Hunting Seasons and Rules
Spring Wild Turkey: Youth Day is April 28, 2018.
WMD 8: Season runs April 30 – June 2 (one tom).
WMDs 7, 9 – 29: Season runs April 30 – June 2 (two toms).
WMDs 1 – 6 have split seasons, alternating weeks based on year of birth (check law book), April 30 – May 26, 2018 (one tom); All hunters in those WMDs can hunt May 28 – June 2, 2018 (one tom).
Moose: The deadline to apply for this year’s moose lottery online is 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2018 (see more details about the online-only lottery in the “Almanac” in the March, 2018 issue of The Maine Sportsman).
Crow Spring Season in WMDs 7 – 29 started January 20, 2018 and ended March 31, 2018; while in WMDs 1 – 6, the season began February 3, 2018 and runs through April 14, 2018. (No daily bag limit on crows.)
Snowshoe Hare season, which began October 2, 2017, ended on March 31, 2018 (except in Vinalhaven Island, where it closed February 28, 2018).
Coyote Night Hunting Season, which began September 16, 2017, runs through August 31, 2018.
Coyote (day hunting), Woodchuck, Porcupine and
Red Squirrel: No closed seasons.
Spruce Grouse, Lynx and Cottontail Rabbit: Hunting for these species is prohibited year-round.
No Sunday hunting.
HUNTING HOURS: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, except for migratory game birds (1/2 hour before sunrise, to sunset) and raccoons (night hunting allowed in season).
Ammunition: Non-toxic shot only for migratory waterfowl.
Select licensing information:
- • Adult combo hunting and fishing: $43
- • Archery (adult): $26
- • Coyote night hunting permit: $4
- • Expanded archery deer, either sex (limit 1): $32
- • Lifetime licenses available to those under 16 and those older than 65; for example, 65 year old resident 3-sport license (hunt, fish, archery): $110; at age 70, one-time fee of $8 permits all hunting, trapping, fishing rights and privileges; see law book for details.
Fishing Seasons and Rules
Season – Rivers, Streams and Brooks
April 1 is Opening Day for all rivers, streams and brooks.
Season – Lakes and Ponds
North Region – April 1 is Opening Day for open-water fishing on all lakes and ponds that have been closed.
South Region – Open to fishing all year; general law.
Minimum size for brook trout, splake and arctic char: 6 inches; for landlocked salmon: 14 inches (with a maximum size for salmon of 25 inches in much of Washington and Hancock Counties); for togue: 18 inches; for brown trout: 14 inches in lakes; 6 inches (with maximum of 25 inches) in streams and rivers; for rainbow trout: 12 inches in lakes; 6 inches in streams and rivers.
Brook Trout: Daily bag limit 2 trout on lakes and ponds in South Region (Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Sagadahoc, Waldo, Washington and York Counties); otherwise, 5-fish limit. Five-fish limit in rivers and streams statewide.
Other daily bag limits and minimum lengths (if any): Bass (2 fish; 10-inch minimum; only one longer than 14 inches); Whitefish (3 fish); Smelts (2 quarts); Pickerel (10 fish; no minimum size); Northern Pike and Muskies (no size or bag limit); Eel (25 fish); Shad (2 fish); Striped bass (one fish; minimum 28 inches); Alewives (25 fish).
Go to http://www.eregulations.com/maine/fishing/general-law-information/ , find the lake, pond, river or stream you want to fish, and interpret the codes that apply.
Look up the “S” (special rules) Codes. Learn the open-water season, the ice fishing season (if any), whether you are limited to artificial lures, or catch-and-release, and whether there’s a slot limit.
Atlantic Salmon can’t be targeted, and if caught they must be released immediately. Also determine whether the inland water you are fishing is labeled with S-33 code; if so, the maximum length for landlocked salmon and brown trout is 25 inches, to prevent the accidental taking of Atlantic Salmon that have found their way into the water body.
Current saltwater fishing regulations are found at www.Maine.gov/dmr/recreational-fishing/regs-tips/index.html.
Use of Lead Tackle
1) Lead Sinkers: The sale or use of lead sinkers not exceeding the designated length (2.5 inches) and weight (1 ounce) requirements, is prohibited.
The definition of a lead sinker does not include artificial lures, weighted line, weighted flies or painted jig heads (see bare lead jig discussion below).
2) Bare Lead Jigs: As of September 2017, the sale or use of bare lead jigs not exceeding minimum length (2.5 inches) and weight (1 ounce) requirements is prohibited.
Select Licensing information:
- • Fishing license needed for anyone 16 or older
- • One-day resident license: $11; may be “traded in” for value toward season license
- • Non-residents 18 – 24 who are full-time students may qualify for lower resident fees