ME NFC and ME Audubon Post SHF Sign
The Maine chapter of NFC and Maine Audubon braved the cold, snow, and icy roads to post signs on a small State Heritage Fish pond in York County, Maine. ME Audubon Executive Director Andrew Beahm, ME NFC Chair Emily Bastian, and national NFC Vice Chair and ME board member Bob Mallard met early in the morning, climbed into a van together with gloves, signs, hardware, and a screw gun, and headed off to post signs.
One of only four so designated waters in York and Cumberland Counties in Southern Maine, this 12-acre “kettle pond” is home to a population of self-sustaining brook trout that have not been stocked over since 1974, or forty-four years ago. Interestingly, it had been stocked 20 times prior to 1974, including once with nonnative brown trout, indicating that something other than habitat was the reason for stocking.
Surrounded by private property with no formal public access, Emily approached a landowner working on a travel trailer in his driveway and asked if there was a place we could hang a sign or two. As has been the case almost everywhere else we have been, the landowner loved the signs, pointed to a tree on his land offering to trim away a few branches, suggested we post one down lake where anglers access the water via an informal trail, and thanked us for our work.
Maine Audubon has played an instrumental role in getting waters added to the State Heritage Fish list. Their ongoing Brook Trout Survey volunteer project has sent anglers afield to identify previously unsurveyed, and by default unstocked, waters that are home to self-sustaining populations of brook trout. If they qualify, these waters are added to the State Heritage Fish list. Emily was the project coordinator for five years before helping to found NFC.
A number of Maine Audubon pond survey volunteers have volunteered to post signs as part of Maine NFCs State Heritage Fish Sign initiative, some of who learned about the project through an Audubon newsletter. Maine NFC sees posting State Heritage Fish signs as the perfect form of closure for the water in question, and the volunteer(s) who surveyed it. Thanks to Andy and Emily for taking time from their busy schedules to make this happen.