Lynx Protection Zone & Trap Restrictions
Canada lynx are a federally listed Threatened Species. There is no open season for the trapping or hunting of lynx in Maine. Fish and Wildlife biologists have confirmed the presence of reproducing lynx in northern Maine. To protect the lynx, and to help ME trappers avoid accidentally taking lynx, Fish and Wildlife worked with the ME Trappers Association to delineate a lynx protection zone in the northern and Maine area where special regulations are in effect.
Restrictions Within the
“Lynx Protection Zone”
Killer-type (body-gripping) traps
Killer-type traps may be used to trap for all legal species of furbearing animal, but the size of the traps (jaw spread), and the Wildlife Management District, determines where you are allowed to set them:
- Killer-type traps with a jaw spread of 5 inches or less are the only killer type traps which you are allowed to set at ground or snow level, except in WMDs 1 through 11, 14, 18, and 19. (They may also be set above ground level or under water.)
- In WMDs 1 through 11, 14, 18 and 19, all killer-type traps must be set completely under water or at least 4 feet above the ground or snow level and 4 feet away from any bank, in an area that is free of objects greater than 4 inches in diameter or 12.6 inches in circumference within 4 feet of the trap, and is free of trees or slanted poles between the height of the trap and the ground, except that killer-type traps with an inside jaw spread of 5 inches of less can also be set:
- partially covered by water at all times, or
- under overhanging stream banks, or
- in blind sets that use no bait, lure, or visible attractors (animal droppings or urine are allowed)
Note: Those traps that are required to be set on poles made from a natural section of a tree, that have no sawed or planed sections, and that are 4 inches or less in diameter 4 feet above the ground or snow and set at an angle of at least 45 degrees from the ground the entire distance to the trap.
- In WMDs 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, and 20-29 killer-type traps with a jaw spread from 5 to 8 inches may be used only if they are set completely underwater or at least 4 feet above the ground or snow.
- Killer-type traps with a jaw spread greater than 8 inches may be used only during the beaver trapping season and must be set completely underwater.
Ordinary foothold traps may be used to trap for all legal species of furbearing animal, except that;
- in WMDs 1–6 and 8–11, no foothold trap (also known as a leghold trap) may be used that has an inside jaw spread of more than 53⁄8 inches, except that a foothold trap with an inside jaw spread of more than 53⁄8 inches may be used if it is set so as to be fully or partially covered by water at all times. Inside jaw spread is the distance, with the trap in the set position, from the inside center of one jaw (at the dog) to the inside center of the opposite jaw when measured directly across the center of the pan and perpendicular to the base plate. Every foothold trap used in these WMDs that is not set so as to be fully or partially covered by water at all times must be equipped with at least one chain swivel.
What do I do if I catch a lynx?
If you catch a lynx you must report to a game warden or biologist of the Department as soon as possible and prior to removing the animal from the trap, unless a Department official cannot be reached in time to prevent injury to the lynx. Any lynx released under this provision must be reported to the Department within 24 hours from this time it was discovered. If you catch a lynx call the lynx hotline (207) 592-4734 or your local game warden.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.