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How to Use This Guide

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  1. Determine the town and county of the water body you wish to fish.
  2. Consult the maps on Fishing Rules for Maine Counties to determine the area of the state you are fishing in and the corresponding season, date, and regulations.
  3. Go to General Law & Limit Information to read through the general law provisions.
  4. Go to the list of water bodies by county beginning on Southern & Eastern Counties. If the body of water you wish to fish is on that list, read the special regulations that are in addition to or in place of general law for that body of water. If the body of water is not listed, follow the general law provisions.

Portions of Maine Statute, Title 12 have been summarized for this publication. For more specific language contained in Title 12, please visit our website at

Each revision of this publication is filed with the Secretary of State and, as a result, the rules herein have the force of law as printed.

New Regulations In This Guide

The following are some of the more significant changes to the 2014 Maine Fishing Lawbook.

  1. This lawbook contains fishing regulations for the period beginning January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.
  2. The General Law for lakes and ponds in the Southern & Eastern Counties now permits year-round fishing with no special tackle or harvest restrictions. This change was applied to lakes and ponds where the Department does not have significant management goals for cold water fisheries. Waters in these counties with special season, gear, or harvest restrictions will continue to be indicated under the appropriate county.
  3. Waters formerly restricted to use by children under age 16 (S-9) are now open to all complimentary license holders.
  4. The “No Live Fish as Bait” (S-4) special rule has been applied to several newly surveyed wild brook trout ponds to minimize the threat of new species introductions.
  5. Special slot limits were applied to several togue lakes to reduce their impacts to smelt populations and to improve growth rates on both togue and landlocked salmon.
  6. The artificial lures only restriction on smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing during the April 1 – June 30 period was eliminated.
  7. A permit is no longer required to trap baitfish from closed waters for personal use. However, several waters where baitfish trapping could threaten sensitive brook trout were closed to this activity. These new closures are indicated in the special rules listings of this lawbook.

Free Family Fishing Days

Will take place on February 15-16, 2014 and May 31-June 1, 2014. On these days, any person (except those whose license has been suspended or revoked) may fish without a license.

All other laws and regulations apply on these days.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife stocks over 1 million fish annually. Information available online includes:

Current Year Stocking Report – Updated Daily

Historic Annual Stocking Reports, including Broodstock Reports

Recent Stocking Program Changes – New and Discontinued Programs

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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