Many of you, I know, have fished the Rapid in Western Maine. If you haven't, maybe it's storied waters and the large brook trout found there are on your List.
You probably also know that that river is being invaded by non-native fish introduced by a "bucket biologist" in a nearby lake, and that the brook trout's future is becoming alarmingly uncertain.
You may not know the following, posted by TU on boards in Maine.
(And I hope you understand that I like bass, just not introduced illegally into pristine, historic brook trout waters)
Orvis has given TU a $30,000 grant for work on the Rapid River smallmouth issue. Bascially, the way it works is this:
Orvis holds onto their $30K until it has been matched by another $30,000 from individual donations. When it has been "matched" the project will get $60,000. So, basically, your $25 donation turns into $50 for the project.
In addition, TU has applied to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for $60,000, to match the Orvis and individual contributions. If that grant comes through, your $25 donation will turn into $100 for the project.
The University of Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is also contributing. They have at least one graduate student who will be taking on some aspect of research on the project, and they have an application to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund for additional funding.
And MDIFW staff have contributed over $30,000 of staff time in 2004, and project a similar amount in 2005.
Here's the bad news. Until donations come in and "match" the Orvis money, we can't spend any of the promised funds. So we are in a race to raise the matching $30,000 before the start of the spring/summer field season.
I do not often shamelessly ask for money, but, your $1 donation will turn into at least $2, and more likely $4, for the project, and timing is important.
Please send a check to Don Palmer at:
P.O. Box 244
Rangeley, ME 04970.
Monies will go to:
Evaluation of water flow regimes to decide those most favorable to trout and least favorable to bass
Research on the interaction of young bass and juvenile brook trout in nursery areas
The harvesting of bass on their spawning beds
Aiding the formation of volunteer programs