When the volunteers of Trout Power get together for a fishing weekend, they are more interested in a small clip of fish fin than a trophy specimen. They aren’t looking for the biggest or most beautiful trout.
They are looking for genetic information, and they have found it. The nonprofit organization is working with genetics researchers to expand our understanding of native trout strains scattered throughout the park. The strains show minimal mixing with stocked trout and have survived centuries of threats like acid rain and game fishing. The genetic diversity the anglers and researchers are finding, more robust than previously understood, may be a key weapon against the growing threat of climate change, which could warm water temperatures to level uninhabitable for cold-water fish like brook trout.