No resident of this state, 16 years of age or older, or nonresident, 16 years of age or older, may fish in inland waters or transport fish taken from inland waters without first obtaining a valid Maine fishing license. Maine residents* may obtain a fishing license from any resident license agent. Nonresidents** may obtain fishing licenses in person or by mail from the IF&W Department Office in Augusta or from any of the numerous nonresident license agents throughout the state. Residents and nonresidents are also able to purchase licenses on our website mefishwildife.com.
A person is required to keep his/her fishing license with him/her at all times while fishing or transporting fish and must exhibit their license for inspection by any warden, department employee, guide or landowner upon request. An electronic license or permit can now be displayed in lieu of a physical paper license or permit.
Possession of fishing tackle in the fields or forest or on the waters or ice of this State without a fishing license is prima facie evidence of fishing in violation of the law.
The commissioner may allow a licensee who has received a complimentary fishing license to have a person accompany and assist that licensee in fishing. The person accompanying and assisting the holder of a complimentary fishing license may do so without obtaining a separate fishing license. This subsection does not authorize the person accompanying and assisting the licensee to assist that licensee with more than one fishing rod and reel. The person accompanying and assisting the licensee must remain within the immediate proximity of the licensee while that licensee is fishing.
Free (Complimentary) Fishing License Provisions
A free fishing license will be issued, upon application, to the following (these free licenses may be obtained at the Department Office in Augusta):
SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH AND ELIGIBLE COMPLIMENTARY LICENSE HOLDERS
Special fishing opportunities for youth anglers (under 16 years of age) and complimentary license-holders with physical or cognitive disabilities are indicated by the S-9 code in the special rules sections of this lawbook, which begin on Southern & Eastern Counties. Complimentary license holders eligible to fish in S-9 waters include:
NOTE: Certain waters are reserved for fishing only by persons under 16 years of age. These waters are indicated by the S-11 code in the special rules sections of this lawbook, which begin on Southern & Eastern Counties.
*Resident means a citizen of the United States who is domiciled in this State or an alien who has been so domiciled for one year. You will not be considered a resident unless:
**Nonresident means a person who does not fall within the definition of resident.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.