Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) preserves, protects, and enhances the inland fisheries and wildlife resources of the state. Established in 1880 to protect big game populations, MDIFW has since evolved in scope to include protection and management of fish, non-game wildlife, and habitats, as well as restoration of endangered species like the bald eagle.

In addition to its conservation duties, MDIFW 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.

Review the Department's current Strategic Plan (PDF)

View the State Government Evaluation Report for 2023 (PDF)


  1. Constituencies and Agencies engaged by the Department (PDF)
  2. Organizational Chart (PDF)
  3. Administrative Policies (PDF)
  4. Financial Reports (PDF)
  5. MDIFW Strategic Plan
  6. MDIFW Big Game Management Plan
  7. MDIFW Furbearer Management Plan
  8. MDIFW 2021-2035 Statewide Fisheries and Hatcheries Management Plan
  9. MDIFW Freedom of Information Policy (PDF)

A Brief History

In 1880 the Legislature made two Maine Fisheries Commissioners responsible for enforcing laws relating to important game species. This early enforcement effort represented the beginning of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. At the time, game wardens were appointed to patrol the state's woods and waters and bring poaching under control. They did not receive a salary, but instead received half the amount of the fines paid by violators they apprehended.

The mission of the Department was soon expanded to include the propagation of game fish, and through the early 1900's, many new hunting and fishing laws were enacted to conserve fish and wildlife. Today, the Department carries out a wide variety of fish and wildlife conservation programs focused on maintaining abundant game resources, as well as managing non-game wildlife and restoring endangered species. The Department's mission has also been significantly broadened with responsibilities for white-water rafting; registration of watercraft; snowmobiles; ATVs; hunter, trapper and recreational vehicle safety; conservation education; and other matters.

Although the Department's mission has been steadily expanded, it remains focused on the protection and enhancement of the state's inland fisheries and wildlife, while at the same time providing for the wise use of these resources.

All in for the Maine Outdoors.

We are biologists, game wardens, and educators all in on a common mission: responsible, safe enjoyment of the Maine outdoors. We believe a healthy ecosystem makes life better for all the fish, wildlife, and people who call Maine home, as well as for the visitors who call it Vacationland.

While MDIFW is a state agency, our work is funded by sportsmen and outdoorspeople. Our revenue comes through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses/permits, boat, snowmobile, and ATV registrations, as well as taxes on hunting and fishing gear. The more people who actively enjoy Maine's natural resources, the more ability we have to enhance, preserve, and protect them for the future.

Basically, we're all in this together. Biologists. Game wardens. Educators. And you – the hunters, fishermen, and everyday adventurers who support our work.

For recreation, for hunting, for fishing, for science, or just for fun: we're all in for the Maine outdoors.