Before moving here, I fished all winter. Now I barely get out. Not fishing this winter while we experienced unusually warm temperatures was frustrating.

Most of Maine’s rivers are closed from fall until April 1. What is open is often not conducive to fishing because of access, safety or compromised fisheries. Many anglers stop fishing for the winter or drive hours to do so.

I have heard it all. It’s too cold (but not for ice fishing). There is no demand (but some places get plenty of traffic). We are protecting wild fish (but you can ice fish for wild salmonids on Eagle, etc.).

Wyman Lake is open to ice fishing, but the Kennebec above and below is closed. Solon is closed as well. This stretch is managed for stocked brown trout. Madison has a similar fishery, but it is open.

Ice fishing has an incidental mortality of more than 30 percent. Open water fishing with artificial lures and flies has an incidental mortality of 3 percent.

I left Maine four times this winter to fish, passing miles of closed water in Maine. We spent money on licenses, gas and food.

Massachusetts has year-round fishing. New Hampshire closes in the fall and re-opens Jan. 1. On New Years Day, I fished there, along with anglers from throughout New England.

I booked a guide in Massachusetts for one customer; it could have been a Maine guide. I booked a guide in Idaho; that customer’s trip brought more than $600 to the local economy.

Everyone had closed seasons; many now have year-round fishing or brief closures to protect spawning fish. Either they are wrong or we are. Closed seasons are bad for anglers, fish and the state. It is time to let go of the past and go fishing.

Bob Mallard


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.