Fish Lead Free! Free Tackle Exchanges Offered in 2020

Lead commonly found in fishing tackle is highly toxic, and hazardous to humans, wildlife and the environment. Wildlife species are affected by ingesting lead fishing tackle, particularly the common loon. Loon bodies and behavior make them susceptible to lead poisoning.

Fortunately, non-toxic alternatives to lead tackle are available and are often superior in performance to lead tackle. You can help by changing to lead free fishing tackle today!  At our Tackle Exchanges, you can swap your lead tackle for new non-toxic tackle for free!  The tackle exchanges will be held next spring through fall at various Waldo County lakes, usually at the boat launch. Watch our website for next year’s Fish Lead Free Tackle Exchanges. Free fishing kits for children will be available first come, first served.

The program  isn’t necessarily a one-for-one exchange, but there will be a great variety of  non-toxic tackle to try, and no one will go home empty-handed!  What better time than right now to clean out your tackle box, making  fishing safer for you, your children, and Maine’s wildlife?  Contact our District office to  learn more about the program.

Save the Date! Our Annual Dinner and a talk on Growing Hemp in Maine, October 25th

Since the Farm Bill was signed into law last December, farmers have been entering the hemp growing business in droves. In Midcoast Maine, where the economics of farming have made it challenging to stay in traditional crops and animal production, hemp has shown potential to keep farmers in business, or to diversify and strengthen their operations. Industrial hemp offers the possibility of producing multiple products, from fiber and biomass to CBD oil, which is extracted from hemp plants and does not produce a high. It is marketed for everything from pain relief to reducing inflammation and stress and is sold in products from topical oils to pet food and granola.

If you would like to learn about how Maine farmers are getting into hemp growing and exploring the economic possibilities of the crop, please join us for a fascinating evening discussing the topic. We will have Midcoast farmer Susan Hunter presenting her first year of setting up her farm for growing organic hemp and harvesting her first crop, along with a slide show of the whole season’s work. She’ll talk about the practical aspects of starting up with investors who are partners in the operation, as well as the ins and outs of creating infrastructure including a greenhouse, irrigation, and compost tea to use on the crops. Finding markets for hemp products such as fiber and CBD oil will be discussed. The talk will also include a roundtable of expert growers to add to our conversation, and is part of Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Annual Dinner. Cost for dinner and the event is only $10 and supports the Soil and Water Conservation District and the Waldo County Tech Center’s culinary training program.

Join us Friday, October 25th at 6pm, at the Waldo County Tech Center Café, on Route 137 in Waldo.

The talk will follow an Annual Dinner offered by Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Friday, October 25, Dinner 6pm, Talk at 6:30.

Waldo County Technical Center, Route 137, Waldo, ME   Map

Cost $10. Dinner Provided by WCTC Culinary Arts Program.

RSVP Here! (Walk ins accepted)




Announcing Our Summer Series: Love Our Lakes

If you own a shoreline property or are interested in water quality and healthy lakes, join Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for a series on caring for our local lakes. Lakes and large ponds in Waldo County support shoreline camps and residences, recreational boating and fishing and other activities. These activities also have the potential to create challenges in maintaining water quality. Sediment and nutrient increases can create potential for algal blooms and other problems which can impact fish and wildlife, water clarity, recreation, lake aesthetics, property values and human health. The free series will be on Friday evenings in June and July in the Swan Lake watershed and held at the Kermit S Nickerson School in Swanville and North Searsport United Methodist Church, Searsport from 3:30pm to 5pm. Save the dates!

Session 1:    June 14th     Lakes 101:  (Optional in-depth session extends to 6:30)  Kermit S Nickerson School, Swanville

Session 2:     June 28th    Septic System Care and Maintenance, and a Bit About Soils   Kermit S Nickerson School

Session 3:     July 12th     Keeping Up Those Camp Roads    North Searsport United Methodist Church, 751 Mt Ephraim Rd, Searsport, ME 04974

Session 4:     July 26th     Best Homeowner Practices to be LakeSmart, and Intro to LoonSmart : Learn how to keep your lake healthy and clear, and get 5 simple steps to promote loon health, habitat and chick survival.   North Searsport United Methodist Church. Registration encouraged but not required, please register at

Join us for a workshop on Forestry for Maine Birds May 23rd!

Wild bird species of Maine are currently facing many stresses that are causing their populations to decline. Many migratory birds are facing habitat loss in winter habitats and along their migratory routes. One thing we can do for birds is assure that they can find suitable places in our Maine woodlands to nest and raise young. What are the things we can do to make our woodlands suitable for a wide variety of birds to thrive? Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District, Maine Audubon and the Maine Forest Service are offering a free outdoor workshop on Forestry for Maine Birds, on Thursday, May 23 from 12pm to 3pm, at the Head of Tide Preserve in Belfast. This fun, hands on session pairs  teaches participants  to assess forest habitat and consider management options that benefit forest songbirds in a variety of forest types. This workshop is for foresters, woodland owners, and members of the public who are interested in forest stewardship or are bird enthusiasts.

You will learn how to:

• Improve habitat for priority forest birds and a variety of other wildlife species

• Take care of your woodland

• Work with other forest management goals

• Enhance the value and enjoyment of Maine woodlands for many generations to come

Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. Please register by using the Maine Audubon portal at For more information on this event, contact Aleta McKeage, Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District, at Directions to Head of Tide Preserve: Take Route 137 (Waterville Road) to Head of Tide Road, then take Head of Tide Road to Doak Road, turn right and go 1/4 to the Head of Tide Nature Preserve on your left.