Illegal Fish Introductions

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Help us Keep it Maine: Protect our Waters from Invasive Species

Maine is lucky to have some of the country's most pristine, healthy waters, full of aquatic diversity and quality fishing. These waters provide endless outdoor recreation opportunities for anglers and others, but they are also threatened each year by invasive fish, plants, and other organisms.

What can be done?

Once an invasive aquatic species has established itself in a body of water, it is extremely difficult for it to be eradicated. These efforts are costly, can carry their own risks, and are not always successful.Therefore, prevention is key. It’s our duty as those who enjoy using Maine’s waters to protect them against invasive species.

Do your part: Protect Maine Waters from Invasive Species

  • Under Maine law, you must immediately kill any fish that you decide to keep, and never transport any live fish (other than legal baitfish).
  • Make sure you’re using legal baitfish species. See the Bait Fish page for a quick guide to identifying legal and illegal baitfish species.
  • Don’t dump your bait! Properly dispose of unused baitfish on land or in the trash. Never release any live baitfish into a water body.
  • Before leaving and launching your boat:
    • CLEAN plant debris, mud and algae from all boating and fishing gear and dispose in the trash
    • DRAIN bilge water, engine water, and any other standing water sources away from the waterbody.
    • DRY any gear that comes into contact with water.
  • Avoid fines by making sure that you are not transporting aquatic plants. Fines can be up to $2,500 for transporting any aquatic plant and up to $500 for failing to affix the Lake and River Protection Sticker to your motorized craft!
  • If you see or suspect someone is moving live fish, contact the Maine Warden Service immediately at 1-800-ALERT-US or report the offense at For more information on invasive aquatic plants please visit:

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