Maine Freshwater Fishing
Know the S-33 Code!!
(Maximum length limit on landlocked salmon and brown trout: 25 inches)
Atlantic salmon occur in many of Maine’s inland waters and can be found with landlocked salmon and brown trout. Atlantic salmon are listed as endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and are considered a closed species by the State of Maine. To help protect them and ensure anglers do not inadvertently “take” an endangered species through misidentification, the S-33 code was developed.
Atlantic Salmon occur in a variety of color phases from black to silver to brown, and can look similar to brown trout in coloration. Atlantic Salmon also occur in regions of the state not subject to the S-33 rule. Therefore, anglers should use caution and make proper identification any time a large Salmonid is caught. Any Atlantic salmon incidentally caught must be released immediately, alive and uninjured. At no time should Atlantic salmon be removed from the water.
Identification of Landlocked Salmon and Brown Trout
The more obvious difference between landlocked salmon and brown trout may be found in the head and tail areas. Knowing them may help the angler release a fish more quickly when certain creel and size restrictions apply. On landlocked salmon, the vomerine teeth are small and arranged in a single row along the vomerine shaft, few to none on vomerine head. On brown trout, the vomerine teeth are well-developed on both vomerine head and shaft, arranged in a zig-zag row on shaft. On landlocked salmon, the caudal fin may be slightly forked and on the brown trout, the caudal fin is square and unforked.