Letter to the Editor - Unhappy with the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge system

I am writing to voice my disgust with the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge system. Today I called the Moosehorn Refuge to get permission to trap some minnows in a small pond located a mile down the road from my house on Leighton Point in Pembroke. For years and years my sons and I have trapped live bait there on land that was once private. I recently noticed the ugly white signs designating the property as Moosehorn land and so dutifully called to get permission to chop a hole in the pond and catch a few dozen live baits. The friendly staffer who answered the phone let me know that trapping live bait is not permitted at any time.

Moosehorn National Minnow Refuge?? Are you kidding me? As a lifetime taxpayer, sportsman, biologist and Master Maine Guide, I could not believe this! The refuge system is funded by the license fees of hunters and fishermen and of course, tax dollars. Don't the monies I have paid into Ducks Unlimited help secure these same lands? This is how we are treated? Furthermore, the folks that work at the refuges are sportsmen/women, folks with degrees, folks that care about the environment. Who comes up with these regulations? Something is desperately wrong when a kid can't cut a hole in a frog pond and catch a few chubs to go ice fishing....get kids hooked on fishing, right? Fat chance of that. Every time we turn around, the state and the feds have regs and more regs. Shame on the Moosehorn and the feds. We need less laws, not more. Minnows, really?

Tim Sheehan,