General Requirements, Definitions, & Prohibitions
Vermont Freshwater Fishing
Anyone fishing, in possession of, or transporting fish taken in Vermont waters or the Vermont/New Hampshire waters of the Connecticut River must be properly licensed and must carry the license on his/her person. The license must be shown on demand of a state game warden or other enforcement officer, or at the request of the owner of the land on which he/she is fishing.
See Table 4 for specific Connecticut River fishing license requirements.
Shooting by Bow and Arrow or
Spear Gun or Spearing
A person is required to hold a hunting or combination license to take fish by hand-held spear, spear gun, or shooting. A person is required to hold a fishing or combination license to take fish by bow or crossbow.
A person who takes a fish by hand-held spear, spear gun, bow or crossbow with line attached to arrow, in accordance with 10 V.S.A. App § 122, shall keep the fish in his or her possession until the fish is permanently removed from waters of the state and used or disposed of properly.
Hand-Held Spear: A manually powered spear used from above the water’s surface.
Spear Gun: A pneumatic or rubber band–powered device, with a line not to exceed 20 feet attached to a spear, used from below the water’s surface. Spear guns shall be loaded and discharged only beneath the surface of the water and shall be used while snorkeling/free diving only. Spearing while scuba diving is not permitted.
Lake Champlain Reciprocal Fishing
A person holding a New York fishing license may take fish from the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain only as far east as a line starting on the north shore of the Poultney River where it empties into East Bay, proceeding generally northerly along the shore to the old Rutland Railroad fill on Colchester Point, then following the western side of the old Rutland Railroad fill to Allen Point on Grand Isle, continuing northerly following the western shore of Grand Isle to Tromp Point, then across The Gut to Bow and Arrow Point, then continuing generally northerly along the western shore of North Hero to Pelots Point, then across the Alburgh passage to the Point of the Tongue, and then along the western shore of the Alburgh peninsula to the United States border with Canada.
When this line crosses a tributary to Lake Champlain, the line shall proceed from the downstream most point of land on one side of the tributary to the downstream most point of land on the other side of the tributary.
Holders of Vermont fishing licenses may fish Lake Champlain west of the Vermont/New York border to the New York shore. They may not fish in South Bay or New York tributaries to Lake Champlain. See map.
NOTE: Some fishing season dates, length limits, daily creel limits, and other regulations are different in New York and Vermont. When fishing in Vermont, anglers must observe Vermont regulations. When fishing in New York, anglers must follow the regulations that apply in New York. Be sure to obtain copies of each state’s fishing regulations.
Any person engaged in the take or attempted take of fish, by any method.
Fishing by means of hook and line in hand or attached to a rod or other device in open water, or fishing by casting or trolling baited hooks, artificial flies, or lures is considered open-water fishing. A person may take fish only by using not more than two lines of which he or she has immediate control. Each line may not have more than two baited hooks or three artificial flies or two lures with or without bait.
Ice fishing is fishing by means of hook and line in hand or attached to a rod, tip-up, jack, or bob, where the angler is fishing through a hole in the ice, from the ice, or on an object supported by the ice. Fishing by casting or trolling baited hooks, artificial flies, or lures shall not be considered ice fishing. A person may take fish only by using not more than eight lines, except on Lake Champlain where no more than fifteen lines may be used. He or she must have immediate control over all lines. Each line may not have more than two baited hooks or three artificial flies or two lures with or without bait. Six lines are allowed on the Connecticut River.
Catch and Release
Catch and release is open-water fishing as explained elsewhere, except that fish must be released immediately where caught.
Baited Hook: A single shank hook with one, two, or three points that may be baited with natural or artificial bait or both.
Downrigger: A device used to deliver fishing lines to a desired depth, and when so used, not considered a fishing line.
Fly: A single pointed hook, dressed with feathers, hair, thread, tinsel, or any similar material wound on or about the hook to which no hooks, spinners, spoons, or similar devices have been added.
Lure: A man-made device designed to catch only one fish at a time, to include a spoon, plug, spinner, bait harness, tandem-hook streamer, or lead head jig.
Planer Board: A device used to deliver fishing lines to a desired location, and when so used, not considered a fishing line.
Seasons and Hours
It is illegal to take fish of a species unless the season for that species is open on those waters.
It is illegal to fish when no season is open in those waters, or if those waters are posted as closed by regulations of the Fish & Wildlife commissioner or board.
The legal fishing day is the 24-hour period beginning at 12:00 midnight and continuing until the next 12:00 midnight. During the open season, fish may be taken at any hour of the legal fishing day, except where a shorter legal fishing day is specified in the General Fishing Regulations and Exceptions, or where posted otherwise.
Free Fishing Days
Vermont has two Free Fishing Days during which anyone, resident or nonresident, may fish without a license. Vermont’s summer free fishing day occurs each year on the second Saturday in June. Vermont’s winter free fishing day occurs each year on the last Saturday in January. All legal fishing methods and limits still apply.
The daily limit refers to the number of fish legal to keep during the legal fishing day.
The possession limit is the number of fish caught on more than one legal fishing day that an angler or ice fisherman may have in his/her possession; equal to double the daily limit.
Carp, tench, rudd, shad (alewife and gizzard shad), and goldfish are considered to be “cull fish.” Additional invasive/exotic fish species may be designated by the commissioner as “cull fish.”
A person fishing by open-water fishing must have immediate control over his or her lines. Immediate control refers to such constant control as would enable an angler to respond without delay to a fish taking his or her bait, lure, or fly.
A person ice fishing shall, at all times, have immediate control over all lines they operate. A person ice fishing shall be able to visually observe lines they operate. Any line that indicates a fish shall be tended within 30 minutes.
Fish Length Restrictions and Filleting Fish
Fish with a length restriction may be filleted or consumed on the water so long as the head, vertebrae, and tail are retained intact to enable determination of fish length. The length of a fish is considered the longest straight line and flat distance from the tip of the fish’s snout to the tip of the longer lobe of its tail when the two lobes are forced together.
Foul hooking (PROHIBITED) is hooking a fish in any other part of the body than the mouth with a hook or hooks, or manipulating hooks to hook a fish in a body part other than the mouth. A person fishing by open-water fishing or ice fishing shall not take any fish unless it is hooked in the mouth. Any fish not hooked in the mouth shall be immediately released without unnecessary injury.
Taking or attempting to take fish by snagging is prohibited in all Vermont waters. Snagging shall mean the intentional hooking of a fish in a place other than the inside of the fish’s mouth. No person shall pull, jerk, or otherwise purposefully and/or repeatedly manipulate a hook, or hooks and line, to snag or hook a fish in any method other than to entice a fish into taking, by mouth, a hook, lure, or fly. Repeated and/or exaggerated jerking or pulling of the fishing line and/or hooks in any attempt to snag fish, whether it results in physically snagging a fish or not, shall be prima-facie evidence that snagging has taken place. This shall not apply to the use of a gaff to land a fish that has been legally hooked.
Baitfish Use and Restrictions
Personal Baitfish Harvest
Personally harvested baitfish may be used only on the same waterbody from which they were collected.
A “waterbody” is defined to include all tributaries of lakes and ponds up to the first barrier impassable by fish. For rivers and streams, it includes all tributaries to that river or stream up to the first barrier impassable by fish. Anglers can freely move up and down connecting streams and rivers to fish with live bait, provided they don’t pass a barrier (dam or waterfall for example).
A person may only harvest the following fish species for use as bait:
- Eastern silvery minnow
- Fathead minnow
- Bluntnose minnow
- Emerald shiner
- Golden shiner
- Spottail shiner
- Common shiner
- Mimic shiner
- Creek chub
- Blacknose dace
- Longnose dace
- Northern redbelly dace
- White sucker
- Longnose sucker
- Banded killifish
- Bluegill, pumpkinseed, rock bass, and yellow perch (may only be taken by open-water fishing or ice fishing, may not be transported alive from waters where caught)
- Rainbow smelt (may only be taken by open-water fishing or ice fishing, may not be transported alive from waters where caught, may be sold as bait for use on waterbody where caught)
On Lake Champlain, bluegill, pumpkinseed, rock bass, yellow perch, alewife, and white perch may only be taken by open-water fishing or ice fishing, may not be transported alive, may only be used for bait on Lake Champlain, and (except for rainbow smelt) may not be commercially harvested or sold as bait. Alewife may only be used or possessed if dead.
