Open Water and Ice Fishing

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Open Water Fishing Season

April 1 – September 30


  • Lakes and ponds in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo, and York counties remain open to open water fishing through November 30. From October 1 – November 30, all salmon, trout, togue, and black bass caught must be released alive at once. Waters having special regulations will be listed.
  • Between August 16 and September 30, rivers, brooks, and streams are restricted to the use of artificial lures only and the TOTAL daily bag limit for salmon, trout, and togue is 1 fish.
  • All dates are inclusive; however, it is unlawful to fish into inland waters while positioned on ice; waters must be naturally free of ice.
  • To get out of a canoe, reverse these steps.

Ice Fishing Season

January 1 – March 31


All species except salmon. Salmon Falls River is closed to ice fishing.

Waters open to ice fishing are open to fishing from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset unless otherwise noted by special rule.

Be sure to read the instructions before each county listing – they are not all the same.

Bag Limits

Trout and lake trout (togue) – 5 fish limit, but not more than 2 lake trout (togue), 2 rainbow trout, 2 brown trout, or 2 brook trout.

  • Pickerel – 5 fish
  • Bass – 1 fish
  • Smelt – 2 quarts by hook and line only
  • All other species no bag limits

Length Limits

  • Lake trout (togue) – 18 inches (exception: Great East Lake)
  • Brook trout – 6 inches (exception: Lake Umbagog)
  • Brown trout; Rainbow trout – 10 inches in lakes and ponds
  • Bass – 12 inches
  • All other species: No length or weight limits

State of Maine

Main Office

41 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0041
For Administration, Fisheries and Wildlife, Warden Service, and General Information about fish and wildlife, licenses, boating, and recreational vehicle registration call (207) 287-8000.

For our automated line with seasonal information/updates on hunting and fishing seasons and laws call (207) 287-8003. TDD 287-4471
This article is an excerpt from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website.