How can we make it fun to help Maine’s fish? Build a “fish friendly” ice shack, raffle it off and use the proceeds to upgrade snowmobile crossings so fish can have clear passage.

The proceeds from the first raffle last year already have paid the way to open up fish passage at a snowmobile crossing in Brownville. (See video at

Raffle tickets would make great stocking stuffers and might provide you or your favorite angler with a very Happy New Year. The estimated value of the ice shack, which can be taken apart for transport and then easily reassembled, is $2,000. The drawing will be held Dec. 30, and you don’t have to be present to win.

“There have never been ice shacks whose purpose is more friendly to fish,” said Pat Sirois, Maine coordinator of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. “This is a great project not only to raise money but to raise awareness on the stream connectivity issues. This is a win for fish, snowmobilers and fishermen.”

The raffle is sponsored by the Maine Snowmobile Association, in partnership with SFI, which supports these “fish friendly” projects promoted by Maine’s Fisheries Improvement Network.

Tickets are on sale now through the MSA for $10 each or three for $20. You can also call 207-622-6983 and request tickets be mailed to you. All tickets must be postmarked by Dec. 20 to be included in the drawing on Dec. 30.

Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Franklin) and Ben Starrett of Topsham each won a fish-friendly ice shack in last year’s raffle to benefit Maine’s fish and other aquatic creatures. In an odd twist of fate, Starrett’s father, John, was one of the volunteers who built the ice shacks. Saviello donated his ice shack to the Wilton Fish and Game Club to help kids learn to ice fish.

For more information about the ice shack or raffle, contact Bob Meyers, MSA executive director, at [email protected] or 207-622-6983.

To find out more about FIN, visit, contact Sirois, [email protected] or 207-622-9288.