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Tables

Fishing Regulations Vermont Freshwater Fishing

Waterbody-specific regulations listed in Index of Rivers/Index of Lakes override the general regulation.

TABLE 1: General Fishing Regulations for Rivers, Streams, Associated Beaver Ponds, and Unnamed Impoundments

Species

Length

Rules

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

Open Seasons

American Shad

0

Catch and release open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Anadromous Atlantic Salmon

0

No open season

BOWFIN, MULLET (REDHORSE), GAR

None

NEW! No more than 5 of
any one species

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Brook Trout and Brown Trout and
Rainbow Trout

None

Total of brook + brown + rainbow = no more than 12

Total of brown + rainbows = no more than 6

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Crappie

8”

25

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Lake Sturgeon

0

No open season

Lake Trout

18”

Total of lake trout + landlocked salmon = no more than 2

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

15”

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

None

Total of largemouth + smallmouth = no more than 5

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Muskellunge

0

Catch and release open-water fishing with artificial lures and flies only

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Northern Pike

20”

5

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Rainbow Smelt

None

None

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Sauger

0

No open season

Walleye

18”

3

Open-water fishing

1st Sat. in May to Oct. 31

Yellow Perch

None

50

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

All other species

None

None

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

TABLE 2: General Fishing Regulations for Lakes, Ponds, Impoundments, Reservoirs, and Particular Rivers and Streams

Species

Length

Rules

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

Open Seasons

American Shad

0

Catch and release open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Anadromous Atlantic Salmon

0

No open season

Bowfin, Mullet (Redhorse), Gar

None

NEW! No more than 5 of
any one species

Open-water fishing, ice fishing, spear gun, bow and crossbow all with line attached

All year

Brook Trout and Brown Trout and
Rainbow Trout

None

Total of brook + brown + rainbows = no more than 6

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat.
in April to Oct. 31

CARP, SUCKERS (LONGNOSE and WHITE),
CULL Fish

None

None

Open-water fishing, ice fishing, spear gun, bow and crossbow all with line attached

All year

Crappie

8”

25

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Lake Sturgeon

0

No open season

Lake Trout

18”

Total of lake trout + landlocked

salmon = no more than 2

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

15”

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass
(Catch and Release Season)

None

0

Catch and release open-water fishing
with artificial lures and flies only

Dec. 1 to Fri. before 2nd
Sat. in June

LARGEMOUTH and SMALLMOUTH BASS
(Regular Season)

10”

Total of largemouth + smallmouth = no more than 5

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in June to Nov. 30

Muskellunge

0

Catch and release open-water fishing with artificial lures and flies only

All year

Northern Pike

20”

5

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Rainbow Smelt

None

None

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Sauger

0

No open season

Walleye

18”

3

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

1st Sat. in May to March 15

Yellow Perch

None

50

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

All Other Species

None

None

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

TABLE 3: General Fishing Regulations for Lake Champlain include the setbacks at the same water level and the lower
portion of its tributaries as defined. Spawning waters are not included.

Species

Length

Rules

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

Open Seasons

Bowfin, Mullet (Redhorse), Gar

None

NEW! No more than 5 of
any one species

Open-water fishing, ice fishing, spear gun, bow and crossbow all with line attached

All year

Shooting, hand-held spearing

March 25 to May 25

Brook Trout and Brown Trout
and Rainbow Trout

12”

Total of brook + brown + rainbows = no more than 3

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

BULLHEAD

None

None

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Shooting, hand-held spearing

March 25 to May 25

CARP, SUCKERS (LONGNOSE and WHITE),
CULL Fish

None

None

Open-water fishing, ice fishing, spear gun, bow and crossbow all with line attached

All year

Chain Pickerel

None

10

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Shooting, hand-held spearing

March 25 to May 25

Crappie

8”

25

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Lake Sturgeon

0

No open season

Lake Trout

15”

3

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

15”

2

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

(Catch and Release Season)

0

Catch and release open-water fishing
with artificial lures and flies only

Dec. 1 to Fri. before 2nd
Sat. in June

LARGEMOUTH and SMALLMOUTH BASS
(Regular Season)

10”

Total of largemouth + smallmouth = no more than 5

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in June to Nov. 30

Muskellunge

0

Catch and release open-water fishing
with artificial lures and flies only

All year

Northern Pike

20”

5

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Shooting, hand-held spearing

March 25 to May 25

Rainbow Smelt

None

None

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

Sauger

0

No open season

Walleye

18”

3

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

1st Sat. in May to March 15

Yellow Perch

None

None

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

All Other Species

None

None

Open-water fishing, ice fishing

All year

TABLE 4: General Fishing Regulations for the Connecticut River for that portion of the river between New Hampshire and Vermont. “Connecticut River” means all waters of the river, including the bays, setbacks, and tributaries, only to the first highway bridge crossing said tributaries on the Vermont and New Hampshire sides.

