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Vermont’s Fishing Access Areas

Fishing Regulations Vermont Freshwater Fishing

Always OpenAlways Free

Vermont’s fishing access areas offer an easy way onto the water

It’s not only the diverse waterways, unique fish species and top-notch angling opportunities that make Vermont an angler’s paradise. The state’s public access areas and boat ramps are also a valued resource that help to make fishing and boating in Vermont easy and enjoyable.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department owns or manages a total of 186 fishing access areas across the state that are free and open to anglers, hunters, trappers and boaters — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Included in the department’s access program are

  • 162 fishing access areas that provide boat launches for watercraft
  • Fishing access areas on 130 unique bodies of water
  • 34 fishing access areas on Lake Champlain alone
  • 6 fishing access areas along the Connecticut River
  • Many fishing access areas featuring concrete boat launching ramps, docks and restroom facilities, as well as a number of areas that have been improved to meet the new federal ADA accessibility standards

Vermont’s fishing access areas are funded primarily through a federal excise tax on fishing tackle, boat motors and marine fuels that is matched with state motorboat registration fees. The end result is free public access to Vermont waters, a convenience that we are proud to offer and one that is becoming increasingly rare in other states.

By providing free, safe and user-friendly access to waters across the state, anglers of all types can enjoy a day on the water with less hassle and more focus on landing their next trophy catch!

For a complete list of Vermont’s fishing access
areas and their amenities, visit the “FISH” page at
www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Locations of the state’s fishing access areas can also be found by using the maps on pages 44–60 of this digest.

The state’s 186 fishing access areas are identifiable by signs like this. They are always free and open to anglers, hunters, trappers and boaters.

Before You Back Down the Ramp …

Develop a launch routine and mental checklist that works and stick with it:

  1. “Load before you launch” — put all gear into your boat while in the parking lot, not on the ramp;
  2. Loosen any tie-downs, insert plug;
  3. Help STOP aquatic hitchhikers: CHECK, DRAIN, DRY. Make it a habit BEFORE launching and BEFORE leaving to carefully inspect and clean your vessel;
  4. Back down ramp, launch and secure your boat to dock or on shore;
  5. Immediately move and park your vehicle in the appropriate location.

Remember: SWIMMING OR SUNBATHING at access areas is prohibited.