DIFW will let you fish without a license

DIFW Commissioner Judy Camuso is opening fishing in our brooks and streams early, and will allow anyone to fish without a license. This is a great idea!

Judy did this to encourage people, who are stuck in their houses, to get outdoors and enjoy the Maine we all love.

I’ve been encouraging people to do the same thing: get outside, take a walk through our beautiful woods, and now, you can fish!

Our three and five-year-old granddaughters live in Massachusetts, but after their schools closed, their mom started sending us photos of the girls walking on the trail in the woods in back of their house. That was wonderful!

I was shocked to learn that nearly half of all Americans did not go outside for recreation even once in 2018. That means that Americans went on one billion fewer outdoor outings in 2018 than they did in 2008. Even worse, the number of kids between ages 6 and 12 who recreate outdoors has fallen four years in a row.

I participated in a Maine Calling show on public radio in December about how things have changed for kids since I grew up in Winthrop. As a kid, I lived outdoors, roaming the woods and bicycling all over town, often with my fishing rod. I walked a mile to school, including through the downtown, and no one worried about me. Today, kids don’t even go in the woods, and apparently a lot of their parents don’t either.

For my entire life, I found our brooks and streams to be beautiful and comforting – and yes, quite often loaded with brook trout.

Well, here’s a great opportunity for all of you to spend time outdoors. And thanks to Judy Camuso, you can fish!


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.