An Act To Authorize the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife To Change a Fishing Season Opening Date Statewide
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §12456, sub-§2, ¶A, as amended by PL 2009, c. 214, §6, is further amended to read:
A. A person who holds a valid Maine fishing license may take smelts for recreational purposes only from the inland waters or portions of inland waters that are naturally free of ice with a dip net in the usual and ordinary way from noon to 2:00 a.m. in accordance with bag limits established by rule. Bag limits established by rule under this paragraph are for a 24-hour period, beginning at noon on a given day and ending at 11:59 a.m. the following day. The commissioner may prohibit the taking of smelts under this section or shorten the noon to 2:00 a.m. smelt fishing timeframe by rule for enforcement or conservation purposes.
(1) A person may not keep more than 5 dozen smelts alive as part of that person's daily bag limit pursuant to this paragraph.
(2) A person may not take smelts with a dip net unless that dip net meets the requirements under section 10001, subsection 12-A.
Each day a person violates subparagraph (1) or (2) that person commits a Class E crime . ; and
Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §12456, sub-§2, ¶E is enacted to read:
E. In accordance with section 10104, the commissioner may change the established opening date of an open season if, in the commissioner's opinion, the change is necessary due to earlier-than-normal seasonal temperature changes or weather conditions.
This bill authorizes the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to change a fishing season opening date in inland waters of the State if weather conditions make that change necessary.