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Downeast TU is a chapter of Trout Unlimited, a national non-profit organization dedicated to protect and conserve North American

cold-water fish species and habitat. Membership is open to all, go to  www.tu.org/join305Downeast and use chapter code 305 Downeast TU.

Monthly meetings are the Third Wednesday of the month from October to May

 

Happy Spring to our Downeast Trout Unlimited members and supporters!

The next meeting of DETU will be Wednesday, October 16, 2024. Details on the meeting will be coming.

June has something for anglers of all ages and abilities!

Trout are stocked, temps are up, and insects are hatching-it’s time to fish! Young anglers will enjoy the challenge of feisty pickerel in shallow weedy ponds this time of year. Fly anglers return to secret spots along small brook trout streams during peak season and bass fishermen cruise shallow waters for nest-guarding males. Whether you fish from shore, wade waist deep, or cast from a boat check out the Maine IFW June fishing report mefishwildlife.com/fishingreport.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Machias Next meeting is June 13 at the DSF East Machias Hatchery on 13 Willow St.at 6pm. They are making plans for outings in June and their first overnight trip to DSF’s Wigwams Camp on the Machias River for the 4th of July weekend. DETU will provide volunteers and support. Two participants were able to take a guided excursion on West Grand Lake recently. PHWFF is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active and veteran military personnel through fly fishing activities, education and outings. Are you a veteran or know a veteran that might be interested in participating? Veterans and volunteers must register for insurance and funding purposes. Volunteer Registration form:  https://www.tfaforms.com/4981203. or Participant Registration form: https://tfaforms.com/4972194. Veterans who wish to do both must complete both forms. Contact Mike Manning Project Lead at mike.manningatprojecthealingwaters.org (mike.manning@projecthealingwaters.org)

Strategic Conservation Planning for Water June 13 2pm Zoom Land Trust Alliance Andrew Szwak, Land Trust Alliance will offer guidance about how land trusts and groups can advance water quality. See “Taking the Plunge Water Guide.” https://landtrustalliance.org/resources/learn/explore/strategic-conservation-planning-for-water

 

Maine lakes are worth $14 billion according to a University of Maine study. The value of Maine’s lakes is priceless but with interdisciplinary research and help from communities a figure has been estimated that can be used for their protection. Researchers will present the project at the Maine Lakes and Lake Stewards of Maine Lake Conference 2024 on June 21 at the University of Maine at Farmington.

https://umaine.edu/mitchellcenter/maine-lakes-are-worth-14-billion-according-to-umaine-study/

 

Penobscot County Conservation Club Family Fun Day June 22 9am-2pm. Learn about land and wildlife conservation, how to fly fish, tie flies, ride up the Penobscot in a canoe and more. Volunteers needed, contact Penobscot Fly Fishers Don Corey donald.coreyatgmail.com (donald[dot]corey[at]gmail[dot]com)

Fish Passage Projects selected for NOAA funding: NOAA has completed the second round of the Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal funding opportunities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. These funds will help restore access to healthy habitat for migratory fish across the country through on-the-ground fish passage restoration, future project development, engineering and design assistance, and increasing the capacity of new and existing partners to design projects and manage multi-faceted restoration efforts. In the west NOAA recognized three ambitious Trout Unlimited fish passage projects on Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, Oregon’s North Coast, and Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with $16.6 million in funding. In the east DETU looks forward to opportunities to assist on the projects below as a conservation partner in Downeast Maine:

Maine Department of Marine Resources will continue construction of structures to improve fish passage at Woodland Dam on the St. Croix River. When complete, this effort will provide access to significant habitat for migratory fish, including 60,000 acres of habitat for alewife. By benefitting species like alewife, American shad, and American eel, the project is expected to result in increased prey for whales, dolphins, groundfish, and saltwater sportfish. ($7.5 million)

Downeast Salmon Federation will remove the Cherryfield Ice Control Dam on the Narraguagus River and replace it with a nature-like fishway, allowing for endangered Atlantic salmon (a NOAA Species in the Spotlight) and other fish to migrate unimpeded. The Narraguagus River has some of the highest quality habitat for Atlantic salmon in the Downeast Salmon Habitat Recovery Unit (SHRU), one of three designated regions in Maine for restoring habitat for endangered Atlantic salmon. ($9.1 million) 

