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Maine looking for citizen scientists to track spawning smelt

March 2, 2022 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A group of Maine conservation organizations and a state agency are looking for volunteers to help with a project to restore a species of important fish to the state’s waters.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has been working to rebuild the population of rainbow smelt for several years. The fish are especially popular with ice fishermen in the state.

The marine department, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Downeast Salmon Federation and The Nature Conservancy are looking for volunteers to help with a coastwide spawning smelt survey this spring. The marine department said volunteers will go to streams to look for the fish and record data about them.

There will be two training sessions about the project. One was scheduled for Wednesday at 4 p.m. and was for volunteers in southern Maine up to Penobscot Bay. The second session is March 30 for volunteers who want to work Downeast waterways.