Fishing in Vermont

Fishing in Vermont

Lakes, ponds, rivers and brooks are home to more than 20 popular species of game and panfish that offer fishing for anglers of all types and experience levels.

Vermont has long been famous for its “cold-water” fishing. Innumerable icy rivulets seep down off the Northeast Highlands and Green and Taconic mountains, feeding hundreds of streams, lakes, and ponds. These waters, along with the state’s deeper lakes, whose depths never warm, are home to native brook trout, lake trout, rainbow smelt and landlocked salmon, as well as introduced rainbow, steelhead and brown trout. Lakes Seymour, Willoughby, and Caspian, among others, are renowned for their trout and salmon fishing, while rivers such as the Mettawee, White, Dog, and Upper Connecticut deserve to be included among America’s great trout streams. The American Museum of Fly Fishing makes its home in Manchester on the banks of the fabled Battenkill, where its brook and brown trout have been challenging anglers for more than 200 years.

Vermont also has excellent “warm-water” fishing. Encompassing parts of both the Great Lakes and Atlantic Seaboard ecosystems, it is home to a diverse array of species, which tolerate warmer water temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen levels than trout and salmon. This includes largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, chain pickerel, shad, yellow perch, white perch, black crappie, rock bass, sunfish and bullhead, as well as unusual species; bowfin, sheepshead, burbot, cisco, whitefish, and channel catfish.

Bass fishing is superb. There is fabulous bassing in lakes St. Catherine, Bomoseen, Morey and Hortonia, among others. Northern pike provide an excellent fishery, and are distributed in numerous ponds.

Many waters offer the best of both worlds that support both cold-water and warm-water species, with trout and salmon occupying the deeper, colder reaches, and bass and pike the shallower, warmer bays and flats. Harriman Reservoir and lakes Champlain, Bomoseen and Memphremagog are the four largest examples of such mixed-bag fisheries.

For information on fishing and licensing, contact: Vermont fish & Wildlife Department, 103 South Main Street, 10 South, Waterbury, VT 05671. Tel: 802-241-3700 Fax: 802-241-3295 VT Fish & Wildlife

Reprinted courtesy of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce