Outdoor news

Icy fun: Free fishing weekend Feb. 16-17

By Staff | Feb 13, 2019

Augusta — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reminds all to take advantage of the free fishing weekend on Saturday, Feb. 16-17.

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.

Free fishing weekend is open to residents and non-residents.

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 department officials, as they encourage experienced anglers to consider serving as a mentor and to introduce a new angler to the sport during the free fishing weekend.

Whether on open water or ice, fishing is one of the most popular activities in Maine, the department said.

“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,” said Judy Camuso, MDIFW commissioner. “The free fishing weekend is a great chance for people to try fishing for the first time or for more experienced anglers to teach a new angler the joys of the sport.”

As always, the department reminds everyone to be cautious and always check ice conditions before venturing out.

“Test the thickness of the ice using an ice chisel or ice auger in several locations on the lake or pond,” said Major Chris Cloutier of the Warden Service. “Remember that ice seldom freezes uniformly and conditions are always changing and can vary from one location to the next. Ice that forms over flowing water and currents, especially near streams, bridges and culverts, can be particularly dangerous.”

The department also will offer a free fishing weekend on June 1-2.

For a complete list of fishing regulations, including limits and sizes, visit mefishwildlife.com/fishinglaws.

For information and resources to plan a fishing trip, visit mefishwildlife.com/maine-fishing-guide.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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