In 2005, in recognition of the need to address regional and range-wide threats to brook trout, a group of public and private entities formed the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV) to halt the decline of brook trout and restore fishable populations of this iconic species. The EBTJV directs locally-driven efforts that build partnerships to improve fish habitat, working to ensure healthy, fishable brook trout populations throughout their historic eastern United States range.The EBTJV’s long-term goals are to develop a comprehensive restoration and education strategy to improve aquatic habitats; build awareness through education; and raise federal, state, and local funds for brook trout conservation that will ultimately help enhance public use of brook trout and generally improve ecosystems and water quality within the watersheds they inhabit.
Since its formation, the EBTJV has spearheaded a range-wide assessment of brook trout populations and threats to brook trout and brook trout habitat in the Eastern United States. Seventeen states are currently drafting strategies to prioritize policy changes and on-the-ground actions to improve water quality and restore brook trout habitat and populations in their individual state using locally-driven, incentive-based, and non-regulatory programs. Working together, partners are building a broad-scale, range-wide conservation strategy necessary to stop brook trout declines, improve technology transfer, and effectively prioritize funds and projects to restore this keystone species. A web-based interactive data management system with GIS capabilities has also been developed. EBTJV was recognized as a Fish Habitat Partnership by the Board in October, 2007.