For Immediate Release
August 26, 2013
Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
(207) 781-6180 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511
Maine Audubon Seeks Anglers for Brook Trout Survey Project this September
Volunteers will help fisheries conservation goals in the state
Statewide – Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) are seeking volunteer anglers to survey remote ponds in northern Maine for brook trout this September. Survey information collected by anglers will be used by the nonprofit organizations and IFW to help identify populations of brook trout to be eligible for conservation management practices.
Anglers are needed to survey ponds in:
- Presque Isle
- Grand Isle
- Van Buren
2013 is the third year of the Brook Trout Pond Survey project. To date this summer, volunteers have surveyed 67 new ponds and have positively confirmed 17 ponds to have brook trout presence. An additional 19 ponds have been identified as having a high likelihood of brook trout presence. With over 300 ponds on the list, Maine Audubon needs the assistance of anglers to survey additional ponds in Aroostook, Penobscot and Washington counties over the course of the next month.
Maine is home to 97% of the intact wild brook trout lake and pond habitat in the eastern United States. Brook trout require clean, cold water and pristine habitat to survive – the population health of brook trout is a key indicator of a healthy ecosystem that also indicates the health of other species, including moose, deer, otters, kingfishers, herons and osprey. The quality and abundance of Maine brook trout has declined in recent years because of the introduction of competing species. Brook trout are important to Maine and the nation’s ecological and sporting heritage and are also a valuable recreational and economic state resource.
Hundreds of remote ponds in the state have never been surveyed by fisheries biologists nor have any record of being stocked with fish. “Identifying the lakes and ponds with native brook trout will greatly assist IFW in planning our conservation management strategies over the next several decades,” noted Merry Gallagher of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “The success of this project is entirely dependent on the data collected by volunteer anglers.” The project’s focus on remote lakes and ponds offers anglers a chance to explore new areas of the state. “Volunteers should be enthusiastic about fishing for brook trout, be comfortable in remote settings and have a sense of adventure!” noted Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited.
Last year, 66 anglers contributed nearly 1,200 volunteer hours to the Brook Trout Pond Survey project. Thanks to their efforts, 66 ponds from the original list of 372 were surveyed. IFW biologists also conducted official surveys on 33 ponds that volunteers from 2011 identified as brook trout ponds, and confirmed brook trout presence in 26 of these ponds.
Surveys can be completed any time before September 30, 2013. Project partners will provide maps, data sheets and instructions on how to survey each pond. To sign up to volunteer, please contact Emily Bastian at (207) 781-6180 x207 or [email protected].
About Maine Audubon
A trusted leader for over 100 years, Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation throughout the state of Maine. The largest wildlife conservation organization in the state, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers to
Conserving Maine’s wildlife. For everyone.
Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
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