Except in Seasonally Closed Waters, baitfish may be taken for personal use by the following methods: a) minnow traps no longer than 18 inches with an entrance not exceeding 1 inch in diameter; b) dip nets, cast nets, and umbrella nets not exceeding a total of 51 square feet of mesh, or a seine net not exceeding 25 feet in length; c) open-water fishing/ice fishing by hook and line.
The personal harvest of baitfish is only allowed in Seasonally Closed Waters, between the second Saturday in April through Oct. 31, during open season for trout, and then only by open-water fishing or the use of minnow traps no longer than 18 inches with an entrance not exceeding 1 inch in diameter. Most lakes, ponds, and streams that follow Table 1 and Table 5 rules are Seasonally Closed Waters.
All traps, nets, baitboxes, or other holding receptacles capable of taking, holding, or keeping live baitfish in public waters must be marked with the name and address of the owner and user, unless the owner is present.
Personally harvested baitfish shall not be transported by motorized vehicle away from the waterbody from which they were collected.
Anglers may hold baitfish indefinitely on the water in a pen or baitbox not exceeding 25 cubic feet in volume.
Anglers must discard unwanted baitfish dead in the water or on the ice.
Anglers may harvest baitfish from a waterbody’s tributaries upstream to the first impassable barrier for use on the same waterbody. Anglers may not transport baitfish upstream beyond the first impassable barrier.
The personal harvest of baitfish is prohibited on any waterbody of the state that is defined as closed to baitfish harvest. The department will maintain and make available a list of closed waters.
Fish eggs may be collected from legally harvested fish from Vermont waters, and used immediately as bait on the same water where taken unless that waterbody has been closed to baitfish collection. It is illegal to move personally harvested fish eggs to any other waterbody. It is illegal to transport fish eggs away from and return them to the same waterbody for use as bait unless they have been processed in a manner approved by the department.
For more information, go to www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Commercially Purchased Baitfish
Anglers may not import baitfish into the state of Vermont without a Fish Importation Permit, except as described below for baitfish purchased in New York and New Hampshire.
A person purchasing baitfish shall retain and show upon request a transportation receipt issued by a state-approved commercial bait dealer, authorizing transportation of baitfish overland by motorized vehicle. The receipt shall contain the following information: 1) a unique receipt identification number, 2) the name and telephone number of the bait dealer, 3) time and date of sale, 4) species purchased, 5) quantity purchased, 6) waterbody (limited to one) on which the baitfish will be used, 7) signature of purchaser.
A transportation receipt shall be valid for 96 hours from time and date of sale.
Anglers may purchase baitfish from a New York bait shop for use on Lake Champlain only, provided the bait shop is Vermont licensed and the baitfish are accompanied by a Vermont-issued baitfish transportation receipt.
Anglers may purchase baitfish from a New Hampshire bait shop for use on the Connecticut River and its setbacks only, provided the bait shop is Vermont licensed and the baitfish are accompanied by a Vermont-issued baitfish transportation receipt. For the purposes of this paragraph, the Connecticut River is defined as all waters of the river, including the bays, setbacks, and tributaries, only to the first highway bridge crossing said tributaries on the Vermont side.
A person may transport unused commercially purchased baitfish away from waters of the state by motorized vehicle and retain for later use on the same waterbody as indicated on the baitfish transportation receipt, within 96 hours from time and date of sale. A person transporting unused commercially purchased baitfish away from the waterbody indicated on the baitfish transportation receipt for later use on said waterbody shall not hold them in any other water of the state. These baitfish must be kept in a closed container isolated from any inflow of lake, pond, or stream water, or outflow to such waters of the state.
Baitfish may be held beyond the 96-hour period on the water in a pen or baitbox 25 cubic feet or less in volume.
Commercially prepared and preserved baitfish and fish eggs available from retail stores may be purchased and used as bait, and may be taken home and kept for later use, provided they are retained in the original packaging at all times.
Commercial Bait Dealers
Any person who buys baitfish for resale or sells baitfish is required to obtain a Commercial Bait Dealers Permit from the commissioner. Only persons operating a place of business and offering baitfish for sale to the public may apply for and hold a Commercial Bait Dealers Permit.
