The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a number of proposed fishing regulations that are making their way through the agency’s rulemaking process.
Among those proposals: Extending the ice fishing season until the end of April on northern Maine’s “B” waters, which would negate the need for emergency season extensions like the one that was passed earlier this year; the addition of five lakes or ponds to the State Heritage Fish Waters list; the removal of three waters from the same list; and the prohibition of the use of live fish as bait on the tributaries of 19 waters already on the state Heritage Fish list.
Other rules up for consideration:
—Eliminating a slot limit on Sebago Lake that protected fish between 26 and 33 inches long. The new rule would call for no bag limit on togue under 26 inches, and no minimum length. Only one fish longer than 26 inches could be kept.
—On Beech Hill Pond in Otis, the daily bag limit on togue would be raised to six fish, only one of which may exceed 33 inches. There is currently no minimum length on togue, and all togue between 23 and 33 inches must be released.
—Fall fishing on Grand Lake Stream would be extended by five days, from Oct. 20 to Oct. 25, in order to respond to a later-than-normal migration of salmon into the stream due to drought conditions.
—Kennebec River tributaries would be closed to fishing until June 1, rather than May 15, to respond to recent prolonged winters that have extended the rainbow trout spawning season.
—No minimum length limit on togue in Eagle Lake in the Aroostook County town of Eagle Lake, daily bag limit on togue increased to six fish, only one may exceed 23 inches.
The proposals are available for review and the DIF&W welcomes public comment, which can be sent by mail or email, or given in person at a future public hearing.
Targeted for the new regulation that would prohibit the use of live fish as bait are the tributaries of the following waters: Cold Water Brook Pond and Kennebunk Plains Pond in Kennebunk, Mount Zircon Reservoir in Rumford, Spicer Pond in Shapleigh, Burnt Pond in Clifton and Dedham, Butcher Lake in Codyville Plantation, Dutton Pond in Amherst, Flood Lake in Talmadge, Goose Pond in Swans Island, Halfmile Pond in Amherst, Harriman Pond in Dedham, Hatcase Pond in Dedham and Eddington, Little Jellison Hill Pond in Amherst, Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor, Myrick Pond in Hancock County, Narraguagus Lake in Franklin, Noyes or Norris Pond in Blue Hill, Spring Brook Pond in Amherst and Western Lake in Robbinston.