Personal Harvest of Wild Baitfish
Vermont Freshwater Fishing
Under the previous baitfish regulations, anglers were not able to harvest and use their own wild caught baitfish anywhere other than where is was caught. Under the new baitfish rules, any person who wants to use, sell, or transport personally harvested wild baitfish beyond the waterbody in which they were harvested must have a wild baitfish endorsement on their fishing/combination license. To obtain this endorsement, anglers must successfully complete a wild baitfish certification course. The course instructs anglers wanting to use wild harvested baitfish not only the legal requirements of personally harvesting baitfish but also the risks associated with moving baitfish and the potential to spread fish diseases and aquatic invasive species.
The wild baitfish endorsement course educates anglers on risks associated with the movement and use of baitfish. Moving wild caught baitfish increases the risk of spreading fish diseases and aquatic invasive species that can cause large scale fish die-off’s or alter our native food web. This can negatively affect the state’s fisheries and impact Vermont’s fishing economy and public welfare. When an angler catches and transports personally harvested wild baitfish to another waterbody, they must accept increased personal responsibility in slowing the spread of fish disease and aquatic invasive species by taking proper precautions. The wild baitfish endorsement is a means of educating anglers who want to catch and use personally harvested baitfish on the potential risks of moving baitfish to reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species and fish diseases.
In short here’s what you need to do to get a wild baitfish endorsement so you can catch and use your own wild baitfish.
- Go to to review the wild baitfish certification course materials and learn the rules and regulations regarding harvesting and moving personally harvested wild baitfish.
- Successfully complete the wild baitfish certification quiz to be eligible to receive a
wild baitfish endorsement.
- Once you’ve successfully completed
the certification, go online to
your fishing or combination license to
include your wild baitfish endorsement.
This endorsement is a free add-on that you must have on your license.
- You’re now ready to personally harvest and use wild baitfish! Be sure to have your fishing or combination license with your wild baitfish endorsement with you while you harvest, transport, or use personally harvested wild caught baitfish and be sure to follow all other pertinent baitfish rules.