Grand Lake Stream News

Town News

Dave McCullough


As I sit here writing the column there was familiar scraping sound outside and a truck was out plowing the road with 2 inches of snow on it.  It’s amazing how we all seem to panic with the first snowfall fearing it might turn into a nor’easter!

Some exciting things continue to take place in Grand Lake Stream! Here are two such events:

The Women to Women will have their annual Christmas Party December 4 at 10:00 A.M. Everyone is welcome!  Bring a dish to share and a gift for the Yankee Swap...homemade by somebody, value of $10 to $15.  Remember, it can be anything including a food gift!  The Strumming’ Wildcats will be performing!

The Thanksgiving boxes for the Woodland Food Pantry will be in the Schoolhouse and Pine Tree Store until the morning of Friday the 17th.

On Wednesday, November 15th, Downeast Lakes Land Trust welcomes Maine IF&W’s bear biologist Randy Cross for a presentation about the black bear population of Maine.  An animal of great importance to the state’s natural and cultural history, Maine has one of the largest black bear populations in the lower 48 states.  Mr. Cross will highlight ongoing studies, population health, and management techniques of black bears.  The program will begin at 6 pm in the Grand Lake Stream School Building.  For more information, please contact DLLT at (207) 796 – 2100, or email

With ice fishing season coming in the next few weeks it seems appropriate to talk about legal bait fish. A revised law recently banned the sale or use of Emerald Shiners and two other fish species from the list of legal baitfish. The ban on Emerald Shiners has received particular attention, even though it likely will not affect what anglers use for bait.

For many years, the term “Emerald Shiner” has been used by Maine anglers and bait dealers to describe what are actually Eastern Silvery Minnows. 

The recent legislation removed the true Emerald Shiner as a legal baitfish. This species is not native to Maine and recent surveys suggest that the few locations (5 ponds in the entire State) where they may have historically occurred were likely misidentified Eastern Silvery Minnows or Common Shiners. Recent bait shop inspections have also yet to positively identify a true emerald shiner. Species can be challenging to distinguish from one another.

The take away message here is that fish currently marketed in bait shops as “Emeralds” or “Emerald Shiners” are actually Eastern Silvery Minnows and Common Shiners – and both are legal to use. If bait shops want to market those species as “emeralds”, they may continue to do so.

The reality is, the removal of true Emerald Shiners from the list of approved baitfish will result in no meaningful change in what anglers are currently using for bait, and the revised law will help keep invasive minnow species out of Maine and add a layer of protection for our native fish. I plan to visit some local bait shops to follow this idea further.

Several readers have sent me a note to be sure to congratulate the Pine Tree Store on their brand new sign!  It certainly does look fantastic. Stop in and see for yourself! Remember open seven days a week from seven to seven!

A big thank you to all who participated in Wreaths Across Grand Lake Stream.

This event took place at high noon on Veterans Day. Sue Whitely did the introduction and Judy Miller the opening prayer. Sam Sprague played taps. The youth of Grand Lake Stream laid some of the wreaths followed by veterans who were present and then the citizens in attendance finished off the placements. 

Your Humble correspondent, Dave McCullough, 207-712-8294 or