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Free fishing days in Maine

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.

On Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19, 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 and free fishing weekend is a great chance for people to try fishing for the first time or for more experienced anglers to teach a child the joys of the sport.

Due to varying weather conditions this winter, we are reminding everyone to be cautious and check ice conditions before venturing out. Due to uneven temperatures and high winds, ice conditions are currently very unpredictable. You should test the thickness of the ice using an ice chisel or ice auger in several locations on the lake or pond, and 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.”

A free fishing weekend for open water season is planned for June 3 and 4.

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

For additional ice and winter safety tips, visit http://www.maine.gov/wordpress/insideifw/2014/12/31/ice-safety-tips/.