Support Maine's State Heritage Fish Waters
SUPPORT MAINE'S STATE HERITAGE FISH BY VOLUNTEERING FOR, SPONSORING OR DONATING TO THE JOINT NATIVE FISH COALITION, SPORTSMAN'S ALLIANCE OF MAINE, MAINE DEPARTMENT OF INLAND FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE "STATE HERITAGE FISH" INFORMATIONAL SIGN INITIATIVE.
Maine is the last stronghold for wild native lake- and pond-dwelling brook trout in the United States, accounting for roughly 90% of the remaining intact populations. The number one threat to these native trout is invasive fish introductions, both game and bait species.
This initiative aims to help protect this ecologically, economically, and culturally important resource by trying to prevent the introduction of invasive fish species through bucket-biology and the illegal use of live fish as bait.
Approximately 575 of Maine’s self-sustaining brook trout lakes and ponds are protected under the State Heritage Fish law. The goal of this project is to make anglers aware of the location of these waters, status, threats and the laws in place to protect them.
With 575+ waters, many of which will need multiple signs, the material costs (signs and hardware) for this project will be in excess of $8,000. We will also need to purchase some level of volunteer liability insurance if we get any grant money. The manpower requirements and costs are immeasurable.
There are four ways you can help...
Purchase a Sign: For a donation of $55 (which includes shipping) you can have your own Maine State Heritage Fish brook trout sign. A great addition addition to your camp, cabin, cottage, fly tying room, office, (wo)man cave or business, your donation will help pay for roughly four signs. Click here to donate.
Adopt a Sign: For a donation of $20 you can have your name written on the back of a sign and be added to the list of project sponsors on our website. Your sign will be put up at a lake or pond by one of our volunteers. Your donation will help pay for roughly two signs. Click here to donate.
Adopt a Pond: For a donation of $20 per sign you can personally put up the sign(s) at your favorite State Heritage Fish lake or pond. Depending on access, waters will have between 1 and 5 signs. Write your name on the back of a sign, secure it as directed, take a selfie and send it in for inclusion in our online project photo gallery. You will also be added to the list of project sponsors on our website. Your donation will help pay for your sign(s) and one other per. Email us at ME@NativeFishCoalition.org to learn more.
Make a Donation: Make a random donation to help offset the cost of signs, hardware, and volunteer liability insurance. Click here to donate.
Volunteer: We are looking for people to go into the field and put up signs. Signs and hardware will be provided along with landowner permission and instructions. Email us at ME@NativeFishCoalition.org to learn more.
VIEW THE LIST OF STATE HERITAGE FISH WATERS & SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER:
It will take three years to get through the list of waters. By the time we do, we will have to circle back to replace lost, stolen and vandalized signs. As a result the project will never be completely "done." But even 75%, a very attainable goal, would be a huge step in the right direction.
Maine's State Heritage fish waters are a national treasure. If we can save even one lake or pond from a costly-to-correct, or worse, impossible-to-correct, invasive nonnative fish introduction our efforts are justified. Please help NFC, SAM and IFW get these important informational signs purchased and up.
Dedication: This project is dedicated to George Smith. Without George’s leadership, the State Heritage Fish law, the single most important protection provided to Maine’s wild native pond-dwelling brook trout and Arctic charr, would not have happened. While at the helm of Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, George provided the platform needed to launch the initiative, and the guidance and influence required to push it through the legislature. Gaining legal protection from stocking and the use of live fish as bait for over 575 brook trout and Arctic charr lakes and ponds was a major step toward conserving this invaluable and irreplaceable resource, and no one was more instrumental in making it happen than George Smith.
Carrying on a Maine Tradition...