Maine is the last true stronghold for wild Brook Trout. With the most extensive distribution and abundance of Brook Trout throughout their native range in the United States, Maine’s wild Brook Trout waters represent a unique, valuable, and irreplaceable ecological resource.
Before we can protect and manage them appropriately, we need to know where they are. The information collected through the Brook Trout Survey by volunteer anglers – verified by biologists – will help inform future fisheries management decisions. This data will be used to set policy and implement effective conservation strategies to protect, restore, and enhance native Eastern Brook Trout populations in Maine.
The Remote Pond Survey Project
A collaborative effort by Maine Audubon, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and the Maine Council of Trout Unlimited (METU). The goal is to recruit volunteers to identify previously-undocumented wild Brook Trout populations in remote Maine ponds. Maine contains over 6,000 lakes and ponds, and close to 1,000 of those waters had never been surveyed by fisheries biologists prior and have no records of any past stocking.
The Coastal Stream Survey Project
A collaborative effort by Maine Audubon, MDIFW, METU, and most recently the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition (SRBTC), the Coastal Stream Survey is a separate project that was added in 2014 to recruit volunteer anglers to gather data on wild Brook Trout in Maine’s coastal rivers and streams. Brook Trout that live in coastal streams may spend part of their lives in saltwater and come back to freshwater to spawn, a life history strategy called “diadromy.” Currently, the distribution and life history of coastal Brook Trout in Maine is poorly understood. Diadromous populations of Brook Trout appear to be declining throughout their range. There has never been an intensive survey of Maine’s coastal Brook Trout populations, so their current status in Maine is uncertain. Data collected by volunteers will be provided to biologists to inform future fisheries management decisions.
How you can help
The success of these project are entirely dependent on the data collected by volunteer anglers, so please consider helping with the Brook Trout Survey Project. This is your chance to make a significant contribution to the conservation of native Brook Trout in Maine. If you love to fish for Brook Trout and are looking for an adventure, we need you!
For more information or to sign up to volunteer, please contact us via email or at 207.781.2330 x219.