PORTLAND — Maine fishing regulators will soon shut down the state’s popular spring smelt fishing season along the southern coast.

Regulators approved new restrictions on fishing for smelt last year to try to rebuild smelt populations. One of the new rules is that smelt fishing is shut down from Tuesday until June 30.

The shutdown applies from the New Hampshire border to Owls Head. Fishing in the Midcoast area and Downeast coast are restricted but remain legal during the spring shutdown in southern Maine.

Smelts are traditionally fished through the ice in winter and with dip nets in spring, when they are spawning.

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