AUGUSTA – The third opportunity to win a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Keeper of the Maine Outdoors Experience is a fishy one.

The winner of the contest, and a friend, will get a day in the field with a MDIFW biologist collecting fish samples and data, visiting a regional fish hatchery, or observing fish stocking.

The department began the contests in the spring to give the public the opportunity for a day-in-the-life experience with a wildlife biologist or game warden to learn how they protect Maine wildlife or serve in the Maine outdoors. The first two contests had more than 10,000 entrants, according to a news release from the department.

The department will select the contest winner from entries completed at Entrants must be 18 years old to be eligible for the contest, and the Maine Fisheries experience entry deadline is noon Monday, Oct. 21.

MDIFW oversees management programs directed at the enhancement, preservation and protection of Maine’s inland freshwater fisheries. The division strives to provide diverse, sustainable recreational and commercial public use opportunities for both wild and stocked fisheries, while conserving native fish and their habitat. Freshwater recreational fishing in Maine generates more than $380 million annually to the state’s economy.

Division management programs include research, resource assessment and monitoring; prevention and eradication of invasive fish; habitat restoration; stocking, public education and outreach; permitting and licensing; water access development, and promulgation of fishing regulations.

The division stocks more than 1 million fish each year. Depending on the water, stocking is done to create new fishing opportunities, maintain existing fisheries where there is no wild reproduction, restore and reestablish native fisheries, and supplement existing fish reproduction. The division also operates a fish health lab that ensures Maine’s freshwater fisheries remain disease free.

For more information, contact Emily MacCabe, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, at 462-1017 or [email protected].

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