News & Notes

Action Needed: Protect Our Native Brook Trout

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Posted on:

Maine Audubon Opposes LD 170 – Resolve, To Allow the Use of Live Bait When Ice Fishing in Certain Waters of the State. This bill would impact Maine’s native brook trout by introducing new species that would compete for food sources and put the brook trout population at risk.

Maine is home to 97% of the nation’s wild eastern brook trout lakes and ponds. Brook trout are important to Maine and the nation’s ecological and sporting heritage and are also a valuable recreational and economic state resource.

This population is at risk. The quality and abundance of the fishery has declined for a lot of reasons, but, the biggest threat to the resource is the introduction of competing fish species into the trout’s fragile ecosystem by the use of live bait for fishing.

Facts: In 2012, Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife adopted changes to its fishing regulations to ban the use of live fish as bait in nine northern Maine lakes where Brook trout live. We support these changes that are intended to protect important headwaters that feed watersheds containing many of the state’s wild brook trout populations.  LD 170 proposes rules changes which undo these important protections.

The Department’s rules will go into effect April 1, 2013 unless LD 170 passes.  LD 170 directs the Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to reverse these protective measures.

Senate: (800) 423-6900
House (800) 423-2900
For email contact information, see the House/Senate member list.

Committee Members


  • Senator David E. Dutremble (York), Chair
  • Senator Anne M. Haskell (Cumberland)
  • Senator David C. Burns (Washington)


  • Rep. Michael A. Shaw (Standish), Chair
  • Rep. Sheryl J. Briggs (Mexico)
  • Rep. Dale J. Crafts (Lisbon)
  • Rep. Eleanor M. Espling (New Gloucester)
  • Rep. Paul T. Davis, Sr. (Sangerville)
  • Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos (Friendship)
  • Rep. Karen Kusiak (Fairfield)
  • Rep. Timothy I. Marks (Pittston)
  • Rep. Stanley Byron Short, Jr. (Pittsfield)
  • Rep. Stephen J. Wood (Sabattus)

How You Can Help

  1. Attend the public hearing before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee on March 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm in Room 206 of the Cross Building (next to the State House) and speak up for not allowing live fish as bait in these prime Brook trout waters.
  2. Call or email members of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee and ask them to oppose LD 170 – Resolve, To Allow the Use of Live Bait When Ice Fishing in Certain Waters of the State.

For more information visit our website where you can learn about all of our Legislative Advocacy priorities or contact [email protected]

Water-bodies subject to the ban that would be repealed under LD 170 include:

  • Attean Pond, Attean Township (Somerset County)
  • Fish Pond (Little), Hobel Twp. (Somerset Co.)
  • Twin Island Pond, Lowelltown Twp. (Franklin Co.)
  • Mountain Catcher Pond, T06 R08 WELS (Penobscot Co.)
  • Webster Lake, T06 R10 and T06 R11 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Chase Lake, T09 R10 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Millimagasset Lake, T7 R8 WELS (Penobscot Co.)
  • Millinocket Lake and Little Millinocket Lake, T07 R9, T8 R9, T7 R10 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Munsungan Lake (including Little), T08 R9, T8 R10, T9 R10 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Wheelock Lake, St. John Plt. (Aroostook Co.)