Skip to main content



General Fishing Seasons & Limits

A valid fishing license is required. See License Requirements and Fees.

Terminal Gear

North ZoneSouth Zone
Use or possession of live fish as bait is PROHIBITED. The use of all other legal forms of bait (including worms and dead baitfish/smelts), artificial lures, and artificial flies is PERMITTED.Use of all legal forms of bait (including live baitfish/smelts), artificial lures, and artificial flies is PERMITTED.


Lakes & PondsRivers, Streams, Brooks
North Zone
(See Map)

From April 1 to September 30:Open to open water fishing.

From October 1 to March 31:Closed to all fishing.

North and South Zones

From April 1 to August 15:Open to open water fishing.

From August 16 to September 30: Open to open water fishing using artificial lures or flies only. General law length and bag limits apply, except daily bag limit one landlocked salmon and one brook trout.

From October 1 to March 31:Closed to all fishing.

South Zone
(See Map)
January 1 to December 31:Open to ice and open water fishing

General Law Daily Bag, Possession and Length Limits

The daily bag, possession and minimum length limits in the table below apply to all inland waters open to fishing.

SpeciesDaily Bag & Possession LimitsLength Limit
Lakes/PondsRivers, Streams, BrooksLakes/PondsRivers, Streams, Brooks
Brook Trout
(incudes Splake & Arctic charr)
North Zone: 5 fish
South Zone: 2 fish
5 fish6 inches minimum6 inches minimum
Brown Trout2 fish2 fish14 inches minimum6" min & 25" max
Rainbow Trout2 fish2 fish12 inches minimum6 inches minimum
Landlocked Salmon2 fish2 fish14 inches minimum14" min & 25" max
Togue (Lake Trout)2 fish2 fish18 inches minimum18 inches minimum
SpeciesDaily Bag & Possession LimitsLength Limit
(Largemouth & Smallmouth)
North Zone: UnlimitedNone
South Zone: 2 fishNo minimum length. Only 1 may exceed 14 inches.
Whitefish3 fishNone
Smelts2 quarts None
Sea-run AtlanticSalmon, Redfin Pickerel, Swamp DarterEndangered or Threatened Species - No Fishing Permitted
Striped Bass, Shad, River Herring, American Eel, SturgeonSee Recreational Angling for Migratory Fish
Inland species not listed aboveUnlimitedNone

Fishing Zone Map


1. Aroostook

2. Penobscot north of Route 11 & 157

3. Piscataquis

4. Somerset

5. Franklin

6. Oxford north of the Androscoggin River


7. Oxford south of the Androscoggin River

8. York

9. Cumberland

10. Androscoggin

11. Kennebec

12. Sagadahoc

13. Lincoln

14. Waldo

15. Knox

16. Penobscot south of Route 11 & 157

17. Hancock

18. Washington


There are different General Law Season dates, Brook Trout Bag Limits, Terminal Gear Restrictions, and Bass Bag and Length Limits depending on zone, North or South, illustrated to the left.

The North Zone contains an abundance of wild and native coldwater fish populations, while the South Zone contains predominately stocked and/or warmwater fisheries. The difference in General Fishing Laws reflect the management needs for the two zones, and typically offer additional protection to wild and native resources in the North and more angling opportunity (i.e., fall or year round fishing) in the South.