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Brook Trout Survey Project

*New* The 2016 Brook Trout Survey Report to the Public (pdf) is available now

Maine has the most extensive distribution and abundance of brook trout throughout their native range in the United States, and has been designated as the last true stronghold for wild brook trout. Maine’s wild brook trout waters represent a unique, valuable and irreplaceable ecological resource, and we need to know where they are before we can protect and manage them appropriately. The information collected 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 is a collaborative effort by Maine Audubon (MA), 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.

Learn more about the Remote Pond Survey at

Stream pictureThe Coastal Stream Survey Project is a collaborative effort by Maine Audubon (MA), the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), the Maine Council of Trout Unlimited (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.

Learn more about the Coastal Stream Survey at

Volunteer Anglers Needed in 2016

Leah Bevins

Thanks to the overwhelming response from anglers and the conservation community, we are pleased to announce the launch of the sixth consecutive year of the Brook Trout Survey Project.  2016 will include surveys on both remote ponds and coastal streams.  There are lots of exciting places to explore this year, and we are seeking new and returning volunteers to assist with this effort.

The success of this project is 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 Leah Bevins, Brook Trout Survey Project Coordinator at  [email protected] or (207) 781-2330 x207