus oxyrinchus (Rafinesque, 1810)
white shark (great white) Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)
thresher shark Alopias vulpinus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
spiny dogfish (sand shark) Squalus acanthias (Linnaeus, 1758)
Atlantic broadbill swordfish (swordfish) Xiphias gladius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Atlantic cod (cod) Gadus morhua (Linnaeus, 1758)
cusk Brosme brosme (Muller, 1776)
haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus (Linnaeus, 1758)
pollock (Boston bluefish) Pollachius virens (Linnaeus, 1758)
white hake (blue hake, sow hake, russet hake) Urophycis tenuis (Mitchill, 1814)
squirrel hake (mud hake, butter mullet) Urophycis chuss (Walbaum, 1792)
striped bass Morone saxatilis (Walbaum, 1792)
bluefish Pomatomus saltatrix (Linnaeus, 1766)
Atlantic mackerel Scomber scombrus (Linnaeus, 1758)
bluefin tuna (horse mackerel) Thunnus thynnus thynnus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Atlantic wolffish (ocean catfish) Anarhichas lupus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Atlantic halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus (Linnaeus, 1758)
winter flounder (blackback) Pleuronectes americanus (Walbaum, 1792)
monkfish (goosefish) Lophius americanus (Valenciennes, 1837)
silver hake (whiting) Merluccius bilinearis (Mitchill, 1814)
redfish (ocean perch, brim) Sebastes fasciatus (Storer, 1854)
ocean pout (eelpout, conger eel) Macrozoarces americanus (Schneider, 1801)
torpedo ray (electric ray) Torpedo nobiliana (Bonaparte, 1835)
1. Photographs of such clarity as to easily identify the fish species being submitted for a record must be included with the MSSRA.
2. If in doubt about the clarity of the photograph, you may submit a signed letter from a qualified fisheries biologist or ichthyologist substantiating your claim.
3. The submitted application will not be accepted if a positive identification of the fish in question can not be made.
WITNESSES TO CATCH:
It is highly desirable to have a witness to the catch but not entirely necessary. However, an unwitnessed catch may be disqualified for a state record if there becomes a question of authenticity.
WEIGHTS NEEDED TO DEFEAT OR TIE EXISTING RECORDS:
1. To replace a record for a fish weighing less than 25 pounds, the replacement must weigh at least 2 ounces more than the existing record.
2. To replace a record for a fish weighing 25 to less than 100 pounds, the replacement must weigh at least 4 ounces more than the existing record.
3. To replace a record for a fish weighing 100 to less than 200 pounds, the replacement must weigh at least 8 ounces more than the existing record.
4. To replace a record for a fish of 200 pounds or more, the replacement must weigh at least 16 ounces (one pound) more than the existing record.
5. In the four categories listed above, if the potential replacement record fish weighs less than the required amount to beat the existing record but is larger than or equal to the existing record, the potential replacement will be considered a tie with preference to first listing given to the original state record holder.
TIME LIMIT ON STATE RECORD CLAIMS:
There will be no time limit on claims. A state record will be awarded to anyone that can properly substantiate a claim according to the rules. Certain exceptions to the rules can be granted to substantiate a state record if proper proof of questioned area can be provided. State records will be accepted from past years if:
1. Acceptable photographs are submitted (see photographs section).
2. The weight of the fish can be positively identified.
3. The method of catch can be substantiated.
1. The potential state record fish must be weighed on land by a person (weighmaster) familiar with subtracting the tare to get the existing weight of the fish alone. U.S. post offices are excellent places to weigh a fish if they will allow it.
2. The scale used must be a sealed scale certified for accuracy by the state of Maine or by an accredited organization ( All Tech Weighing, Portland, ME for example) within one year.
3. The MSSRA reviewing committee reserves the right to disqualify any fish where it's weight can not be proven as accurate.
Three photographs should accompany the MSSRA:
1. One photograph should show the a side view of the fish either hanging next to the angler with the equipment he or she used to catch the fish or with the angler holding the fish and equipment used.
2. One photograph should show a side view of the fish next to a rule showing measurement in inches that can be read from the photograph.
3. One photograph should show the fish as it is being weighed on the actual scale that was used to weigh the fish.
4. Any of these photographs can be used for species identification.
The fisherman submitting his or her fish for state recognition must appear in person to have the MSSRA notarized. Any deliberate falsification of an MSSRA will disqualify the applicant from any past, present or future record in the state of Maine.
Note: The MSSRA and preceeding Maine state rules and regulations were drawn up with the direct help of the International Game Fish Association.
Lisa Boughner shown at left with her 4 pound 3 ounce winter flounder caught aboard the Bunny Clark during the late afternoon of June 28, 1989. Her fish once represented the all tackle IGFA world record but was defeated a few years after Lisa landed it. This winter flounder remains as the Maine state saltwater record.
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