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General Law Information

Fishing Regulations Maine Freshwater Fishing

The daily bag, possession and minimum length limits on this page apply to waters open to fishing that DO NOT have special rules stating otherwise. Special Rules on individual waters begin on Southern & Eastern Counties and Northern & Western Counties, Special Regulation Codes can be found on back cover flap.

Daily Bag & Possession Limits

The term “trout” when used alone includes brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, splake and Arctic char (Sunapee trout and blueback trout).

The term “brook trout” also includes splake and Arctic char (Sunapee trout and blueback trout).




Lakes & Ponds


5 Brook Trout A,B (includes Splake and Arctic char)

6 inches

6 inches

2 Landlocked SalmonA

14 inchesC

14 inchesC

2 Togue (Lake Trout)A

18 inches

18 inches

2 Brown TroutA

14 inchesC

6 inchesC

2 Rainbow TroutA

12 inches

6 inches

A. Important: From August 16 – September 30, fishing on rivers, streams, and brooks statewide is restricted to the use of artificial lures only and a total daily bag limit of landlocked salmon, trout and togue: 1 fish.

B. Important: On lakes and ponds in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Sagadahoc, Waldo, Washington and York counties the daily bag limit on brook trout is 2 fish.

C. In Hancock and Washington counties the maximum length limit on landlocked salmon and brown trout is 25 inches. Several lakes in each county are exempt from this rule. Please refer to Southern & Eastern Counties for Hancock County information and Southern & Eastern Counties for Washington County information.

Other Species


Daily Bag & Possession Limits*

Minimum Length Limit

Bass (largemouth and smallmouth)

2 fish

10 inches, only 1 exceeding 14 inches


3 fish



2 quarts

(see Fishing Laws and Definitions)


10 fish


Northern Pike






American eel

25 fish

9 inches


2 fish


Striped Bass**

1 fish

28 inches

Atlantic Salmon

Federally Endangered Species – No Fishing Permitted, please refer to Salmon Information for more information


25 fish (see Fishing Laws and Definitions)


Species not listed above



* Daily bag and possession limit are the same. A person shall not possess, at any time, more fish than they may lawfully take in one day.

** Please refer to the following link for more information on Maine’s Saltwater Recreational Angling Regulations for all species of fish below head of tide:

General Law

General Law applies to all water bodies unless
there are other more specific regulations listed.
The General Law provisions are stated below.

General Law Seasons

For Southern and Eastern Counties, see Southern & Eastern Counties.

For Northern and Western Counties, see Northern and Western Counties.

For New Brunswick Boundary Waters, see Boundary Waters Between Maine and New Brunswick.

For New Hampshire Border Waters, see Boundary Waters Between Maine and New Hampshire.

For Waters Regulated by Tribes, see Waters Regulated by Tribes.

General Law terminal gear

The use of all legal forms of bait, artificial lures, and artificial flies is permitted.