Statewide General Fishing Laws

fishing laws book cover

General Fishing Laws for Inland Waters

A valid fishing license is required. See License Requirements and Fees.

Seasons

Lakes and Ponds

North Region Lakes and Ponds (See Map)

  • From April 1 to September 30: Open to open water fishing under general law bag and length limits. The use of all legal forms of bait, artificial lures, and artificial flies are permitted.
  • From October 1 to March 31: Closed to all fishing.

Note: waters that are open to ice fishing as of March 31 in the north region will continue to be open from April 1 through Sunday, April 21. All rules and regulations for those waters that are already open to ice fishing in the north region will remain in effect.

South Region Lakes and Ponds (See Map)

  • January 1 to December 31: Open to ice and open water fishing under general law bag and length limits. The use of all legal forms of bait, artificial lures, and artificial flies are permitted.

Rivers Streams and Brooks- North & South Regions

  • From April 1 to August 15: Open to open water fishing under general law bag and length limits. The use of all legal forms of bait, artificial lures, and artificial flies are permitted.
  • From August 16 to September 30: Open to open water fishing using artificial lures or flies only. General law length and bag limits apply, except daily bag limit one landlocked salmon and one brook trout.
  • From October 1 to March 31: Closed to all fishing.

General Law Daily Bag, Possession and Length Limits

The daily bag, possession and minimum length limits in the table below apply to all inland waters open to fishing.

Species Daily Bag & Possession Limits Length Limit
Lakes/Ponds Rivers, Streams, Brooks Lakes/Ponds Rivers, Streams, Brooks
Brook Trout
(incudes Splake & Artic char)
North Region: 5 fish
South Region: 2 fish
5 fish 6 inches minimum 6 inches minimum
BrownTrout 2 fish 2 fish 14 inches minimum 6" min & 25" max
Rainbow Trout 2 fish 2 fish 12 inches minimum 6 inches minimum
Landlocked Salmon 2 fish 2 fish 14 inches minimum 14" min & 25" max
Togue (Lake Trout) 2 fish 2 fish 18 inches minimum 18 inches minimum
Species Daily Bag & Possession Limits Length Limit
Bass
(Largemouth & Smallmouth)
North Region: Unlimited None
South Region: 2 fish No minimum length. Only 1 may exceed 14 inches.
Whitefish 3 fish None
Smelts 2 quarts None
Sea-run Atlantic Salmon Federally Endangered Species - No Fishing Permitted for this Species
Inland Species not listed above Unlimited None
Striped Bass, Shad, River Herring, American Eel, Sturgeon See Recreational Angling for Migratory Fish
Map of North and South Regions

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