Commercial bait dealers may sell the following as bait: eastern silvery minnow, fathead minnow, bluntnose minnow, emerald shiner, golden shiner, spottail shiner, common shiner, mimic shiner, creek chub, fallfish, blacknose dace, longnose dace, northern redbelly dace, white sucker, longnose sucker, and banded killifish. Commercial bait dealers may also sell rainbow smelt as bait, provided they are obtained from a fish hatchery approved by the commissioner or harvested and sold for use on the same waterbody on which the bait dealer is located as per below.
Commercial bait dealers must declare in their permit application if they will be a statewide baitfish dealer or a waterbody-specific baitfish dealer.
Statewide baitfish dealers are prohibited from possessing, buying, or selling wild-caught baitfish.
- Baitfish sold by statewide baitfish dealers must originate from a fish hatchery approved by the commissioner.
- Statewide baitfish dealers must hold or keep baitfish in waters drawn from a secure well, municipal water source, or other water source approved by the Fish & Wildlife Department.
- Baitfish sold by statewide baitfish dealers may be used in waters throughout the state, except those waters listed as closed to baitfish use.
Waterbody-specific baitfish dealers must declare on their permit application the waterbody on which they are located.
- Waterbody-specific baitfish dealers may harvest wild baitfish only from the declared waterbody and offer them for sale and use only on the declared waterbody.
- Waterbody-specific baitfish dealers must have baitfish holding facilities that discharge directly to their declared waterbody. Holding facilities must not discharge to other waters of the state.
- Waterbody-specific baitfish dealers shall not operate dip nets, cast nets, or umbrella nets exceeding 51 square feet of mesh, or a seine net exceeding 125 feet in length, for the purposes of taking fish for bait, unless otherwise provided for on a Commercial Bait Dealers Permit. Baitfish netting is prohibited in all seasonally closed waters, unless otherwise provided for on a Commercial Bait Dealers Permit.
All traps, nets, baitboxes, or other holding receptacles capable of taking, holding, or keeping live baitfish in public waters must be marked with the name and address of the owner and user.
The commercial harvest of baitfish is prohibited on any waterbody of the state that is defined as closed to baitfish harvest. The department will maintain and make available a list of closed waters.
A commercial bait dealer shall provide to each customer at the point of sale a copy of a transportation receipt containing the following information: 1) a unique receipt identification number, 2) the name and telephone number of the bait dealer, 3) time and date of sale, 4) species purchased, 5) quantity purchased, 6) waterbody (limited to one) on which the baitfish will be used, 7) signature of purchaser.
A transportation receipt shall be valid for 96 hours from time and date of sale.
A commercial bait dealer must keep receipts or records for each lot of wholesaled hatchery-raised or wild-caught baitfish introduced into their shop. Records must include name, address, and telephone number of seller (for wholesaled baitfish), and date received, species identification, and quantity purchased or harvested for wholesaled and wild-caught baitfish. The permit holder shall retain the receipts and records for at least one year after the date of sale or harvest. Receipts or records must be provided to the department immediately upon request.
A person shall not introduce fish into any public waters without a permit from the Fish & Wildlife Department.
Note: New requirements for persons stocking fish into private ponds and public waters took effect in early 2018. Permit requirements will also change. Please consult the Fish & Wildlife Department website www.vtfishandwildlife.com for the most current information.
Fish Importation and Use of Imported Commercially Prepared Baitfish and Fish Eggs
It is unlawful for any person to bring into the state any fish that will be introduced into any waters of the state without an importation permit from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
These importation permits also require that the fish come from a fish hatchery approved by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
Before being imported into Vermont, dead baitfish or fish eggs must be commercially processed in a manner that allows the product to be stored without refrigeration or freezing to maintain the unopened product. Imported dead baitfish or fish eggs must be retained in the original package at all times during importation and transportation.
The importation and possession of dead fish for personal consumption or taxidermy purposes is exempt from this regulation provided any associated waste products are disposed of to guard against the introduction of fish diseases to state waters. Acceptable disposal methods include
- Placement of all fish waste products in an approved state landfill;
- Incineration of all fish waste products;
- Burial of fish on private land only, no less than one hundred feet from any public water.
For more information, go to www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
Fishing tournaments are contests in which anglers or ice fishermen pay a fee to enter and in which the entrants compete for a prize based on the quality, size, or number of fish they catch. In order for a person or organization to hold a fishing tournament on the waters of Vermont, a permit must first be obtained from the Fish & Wildlife Department in Essex Junction [call (802) 878-1564]. Where appropriate, a fishing tournament permit will contain a provision for live transport of fish by participants during the tournament. An angler may not enter a fish that was caught and confined to an enclosed area prior to the beginning of the tournament.
