The good old days before...
I've been fishing on Davis Pond in Eddington my whole life. It's where my camp is, and some other family members own a camp on the adjacent pond, Holbrook. So between those two, I spent all my formative fishing years in those spots. As I got closer to turning 16, the subject of my fishing license started coming up.
I get one every year and haven't thought much about it. My grandfather always used to make sure I had it with me in the boat, in case the game warden stopped by. It happened a few times over the years, and it was never a big deal. I just handed it over. But last year, and this year... I haven't seen a single one. Or even heard about one.
Restaurants are not alone.
Maybe it's because game wardens in Maine are facing quite a shortage of new hires. Most would attribute it to the post-covid world where everyone is short-staffed, but this has been going on with game wardens for some time, according to Fox ABC Maine. With more wardens retiring than being hired, it's making times rough.
Recently, they had 14 vacancies, and only seven applicants to fill them. All seven were hired, but that still leaves a pretty big hole in the staffing. Maine is a big state, with a lot of outdoor activity. Wardens have to monitor the fishing and hunting scene but also deal with the off-road traffic in the woods: side-by-sides, snowmobiles, etc.
Maybe your game warden material?
If you think it's something you might be interested in, it's worth looking into. There are a few simple tests to take to determine aptitude, then the appropriate schooling to actually get you in the field. Those interested could start by contacting their local game warden to gather info.
Also, visit the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website for more info.