Brook Trout – The Past and Present in Baxter Creek

Brook Trout are the only native trout in the Baxter Creek. They are an indicator of high water quality, requiring cold, highly oxygenated water to survive. They have been here for thousands of years, but have lost considerable habitat in Baxter Creek over the last 200 years. The reasons include but are not limited to deforestation of the surrounding landscape with colonization and habitat fragmentation from dams.  Also, the introduction and establishment of Brown Trout, a direct competitor, have reduced Brook Trout populations. The current distribution of naturally reproducing Brook Trout in the Baxter Creek is believed to be limited to headwater areas, upstream of the village of Millbrook. Understanding the distribution of Brook Trout in Baxter Creek will help the Millbrook Chapter of Trout Unlimited determine habitat loss throughout the watershed. This will help us focus our efforts to restore habitat and Brook Trout populations. We plan to map the current distribution of naturally reproducing Brook Trout and track the effectiveness of our restoration efforts and provide a starting point to build upon these fragile populations.  This is where you come in!

Photo Scott Calder

The Trout Unlimited Millbrook Chapter is calling on any knowledgeable local citizens who know locations of historical or current naturally reproducing populations of Brook Trout in the Baxter Creek or Squirrel Creek watersheds to contact us to help shape our understanding of this species. This can include angling catches, observations of spawning activity, local knowledge, etc.  If you or someone you know may have helpful information, please contact Adam, the Trout Unlimited Millbrook Chapter secretary at tumcsecretary1@gmail.com. We would be happy to hear from you and can share more about our work.

As a non-profit organization, Trout Unlimited relies on volunteers and donations to accomplish much of our restoration work. We are always looking for support to complete local stream projects on our streams, be it volunteers, monetary,  equipment, or in-kind donations.  Please contact us at the email address provided above if you would like to contribute. We are also always looking for new members and are planning some exciting projects this summer so if you are interested in checking us out, there is no obligation to join but you can jump in on our next online meeting.

Trout Unlimited Millbrook Chapter

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