Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are seeking volunteers to identify previously-undocumented wild brook trout populations in remote Maine ponds.
Initiated in 2011, the Brook Trout Pond Survey was developed as a way to identify and document populations of native Brook Trout in remote Maine ponds. There are hundreds upon hundreds of ponds around the state that have never been officially surveyed by fisheries biologists. There are no records of stocking in these ponds, so any brook trout found in them are native, wild fish. Maine brook trout are a special resource, and we need to know where they are before we can protect and manage them appropriately. This project offers anglers a chance to explore new places while advancing trout conservation efforts.
The state of Maine contains 97% of all the wild or native brook trout ponds remaining in the entire country, and has been designated as the last true stronghold for wild brook trout in the eastern U.S. Brook trout are symbolic of healthy ponds that provide habitat for other wildlife as well, including large aquatic insects, smaller fish, and fish-eating birds like kingfishers and osprey.
Volunteer anglers find and fish ponds located within our survey area. They document access to the pond, general pond conditions (depth, number of inlets/outlets), fish species caught or observed, and signs of angling (trail to water, canoes parked on shore). Audubon staff will provide maps, aerial photos, survey forms, and instructions on how to survey each pond. If you are a beginning angler or unfamiliar with backcountry navigation, we can pair you up with a more experienced backwoods angler. Pond surveys can be completed anytime between April and September 2012.