The Atlantic coast of Maine is a harsh environment for a brook trout, yet these hardy natives have existed in the streams and ponds of Acadia National Park since the last ice age. Brook trout require cold, clean well-oxygenated water to survive, and many coastal habitats were lost to land clearing and dams. Luckily, the land that became the national park was set aside in 1916 to prevent over-development of Maine’s coastline. Wild brook trout don’t live long—the average life expectancy is between three and four years—and the relatively infertile coastal waters mean that the fish don’t grow very large. But anglers who enjoy catching trout in their native habitats ply Acadia’s waters each summer, hoping to land one of these wild gems.
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