DEXTER - April first marks the beginning of the open water fishing season in Maine, and in contrast to most year's where lakes and ponds are buttoned up tight with ice, this April, anglers should be able to areas to fish throughout the state.
"This certainly is different than most years," said Peter Bourque, Director of Fisheries for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, "With the mild winter we have had, there are open water spots to fish throughout the entire state."
Many lakes in southern and even central Maine are completely ice free. The lower than average snowfall also means that rivers and streams are at low springtime flow levels, making for easier fishing.
Anglers are likely to find more fish available in waters that were stocked last fall. Poor ice conditions meant less time for ice fishing, leaving many trout and salmon that normally would have been caught in the winter still there for spring anglers.
If you are heading out anywhere with a boat this weekend, the Maine Warden Service is urging boaters to wear their lifejackets. Prolonged immersion in cold water can kill, and wearing a life jacket can greatly increase your survival chances if you are in the water unexpectedly.
The beginning of the open water season also means that the department stocking trucks will be busy. The Dry Mills Hatchery and the Casco Hatchery Fish Hatchery start an ambitious stocking program next week, and by the time ice starts to cover lakes in the fall, over 1.2 million fish will have been stocked in waterways across the state.
If you haven't purchased your license yet, hop online and visit www.mefishwildlife.com to purchase your license any time of the day, any day of the week. And if you buy your license through MOSES (Maine Online Sportsmen's Electronic System), you will be automatically entered to win a 1957 Maine Warden Service Truck.
Once again, there are some changes in fishing regulations specific to certain ponds. Before heading out this spring, please check the regulations in the law book.
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