AUGUSTA — Volunteer anglers are being sought to survey remote ponds and lakes around Maine in search of brook trout.
The brook trout pond survey project is a collaborative effort of Trout Unlimited, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Maine Audubon to gather data on ponds in remote areas of northern, western and eastern Maine that are potentially inhabited by trout.
Now in its third year, the project aims to identity previously undocumented wild brook trout populations.
So far, volunteers have surveyed 161 ponds out of more than 400 that have been identified for the project. Of those, trout have been found in 35 of them.
Project organizers say Maine is home to 97 percent of all wild or native brook trout lakes and ponds in the country, and that the state has been designated as the last true stronghold for wild brook trout in the eastern U.S.
But the full extent of the Maine’s trout population isn’t known because there are hundreds of lakes and ponds that haven’t been surveyed by the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department.
Since there are no records of those ponds ever being stocked with trout, any brook trout found in them are native wild fish.
More information and survey forms can be found at www.tumaine.org/brooktrout.htm.