FRENCHTOWN TOWNSHIP – Maine’s wildlife agency is restoring brook trout habitat in a stream in the Moosehead Lake area.
The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Plum Creek land and timber company have been working together to enhance the habitat on Intervale Brook, an important tributary of First Roach Pond.
Back in the days of log drives, streams like Intervale were straightened, had in-stream boulders and trees removed, and had their banks heightened to make log drives easier. But those things also hurt the habitat for brook trout.
The new restoration initiative involves using what’s known as a “chop-and-drop” method to strategically add fallen trees to the stream to provide additional cover for the fish, increase the insect population and create or enhance pools on the stream.
Plum Creek also has removed berms, restored disconnected stream channels and placed large boulders in the stream.
In one of the final steps in the restoration effort last week, Plum Creek removed an old log-driving dam at the headwaters of the stream.
“Intervale Brook has great water quality, but we need to provide more habitat diversity,” said Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Merry Gallagher, who’s overseeing the project. “By adding woody material, we can provide habitat and help diversify the stream substrate, which enhances the food supply and provides protection for fish.”
Maine is home to 97 percent of the nation’s lake and pond brook trout population.