July 9, 2012

If you like to fish for trout in the Park, you'll be glad to see this.
  With a combination of proactive thinking on the part of Baxter Park’s Information and Education staff, and the generous outreach and donation of equipment from the Kennebec Chapter of Trout Unlimited, we have installed a number of wader, water shoes and equipment cleaning stations at Park campgrounds near popular fishing streams and ponds.
Didymo cleaning station at Daicey Pond
These stations provide clear and easily understandable directions so that fishermen and women, especially those who have fished in other New England waters, can clean and disinfect their gear before entering the waters of the Park to fish.  Besides invasive and exotic plants like Hydrilla and Eurasian Milfoil, we are really concerned about organisms such as Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata  ) or “Rock Snot”. 
This microscopic algae is a nightmare to anyone who loves the clear, free flowing water of Maine streams and rivers and particularly to those who might like to catch a native eastern brook trout now and then.   Didymo is a very nasty algae that thrive in clear, fast flowing water.  Once established, there is no practical way to remove it and the stream habitat is severly degraded for fish like trout, not to mention human aesthetics.  Didymo was known in Canada in the late 1800's but didn't cause problems until the late 1990's.  Troubling.  Didymo moved east of the Mississippi in 2005 and is now established in many streams in New England (Vermont, New Hampshire) and Pennsylvania along with many western states.   It can find a new home when tiny pieces and bits of the algae from an infected stream become lodged in a crack in a wading boot or a fold in a wader.  This stuff scares the daylights out of us.  So if you know a fisherman who likes to travel to fish and fishes on vacation, be sure to encourage them to disinfect their gear before coming to the Park or to use one of our stations (follow the directions!!) before putting their gear in the cold, clear water of Park streams and ponds.