LICENSES: All New Hampshireand Vermont-resident fishing licenses are valid for the taking of fish from the Connecticut River as defined above. All other nonresidents with a New Hampshire nonresident fishing license shall only take fish east of the Vermont low-water mark while on the Connecticut River.

SEASON: Open to fishing all year, except no fishing Oct. 16–Dec. 31 from the confluence of the Upper Ammonoosuc River and the Connecticut River in Northumberland, New Hampshire, to the northern boundary of the town of Canaan, Vermont.

DEVICES: No more than six ice fishing devices shall be used to take fish while ice fishing. When fishing in open water, no more than two lines may be used.

Lead sinkers and lead jigs one ounce or less, regardless of length, are prohibited.

SPECIES RULES: The rules below apply during the open season for fishing.

American Shad

  • Catch and release only.

Atlantic Salmon

  • No open season for Atlantic salmon until declared by the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission.

Brook, Brown and
Rainbow Trout

  • The season for taking brook, brown, or rainbow trout by all legal methods shall open on Jan. 1 and close Oct. 15.
  • Through open water, the daily limit is 5 fish or 5 pounds (whichever limit is first reached), except the daily limit is 1 fish from the Samuel Moore Dam downstream to the Route 18 bridge.
  • Through the ice, the daily limit is 2 fish, except the daily limit is 1 fish from the Samuel Moore Dam downstream to the Route 18 bridge.

Black Bass

  • The daily bag limit for black bass from Jan. 1 to March 31 is 2 fish, of which only 1 bass may be greater than 16”. The daily limit for black bass from April 1 to May 14 and June 16 to June 30 is 2 fish.
  • Between May 15 and June 15, all black bass shall be immediately released unharmed, at the site of catch, to the waters from which taken.
  • The daily limit for black bass from July 1 through Dec. 31 is 5 fish.
  • During the period beginning May 15 and ending June 15, black bass shall be taken only by artificial lures and flies.

Carp

  • May be taken by any legal method, and by bow and arrow with cord attached, in that part of the river beginning at the point on the northern boundary of Grafton County in New Hampshire, which is directly opposite the town of Concord, Vermont, south to the Massachusetts border.

Horned Pout

  • The daily limit is 25 fish.

Northern Pike

  • The daily limit is 1 fish; minimum total length 28”.

Pickerel

  • The daily limit is 10 fish.

River Herring

  • Closed to the taking of alewives and blueback herring.

Walleye (Pike Perch)

  • No person shall take walleye 16”–18”; the daily limit is 4 fish, of which only 1 can be larger than 18”.

All Other Species

  • The daily limit for black crappie, white perch, yellow perch, and sunfish is 25 fish for each species. The daily aggregate possession limit is 50 fish for all listed species, including horned pout.

SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS

  • From the Murphy Dam in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, downstream to the highway bridge that crosses the river from West Stewartstown, New Hampshire, to Canaan, Vermont: from Jan. 1 to the fourth Saturday in April, catch and release only with barbless lures and flies.
  • From a point 1,600’ upstream from the bridge in North Stratford, New Hampshire, upstream to a point 250’ below the Lyman Falls Dam in North Stratford, New Hampshire, and marked by a sign, the following restrictions shall apply:
  • Fishing shall be permitted by artificial lures and flies only. All lures and flies shall have barbless hooks or shall have all barbs pinched
    so they will not interfere with removal of the hook from the fish. All fish are to be immediately released unharmed.

FISHWAYS CLOSED

  • Vernon Dam in Vernon, Vermont, and Hinsdale, New Hampshire, shall be closed to all fishing to a point 150’ below the dam.
  • Wilder Dam in Wilder, Vermont, and Lebanon, New Hampshire, shall be closed to all fishing to a point 150’ below the dam.

TABLE 5: General Fishing Regulations for Certain Lakes and Ponds Listed in Index of Lakes and Ponds

Species

Length

Rules

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

Open Seasons

American Shad

0

Catch and release open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Anadromous Atlantic Salmon

0

No open season

BOWFIN, MULLET (REDHORSE), GAR

None

NEW! No more than 5 of
any one species

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Brook Trout and Brown Trout and
Rainbow Trout

None

Total of brook + brown + rainbows = no more than 6

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Crappie

8”

25

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Lake Sturgeon

0

No open season

Lake Trout

18”

Total of lake trout + landlocked salmon = no more than 2

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

15”

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

(Catch and Release Season)

0

Catch and release open-water fishing
with artificial lures and flies only

2nd Sat. in April to Fri. before 2nd Sat. in June

LARGEMOUTH and SMALLMOUTH BASS
(Regular Season)

10”

Total of largemouth + smallmouth = no more than 5

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in June to Oct. 31

Muskellunge

0

Catch and release open-water fishing
with artificial lures and flies only

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Northern Pike

20”

5

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Rainbow Smelt

None

None

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

Sauger

0

No open season

Walleye

18”

