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Warning About Eating Freshwater Fish

Fishing Regulations Maine Freshwater Fishing

Mercury in Maine freshwater fish may harm the babies of pregnant and nursing mothers, and young children.

  • Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant, and children under age 8 SHOULD NOT EAT ANY freshwater fish from Maine’s inland waters. Except for brook trout and landlocked salmon, one meal per month is safe.
  • All other adults and children older than 8 CAN EAT two freshwater fish meals per month. For brook trout and landlocked salmon, the limit is one meal per week.

Warning: Some Maine waters are polluted, requiring additional limits to eating fish.

Fish caught in some Maine waters have high levels of PCBs, Dioxins or DDT in them. These chemicals can cause cancer and other health effects. The Bureau of Health recommends additional fish consumption limits on the waters listed below. Remember to check the mercury guidelines. If the water you are fishing is listed below, check the mercury guideline above and follow the most limiting guidelines.


Androscoggin River Gilead to Merrymeeting Bay:

6–12 fish meals a year.

Dennys River Meddybemps Lake to Dead Stream:

1–2 fish meals a month.

Green Pond, Chapman Pit, & Greenlaw Brook(Limestone):

Do not eat any fish from these waters.

Little Madawaska River & tributaries(Madwaska Dam to Grimes Mill Road):

Do not eat any fish from these waters.

Kennebec River Augusta to the Chops:

Do not eat any fish from these waters.

Kennebec River from Shawmut Dam in Fairfield to Augusta:

5 trout meals a year, 1–2 bass meals a month.

Kennebec River from Madison to Fairfield:

1–2 fish meals a month.

Meduxnekeag River:

2 fish meals a month.

North Branch Presque Isle River

2 fish meals a month.

Penobscot River below Lincoln:

1–2 fish meals a month.

Prestile Stream:

1 fish meal a month.

Red Brook in Scarborough:

6 fish meals a year.

Salmon Falls River below Berwick:

6–12 fish meals a year.

Sebasticook River (East Branch, West Branch & Main Stem)
(Corinna/Hartland to Winslow):

2 fish meals a month.

Preparing for a Carving

Plan ahead! Keep a soft tape measure and camera in your fishing gear. Take a few pictures of the fish to help record distinguishing characteristics and color. Measure the fish’s length (from the center of the tail to the snout) all while handling the fish out of water as little as possible. Then follow the Tips for Catching and Releasing Fish on Catching and Releasing Fish.

The information is all that a carver needs to make a replica of the catch you made and the fish is available to be caught by another lucky angler.