The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is reminding everyone to take advantage of the upcoming free fishing weekend.
On Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17, any person may fish for free without a license on Maine’s waterways, except those who have had their license suspended or revoked. All other rules and regulations, including bag and possession limits, apply. Free fishing weekend is open to both residents and nonresidents.
Fishing during the winter is a wonderful way to get out of the house and make memories with family and friends that are sure to last a long time. The department is encouraging experienced anglers to consider serving as a mentor and to introduce a new angler to the sport during the free fishing weekend.
Whether on open water or ice, fishing is one of the most popular activities in Maine.
“Maine’s nearly 6,000 lakes and ponds and more than 30,000 miles of rivers and streams offer endless opportunities for the thousands of residents and nonresidents who fish them each year,” said Judy Camuso, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife commissioner. “The free fishing weekend is a great chance for people to try fishing for the first time or for more experienced anglers to teach a new angler the joys of the sport.”
As always, the department reminds everyone to be cautious and always check ice conditions before venturing out.
“Test the thickness of the ice using an ice chisel or ice auger in several locations on the lake or pond,” said Maj. Chris Cloutier, of the Maine Warden Service. “Remember that ice seldom freezes uniformly, and conditions are always changing and can vary from one location to the next. Ice that forms over flowing water and currents, especially near streams, bridges, and culverts, can be particularly dangerous.”
The department will also offer a free fishing weekend on June 1 and 2.
For a complete list of fishing regulations, including limits and sizes, visit mefishwildlife.com/fishinglaws.
For information and resources to plan a fishing trip, go to mefishwildlife.com/maine-fishing-guide.