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Lakes & Ponds: General and Special Rules

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General Fishing Rules

General Fishing Rules apply to most lakes and ponds in the state. Follow the seasons, bag limits, length limits, and important notes listed with each species in this chart.

Lakes & Ponds with Special Rules

Some lakes and ponds have Special Rules. These waterbodies have rules that may differ from, or be in addition to, the General Fishing Rules for Lakes & Ponds.

Refer to Lakes & Ponds: Special Rules. If you find the waterbody you intend to fish in the table, look to the right for the waterbody’s designation under the “Special Rules” column. It will either be a Lake Trout and/or Salmon Lake, a Fly-Fishing-Only Pond, a Trout Pond, a Wild Trout Pond, or a miscellaneous special regulation water.

This page has information on season dates, bag limits, length limits and other species information for these special waters.

Lake Trout and/or Salmon Lakes

Several waterbodies are managed for lake trout and/or landlocked salmon, and are open year-round subject to restrictions listed below. For information on bag and length limits for species other than trout and salmon in this waterbody, see Lakes & Ponds: General Rules.

  1. The taking of brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, trout hybrids, and salmon between two hours after sunset and one hour before sunrise is prohibited.
  2. Minimum Length:
    • Brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout and their hybrids: 15 inches.
    • Lake Trout: 18 inches
    • Landlocked Salmon: 15 inches.
    • The head and tail must remain intact while on or leaving the waters of the state.
  3. From January 1 to March 31:
    • Fish may be taken by ice fishing only;
    • The combined daily bag limit for all trout species, including lake trout, is 2 fish;
    • Closed to the taking of landlocked salmon (salmon season is from April 1 to September 30);
    • Two (2) ice fishing devices are allowed per person. Single hook with single hook point for bait, or an artificial lure or flies shall be used to take fish through the ice;
    • Six (6) cusk fishing devices may be used to take cusk (see Cusk Fishing).
  4. From April 1 to September 30:
    • The combined daily limit for lake trout, salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout and their hybrids is 2 fish;
    • Open to the taking of all species, except no smelt may be taken from March 15 to June 15.
  5. From October 1 until December 31:
    • Closed to the taking of lake trout, salmon, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and shad (whitefish).
  6. From April 1 through December 31, no person may take fish through the ice, from the ice, or from any object supported by the ice.

Trout Ponds

Designated Trout Ponds are managed for trout, and are open to fishing for all species from the fourth Saturday in April through October 15. Fishing for any species is prohibited from October 16 until the fourth Saturday in April the following year. For information on bag and length limits for species other than trout, see Lakes & Ponds: General Rules.

  1. The taking of brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, trout hybrids and salmon between two hours after sunset and one hour before sunrise is prohibited.
  2. Trout ponds open this year on April 28. Closed to salmon October 1 and to all species October 16.
  3. The daily combined limit for trout is 5 fish or 5 pounds, whichever limit is reached first.
  4. The use or possession of live fish, or their eggs, for bait is prohibited. The use of salmon eggs, however, is permitted.

Fly-Fishing-Only Ponds

All rules listed above for Trout Ponds apply. In addition, fish may be taken only by fly-fishing (fishing by trolling or casting with only fly rod, fly reel, and fly line combination with an artificial fly or cast of artificial flies attached, and does not include the use of spinning, spincast, and casting rods and reels and lead core lines).

Wild Trout Ponds

All rules listed above for Trout Ponds apply, except:

  1. Open season dates are from the fourth Saturday in April through Labor Day (April 28–September 3, 2012);
  2. All fish shall be immediately released;
  3. Only single hook, barbless artificial lures and flies shall be used.
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