Fish Lead Free Tackle Exchange Station at Unity Pond

As part of our Love Our Lakes program, we have erected our first lead tackle disposal receptacle at the boat launch at Unity Pond (Lake Winnecook). Lead tackle can be deposited in the receptacle and will be disposed of properly, and you can pick up free lead-free tackle in exchange. Just call our office on Tuesday or Wednesday to set up a time to come and select your free tackle. You can also get a fishing kit for children as a bonus. The program  isn’t necessarily a one-for-one exchange, and there is a great variety of  non-toxic tackle to try.

We hope to set up the stations around the county, so let us know if you know of a fishing hot spot on a large pond or lake that could use one.

Why get rid of lead tackle?

Lead commonly found in fishing tackle is highly toxic, and hazardous to humans, wildlife and the environment. Wildlife species are affected by ingesting lead fishing tackle, particularly the common loon. Loon bodies and behavior make them susceptible to lead poisoning.

What better time than right now to clean out your tackle box, making  fishing safer for you, your children, and Maine’s wildlife?

Meet Our New Administrative Director

Tom Mullin comes to the District having worked in Waldo County for over two decades as an Associate Professor of Parks and Forest Resources at Unity College. His professional work experience includes work within the New England land trust community, municipal park agencies, and statewide environmental education programs. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Horticulture, and has a Master’s degree from George Mason University in Business Administration, Public Administration and Education.

Stay Aware on EAB

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect now present in Maine that kills ash trees. Ash trees are important in our forest products economy, our ecosystems, and as a shade tree frequently found in our yards, parks and street areas. It is important to keep an eye out for signs of this destructive pest, which could appear anywhere in Maine!

For Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, ash trees are tagged to help people become aware of this pest, and to learn about the value of local ash trees (see image below). Look for tagged trees in your area.


Signs of EAB

More information

Report a Tree Program is Now Live!

Use our new online tool to tell us about how your trees are doing. We are assessing trees in Maine that may or are experiencing changes due to disease, invasive insects or other environmental stressors such as climate change. The project will also help us look at tree species that may be suitable for assisted migration or adaptive planting as the climate changes or trees are lost to invasive insects. Ultimately, this project will provide valuable data that may help scientists plan projects to restore forests in Maine.

To report on trees you have planted or are growing near you, please fill out our form here (simple registration on the site, then join our project “Report a Tree,” also on the Anecdata phone app):

If you are interested in planting any of the trees listed to assist us with this study, let us know. We’d like to have people report on seedlings and saplings they are growing as a part of this research. We will be able to order some of these trees for you to purchase at our plant sale in the spring.

Some Trees to Report On:

  • Ash trees  (for signs of emerald ash borer)
  • Hemlock trees  (for signs of hemlock woolly adelgid)
  • Beech trees  (for clear beech that don’t appear to have beech bark disease)
  • American chestnut  (for larger trees that appear to be free of disease)
  • American elm  (for larger trees that appear to be free of disease)

Also for forest adaptation research, please tell us how any of these trees are doing if growing in your area:

  • Tulip poplar
  • White oak
  • Chestnut oak
  • Sweetgum
  • Black walnut
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Black gum (Tupelo)
  • Pawpaw

You can return to the Report a Tree tab at the top of our home page to report on trees in the future.