When Ron Cote of West Gardiner called to tell me he’d created an app for Maine’s fishing rules, I knew immediately it would be popular. It wasn’t quite ready for sale, but he said he hoped to make it available in the next couple of months.
Well, now he has, although so far it’s only available for Android phones, for $3.99. Because you download it to your phone, you don’t need internet service to access the information. The app works on your smartphone’s GPS so you’ll know where you are and what the rules are governing that lake or pond.
So far, Ron’s app only covers lakes and ponds – mostly because the rules on streams and rivers are complicated and more difficult to deal with. But someday, he hopes to include those in his app. And he has plans to launch the app through Apple’s App Store for IPhones sometime soon.
Ron originally hoped that Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife would take the app and make it available to all licensed anglers, but the agency turned him down, concerned that the app doesn’t include streams and rivers – a disappointing decision on their part, I think.
In a Kennebec Journal news story by reporter Jessica Lowell, DIF&W’s Mark Latti notes that “The Maine Fishing Rules App certainly has the potential to be a very useful tool for anglers when it comes to planning a fishing trip in Maine.” But he warned, “Anglers need to be aware, however, that the department’s Open Water and Ice Fishing regulation book is the only definitive source of regulation… Anglers should always check the department’s law book before fishing any Maine water.”
Good luck with that! The rule book is very complicated, and incomprehensible to many anglers. So we owe Ron Cote a hearty thank you for trying to help us work through these complicated regulations so we can enjoy a day on the water.
“I want to go out and have a good time,” he told Lowell, “and do everything right.” So do I Ron!