The Nature Conservancy will work to improve fish passage on the Piscataquis River, a major tributary to the Penobscot River. This effort will reconnect a significant amount of stream habitat in the Penobscot SHRU, one of three designated regions in Maine for restoring habitat for Atlantic salmon. It will also support local communities by reducing the potential for flooding and addressing a public safety hazard. ($19.9 million)

Do Not Eat Fish Advisories vs State Stocking: Seven freshwater bodies in Maine were stocked with fish by IFW even though state toxicologists advise people not to eat fish caught in them because they likely contain high levels of PFAS. Diane Kopec, PFAS researcher and a fellow at the Sen. George Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions was interviewed in the Portland Press Herald recently about data from the state aquatic toxicology lab. Results rendered fish unsafe to eat after a month of exposure to forever chemicals in water. “Their data should be taken seriously by officials deciding where to encourage fishing and how to alert the public to the serious health risk. Do-not-eat advisories mean what they say.”
View the list of Maine’s PFAS advisories for freshwater fish consumption

 

THANK YOU to all who attended the FERC meetings or filed comments in support of improving fish passage on the Kennebec River. DETU and other Maine Trout Unlimited members, along with representatives from our partners in the Kennebec Coalition (Atlantic Salmon Federation, Maine Rivers, Natural Resources Council of Maine, and the Conservation Law Foundation) as well as residents from local communities convened to support efforts to ensure the survival of Atlantic Salmon and restore other sea-run fish that are vital to the health of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and commercial fisheries. Over 150 people attended and 58 people testified over two days to support a healthy Kennebec. Our efforts demonstrated that people in Maine overwhelmingly want safe, effective, and timely passage solutions for our communities, the fish, and the river.  We were impressed by the thoughtfulness, knowledge, and passion shared during their testimony. Read this NYTimes OpEd by John Waldman, noted sea-run fisheries biologist https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/28/opinion/river-fish-salmon-dam.html?u2g=c&unlocked_article_code=1.v00.rRxH.w8Qr2Xi3-kUt&smid=url-share

National TU: TU national and the Maine Council are reviewing applications to fill the Maine Program Manager position.

On May 25 the Spring Shad Fishing Raffle winner Bill Strout, guide Al West, and DETU members Bob Bechtold and Mike Elkavitch cast their lines on the Narraguagus. A good time was had by all and they even caught a few fish. Photos on our FB page Downeast TU. Al has offered to guide again next year so keep an eye out for the next shad raffle.

The alewives are running! Share the wonder of their migration with your family. Read Swimming Home, written and illustrated by local author Susan Hand Shetterly and local artist Rebekah Raye. Books available by contacting Tammy Packie at the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor.

Our May meeting at Helen’s Restaurant in Machias with Al West’s presentation on Labrador was a huge success. There were even people listening from outside the room! We plan to hold another meeting at Helen’s next year.

Looking for a Gift? Downeast Trout Unlimited Gear: Hats $25, Brook Trout pins $15, Earrings $16. Happy Father’s Day to our members and supporters.

Downeast Trout Unlimited (DETU) is dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring Maine's cold water fisheries and their watersheds. Call 800-834-2419 to renew or go to tu.org/intro to join and use chapter code 305 for Downeast Trout Unlimited.  Donations may be mailed to Downeast Trout Unlimited, c/o Dana Hunter, Treasurer; 9 Lobster Pool Road Little Deer Isle, ME 04650.  For more information contact Tammy Packie, tpackieatgmail.com (tpackie[at]gmail[dot]com) 207-288-5442 or visit https://www.downeasttu.org/ or our Facebook page Downeast TU.

 
 

Join Trout Unlimited and other advocates working to restore migratory fish populations on the Kennebec River to urge FERC to take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to require effective fish passageways on the Kennebec. There are several ways you can help:
1.Sign our petition.  TU will include this petition with the detailed comments we will send to FERC.
2. Submit personal comments to FERC. These may be submitted through FERC's electronic comment portal, which can be accessed at https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx or via mail to: Debbie-Anne A. Reese, Acting Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. *Include docket numbers P-2322-069; P-2322-071; P-2325-100; P-2574-092; and P-2611-091 on the first page.

Thanks in advance for joining Trout Unlimited and our partners in the Kennebec Coalition: Atlantic Salmon Federation, Maine Rivers, Natural Resources Council of Maine, and the Conservation Law Foundation to support this important effort to ensure the survival of Atlantic Salmon in the U.S.

Trout Camp June 23-27 at Evergreen Camps in Solon-Trout Camp Volunteers Needed: Two DETU students have been accepted for camp Chaperones needed to stay overnight. Contact Camp Coordinator Robb Cotiaux ASAP to help. rcotiauxatgmail.com (rcotiaux[at]gmail[dot]com)

Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery and Museum Tours The salmon have spawned and the fry are hatching. Would you or your group like a tour?  Call Senior Biologist Denise Buckley at 207-469-7300.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in Ellsworth & Machias. Official will provide assistance and answer questions about relief programs for winter storm damage at the Moore Center. These disaster assistance resources can also be accessed online.

Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs): Forestry operations that use best management practices protect the natural ability of watersheds to support life. By preventing stream sedimentation, BMPs can maintain streambed properties and the clean water that allows fish and the aquatic insects they depend on to feed and spawn. Leaving trees that shade and provide leaf litter to waterbodies limits changes in water temperature and chemical characteristics that could improve the ability of trout to reproduce. FMI: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/publications/handbooks_guides/bmp_manual/bmp_manual.pdf

Fundamental BMPs to Protect Water Quality on Haul Roads & Skid Trails May 7 Searsmont. Workshop for loggers and foresters will focus on BMPs with an emphasis on water flow and minimizing exposed mineral soil. Contact Jared Gregory 215-5318 or Jared.M.Gregoryatmaine.gov (Jared[dot]M[dot]Gregory[at]maine[dot]gov)                          

Project SHARE is Hiring staff to assist with large wood additions from June to the end of September. An NGO working on restoring Endangered Atlantic salmon populations Share’s goal is to restore natural stream processes and enhance existing Atlantic salmon habitat. Work will include in-stream habitat manipulations; assisting Maine DMR with diadromous fish species counts, limited equipment maintenance, documentation and data entry. Interested candidates should send a resume ASAP to: Chris Federico 236 Blacks Woods Rd. Cherryfield, ME 04622 or cfedericoatsalmonhabitat.org (cfederico[at]salmonhabitat[dot]org)

Reel Craft Pass The Reel Craft brewery booklet promotes craft beer and flyfishing, with 50% discount on 1 beer at over 50 Maine locations throughout 2024. Cost $20. Available at The Reel Craft Pass on Facebook or www.reelcraftpass.com  Reel Craft Pass is donating a portion of the proceeds from their 2024 Maine Edition of the Reel Craft Pass to DETU. We have received over $400 to date.

And the Winners Are…

Carroll “Danny” Harper won the Limited Edition LL Bean 2014 Collectors Knife.

William “Bill” Strout won the Guided Spring Shad Fishing Day MAY 25 (Rain date June 1ST)  

Thanks to everyone who supported DETU with these fundraising efforts.

Downeast Trout Unlimited (DETU) is dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring Maine's cold water fisheries and their watersheds. Call 800-834-2419 to renew or go to tu.org/intro to join and use chapter code 305 for Downeast Trout Unlimited.  Donations may be mailed to Downeast Trout Unlimited, c/o Dana Hunter, Treasurer; 9 Lobster Pool Road Little Deer Isle, ME 04650.  For more information contact Tammy Packie, tpackieatgmail.com (tpackie[at]gmail[dot]com) 207-288-5442 or visit https://www.downeasttu.org/ or our Facebook page Downeast TU.

Reel Craft Pass The Reel Craft brewery booklet promotes craft beer and flyfishing, with 50% discount on 1 beer at over 50 Maine locations throughout 2024. Cost $20. Available at The Reel Craft Pass on Facebook or www.reelcraftpass.com  Reel Craft Pass is donating a portion of the proceeds from their 2024 Maine Edition of the Reel Craft Pass to DETU. We have received over $400 to date.

Downeast Trout Unlimited Gear: Hats $25, Brook Trout pins $15, Brook Trout Earrings $16.

TU Maine State Council is seeking donations for a $150,000 legal defense fund to hire lawyers to help Maine TU deal with Brookfield in the FERC dam relicensing process for the Ripogenus, Rumford Falls and Aziscohos Hydro Projects Legal action may be necessary to protect the fisheries on these waters.  Contact Steve Heinz, heinzatmaine.rr.com (heinz[at]maine[dot]rr[dot]com) for more information.

Draft Water Quality Certification: Green Lake Hydroelectric Project 
Project Folder: Green Lake Hydroelectric Project

New Disaster Recovery Center 125 State Street Ellsworth: Officials will help you apply for assistance and answer questions about relief programs for winter storm damage at the Moore Center. These disaster assistance resources can also be accessed online.

Thank you Mike! Michael Enos, conservationist, angler, and founding board member of Downeast Trout Unlimited is stepping down. Mike has served Trout Unlimited at the local, state and national levels, volunteering as the DETU chapter representative for the Maine Council, serving on the Arctic Char and Salmonid Committees and on the NLC Native Trout Work Group. An advocate for native fish and cold water habitat Mike surveyed remote ponds in Maine and his passion for fishing inspired him to write a poignant article about fishing with his granddaughter: https://www.tu.org/magazine/voices-from-the-river/take-a-child-fishing-and-make-a-difference/    His thoughtful research and work in the field will be missed. Our best to you and your family.

Downeast Trout Unlimited (DETU) chapter 305 is dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring Maine's cold water fisheries and their watersheds. New memberships are half price. To join DETU go to www.tu.org/join305Downeast To renew call 800-834-2419 Donations may be mailed to Downeast Trout Unlimited, c/o Dana Hunter, Treasurer; 9 Lobster Pool Road Little Deer Isle, ME 04650.  For more information contact Tammy Packie, tpackieatgmail.com (tpackie[at]gmail[dot]com) 207-288-5442 or visit https://www.downeasttu.org/ or Downeast TU on Facebook.

Frederick Kircheis September 7, 1942-February 27, 2024 -Sharing the sad news of the passing of Fred Kircheis. Fred was a supporter of DETU. His knowledge of Maine’s rare Artic charr was invaluable and he was recognized as a world expert on the species. Fred was employed by the State of Maine as a Fisheries Biologist but dedicated much of his career researching arctic charr, traveling to learn from others in his efforts to conserve the species here in Maine. He served as the Executive Director of the Maine Salmon Commission. A celebration of Fred's life will be held Sunday, March 17, at Dirigo Pines, Orono 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Viles Arboretum (where granddaughter, Lauren, is Asst. Director), 153 Hospital Street, Augusta, ME 04430 or The Penobscot Theater (where grandson, Aaron is employed) 131 Main St., Bangor, ME 04401. Fred had a wealth of knowledge and was a close friend and mentor to many. Our condolences to the Kircheis family and all who knew him.

Membership: Downeast Trout Unlimited (DETU) is dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring Maine's cold water fisheries and their watersheds. Membership link and discount for new members: The Individual rate is $17.50, half price the normal rate of $35. DETU will receive $15 for recruiting new members. To join go to www.tu.org/join305Downeast To renew your membership call 800-834-2419 Donations may be mailed to Downeast Trout Unlimited, c/o Dana Hunter, Treasurer; 9 Lobster Pool Road Little Deer Isle ME 04650. For more information visit https://www.downeasttu.org/Downeast TU on Facebook or contact Tammy Packie tpackieatgmail.com (tpackie[at]gmail[dot]com).

 
 
 
 
 

TU National  Over 300 TU volunteers, including Tammy Packie, newly elected State Council Rep for the National Leadership Council, TU staff, anglers and conservationists from around the country attended CX3 in September to celebrate coldwater, conservation, and community on the Spokane River in Washington.  CX3 2023 showcased partnerships with the Nez Perce Tribe, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and others to emphasize the importance of collaboration to address complex environmental challenges.  Fishing on rivers with local volunteers (Tammy went with the leader of the Gonzaga Costa 5 Rivers group to learn about their activities), a stream clean-up with the Spokane Riverkeepers, the Annual Awards banquet and Members Meeting, and casting with Spokane Women On The Fly (Tammy tried fly-casting for the first time!) were fun activities for all ages. The focus of Cx3 2023 was removing the lower four Snake River Dams. Participants were given a tour of Lower Granite Dam, engaged in insightful discussions, workshops, and viewed the powerful film Covenant of the Salmon People to help understand the critical issues surrounding these dams. Thank you to all the presenters, including our keynote speaker, Nez Perce Chairman Shannon Wheeler.  Attendees left CX3 armed with knowledge to advocate for the removal of the lower four Snake River Dams to recover Idaho’s salmon and steelhead. To learn more about the accomplishments TU has made in the past year and goals for the future watch President and CEO Chris Wood’s State of Trout Unlimited presentation on YouTube. Next year’s CX3 is in the Twin Cities, MN. from Sept. 25 – 29 2024.

 

Most lakes and ponds Downeast are open to fishing in the fall. Please check your lawbook before fishing.  Grand Lake Stream is open until October 25th for salmon. Fisheries biologist Greg Burr suggests using a Black Ghost, a Montreal, Barnes Special, or Colonel Bates flies.  Other salmon waters are West Grand Lake, Cathance Lake in Cooper, Donnell Pond in Franklin, Long Pond or Echo Lake in Southwest Harbor, and Beech Hill Pond in Otis.  For Brook trout try West Pike Brook Pond in Deblois, Witch Hole Pond in Bar Harbor, Echo Lake in Southwest Harbor, Simmons Pond in Hancock, Upper Hadlock Pond in Northeast Harbor and Monroe Lake in T43MD.  Poor weather lowered use in the Penobscot region and offers a better chance to catch fish this fall according to biologist Kevin Gallant.  For brook trout try Tomah Lake in Forest Township and Little Greenland Pond in Danforth (artificial lures only).  You can keep fish on Flatiron Pond (T3 R9 NWP) and Wapati (Davis) Pond in T5R7 WELS.  For white perch try Folsom Pond in Lincoln, Boyd Lake in Orneville and Crooked Brook Flowage in Danforth.                                                                                                                          

Fishing Tip: Fish become sluggish as water temperatures drop.  Slow your trolling speed and casting retrieve, this will give the fish a chance to hit your line.

· Special regulations in place during the fall months as some species are spawning

· Dress in layers and always wear a life jacket when on the water as cold water and cold air temperatures can quickly lead to hypothermia .

· Hunters will also be sharing the woods and waterways, so please be mindful and wear orange or bright clothing to increase visibility.

 

 

Downeast Trout Unlimited (DETU) is dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring Maine's cold water fisheries and their watersheds. Call 800-834-2419 to renew or go to tu.org/intro to join and use chapter code 305 for Downeast Trout Unlimited.  Donations may be mailed to Downeast Trout Unlimited, c/o Dana Hunter, Treasurer; 9 Lobster Pool Road Little Deer Isle, ME 04650.  For more information contact Tammy Packie, tpackieatgmail.com (tpackie[at]gmail[dot]com) 207-288-5442 or visit https://www.downeasttu.org/ or our Facebook page Downeast TU:

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/Downeast-TU/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

A message from Rob Packie, President of DETU

Hello everyone, with summer trailing off into fall it is high time I fill you in on where the Chapter stands. It has been awhile since I have written to you but Tammy and I were overtaken by life events this spring. I was diagnosed in April with cancer. I have completed treatment but still have lingering side effects. Tammy has been swamped with work and family matters so has not been able to give much time to DETU. That being said, thanks to volunteers the chapter moves on with its work and the recent months were not without DETU's involvement in the community.

 
In April it was brought to my attention that the city of Ellsworth needed to replace a portion of the dam at Branch Lake, the city's reservoir. Branch Lake Stream is a beautiful stream that flows into the Union River. I began making inquiries to the city, agencies, and organizations regarding installing fish passageway through the dam. This work continues with discussions with the city and associated groups to make this happen.
Last year we partnered with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, PHWFF, to create a new chapter in Machias headed by Mike Manning, a fisheries biologist with Downeast Salmon Federation and a member of DETU. They meet monthly in East Machias for conversation and flytying. DETU members Mike Elkavitch and Al West attend these meetings and help with flytying. PHWFF held their first outings this summer, one on the East Machias River at the Wigwams Camp owned by DSF, a sponsor for PHWFF. I was able to be there for the weekend along with other DETU volunteers. Though the river was high and fishing was poor, everyone enjoyed the camaraderie and time on the river. We did a lot of fly casting, reviewed Maine fly patterns, and how to read the water. PHWFF went to Grand Lake Stream this summer and is planning another trip this fall.
At the annual meeting in April two DETU members, Karen Svenson and Al West. were elected to the board. These additions are important for two reasons, one they bring new knowledge and experience to the board and two, prior to that the board consisted of founding members, all of whom are in their second terms and are coming up against term limits in 2025. It is important for others to step up and join committees and fill our roles on the board to keep this chapter viable.
Also in April Tammy and I were chosen as the recipients of the first Rising Trout Award. This award recognizes an individual or organization that through their commitment and dedication has made outstanding contributions to fulfilling the Downeast Trout Unlimited mission to conserve, protect, and restore coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. The board will accept nominations in December from any DETU member for next year's award. The board will review nominations in January and the award will be given at the 2024 Annual meeting in April.
 In May Tammy was elected by the State Council to be the next National Leadership Council Representative for Maine.  This is an important role. The NLC is made up of one member from each state that TU is working in, it is the group that plays a major role in deciding the focus of TU at the National level. NLC representatives bring issues and concerns from their states to TU national and bring decisions and initiatives from the national level back to their councils. Tammy begins her duties next week when she attends Cx3 in Spokane, Washington. Each representative is asked to join two committees to help direct policy. NLC committees meet regularly via zoom but all NLC reps meet as a group at the annual Cx3 event. Tammy does not know how much time this new role will take, but she will obviously be less available for DETU.  
This spring we participated in a Free Fishing Event with Island Heritage Trust. On June 3rd Bob Bechtold, Tammy and myself  went to Lily Pond Preserve on Deer Isle to promote TU and talk about fish, fly fishing and freshwater ecology. Alas that day dawned with a stiff wind and drizzle, with a wind chill of 35"F. We were unable to cast but Bob persevered and did fly tying demos and we were able to talk about DETU and topics related to coldwater habitats in Downeast Maine. 
DETU sent one student, Cody Leighton, to Trout Camp. We thank the Pleasant River Fish and Games Club for sponsoring his full tuition. Cody will share his experiences from Trout Camp at our October meeting. 
In early September several DETU members worked with Project SHARE on large wood installation on a tributary of the Narraguagus river. I hope to get more members to join us next summer as this is an ongoing restoration project on the Narraguagus.
TU National hired Brian Stranko as the new Program Manager for Maine. He grew up in Pennsylvania and spent most of his career working for Caltrout and The Nature Conservancy. He started September 18 and attended the State Council meeting this week. We are looking forward to working with him.
 
Now that DETU has been around for a few years it is becoming known as another local conservation organization and is getting requests for help from other area NGO's. With this in mind I am asking for your help with specific tasks:
Mike Elkavitch designed our website, we need help updating information. Currently it is sitting idle because we have not had time to work on it.
PHWFF has asked for more volunteers so they can provide one on one fishing coverage for vets. They also need people to help cook and be available to lend a hand on overnight trips. I can tell you from experience this is rewarding and fun and you will  meet some great people. 
DSF is expanding their work with sea-run brook trout. Salters are a long term interest of DETU and we will work with DSF on pit tagging fish caught on hook and line and electrofishing. This is a great opportunity to get involved in citizen science and help study this interesting and little known subset of brook trout. 
Currently there is a huge amount of money available from the federal government for fish connectivity projects. We are involved with our first project now and are looking for more. Our chapter covers a large area and to be effective we need many eyes looking for connectivity issues.While fishing, hiking, or driving take a look at culverts that might be lacking fish passage and let's get to work with our communities to replace or improve them.
Lastly, I want to ask for help with fundraising. We need to hold a fundraising event for the upcoming year but as of now the board has not determined what that event will be. If you have experience with fundraising please contact us. If you have gently used fishing equipment that is collecting dust please consider donating it to the chapter for a tag sale or raffle. A few members have donated equipment, flies, and books already. We will need volunteers to help organize and work at our fundraising event.
We are continuing with hybrid members meetings this year. Our first meeting of the fall on October 18 will feature Al West and flyfishing in Newfoundland. 
As always, thank you for your support of Downeast Trout Unlimited. I encourage you to help us in any way you can, beginning with membership in DETU. If you have questions, ideas or concerns please contact me to discuss them. 
Rob Packie
President Downeast Trout Unlimited
rbpackieatgmail.com (rbpackie[at]gmail[dot]com)
207-288-5442
207-610-0976

Trout Camp: DETU sent a  student to Trout camp this year. A big thank you to Pleasant River Fish and Game Club who fully sponsored our camper!

Union River Summit Over 50 attendees, succeeded in raising public awareness about the river and pointed out priorities for future planning and protection of the watershed.

Branch Lake Ellsworth: Boat inspections required to protect Ellsworth’s drinking water supply from invasive plants. Inspections are done at the City Boat Launch. Branch Lake water levels have been lowered by approximately two feet to accommodate repairs to the Branch Lake dam. https://www.ellsworthmaine.gov/branch-lake/

Open water fishing is open! April brings ice out and warmer weather but remember the water temperature is still cold this time of year, and water levels are often high and fast. ALWAYS wear a lifejacket! The Downeast region offers many opportunities to get out on the water during the early spring, check out the IFW fishing report at: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/fishing-report.html                                        .

Downeast Trout Unlimited (DETU) is dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring Maine's cold water fisheries and their watersheds. Call 800-834-2419 to renew or go to tu.org/intro to join and use chapter code 305 for Downeast Trout Unlimited.  Donations may be mailed to Downeast Trout Unlimited, c/o Dana Hunter, Treasurer; 9 Lobster Pool Road Little Deer Isle, ME 04650.  For more information contact Tammy Packie, tpackieatgmail.com (tpackie[at]gmail[dot]com) 207-288-5442 or visit our Facebook page Downeast TU:

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/Downeast-TU/

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Downeast TU on FB

About Downeast Trout Unlimited www.downeasttu.org

     Downeast Trout Unlimited (Chapter #305) includes a large area of Eastern Maine from the Penobscot River east to the Canadian border, and from the Atlantic Ocean north to Rt. 9.  The area includes much ideal habitat for many species of cold-water fish with too many lakes and ponds, rivers and streams to list here.  This is a brief overview of our chapter waters, resources, and concerns, focused on two priority waters, the Narraguagus River, and the Union River, and our two most iconic fish species, the Atlantic Salmon (including Landlocked Salmon), and Brook Trout (including salters), as well as the Arctic Char, a fish that deserves special mention.

     The Narraguagus River was once one of Maine's premier Atlantic Salmon rivers.  Alas, the salmon are barely hanging on now but the watershed contains over two hundred miles of suitable habitat for salmon and trout.  Much of this river was damaged during the days of log drives by channel straightening, removal of underwater structure, and logging along the river.  Today a major restoration effort is underway by numerous agencies and organizations including TU to restore habitat with large wood installations and improving underwater structure.  These efforts are aimed at improving salmon habitat but will also improve trout habitat as well.  Another area of concern on the Narraguagus is the residual effect of acid rain. DETU is doing water quality testing with the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District on cold water streams in our area to assess the problem and investigate remediation solutions.

      The Union River is really a tale of two rivers.  The upstream reaches of the river have more than two hundred miles of habitat suitable for trout and salmon, much of it climate resilient.  The West branch in particular has excellent water quality and is home to several rare species of animals.  Sadly, as one nears the coast the river suffers damage from years of development and fish passage is largely obstructed by two dams.  Currently the lower dam, Leonards Lake dam, is up for relicensing and a big effort is underway to create fish passageway.  This work is ongoing and involves allied organizations fighting to restore the lower reaches of the river and allow for the return of sea run fish to the upper reaches of the watershed.  DETU has participated in tree plantings as part of this restoration process.  Allied organizations have started a tree farm to grow trees which will then be planted along the river and along streets in the city of Ellsworth in an effort to improve conditions along the Union River and one of its tributaries, Card Brook. 

     Downeast Maine is home to a half dozen Atlantic Salmon rivers.  The Atlantic Salmon is listed as endangered but work is underway by many agencies and organizations, including TU, to restore the salmon and improve the habitat on the rivers.  Downeast Maine is also home to many waters with healthy populations of Landlocked Salmon, including two of the original watersheds where these fish evolved during the last glaciation, the St. Croix River, including West Grand Lake in Washington County, and the Union River, including Green Lake, in Hancock County.  In recent times Landlocked Salmon have been stocked in many of the regions waters.  Probably the first lake to be stocked was Cathance Lake in Washington County.  It was stocked in 1868 with eggs obtained from Grand Lake Stream the previous year.

     Similarly, many lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams in our area hold Brook Trout.  Many have native brookies while others have stocked fish.  Of particular note, most streams with open access to the ocean have sea run Brook Trout or salters.

     Salters are Brook Trout that are diadromous, they run to the ocean and return to freshwater.  Unlike anadromous fish, like the Atlantic Salmon, that spend their adult life in the ocean and return to freshwater to spawn, salters appear to go to the ocean in response to things like temperature stresses and availability of food.  Salters have not been well studied and mysteries still surround them.  Though sea run Brook Trout originally occurred along more southern parts of the Atlantic seaboard, today there are remnant populations on some streams on Long Island and Cape Cod, but the majority are in Maine.  Located in Downeast Maine, the Denny's River is possibly the best salter river left in the country.

     Over the last several years, TU, along with ME IF&W, and Maine Audubon, has been conducting salter surveys in streams along the Maine coast.  These surveys have found Brook Trout in many streams, some never before surveyed, others so small you can jump across them.  With these surveys identifying streams with salters, we hope to facilitate projects to increase our knowledge and identify ways to protect them and their fragile habitat.

     Maine is the only state in the lower forty eight that has native populations of Arctic Char.  There are fourteen lakes in Maine with Arctic Char, two of these, Green Lake and Floods Pond, are in the DETU chapter area.  Floods Pond is a heavily protected lake, much of its shoreline is undeveloped and no fishing is allowed.  Its char population is well studied, that work is ongoing, and the population appears healthy.  Green Lake, on the Union River, has a population of char that are not well studied but appears to be fragile.  The lake has a lot of human development, a federal fish hatchery for Atlantic Salmon, and introduced fish species; a complicated situation for fisheries management.  Genetic research indicates that each individual population of char is genetically different, and for this reason the char populations in Floods Pond and in Green Lake, as well as the other twelve populations in Maine, deserve special protection to preserve the genetic variances that if lost can never be recovered. Researchers at the University of Maine, with assistance from Maine Trout Unlimited, are working on eDNA techniques to monitor Arctic Char populations and to detect invasive fish introductions. 

 

 

     We hope this brief overview peaks your interest in Downeast Trout Unlimited!

 

For more information contact Robert Packie, President, at: rbpackieatgmail.com (rbpackie[at]gmail[dot]com)                       (207) 288-5442 or visit our website www.downeasttu.org

 

Donations can be sent to:

305 – Downeast Chapter Trout Unlimited

9 Lobster Pool Road, Little Deer Isle, ME 04650

 

 

 

 

Stream Survey ProjectThe Coastal Stream Survey Project is a collaborative effort that began in 2014, and seeks to recruit volunteer anglers to gather data on wild brook trout in Maine’s coastal rivers and streams. Wild brook trout may move considerable distances during the course of their lives. Some wild brook trout that live in coastal streams may spend part of their lives in both saltwater and freshwater, a life history strategy called "diadromy.” Diadromous brook trout may leave their freshwater environment for periods ranging from a few months to over a year. Typically, they migrate from fresh to salt water at an early age, probably to take advantage of the more abundant food resources in salt water estuaries and perhaps also to seek thermal refuge during certain times of the year. Learn more about the Coastal Stream Survey.

 

 

Volunteer Anglers Needed

We need your help! Thanks to the overwhelming response from anglers and the conservation community, we are pleased to announce the launch of the seventh consecutive year of the Remote Pond Survey Project. There are lots of exciting places to explore this year, and we are seeking new and returning volunteers to assist with this effort. You too can be part of this exciting conservation effort and backcountry adventure!

The success of this project is entirely dependent on the data collected by volunteer anglers, so please consider helping with the Remote Pond Survey Project. This is your chance to make a significant contribution to the conservation of native brook trout in Maine. If you love to fish for brook trout and are looking for an adventure, we need you!

 

Trout Unlimited

Brook trout Ponds

Visit our Brook Trout Ponds page and volunteer to help us survey Maine's Brook Trout Ponds.

 


Trout Unlimited

Trout Unlimited

Trout Unlimited is a national organization with more than 140,000 volunteers organized into about 400 chapters from Maine to Alaska.