A fishing house is a fishing shanty, bob house, smelt shanty, tent, or other structure designed to be placed on the ice of the waters of Vermont for fishing or to be occupied for other purposes. These houses must have the name and address of the owner permanently and legibly affixed in waterproof paint or rustproof tag in a clearly visible place near the entrance outside of the shanty.
Tents or portable shelters are considered to be fishing houses if used for ice fishing and must be labeled with the name and address of the owner.
A fishing house shall not be placed on the ice before November 20, and it shall be removed with its contents and any surrounding debris before the ice becomes unsafe or loses its ability to support the fishing house out of the water, or before the last Sunday in March, whichever comes first.
Possession of Live Fish
No person shall have live fish in their possession that are transported in a manner that attempts to keep them alive when leaving waters of the state [10 V.S.A. Sect. 1251 (13)] except as follows:
- The person has been issued a scientific collection permit by the commissioner;
- The person has been issued a fish transportation permit by the commissioner;
- The person has been issued a breeder/s permit or fish importation permit by the commissioner.
Aquatic Nuisance Species
It is illegal to possess or transport an aquatic plant or aquatic plant part, zebra mussels, quagga mussels, rusty crayfish, Asian clam, spiny water flea, fishhook water flea, or other aquatic nuisance species to or from any Vermont waters on a vehicle, boat, personal watercraft, trailer, or other equipment.
Obstruction to Fish Passage
People are prohibited from preventing the passing of fish in any stream or outlet or inlet of a natural or artificial pond on any public stream, by means of a rack, screen, weir, or other obstruction, unless authorized by the commissioner of Fish & Wildlife.
State-Controlled Fishing Access Areas
Commercial Activity is any activity or service that produces income to any entity or individual.
Nonprofit Charitable Organization means an entity organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Picnicking includes, but is not limited to, any activity that involves cooking, grilling, food preparation, and setup associated with eating (including setting blankets or tablecloths laid on the ground).
Camping includes any activity using a tent, camper, or motor home, or any activity involving preparation of an area for sleeping or any overnight sleeping.
Group Use is use actually or potentially involving 10 or more people or two or more vehicles at a time.
Parking is the leaving of motor vehicles or trailers unattended in an access area.
Motor Vehicles are all vehicles propelled or drawn by power other than muscle power.
Vessel means motorboats, boats, kayaks, canoes, and sailboats.
In order of priority:
- Open-water fishing, ice fishing, and the launching of any vessel to be used for fishing and parking of vehicles and trailers necessary for and contemporaneous with these purposes.
- The launching of inboard and outboard motorboats engaging in any activity, and parking of vehicles and trailers necessary for and contemporaneous with that purpose.
- Trapping, hunting, and parking of vehicles and boat trailers necessary for and contemporaneous with that purpose.
- Launching of all nonmotorized vessels not used for commercial purposes, and parking of vehicles and boat trailers necessary for and contemporaneous with that purpose. Users shall launch from the designated nonmotorized launch site when such a site is identified.
- ATVs and snowmobiles when being used solely for the purposes of ice fishing.
- Permitted special uses.
- Discarding of bottles, glass, cans, paper, junk, litter, food, or any other garbage or trash.
- Discarding of dead fish, wildlife, or portions thereof.
- Washing or cleaning of vehicles and equipment other than for the purpose of removing aquatic plants and organisms.
- Washing or cleaning of fish or wildlife.
- Making or maintaining fire of any kind.
- Water skiing.
- Use of snowmobiles and ATVs, except for those being utilized solely for the purpose of ice fishing.
- Parking of vehicles and or trailers while the vehicle owner or user is not present at the access area or on the adjacent public waters except as otherwise permitted by the commissioner.
- Storage of vehicles and or trailers or placing of vehicles or trailers for sale.
- Withdrawal of water except as authorized under Authorized Users listed below.
- Parking in excess of 72 consecutive hours except that the commissioner may issue permits for longer parking when the commissioner determines that there will be no adverse impact on authorized uses found in Authorized Activities.
