Fishing season is open and it’s time to cast a line! But I must admit — I’m not a very accomplished angler. So I need your help!
When I head out with my rod, I am often so distracted by everything else going on around me – I listen to bird songs and try to identify who’s calling; I watch the water striders skip along the top of the water, or follow the ripples curve around the rocks; I search for the sunlight through the treetops – that I often forget to set the hook to bring the fish in.
But still – it’s great to be outside, near water, and I love trying to second-guess where the fish might be hiding. I love thinking about the wonders of the waterworld, mostly hidden from our eyes, and how all those fish, aquatic insects, and mussels navigate up and down the stream or around the bottom of the lake.
If this is something that appeals to you too, I encourage you to join the hundreds of other volunteer anglers who have helped us over the past seven years as part of our Brook Trout Survey project. These volunteers have been critical to helping us find and protect new populations of wild Brook Trout in remote ponds and coastal streams all across Maine.
There’s still plenty more to find! We have over a hundred ponds that have never before been surveyed for Brook Trout, and countless streams where sea-run Brook Trout may be lurking.
Why is this important? Because Maine is the last stronghold for wild Brook Trout in the entire eastern U.S.! We need to know where they are in order to better protect them and their habitats – especially from the introduction of nonnative fish that can quickly destroy these native populations.
You can help by gathering up your fishing gear, finding a pond or stream that hasn’t yet been surveyed, and heading out on an adventure – either alone or with a buddy – to search for Brook Trout. You can find everything you need to know about signing up for a pond or stream, along with data forms, maps, and instructions, on the Trout Unlimited website.
The best time to complete coastal stream surveys is April through mid-June, and the best time to complete pond surveys is May through mid-July and again in September. However, surveys can be completed any time between ice-out and September 30.
So, don’t hesitate – come join the fun! We welcome both seasoned and new volunteers. If you have any questions or need help signing up, please contact Annica McGuirk at [email protected] or (207) 781-2330 x219.