3

Open-water fishing

1st Sat. in May to Oct. 31

Yellow Perch

None

50

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

All Other Species

None

None

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in April to Oct. 31

TABLE 6: Closed to Ice Fishing

Species

Length

Rules

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

Open Seasons

All Fish Species

NA

Closed

Closed

Closed to ice fishing

TABLE 7: Lake Champlain Ice Fishing Regulations

Species

Length

Rules

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

Open Seasons

Bowfin, Mullet (Redhorse), Gar

None

NEW! No more than 5 of
any one species

Ice fishing

All Year

Brook Trout and Brown Trout and
Rainbow Trout

12”

Total of brook + brown + rainbow = no more than 3

Ice fishing

All year

CARP, SUCKERS (LONGNOSE and WHITE),
CULL Fish

None

None

Ice fishing

All year

Chain Pickerel

None

10

Ice fishing

All year

Crappie

8”

25

Ice fishing

All year

Lake Sturgeon

NA

0

NA

No open season

Lake Trout

15”

3

Ice fishing

All year

Landlocked Salmon

15”

2

Ice fishing

All year

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

None

0

Closed

Closed

Muskellunge

NA

0

Closed

Closed

Northern Pike

20”

5

Ice fishing

All year

Rainbow Smelt

None

None

Ice fishing

All year

Sauger

0

NA

No open season

Walleye

18”

3

Ice fishing

1st Sat. in May to March 15

Yellow Perch

None

None

Ice fishing

All year

All Other Species

None

None

Ice fishing

All year

TABLE 8: Ice Fishing Regulations

Species

Length

Rules

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

Open Seasons

American Shad

NA

0

Closed

Closed

Anadromous Atlantic Salmon

NA

0

NA

No open season

Bowfin, Mullet (Redhorse), Gar

None

NEW! No more than 5 of
any one species

Ice fishing

All Year

Brook Trout and Brown Trout
and Rainbow Trout

NA

0

Closed

Closed

CARP, SUCKERS (LONGNOSE and WHITE),
CULL Fish

None

None

Ice fishing

All year

Crappie

8”

25

Ice fishing

All year

Lake Sturgeon

NA

0

NA

No open season

Lake Trout

NA

0

Closed

Closed

Landlocked Salmon

NA

0

Closed

Closed

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

NA

0

Closed

Closed

Muskellunge

NA

0

Closed

Closed

Northern Pike

20”

5

Ice fishing

All year

Rainbow Smelt

None

None

Ice fishing

All year

Sauger

0

NA

No open season

Walleye

18”

3

Ice fishing

1st Sat. in May to March 15

Yellow Perch

None

50

Ice fishing

All year

All Other Species

None

None

Ice fishing

All year

TABLE 9: Ice Fishing Regulations

Species

Length

Rules

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

Open Seasons

American Shad

0

Closed

Closed

Anadromous Atlantic Salmon

NA

0

NA

No open season

BOWFIN, MULLET (REDHORSE), GAR

None

NEW! No more than 5 of
any one species

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Brook Trout and Brown Trout
and Rainbow Trout

None

Total of brook + brown + rainbow = no more than 6

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Crappie

8”

25

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Lake Sturgeon

NA

0

NA

No open season

Lake Trout

18”

Total of lake trout + landlocked salmon = no more than 2

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Landlocked Salmon

15”

Total of lake trout + landlocked salmon = no more than 2

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

10”

Total of largemouth + smallmouth = no more than 5

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Muskellunge

NA

0

Closed

Closed

Northern Pike

20”

5

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Rainbow Smelt

None

None

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Sauger

0

NA

No open season

Walleye

18”

3

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Yellow Perch

None

50

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

All Other Species

None

None

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

TABLE 10: Ice Fishing Regulations

Species

Length

Rules

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

Open Seasons

American Shad

0

Closed

Closed

Anadromous Atlantic Salmon

NA

0

NA

No open season

Bowfin, Mullet (Redhorse), Gar

None

NEW! No more than 5 of
any one species

Ice fishing

All Year

Brook Trout and Brown Trout
and Rainbow Trout

None

Total of brook + brown + rainbow = no more than 6

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

CARP, SUCKERS (LONGNOSE and WHITE),
CULL Fish

None

None

Ice fishing

All year

Crappie

8”

25

Ice fishing

All year

Lake Sturgeon

NA

0

NA

No open season

Lake Trout

18”

Total of lake trout + landlocked salmon = no more than 2

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Landlocked Salmon

15”

Total of lake trout + landlocked salmon = no more than 2

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

10”

Total of largemouth + smallmouth = no more than 5

Ice fishing

3rd Sat. in Jan. to March 15

Muskellunge

NA

0

Closed

Closed

Northern Pike

20”

5

Ice fishing

All year

Rainbow Smelt

None

None

Ice fishing

All year

Sauger

0

NA

No open season

Walleye

18”

3

Ice fishing

1st Sat. in May to March 15

Yellow Perch

None

50

Ice fishing

All year

All Other Species

None

None

Ice fishing

All year