Free Fishing This Weekend in Maine
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and 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.
“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,” said Chandler E. Woodcock, IFW Commissioner. “We are pleased to offer this free fishing weekend in the hopes that more and more people will be introduced to the many winter fishing opportunities Maine offers, particularly on our frozen lakes and ponds.”
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 non-residents who fish them each year.
If ice fishing, remember to always check current ice conditions. Test the thickness of the ice using an ice chisel or ice auger and check with local bait shops for known thin ice areas. Remember that new ice is usually stronger than old ice and ice seldom freezes uniformly. Ice that forms over flowing water and currents, especially near streams, bridges and culverts, can be particularly dangerous. For more information on ice safety, visit www.mainegamewarden.com.
There are numerous fishing events happening around the state this weekend, including two put on by the Department’s Hook on Fishing – Not on Drugs program.
The program will host a family fishing clinic from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Feb. 16 as part of an ice fishing derby in Albion, at Lovejoy Pond off Marden Shore. The program will hold a similar clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 17 on Wilson Lake in Wilton during the Wilton Fish and Game Annual Ice Fishing Derby.
The Department will also offer a free fishing weekend on June 1st and June 2nd.
For a complete list of fishing regulations, including limits and sizes, visit www.mefishwildlife.com and click on “fishing.”