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These pages are being provided for your information, and to help you to better understand the fishing regulations in Northern Maine. If you would like information on a particular body of water, and you know the county it is in, just click on the county name below and look up that particular body of water.

Laws Pertaining To Bait Dealers/Use of Live Bait

A. Live bait restrictions. It is unlawful for any person to take, sell, use or possess, either dead or alive, for use as bait for fishing in inland waters, any pickerel, goldfish, yellow perch, white perch, bass, sunfish, crappie, hornpout, carp, alewife, or any spiny-finned fish. The following are legal bait for fishing: Smelt, Lake chub, Eastern silvery minnow, Golden shiner, Emerald shiner, Bridle shiner, Common shiner, Blacknose shiner, Spottail shiner, Northern redbelly dace, finscale dace, Fathead minnow, Blacknose dace, Longnose dace, Creek chub, Fallfish, Pearl dace, Banded killfish, Mummichog, Longnose sucker, White sucker, Creek chub sucker, American eel, Blackchain shiner.

B. Importation of bait-fish prohibited. It is unlawful to import into this State any live baitfish or smelts.

C. Bait Dealer's license. It is unlawful for any person to deal in live baitfish or live smelts without first obtaining a valid dealer's license. For further information, contact this Department. (NOTE: A person may take live baitfish for their own use, by the use of hook and line or bait trap only, if that person holds a valid fishing license.)

D. Permit to take bait from closed waters. Any person who wishes to take live baitfish from inland waters which are not currently open to fishing must first obtain a written permit from this Department. There is no charge for this permit. (NOTE: No permit is required to take baitfish from most inland waters during the open fishing season on those waters).

E. Marking and checking bait traps. All bait traps and bait holding boxes must be marked with the name and address of the person who is taking or holding the bait, and must be checked at least once in every 7 calendar days by the person who set them.

The following pertains to trapping through the ice only:

F. Marking holes. When using drop nets to fish through the ice for baitfish/smelts, all holes made in the ice MUST BE MARKED either by evergreen boughs placed around the hole, or by suspending at least 1 strand of fluorescent biodegradable tape at least 3 feet above the ice around the entire perimeter of the hole so that the tape is visible from all sides.

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