Fishing in the Name of Science&Maine Brook Trout
Last winter, Trout Unlimited’s publication, Trout magazine, featured a program in Yellowstone where anglers help survey the park’s myriad trout species on its 2,650 miles of streams. From meadow streams to alpine lakes, volunteers are collecting data (aka: catching fish) via fly-rod in the name of science. This simple idea is a great way for Trout Unlimited members to combine their summer vacation with a conservation mission – and now a similar program is active in Maine. The “Trout Pond Survey Project” is a collaborative effort by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), Maine Council of Trout Unlimited (METU), and Maine Audubon (MA) to identify previously undocumented wild brook trout populations in remote Maine ponds.
Maine’s native brook trout populations are second only to Alaska as the most intact assemblages of native trout waters in the United States. However, lack of documentation has stymied a cohesive strategy on how to protect what Maine already has. The good news is you can help! Uniquely, the success of this project is entirely dependent on the data collected by volunteer anglers. Anglers can choose one or more of 187 ponds in western Maine to find and fish. This project’s focus on remote ponds offers anglers a chance to explore new places while advancing trout conservation efforts.
If you were hoping to do some great fishing this summer, why not take a trip to Maine and fish in the name of science? These remote Maine ponds have no history of stocking and have never before been surveyed by Maine fisheries biologists. This is a perfect opportunity to moonlight as field biologists, while exploring the far reaches of our eastern native brook trout.
To learn more about the project and what you can do to help, visit the Maine TU Council website.