AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The early ice-out on Maine lakes has prompted a hastily enacted law to start the open water fishing season now.

Gov. John Baldacci on Thursday signed a bill that opens the fishing season on all lakes, ponds and brooks where the season would normally begin April 1. That does not include waters with specific regulations that start the season after April 1, as listed in the 2008-2009 Open Water Fishing Law Book.

For lakes and ponds where fishing starts early, bag and size limit rules in the 2008-2009 Open Water Fishing Law Book apply until the new rule books come out April 1.

Inland fisheries Commissioner Roland “Danny” Martin says people have been anxious to drop their lines since ice fishing ended early in some parts of the state.