Did You Bring Your Fishing Rod?
- Fishing at Baxter State Park
Whether you seek an afternoon of fly-fishing on Kidney Pond, a gentle introduction to fishing for your grandchild with bonus moose sightings or the thrill of fishing a pond or stream a full day’s hike from the car, fishing is a primary activity for many Park visitors! Be sure to check fishing regulations as they vary throughout the Park. A copy of the State of Maine Open Water Fishing Regulations can be downloaded from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website: IF&W Fishing Rules. Most Park ponds and streams are located in Piscataquis County (only Katahdin Lake is in Penobscot County). Park Rangers can also provide good information on regulations for local waters. You can also view a current list of Park ponds with fish . The Park also provides canoes available for rental at many ponds in the Park.
A few things to know before casting for the "big one":
- To help maintain the native Brook Trout and salmon populations, the use or possession of live fish as bait is prohibited, except as noted in the State of Maine Open Water Fishing Regulations. One spilled bucket of live fish could establish a self-reproducing population that could affect the future of native species.
- Motorboats are prohibited except on Matagamon and Webster Lakes. Motorboats of 10 horsepower or less are allowed on Upper and Lower Togue Ponds.
- Boats, equipment and gear-.The water quality and wild brook trout of Baxter State Park depend on you! Maine law requires boaters to take all necessary precautions to avoid spreading aquatic invasives. All personal gear, equipment and gear should be cleaned properly at home before entering Baxter State Park. This includes waders, wading shoes, kayak rudders, PFD’s, floats, paddles, etc. Please call (207) 723-8537 if you have any questions on this.
- The open water fishing season is from April 1-September 30, except from August 16-September 30, rivers, brooks and streams are restricted to artificial lures only and the total bag limit for salmon, trout and togue is one fish.
- When cleaning fish, if the fish have been taken from that pond, please dispose of the entrails in deep water off-shore for nutrient recycling of the fish parts. These will be rapidly consumed by minnows, crayfish and other fish. If fishing from shore, either throw the entrails at least 20 feet off-shore, carry them out in your carry out litter bag or dig a cathole at least 200 feet from water, campsite or trail and bury the entrails. If cleaning the fish back at camp away from the body of water it was caught in, either carry out the entrails or bury them as described previously. Fish entrails, as with other food, will not completely burn in a fire pit and will attract animals, as well as leave an unsightly fire pit for the next visitor. For these reasons, please do not attempt to burn them in the fire pit.
- Special considerations for anglers—Be sure to carry out monofilament line, as it is not biodegradable and an animal or bird might become fatally entangled, avoid lead sinkers to prevent the death of loons and other waterfowl due to lead poisoning and carry out bait cups and unused bait.
- For safety, children 10 or under are required to WEAR a Type I, II or III PFD in all watercraft.
- Need to buy a license? State of Maine fishing licenses are sold at Matagamon Gatehouse and all Ranger Stations. Maine residents under 16 years of age and nonresidents under 12 years of age may fish without a license.
- Ask the Rangers about canoe rentals on many ponds within the Park, some are roadside and many provide a solitary fishing experience on a remote pond requiring a short hike. Look here for a list of canoes available for rental .
Enjoy Fishing in Baxter State Park and
thank you for helping preserve and protect
all bodies of water in the Park.