The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department and Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry know that during these challenging times, everyone wants to get outside and recharge. One challenge we all face right now is how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly during this civil state of emergency.

Here are a few reminders on how you can get some fresh air while being smart, staying safe, and sticking close to home.

Go where they aren’t (AKA how to avoid crowds!)

•Visit a lesser-known spot and explore places close to home. Consider visiting a nearby Wildlife Management Area, or less trafficked state park , public land or local land trust.

•Have a plan B (and C). If your first destination has a busy parking lot, go to the next spot on your list! Maine Trail Finder is a great resource.

•Get outside earlier or later in the day to avoid peak times, and please keep your visits brief.

•Recharge in your backyard and neighborhood! Backyard adventures in the time of coronavirus are an excellent idea. Remind friends and neighbors to stay safe by tagging Instagram pics with #backyardpark.

Know before you go

•If you are exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19, or if you have recently been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home.

•Stay at least six feet away from other people.

•If you do decide to go for hike, remember trails are likely to be slippery from ice and mud, which can increase the difficulty level. Stick to easy trails to avoid injuries and further stress on health care resources.

•Be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms (use the bathroom before you leave home).

•Always leave no trace, including cleaning up after your pet, so be sure to bring a disposable bag to carry out any waste.

•And remember to help stop ticks by wearing light-colored pants, closed-toe shoes, and applying EPA-approved bug repellent.

Fishing season is open and fishing is free through April 30!

To encourage Mainers to enjoy their outdoor resources and to support a happy, healthy Maine, Governor Mills and Commissioner Camuso have enacted the following changes to Maine’s fishing laws:

•Any person (except those whose license has been suspended or revoked) may fish without a license through April 30, 2020. This change does not apply to activities which require a commercial freshwater fishing license or permit.

•All inland waters that traditionally open to open water fishing on April 1 are now  open to open water fishing effective immediately. This change does not open any body of water to ice fishing that is currently closed to ice fishing
All other tackle, length and bag limits and special regulations still apply. Click here to review the current fishing laws.

If you’re headed out to fish, please use extreme caution on frozen waterways- ice conditions are continuously changing! If you are fishing on open water, remember that water temperatures are extremely cold and most rivers and streams have elevated water flows. Always wear your life jacket! Please be SAFE and SMART!

Visit mefishwildlife.com/covid19 for additional MDIFW updates related to the current state of civil emergency.


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