Messalonskee Lake’s cool, deep water has historically supported a healthy and diverse coldwater fishery. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reports 21 species of fish in Messalonskee Lake including coldwater fish. A decline in available oxygen in the deep water areas of the lake and an increase in predatory fish including northern pike (Esox lucius), white perch (Morne americana), and chain pickerel (Esox niger), which are not all native to Messalonskee Lake, along with a lack of a good forage base for salmon, has resulted in a decline in the salmon fishery over several decades. The healthy bass population has increased public interest in fishing tournaments including an Elite Kayak Fishing Tournament as well as locally organized fishing derbys.

Men fishing from boat
Man holding fish he caught

Fishing Licenses​

​It is required by law to obtain a fishing license before fishing in inland waters. Maine residents under 16 years old, and nonresidents under 12 may fish without a license Annual individual resident fishing licenses sell for $25. ​Licenses help support the protection, preservation, and the sport of fishing. Fees help pay for fishery and hatching management, habitat development and protection, endangered species program, fishing and conservation education, and other valuable programs. For complete pricing and more information, go to:


Free Fishing Days 

Free fishing days usually take place in mid February and early June. On these days, residents, nonresidents, and aliens (except those whose license has been suspended or revoked) may fish without a license. All other laws and regulations apply on these days. Look up the specifics for this year on the Maine Inland Fisheries website at: