AUGUSTA, Maine -- Anglers infatuated with Brook Trout, Maine's heritage fish, now have a "must read" to put atop their fall reading list.
Forrest Bonney, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife nationally acclaimed fisheries biologist, is the author of Squaretails, Biology and Management of Maine's Brook Trout. This 165-page book details Maine's most popular fish, and is full of history, science, photos, insights and lore. Bonney has served as the department's brook trout specialist since 1989.
"I hope that this book will provide an enjoyable overview of Maine brook trout. My goal was to provide research information on what we know about brook trout in a readable format," said Bonney, "I am especially pleased that the book includes artwork by Mark McCollough, Ethan Nedeau and Joseph Tomelleri, as well as photography by Bill Curtsinger."
The book is a culmination of years of research, and throughout the book, Bonney interjects his own research and that of others within and outside the Department. Bonney joined the Department in 1973, and started surveying Maine's remote lakes and ponds in Maine's northern forests in the mid-70s. He draws upon sources both outside and within the department for the book, as the five page bibliography details.
The book is divided into six chapters, including chapters on brook trout fishing; Maine brook trout; biology, habitat and ecology; threats to Maine brook trout; and raising and stocking brook trout.
Within each chapter are sidebar summary boxes, which give unique glimpses into Maine brook trout. Topics of these sidebars include public access, temperature effects, measuring success, following fish and Maine's stocking policy among others.
There are tables and charts as well. One chart illustrates the movement of a radio tagged brook trout in the Kennebec River System. This trout, tagged at Harris Dam, traveled 40 miles in seven months. A table detailing research concerning brook trout in other river systems show that these fish will travel over 100 miles in some instances.
Bonney also vividly illustrates the colorful history of Maine's brook trout, in both pictures and words. Some of the historical pictures include a young Percival Baxter with an 8-pound trout, and photos of anglers and fish from the 1800s when the Rangeley Lakes area was a nationally known destination for anglers.
The book also gives a vivid glimpse into modern brook trout management in Maine, and the challenges associated with it. Bonney details different management tools and also shows the reader how biologists can measure the success of these management tools.
In his summary at the end of the book, Bonney discusses the importance of fishery managers continuing to work with anglers, of monitoring the brook trout fishery, protecting brook trout habitat, and maintaining a healthy and thriving brook trout population.
Those interested can purchase the book online on the Department's online store at www.mefishwildlife.com for just $10.00, stop by the Department headquarters at 284 State Street in Augusta or order by calling 287-8000.
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