Maine Revised Statutes

§12461. State heritage fish waters

1. Adoption of state heritage fish waters.  The commissioner shall adopt by rule a list of state heritage fish waters composed of lakes and ponds that contain state heritage fish, as defined in Title 1, section 212-A. This list must include waters identified as eastern brook trout waters and arctic charr waters that have never been stocked according to any reliable records authorized for adoption by Resolve 2005, chapter 172, as amended, and waters identified as eastern brook trout waters and arctic charr waters that according to reliable records have not been stocked for at least 25 years. The list of state heritage fish waters may be amended by rule in accordance with the provisions of subsections 2 and 3 based on criteria established by the commissioner and in accordance with the provisions of Title 5, chapter 375. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
[ 2013, c. 538, §35 (RPR) .]
2. Addition of waters to list.  The commissioner may adopt rules to amend the list established under subsection 1 to add a lake or pond if that lake or pond meets criteria established by the commissioner for classifying a lake or pond as a state heritage fish water. Rules adopted to add a lake or pond to the list established under subsection 1 are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. A public hearing on the rules must be held prior to adoption of the rules and conducted in accordance with the provisions of Title 5, chapter 375.
[ 2013, c. 538, §36 (AMD) .]
3. Removal of waters from list.  The commissioner may by rule remove a lake or pond from the list established under subsection 1. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. A public hearing on the rules must be held prior to adoption of the rules and conducted in accordance with the provisions of Title 5, chapter 375.
[ 2013, c. 538, §36 (AMD) .]
4. Stocking state heritage fish.  The commissioner may not stock or issue a permit to stock fish in a lake or pond listed as a state heritage fish water under this section.
[ 2007, c. 21, §2 (AMD) .]
5. Fishing restrictions.  A person may not use live fish as bait or possess live fish to be used as bait on a lake or pond listed as a state heritage fish water under this section. A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.
[ 2007, c. 21, §2 (AMD) .]
6. Exceptions.  Notwithstanding the stocking restrictions set forth in subsection 4, the commissioner may:
A. Stock Big Reed Pond in T.8, R.10, W.E.L.S. with native fish species. If sufficient brook trout from Big Reed Pond are not available, brook trout from Reed Brook and its tributaries in T.8, R.10, W.E.L.S. may be used for restocking. If arctic charr from Big Reed Pond are not available, arctic charr from an endemic arctic charr water in the State may be used for restocking. If northern redbelly dace need to be restocked in Big Reed Pond, northern redbelly dace from Reed Brook and its tributaries in T.8, R.10, W.E.L.S. may be used for restocking; and [2013, c. 358, §3 (AMD).]
B. Stock Big Wadleigh Pond in T.8, R.15, W.E.L.S. with native fish species. If sufficient brook trout from Big Wadleigh Pond are not available, brook trout from Wadleigh Stream in T.8, R.15, W.E.L.S. and T.7, R.15, W.E.L.S. or Poland Pond in T.7, R.15 W.E.L.S. may be used for restocking. If arctic charr from Big Wadleigh Pond are not available, arctic charr from an endemic arctic charr water in the State may be used for restocking. [2013, c. 538, §37 (AMD).]
[ 2013, c. 538, §37 (AMD) .]
7. Use of live fish as bait exceptions.  Notwithstanding the fishing restrictions set forth in subsection 5, a person may fish using live fish for bait in the following waters:
A. Millimagassett Lake, in T.7, R.8 W.E.L.S.; [2013, c. 538, §38 (NEW).]
B. Millinocket Lake and Little Millinocket Lake, in T.7, R.9 W.E.L.S., T.8, R.9 W.E.L.S. and T.7, R.10 W.E.L.S.; and [2013, c. 538, §38 (NEW).]
C. Webster Lake, in T.6, R.10 W.E.L.S. and T.6, R.11 W.E.L.S. [2013, c. 538, §38 (NEW).]
[ 2013, c. 538, §38 (NEW) .]
8. Report required.  The commissioner shall report by January 15th annually to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over inland fisheries and wildlife matters regarding any rule-making actions taken to add or to remove waters from the list of state heritage fish waters.
[ 2013, c. 538, §38 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
2005, c. 180, §2 (NEW). 2007, c. 21, §2 (AMD). 2009, c. 214, §7 (AMD). 2013, c. 358, §3 (AMD). 2013, c. 538, §§35-38 (AMD).