- Commercial activity except as authorized by Limited Commercial Activity described below.
- Activity that interferes with a priority use, such as, but not limited to, the mooring or beaching of boats, using the ramp to rig a boat or boats thus obstructing use of the ramp, and the storing of boats or trailers at an access area.
- Group use not specifically authorized by the commissioner.
- Launching and recovery of sailboards, rafts, snow kites, and the parking of vehicles and trailers supporting these activities.
- All other activity that is not specifically permitted by this rule, unless specifically authorized by the commissioner.
- Any person who is engaged in any authorized activity.
- Any group that has received approval for group use in accordance with this rule.
- Fire departments that have executed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the commissioner for the installation and use of a dry hydrant. And then, only in accordance with their MOA. Fire departments may also use access areas without dry hydrants as emergency water sources to fight fires and will notify the local warden as soon as practicably possible.
- Individuals participating in a fishing tournament permitted under 10 V.S.A. §4613.
Limited Commercial Activity
Commercial activity at fishing access areas is limited to entities and persons taking part in activities authorized by Authorized Activities 1, 2, and 3.
The commissioner may authorize special permits for entities or persons to use an access area for group use when the commissioner determines that there will be no adverse impact on authorized priority uses.
The commissioner may authorize the use of access areas by an educational institution or a nonprofit charitable organization conducting a fundraising event of limited duration, provided that the event will not conflict with a priority use of the access area.
Special permits shall not be issued and may be revoked immediately for activities that substantially interfere with authorized uses.
Permit fees shall be in accordance with the schedule of fees established under 10 V.S.A. §4132(e).
The maximum speed on access areas shall be 15 miles per hour.
A person shall not leave trash on the ice, in the water, or on the shore or stream bank.
It is illegal to sell, offer for sale, or use a lead sinker in Vermont. “Sinker” means any device that weighs one-half ounce or less and is attached to a fishing line for the purpose of sinking the line, and does not include other lead fishing-related items such as weighted fly line, lead-core fishing line, downrigger cannonballs, weighted flies, lures, spoons, or jig heads.
Streams Open to Year-Round Trout Fishing
The sections of streams listed are open to trout fishing year-round, according to the following rules:
Only artificial flies or lures may be used, except during the open season for trout (second Saturday in April through Oct. 31).
Catch and release only (trout must be immediately released where caught), except during the open season for trout.
During open season for trout, follow normal size restrictions, daily limits, and possession limits.
- Black River From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the Howard Hill Road bridge in Cavendish.
- Deerfield River From the Woods Road (Medburyville) bridge in Wilmington upstream approximately 2 miles to the VT Route 9W bridge in Searsburg.
- East Creek (Rutland City) From the confluence with Otter Creek upstream (approximately 2.7 miles) to the top of the Patch Dam in Rutland City.
- Hoosic River From the Vermont/New York border upstream to the Vermont/Massachusetts border.
- Lamoille River From the Lake Champlain boundary (top of Peterson Dam in Milton) upstream to the top of the Cadys Falls Dam in Morristown.
- Lewis Creek From the Lake Champlain boundary upstream to the State Prison Hollow Road (TH#3) bridge in Starksboro.
- Missisquoi River From the top of the Swanton Dam in Swanton to the top of the Enosburg Falls Dam in Enosburg Falls.
- Moose River From the confluence with Passumpsic River upstream to the downstream edge of the Concord Avenue bridge in St. Johnsbury.
- Ompompanoosuc River From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the Union Village Dam in Thetford.
- Otter Creek From the Lake Champlain boundary upstream to the Danby-Mt. Tabor Forest Road bridge (Forest Road #10) in Mt. Tabor.
- Passumpsic River From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the top of Arnolds Falls Dam in St. Johnsbury.
- Waits River From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the top of the Central Vermont Power Dam (Green Mountain Power Dam) in Bradford.
- Walloomsac River From the Vermont/New York border in Bennington upstream to the top of the former Vermont Tissue Plant Dam (downstream of Murphy Road) in Bennington.
- West River From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the Townshend Dam in Townshend.
- White River From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the bridge on Route 107 in Bethel.
- Williams River From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the top of the dam at Brockway Mills Falls in Rockingham.
- Winooski River From the Lake Champlain boundary upstream to the VT Route 2/100 in Duxbury and Waterbury.
NOTE: Check specific stream sections in “Index of Rivers and Streams” for other regulations.
Ice Fishing for Trout, Salmon, and Bass
Ice fishing for trout, salmon, and bass is allowed on the following lakes from the third Saturday in January to March 15. Length limits and daily limits are found in the Indexes and Tables.
- Big Averill Lake, Norton and Averill
- Big Salem Lake, Derby
- Caspian Lake, Greensboro
- Chittenden Reservoir, Chittenden
- Crystal Lake, Barton
- Echo Lake, Charleston
- Echo Lake, Plymouth
- Eden Lake, Eden
- Elligo Lake, Craftsbury and Greensboro
- Glen Lake, Castleton, Fair Haven, and Benson
- Harriman Reservoir, Whitingham and Wilmington
- Harveys Lake, Barnet
- Island Pond, Brighton
- Joes Pond, Cabot and Danville
- Lake Bomoseen, Castleton and Hubbardton
- Lake Dunmore, Leicester and Salisbury
- Lake Fairlee, Thetford, West Fairlee, Fairlee
- Lake Hortonia, Sudbury and Hubbardton
- Lake Memphremagog (including South Bay), Coventry, Derby, Newport City, and Newport
- Lake Morey, Fairlee
- Lake Rescue, Ludlow
- Lake St. Catherine, Wells and Poultney
- Little Averill Lake, Averill
- Little Salem Lake, Derby
- Maidstone Lake, Maidstone
- Marshfield Reservoir (Mollys Falls Reservoir), Cabot
- Miles Pond, Concord
- Nelson Pond (Forest Lake), Calais and Woodbury
- Newark Pond, Newark
- Norton Pond, Norton
- Parker Pond, Glover
- Peacham Pond, Peacham
- Pensioner Pond, Charleston
- Seymour Lake, Morgan
- Shadow Lake, Glover
- Somerset Reservoir, Somerset
- Sunset Lake, Benson
- Wallace Pond, Canaan
- Waterbury Reservoir, Waterbury
- Willoughby Lake, Westmore
- Woodbury Lake (Sabin Pond), Calais and Woodbury
Lake Champlain Waters
Lake Champlain includes setbacks at the same level and major tributaries to the lake to the following boundaries:
- Dead Creek to Panton Road bridge in Panton
- East Creek to the falls in Orwell (downstream of Mount Independence Road)
- Lamoille River to the top of first dam (Peterson Dam) in Milton
- LaPlatte River to the falls in Shelburne (under Falls Road bridge)
- Lewis Creek to the falls in North Ferrisburgh (just upstream of Old Hollow Road)
- Little Otter Creek to the falls in Ferrisburgh Center (downstream of Little Chicago Road)
- Malletts Creek to the first falls upstream of Roosevelt Highway (U.S. Route 2 and U.S. Route 7) in Colchester
- Mill River in Georgia to the falls in Georgia (just upstream of Georgia Shore Road bridge)
- Missisquoi River to the top of Swanton Dam in the village of Swanton
- Mud Creek to the dam in Alburgh (just upstream of Route 78 bridge)
- Otter Creek to the top of the dam in the city of Vergennes
- Poultney River to Central Vermont Power (Green Mountain Power Dam) at Carver Falls in West Haven
- Rock River to first Canadian border crossing
- Winooski River to the Winooski One hydropower dam west of Main Street (U.S. Route 7) in Winooski and Burlington
Step By Step Felt-Sole Wader Ban Repealed
Reminder: In 2016, Vermont repealed the law prohibiting use of felt-sole waders and boots; they are legal to use.
The original ban began in 2011 in response to nuisance blooms of the algae Didymosphenia geminata, also known as Didymo or rock snot. At the time, Didymo was thought to be an invasive species, and it was believed that the felt soles of waders would trap the microscopic algal spores and spread them to new waters when the waders were used elsewhere.
Recent scientific studies have since documented that Didymo is actually native in Vermont and across much of the northern region of North America, and as a result, the ban was lifted.
While the felt-sole wader ban was repealed, it does not mean that aquatic invasive species spread prevention is not a priority in Vermont.
The state of Vermont upholds its focus on maintaining healthy lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, and asks outdoor recreationists to also do their part to prevent the spread of aquatic species. Clean. Drain. Dry.