AUGUSTA, Maine - The Department of Inland Fisheries is looking to simplify brook trout fishing laws while still making sure that brook trout receive the same level of protection afforded by the department's quality fishing initiative.
"We want to make the regulations easier to understand, yet we want to maintain the level of protection that have allowed brook trout to grow and brook trout fishing to improve over the past eight years," said Director of Fisheries Operations John Boland.
Currently the department has 41 separate brook trout regulations that would be condensed into 8 regulations. The eight new regulations are divided into four categories. One would provide for general law fishing opportunities, allowing a bag limit of two or five fish. The second category would provide for quality fishing opportunities, placing a limit of one or two fish, with either slot limits or minimum length limits. The third category is for trophy fishing opportunities, where the regulations would require catch and release fishing only, or a one fish bag limit with a minimum length of 18 inches. Most of the proposed changes would deal with brook trout regulations on lakes and ponds.
"These are the first of our changes that mark the beginning of a project that will ultimately simplify the regulations governing the taking of all major gamefish in all types of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams," said Boland.
At this point, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is seeking comment on this concept. For a full description of the proposed changes, please visit http://www.state.me.us/ifw/lawsrules/fishingproposals/index.htm. For comments, please email email@example.com.
This would be the first major regulations change since 1996, when new regulations were imposed on 334 of Maine's 1,103 brook trout lakes with the intent of reversing a long-term decline in mature fish, which are necessary for the survival of these trout populations. Over a five-year period, biologists in the Rangeley, Moosehead, Penobscot and Fish River Lakes Regions conducted creel surveys and population estimates on the wild brook trout populations. The highlights of their survey found that with the new rules, fish lived longer, the average size trout caught increased, catch rate doubled and the average time to catch a legal size trout was cut in half after the new regulations went into effect.
|Back to News||Home||Print This Story|