THE SPECIES PAGE TO BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU
five years 10,362 Ice Fisherman vanished from Maine's lakes according to
a new state survey. The mystery isn't where they went but why."*
in the technology and equipment of ice fishing means more and more fish
are getting caught. Hopefully this also means more and more fish are getting
put back. The state stocks the southern maine area as a put and take fishery,
but we can all help by putting back as many fish as we can. Noone is suggesting
that you shouldn't take any fish, just as few as possible. The future of
the fishery may depend on it. Think Ice Fishing isn't effective? DIF & W
uses it as a tool to remove unwanted fish! They are just plain easier to
get to for more people by Ice!
IF&W's Tips for Catch and Release during Ice Fishing Season
handle the caught fish will have a lot to do with whether or not it survives.
Handle the fish as little as possible. The slime on them is there for a
reason. Don't put them on the ice. They may freeze to it and lose skin or
scales which can lead to disease or death. Whether you ice fish or open
water fish, a large part of the survival of caught fish is where you hook
them. It would be nice if it was always in the lips. Of course, that doesn't
always happen. Be careful not to tug the line to loosen the hook. If it
doesn't come out easy, or is swallowed deep, cut the line and let the hook
corrode away. It happens fairly quick, but MAKE SURE you use non-coated
hooks. Don't touch the gills, or eyes, or squeeze the fish. Hold them so
they are supported by the tail and up near the head. A properly handled
fish will have the best chance for survival.
you have enough Ice under you. I won't get on less than 3 inches and even
then you should be careful. The Ice never freezes as solid around rocks,
inlets, outlets, structures, (even those just below the surface), springs,
etc...... Besides being a less than enjoyable experience it can be deadly.
Fish with someone else and make sure someone else knows where you will be
*Roberta Scruggs, Maine sunday telegram, january 7, 2001 report on fewer
Maine law ice fishing at night (1/2 hour after sunset until 1/2 hour
before sunrise) is prohibited except as provided by special rule.****