Telling Maine Arctic Charr from Brook Trout

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The Maine chapter of Native Fish Coalition (NFC) worked with Rippled Waters, University of Maine, Bangor Water District and Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to develop the first in a series of educational videos about Maine's rare Arctic charr.

The intention of the video, Telling Maine Arctic Charr From Brook Trout, is to educate anglers as to the physical attributes of Arctic charr and how they differ from brook trout in order to help lessen species misidentification and accidental harvest.  

Arctic charr are native to New England, Canada, Alaska and Europe.  Once found in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, they are now extant in Maine only.  Maine's Arctic charr are the southernmost populations in the world and reported to be the oldest strain in North America. 

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Maine's Arctic charr are the rarest freshwater salmonid east of the Rocky Mountains.  They are classified as a Tier-1 Species of Greatest Conservation Need by MDIFW, the same classification as federally endangered Atlantic salmon.  They are classified as Threatened by the Endangered Species Committee of the American Fisheries Society.

Arctic charr overlap with brook trout in Maine.  They can easily be mistaken for brook trout.  Misidentification can result in the accidental harvest of this rare native fish. 

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Using fish trapped from Floods Pond in Otis, Maine, as part of an ongoing Arctic charr population survey, the video shows and explains the differences between Arctic charr and brook trout.  Not an everyday occurrence, we were fortunate to trap a brook trout and took advantage of the opportunity to educate the public.    

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NFC would like to thank our partners Rippled Waters, University of Maine, Bangor Water District and Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for helping to make this video a reality.  Nothing like this has ever been done and without their help this video would not have been possible.

Please click here to watch the video.  And please help spread it around as the more people know about this rare, beautiful and fascinating native fish, the more likely we will be able to preserve it for generations to come.   

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