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2011 Maine Guide Award Winner - Gary Corson

Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is very pleased to have partnered with Maine's professional guides in creating the Wiggie Robinson Legendary Guide Award that is presented annually at this banquet. In order to be nominated for this award, a guide has to have been registered or licensed for 20 years and actively guided for at least 10 years. The nominee must also be active in volunteer community service, active in outdoor education and proactive in promiting the importance of Maine's inland fisheries and wildlife resources.

Each year a committee reviews the nominations that are submitted to the Department and votes on the award. This years nominating committee consisted of Mark Kingsbury, Mike Morrison, Gil Gilpatrick, Steve Corson, Gregg Shutter, MaryAnn Foye, and Major Gregg Sanborn. As I understand, the committee reviewed may worthy candidates this year. One nominee rose to the top and is this year's recipient of the Wiggie Robinson Legendary Guide award.

At this time, would Gary Corson of New Sharon please come forward to except the award.

Last December, Gary was nominated by two individuals for this award, Igor Sikorsky from Bradford Camps and Game Warden Jim Fahey from Bangor. The following are some excerpts from the written nominations:

"Gary has been one of the very few people in Maine who have made their sole living from guiding for nearly three decades. The motto on his website is 'guiding is my life, not a hobby' is perfectly true. He has guided fisherman, hunters and naturalists in western Maine on the Pierce Pond watershed and in the Upper Aroostook, Upper Penobscot and the Allagash River areas of the North Maine Woods."

"Gary can be rightly called the 'father of fall fishing' in Maine. For many years he sought to establish fall fishing opportunities, and in 1995 joined the 'Fishing Initiative Committee' established by the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine where he continued his advocacy. Gary's activities varied from collecting signatures to testifying at the legislature."

"Gary has been a leader in the effort to recognize and protect Maine's native and wild brook trout. While others have also contributed to this successful effort, Gary stands out for his time and energy he has put into this initiative. During the 2005 legislative session, a law was passed to establish the native brook trout as Maine's 'heritage fish' and protected those fish in 305 waters in the state where their populations remain unchanged by stocking."

"Gary is a true 'citizen lobbyist' who proves that in the State of Maine, one person can make a difference. Since retiring from actively guiding anglers and hunters, Gary devotes most of his time to these causes, attending nearly every public hearing and work session of the legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Gary also represents the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine on the Department's task force on Wild and Native Brook Trout."

Game Warden Jim Fahey added that when he was a new Game Warden assigned to the Masardis district in 1995, Gary was a true resource, always willing to share his knowledge, experience and observations on what was going on around the trout ponds of the Allagash and Upper Aroostook regions. Gary is a Vietnam War veteran and is a Purple Heart recipient. He has utilized his guiding skills and combat experience as a volunteer for Trout Unlinited's 'Healing Waters' program, a project designed to aid in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of our disabled military service personnel.

Warden Fahey concludes by stating, "When it comes to Maine Guieds, Gary is the real deal."

Congratulations on being this years Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide.