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Lake Champlain Regulations

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Lake Champlain—including all tributaries upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish. Contact Region 5 DEC Regional Office at Ray Brook for barrier locations.


Open Season

Minimum Length

Daily Limit


All year



Lake Trout

All year



Landlocked Salmon

All year



Black Bass

2nd Sat. in June – Nov 30



Dec 1 through the Fri preceding the 2nd Sat in June

Catch and release only

Artificial lures only

Walleye, Sauger

1st Sat. in May – March 15


3 in combination


All year



Northern Pike

All year




All year

Any size



All year



Yellow Perch and Sunfish (except Cumberland Bay)

All year

Any size

Any number

Bullheads, Catfish, Carp, Cisco, Rock Bass, Smelt, Suckers, Whitefish, and all other fish not listed in this table.

All year

Any size

Any number

Lake Sturgeon and Mooneye

Possession Prohibited

Note: Each fishing line may have no more than two baited hooks or artificial lures with or without added natural bait. Ice fishing is legal to take any species during its open season. Fifteen tip-ups and two hand lines may be used for ice fishing from Nov 15 – April 30.

Cumberland Bay, Lake Champlain

Cumberland Bay is defined as those waters of Lake Champlain north and west of a line extending from Cumberland Head Lighthouse to the northern tip of Crab Island, then westerly to the southerly of the two piers at the Oil Terminal known locally as the Copeland Oil Terminal.

Yellow Perch, Sunfish

Statewide angling regulations apply

Additional Lake Champlain tributary regulations

Stream Section


Saranac River from Catherine Street bridge upstream to Imperial Dam. Ausable River beginning at the marked boundary 800 feet west of the first bridge upstream from Lake Champlain, continuing upstream and ending at Rainbow Falls.

Angling from boats prohibited.

Saranac River from Catherine Street bridge upstream to Imperial Dam. Ausable River from D & H railroad bridge upstream to Rainbow Falls. Boquet River from mouth upstream to Wadhams Falls. North Branch Boquet and tributaries from mouth to first upstream barrier.

Note additional sections closed below.

From June 15 through December 31:

Maximum hook gap 1/2 inch. Fishing prohibited from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise. Fishing permitted with unweighted artificial flies or unweighted natural baits only (see definitions). Exception: On the Saranac River, floating lures with one free-swinging hook permitted. No supplement weight, such as metal leaders, sinkers, split shot, twist-ons, or swivels may be attached to line, leader, or hook.

North Branch Boquet River and tributaries to first barrier; Mill Brook (in Port Henry) from mouth to falls west of Route 22, Ausable Boat Basin pool at mouth
of Ausable Chasm as posted on site.

Fishing prohibited from October 1 through December 31 to protect spawning salmon.

Boquet River from marked boundary below Willsboro Dam upstream to Route 22 in Willsboro.

Fishing prohibited to protect migrating landlocked salmon.

Chazy River from Route 9B at Coopersville upstream to Perrys Mills Dam.

Fishing prohibited March 16 through the opening of walleye season in May to protect spawning walleye

Scomotion Creek from mouth upstream to Pardy Road

Snatching and blind snatching of burbot permitted from

December 1 – March 31.

Growing interest in the lake’s bass fishery has resulted in a project to assess bass dispersal following release from tournaments held in Plattsburgh, NY. Scientists from the Lake Champlain Research Institute at SUNY Plattsburgh are tagging bass during 2011 and 2012 tournaments with external plastic tags and internal radio transmitters. Researchers will be tracking tagged bass in the lake to assess fish movement patterns. Anglers who recover tagged fish are encouraged to send an e-mail to the address on the tag, and indicate the date, tag number, and approximate location of recovery (i.e. Main lake, Missisquoi Bay, Northeast Arm, etc.). Please release any tagged fish back to the lake if possible. Questions about the study may be directed to Mark Malchoff (; 518-564-3037).


2010 Lake Champlain.tifAttention Lake Champlain Anglers

Lake Champlain Reciprocal Agreement:

Anglers with either a New York or Vermont fishing license may fish in the “Main Lake” and “South Lake” portions of Lake Champlain between New York and Vermont. South Bay in New York, and the Inland Sea, Mallett’s Bay and Missisquoi Bay (including the area between North and South Hero Island commonly referred to as “The Gut”) in Vermont are not included in the agreement. Anglers fishing on these waters must have a fishing license from the state in which the waterway is located. In addition, rivers that flow into Lake Champlain are excluded from the reciprocal agreement.



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