Fish + Game Changers
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is about so much more than fish + game, with leaders on every level changing the face of conservation and blazing new trails for a better Maine outdoors. This podcast takes you behind the scenes with MDIFW public outreach specialist Katie Yates, exploring the unique and diverse work done by department staff across the state. Listen in to learn why these game changers love what they do, and what drives them to apply their time and talent to the Maine outdoors.
Meet the host: Katie Yates Public Outreach Specialist, MDIFW
Katie’s interest in conservation and outdoor storytelling first came about while working as a Park Ranger at Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas where, against the backdrop of 46,000 acres of Chihuahuan desert, Katie would present history, legends, and lore to visitors. Originally from upstate New York, Katie moved to Maine in 2018, and has since sought to experience everything the state has to offer. From ice fishing to turkey hunting, this former vegetarian is fully embracing life the Maine way.
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SEASON Three: FISH + GAME CHANGERS ON TAP
The Department has numerous partners across the state who work to conserve Maine’s natural resources. In Fish + Game Changers On Tap Katie meets with partners who help keep the Sebago Lake Watershed pristine and explores the unexpected benefits of the protected watershed, from clean drinking water to recreation opportunities and even craft breweries.
July 6, 2020
Adventures of a wildlife biologist
Before heading back to Portland for another brew tour, Katie talks about bears, piping plovers, and rescuing a turtle with the Sebago Lake Region wildlife biologist Scott Lindsay. More people live in Scott's region than anywhere else in Maine, leading to some challenges when it comes to endangered species and resolving human-wildlife conflicts.
June 29, 2020
The comeback of Sebago's salmon
Katie learns why Sebago Lake is the perfect habitat for landlocked salmon from fisheries resource supervisor Jim Pellerin. Jim highlights the unique work he and fisheries resource technicians do in the Sebago Lake region, from fitting fish with radio tags to helping tourists plan their fishing trips.
June 22, 2020
Katie talks with Dan Vitalis, host of the culinary adventure series WildFed, about hunting, fishing, and foraging in the Sebago Lake Watershed. Dan, formerly a vegan, started hunting and fishing to become closer to his food source. Dan sources most of the food he eats from the watershed and that means he’s invested in keeping those resources and traditions thriving.
June 15, 2020
A walk in the watershed
Katie takes a walk with Loon Echo Land Trust Executive Director Matt Markot. They chat about how the 7,000 acres of protected land not only helps Sebago Lake’s water quality but provides residents and visitors alike with recreation opportunities and supports the local economy.
June 8, 2020
A brewmaster's secret ingredient
Katie chats with Allagash Brewing Company's brewmaster Jason Perkins to learn how good quality water impacts their final product.
June 1, 2020
Katie meets with water resources specialist Laurel Jackson to learn about the Sebago Lake Watershed, the public drinking water supply for 200,000 people in the Greater Portland area. The lake is one of only a handful of water bodies in the country where a filtration system is not required due to the excellent water quality. Katie and Laurel chat about why this is possible and how the watershed helps keep our Maine traditions and communities thriving… did she just say craft breweries?
Mini Series: Running with the K9s
In this mini season Katie chats with K9 Corporal Lucas Bellanceau, Landowner Relations Corporal Dave Chabot, and Warden Kris MacCabe to learn the challenges and rewards of being members of the K9 team, how they train, and their most memorable times with their four-legged partners.
May 4, 2020
K9s, the ultimate coworkers
Katie explores the special bond between the K9s and their handlers and what it is like going to work with your best friend every day. Wardens Lucas, Dave, and Kris also chat about why they are passionate about the work they do.
April 27, 2020
Training with the K9s
Katie rushes to keep up with Landowner Relations Corporal Dave Chabot and K9 Ruby on a practice track through the woods. After, the wardens chat about evidence detection and how items containing human scent and gunpowder residue can help solve fish and game cases.
April 20, 2020
Most memorable tracks
The Maine Warden Service is mandated to assist with search and rescue. To help with this, the Maine Warden Service has nine K9s trained to track down missing people. In this episode, wardens Lucas, Dave, and Kris recount their most memorable tracks.
Season One: In the Field
March 16, 2020
Visiting a bear den
Katie follows black bear and Canada lynx biologist Jennifer Vashon deep into the woods to visit a bear den. Bear den visits are conducted late winter to monitor the health of female bears and their young cubs. In a follow-up interview, Katie and Jen chat about the den visit, how to avoid human-bear conflicts, and why Jen loves her job.
March 9, 2020
When your office is the wild outdoors
Katie visits with wildlife biologist Sarah Spencer, whose work focuses on managing habitats for the benefit of wildlife. We talk about Sarah’s unique off-the-grid upbringing, how she charted a career in conservation, and the wild, beautiful, and ever-changing places her work brings her every day.
March 2, 2020
Moose to mayflies
Katie hangs out with wildlife biologist Sarah Boyden while she collects biological samples from deer carcasses. Sarah shares highlights from the diverse projects she’s worked on and talks about how growing up on a dairy farm gave her the foundational skills to become a successful biologist.
February 24, 2020
When research findings surprise
Katie catches up with Danielle D’Auria, a wildlife biologist for the bird group whose focus is on secretive marsh birds like the blue heron. We discuss what exactly a "secretive marsh bird" is, Danielle’s passion for the work, and how some research findings still surprise this experienced biologist.
February 17, 2020
Stopping poachers and spreading positivity
Katie joins game warden Sarah Miller as she scouts for spots to catch night hunters in the act. She talks about her path to becoming a game warden, how she taught herself to hunt, and what she loves most about her work, including her interactions with people in her community and her role as a mentor to other women and young people.
February 10, 2020
Mapping out a dream job
Katie sits down with Beginning with Habitat cartographer and fellow upstate New York native Michele Watkins, who shares her journey from her family’s 300-acre farm to her dream job at MDIFW, including the incredible influence her father had on her life, from her love of hunting to her choice of career.
February 3, 2020
Netting fish and getting the family outside
Katie joins fisheries biologist Liz Thorndike for a trap netting session and a conversation about Liz’s important work as a fisheries biologist as well as a broader conversation about spending time outdoors as a family—what it meant to her growing up, and how she’s keeping the tradition alive with her own kids.