AUGUSTA — Wildlife officials are cautioning fishermen to double-check ice conditions with the arrival of Maine’s winter fishing season.

New Year’s Day marks the traditional start of Maine’s ice fishing season, when anglers fish through holes in the ice.

Some lakes and ponds in northern Maine opened to winter fishing in December, but most open for the season on Jan. 1.

Besides ice fishing, the state allows fishermen to cast their rods in open waters of lakes, ponds and streams during the winter months. State regulations were changed beginning in 2011 to allow for open-water fishing during the winter.

Wildlife officials say late ice formation and early ice-out will no longer keep sportsmen from fishing.

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