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Lynx Protection Zone – Trap Restrictions

Hunting Regulations Icon Maine Hunting

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.

In November 2014, the Department finalized its incidental take permit (ITP) with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regarding the unintentional take of Canada lynx through regulated trapping. Under this agreement a maximum of three lynx were allowed to be killed or permanently disabled over a period of 15 years. Within the first month of the 2014-2015 trapping season, two lynx were killed in legally set traps. In response, the Department implemented an emergency rule in December 2014, to prohibit setting killer-type traps (body-gripping traps) at or above ground level in WMDs with resident lynx. This rule expired after 90 days. Because only one additional lynx can be killed over the next 14 years, the Department is concerned that it may exceed the ITP agreement with the USFWS. Therefore, the Department is proposing additional rules regarding killer-type and foothold traps to minimize the take of a lynx in a legally set trap.

The proposed rule changes can be seen on our web site. Once the rule changes are approved they will be included in the trappers handbook which the Department will mail prior to the start of trapping season to all individuals licensed to trap in Maine. In addition we will issue a press release and post the changes on our website.

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.