The 2010 saltwater season is well under way, and with what we have already seen, there is reason to be optimistic.

Decent numbers of mixed-sized stripers and macs are inshore, while strong catches of groundfish (cod, haddock, pollock, etc.) have been reported offshore.

There even have been a few tuna landed by rod and reel.

My weekly reports of where and what people are catching will resume Thursdays in The Portland Press Herald Sports section beginning June 24.

As with the start of every season, the Department of Marine Resources’ Saltwater Recreational Program is swamped with inquiries about the current regulations.

I will be doing this column every other Sunday until the end of September, and I would like to use it to let anglers know what’s up, regulation-wise.

If you have questions, need more information about a specific topic or just want to report a good catch, please feel free to e-mail me at: [email protected]

You can also contact the Saltwater Recreational Program by calling 633-9505 any time, and by following the prompts, you can hear or request paper copies of this year’s regulations.

If you are interested in learning about or participating in some of our other angler programs (Tackle-Busters, Volunteer Angler Logbook Program, Maine State Saltwater Records, etc.) or to check updates on the Federal Registry and State Registry, check us out on the Web at: www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html

Here are the saltwater regulations for 2010: 

STRIPED BASS

Federal regulation: It is unlawful to fish for, take or possess striped bass in federal waters (waters greater than 3 miles from shore).

Statewide regulations: Open season from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, inclusive (except the Kennebec watershed, call or check out our website for specifics).

Bag and size limits: A person may take and possess one fish per day. The fish may be between 20 and 26 inches total length, inclusive, or 40 inches or greater in total length.

Disposition: Personal use only, sale is prohibited. Fish must remain whole and intact.

General gear restrictions:Hook and line only, no gaffing of striped bass. 

ATLANTIC COD

Minimum size 24 inches, 10 fish per person per day. Cannot retain cod from Nov. 1 to April 15, inclusive. 

ATLANTIC MACKEREL

Atlantic mackerel — No minimum size or bag limits. 

ATLANTIC SALMON

It is unlawful to angle, take or possess any Atlantic salmon from all Maine waters. 

BROWN TROUT

Minimum size 14 inches, two fish per angler per day.  

BLUEFISH

No minimum size, three fish per angler per day. 

HADDOCK

Minimum size 18 inches, no bag limit. 

HALIBUT

Minimum size 41 inches. Vessels may land no more than five fish per year. All retained fish shall immediately be tagged with an approved landings tag. FMI: 207-624-6550. 

POLLOCK

Minimum size 19 inches. Exception: a creel limit of six pollock per person per day that are under 19 inches is allowed for recreational fishermen in Maine territorial seas.

REDFISH

Minimum size 9 inches, no bag limits. 

SHAD

No minimum size; using only hook and line a person may fish for or possess only two fish per day. 

TUNA AND SHARKS

An Atlantic HMS Angling permit is required for all vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish. For more information contact the NMFS at 978-281-9260 or visit their website at nmfspermits.com

WINTER FLOUNDER

Minimum size 12 inches, eight fish per angler per day. Cannot retain winter flounder from Oct. 1 to June 30, inclusive. 

WOLFFISH

Vessels fishing in federal waters are prohibited from landing wolffish.

TIDEWATER LICENSE

We have had inquiries about what one needs to take people out fishing for a fee.

In addition to the standard U.S. Coast Guard six-passenger license (which everyone who is taking paying passengers must have) a captain who is charging people, MUST have a Maine Tidewater Guides license.

Those who fail to have one and are checked by the Marine Patrol face a mandatory three day stay in jail, plus a hefty fine! Call me if you have questions.

As always, the sale of fish by recreational anglers is prohibited. Have a great season! 

Bruce Joule is with the Maine Department of Marine Resources in West Boothbay Harbor. If you have information to report or questions, please contact him at 633-9505 or e-mail:

[email protected]