TU Report Outlines Threats to New England Brook Trout
Numerous environmental problems cited as cause for population decline
Manager, Media Relations
11/17/2004 — Washington — The national conservation organization Trout Unlimited (TU) today released a report examining the combined effects of acid rain, sprawl, forest loss, mismanagement, dwindling clean water supplies and invasive species on New Englands wild brook trout. The report is available at www.tu.org.
We set out to do a report on a fish, and wound up doing a report on a lot of what ails New England in general, said Jeff Reardon, TU New England Conservation Director. This means that if we keep brook trout in our waters, well have done a good job of fixing the major threats to the New England landscape.
The report, The New England Brook Trout: Protecting a Fish, Restoring a Region, also explores the ways that citizens can involve themselves in the brook trout restoration effort in each of the New England states.
Brook trout are the ultimate indicators of the health of our lands and waters, said Chris Wood, TU Vice President for Conservation. Mercury and other airborne emissions are reflected in the growing number of fish consumption advisories on waters throughout New England. Water withdrawals and water quality degradation result in more streams with fewer trout. Urban sprawl and subdivisions into formerly forested areas deprive trout of the benefits of healthy streamside areas.
The report recommends steps to address the concurrent threats to the brook trout and the New England landscape, including:
strengthening air pollution laws,
independent certification of sustainable timbering practices,
expanding state and private land conservation purchases,
adopting wildlife management policies that promote wild and native species, and
broadening public awareness of the threats posed by invasive species, such as the hemlock wooly adelgid, Japanese knotweed and Asian long-horned beetle.
New England is positioned to lead the country into a new era of conservation, where anglers and hunters, community leaders, outdoor recreationists and other local citizens combine their efforts to secure the health of the lands and waters that sustain us all, said Wood.
All of these challenges can be dealt with effectively, said Reardon, but doing so will require significant personal and public resolve.
For hard copies of the report, please contact Sally Armstrong at 703-284-9410.
Mission: Trout Unlimited is North Americas leading coldwater fisheries conservation organization, dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. The organization has more than 130,000 members in North America, including more than 11,000 throughout New England.