floods pond arctic charr research
The Maine chapter of Native Fish Coalition worked with Rising (www.risingfish.net) to obtain new nets and some tools for students working under Dr. Michael Kinnison at the University of Maine on the Floods Pond Arctic Charr Study. The nets being used were a decade old, had old-style cloth bags and were starting to fatigue. The project involves removing fish from trap nets while anchored in a small boat, placing them in holding tanks, moving them from the holding tanks into a floating pen, taking them from the floating pen to the workstation for analysis, and then bringing them back to the water for release. The new nets have hoops that are shaped better for netting fish, and are equipped with fish-friendly rubber bags that make handling easier and help lessen damage and stress to the fish. The larger net holes allow water to escape which helps prevent "bucketing", and makes it easier to get the fish from the trap and pen to the holding tanks. This important program monitors rare landlocked native Arctic charr in the only place in the contiguous United States where they are not subject to angling pressure. This allows us to gain a big picture perspective and identify environmental impacts that might otherwise be missed on waters that are being actively fished.