This weekend is Maine’s free fishing weekend and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is encouraging everyone to get outside and enjoy a day fishing with family or friends on one of Maine’s many waters.
Free fishing weekend takes place on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, and 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. For more information on the rules and regulations on one’s favorite water, go to maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/index.html.
Anglers also have a new tool that makes it quick and easy to find out the fishing regulations on any of Maine’s inland waters. Maine’s Fishing Laws Online Angling Tool – FLOAT — is an online map-based tool that can be accessed from a computer or smartphone, giving one access to fishing regulations for all one’s favorite fishing waters.
Fishing is one of the most popular ways to enjoy Maine’s great outdoors. There are wonderful fishing opportunities throughout the state on the nearly 6,000 lakes and ponds and more than 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.
Those wondering where to go should check out the improved Maine fishing guide at maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/fishing-resources/maine-fishing-guide/index.html. This statewide guide features the top fishing destinations in the state broken down by species, tips on how to catch various species, and it even provides advice on how to fish with children. One can even use the department’s Google Earth data layers on one’s desktop to select one’s next fishing destination.
And the fun doesn’t have to stop after the weekend. One can go online to mefishwildlife.com and get a license. There are license options for a day, a week, 15 days, or a season. The cost for a day of fishing is less than one would pay to go to the movies. And kids under 16 always fish free.
Last year, over 345,000 people were licensed to fish in Maine, and fishing contributes over $370 million to Maine’s economy. Money from license sales helps protect Maine’s waters; it enhances Maine’s fisheries and provides water access on many of Maine’s lakes and rivers.
The department stocks more than 1 million fish each year and manages more than 20 species of freshwater game fish. Those wondering where fish was recently stocked should go to maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/fishing-resources/fish-stocking-report.html.
The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife also offers a free ice fishing weekend in February each year.
For a complete list of fishing regulations, including limits and sizes, visit maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/index.html.
For more information on fishing opportunities in Maine, visit maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/fishing-resources/maine-fishing-guide/index.html.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife preserves, protects, and enhances the inland fisheries and wildlife resources of the state. Established in 1880 to protect big game populations, the department has since evolved in scope to include protection and management of fish, nongame wildlife, and habitats, as well as restoration of endangered species like the bald eagle. In addition to its conservation duties, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is also responsible for enabling and promoting the safe enjoyment of Maine’s outdoors — from whitewater rafting to boating, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation. The agency’s constituents include the fish, wildlife, and people who call Maine home, as well as the visiting outdoor enthusiasts and ecotourists who call Maine Vacationland and contribute hundreds of millions of dollars each year to the state’s economy.