A hardy ice fisherman looks for another spot to dig a hole in the Androscoggin River by the Androscoggin Riverlands State Park in Turner in mid February. Ice fishing may not be as safe now in the area but northern Maine’s “unusually cold weather conditions” has extended ice fishing season to April 16.

CARIBOU — The long, cold winter in Maine is providing a reward for the state’s outdoors lovers — more ice fishing.

The state Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife says ice fishing season in the northern part of Maine is extended from Saturday to April 16 due to “unusually cold weather conditions.” Gov. Paul LePage signed an emergency resolve to extend the season.

LePage, a Republican, says the extension will aid small businesses that support the recreational fishing industry.

The rule applies to waters that were open to ice fishing in northern Maine on Friday. Waters that were not open remain closed.

State wildlife officials remind anglers to continue to check the thickness of the ice before settling in.

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