Maine General Laws and Seasons


Seasons

Lakes and Ponds

North Region Lakes and Ponds

  • From April 1 to September 30: Open to open water fishing under general law bag and length limits. The use of all legal forms of bait, artificial lures, and artificial flies are permitted.
  • From October 1 to March 31: Closed to all fishing.

South Region Lakes and Ponds

  • January 1 to December 31: Open to ice and open water fishing under general law bag and length limits. The use of all legal forms of bait, artificial lures, and artificial flies are permitted.

Rivers Streams and Brooks- North & South Regions

  • From April 1 to August 15: Open to open water fishing under general law bag and length limits. The use of all legal forms of bait, artificial lures, and artificial flies are permitted.
  • From August 16 to September 30: Open to open water fishing using artificial lures or flies only. General law length and bag limits apply, except daily bag limit one landlocked salmon and one brook trout.
  • From October 1 to March 31: Closed to all fishing.

General Law Daily Bag, Possession and Length Limits

The daily bag, possession and minimum length limits in the table below apply to all waters open to fishing. The term “trout” includes brook trout, brown, trout, rainbow trout, splake, and Arctic char (Sunapee trout and blueback trout).


SpeciesDaily Bag & Possession LimitsLength Limit
Lakes/PondsRivers, Streams, BrooksLakes/PondsRivers, Streams, Brooks
Brook Trout(incudes Splake & Artic char)North Region: 5 fishSouth Region: 2 fish5 fish6 inches minimum6 inches minimum
BrownTrout2 fish2 fish14 inches minimum6″ min & 25″ max
Rainbow Trout2 fish2 fish12 inches minimum6 inches minimum
Landlocked Salmon2 fish2 fish14 inches minimum14″ min & 25″ max
Togue (Lake Trout)2 fish2 fish18 inches minimum18 inches minimum

SpeciesDaily Bag & Possession LimitsMinimum Length Limit
Bass(Largemouth & Smallmouth)North Region: UnlimitedNone
South Region: 2 fishNo minimum length. Only 1 may exceed 14 inches.
Whitefish3 fishNone
Smelts2 quartsNone
American Eel25 fish9 inches
Sea-run Atlantic SalmonFederally Endangered Species – No Fishing Permitted for this Species
Inland species not listed aboveUnlimitedNone

For more information on recreational angling regulations for migratory fish, see Recreational Saltwater Fishing.


Please see Maine Special Fishing Laws to determine if the body of water you wish to fish has any special regulations that differ from the General Fishing Laws Seasons and Bag Limits or the General Fishing Laws.

Courtesy of Maine IFW

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