Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Brook Trout Anglers Wanted to Survey Remote Maine Ponds

Maine Audubon, along with its partners the Maine Department of
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Trout Unlimited, is seeking
volunteers to identify previously undocumented wild brook trout
populations in remote Maine ponds.

Anglers can choose one or more of 187 ponds in western Maine to
find and fish. “There are no records of past stocking in any these
ponds, so any brook trout found in them are native, wild fish,”
said Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited. “Our goal is to collect
information to help inform future management. Maine brook trout are
a special resource, and we need to know where they are before we
can protect and manage them appropriately.”

The project’s focus on remote ponds offers anglers a chance to
explore new places while advancing trout conservation efforts.

“None of these ponds have been surveyed by Maine fisheries
biologists,” said Joe Dembeck, Fisheries Management Supervisor for
the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “It would
take thousands of hours over many years for MDIF&W personnel to
survey all of the waters on the list. Ponds where volunteers catch
brook trout, or collect other information that suggests brook trout
are present, will become priority waters for formal survey efforts
by MDIF&W staff in future years.”

The state of Maine contains 97 percent of all the wild or native
brook trout ponds remaining in the entire country, and has been
designated as the last true stronghold for wild brook trout in the
eastern U.S. Brook trout are symbolic of healthy ponds that provide
habitat for other wildlife as well, including large aquatic
insects, smaller fish, and fish-eating birds like kingfishers and
osprey.

“Maine Audubon is excited about working with anglers on this
project. Our staff has tremendous experience working with
volunteers and MDIF&W on wildlife surveys, such as common
loons, owls, frogs and toads,” said Sally Stockwell, Maine Audubon
Director of Conservation. “We want to take the same approach for
brook trout ponds.”

Maine Audubon and its partners will provide anglers with maps,
photos, data sheets, and instructions for how to survey each pond.
Volunteers should be enthusiastic about fishing for brook trout, be
comfortable in remote settings, and have a sense of adventure.
Surveys can be done any time before September 30, but preferably in
June and July.

Emily Bastian, an avid brook trout angler and outdoorswoman,
will be coordinating the surveys and assisting volunteers as
needed. Please contact Emily at Maine Audubon at 207-781-6180 x207,
or ebastian@maineaudubon.org, for more information or to sign up to
volunteer.

 

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