ICE FISHING

Emergency law extends season in northern Maine

Gov. Paul Lepage signed emergency legislation Thursday to extend the ice fishing season in northern Maine.

Because of unusually cold weather in northern Maine, the governor extended the season until April 16.

Lakes and ponds in southern Maine already are open year-round to both ice fishing and open-water fishing, except where closed by special rule.

But in northern Maine an April 1 opening date for the open-water season normally marks the end to ice fishing.

This emergency law allows for ice fishing statewide for just this year. Extending the ice fishing season in northern Maine will provide anglers throughout the state similar ice fishing opportunities to those in southern Maine,” LePage said.

“Not only will this provide for more recreational opportunities for anglers, but also continued economic opportunity for many small businesses that support fishing.”

Ice conditions can change rapidly during the spring and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife cautions ice fishermen to take care on all waters.

IFW Commissioner Chandler Woodcock said the department was going to work toward changing the current law so that future commissioners could extend the ice fishing season at the end of very cold winters if needed.

TENNIS

MIAMI OPEN: Fourth-seeded Roger Federer fought off two match points in a third-set tiebreaker and beat the 10th-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (6) in the quarterfinals – avenging a third-set tiebreak loss to Berdych at Key Biscayne seven years ago.

Federer improved to 17-1 this year and faces No. 12 Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals. Kyrgios beat 16th-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-7 (9), 6-3.

Caroline Wozniacki made the women’s final for the first time in 10 tries by topping second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 11 Venus Williams and No. 10 Johanna Konta were to play for the other spot in the final late Thursday night.

FOOTBALL

NFL: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is recovering from surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder Thursday.

The team has said it expects that the 2015 NFL MVP will be ready for training camp.

 Former San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson has rejoined the Chargers as a special assistant to the owner.

SOCCER

WORLD CUP: FIFA wants to stage a new six-team playoff round in the World Cup host country for two places ahead of a 48-team tournament.

The final slots would be decided in a tournament staged as a test event in the November before the World Cup.

The idea comes as part of FIFA’s proposal to award each continent extra places for an expanded World Cup, starting in 2026, bringing Europe to 16, Africa to nine, Asia to eight, South America to six, North America to six and Oceania to one.

FIGURE SKATING

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Javier Fernandez took the lead in the men’s event at Helsinki, skating an immaculate short program to the tune of “Malaguena.”

Fernandez landed a quadruple toeloop-triple toeloop combination, plus a quad salchow, for 109.05 points – within two points of Yuzuru Hanyu’s world record.

Japanese skater Shoma Uno was second with 104.86 points, with three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada in third with 102.13.