MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says brook trout populations in the state’s rivers and streams have remained stable for more than half a century.

Biologists recently completed a decade-long survey of wild brook trout and found those populations are comparable to a similar study done between 1952 and 1960.

Fisheries Biologist Rich Kirn says the findings in Vermont are encouraging because wild brook trout have declined significantly across much of the species’ historic range.

The survey of 138 streams within 17 watersheds was done between 2006 and 2016.

Wild brook trout, which are most often found in small upland streams at higher elevations, require cool, clean water and are a direct indicator of high quality aquatic habitat.

Brook trout are Vermont’s official state cold water fish.