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Vermont

Fishing

Fishing

Table 2: Lake Champlain Regulations

General Fishing Regulations for Lake Champlain include the setbacks at the same water level and the lower portion of its tributaries as defined below in the Lake Champlain Waters section. Spawning waters are not included.

Lake Champlain Open-Water Fishing—Number of Lines/Rods:

A person may take fish only by using not more than two lines of which he or she has 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.

Species

Minimum Length

Daily Limit

Legal Methods

OPEN SEASON FOR HARVEST

Bowfin, Mullet (Redhorse), Gar

None

No more than 5 of any one species

Open-water and 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 and Ice fishing

All year

Bullhead

None

No limit

Open-water and Ice fishing

All year

Shooting, hand-held spearing

March 25 to May 25

Carp, Suckers (Longnose and White), Cull Fish

None

No limit

Open-water and Ice fishing, Spear gun, Bow and crossbow all with line attached

All year

Shooting, hand-held spearing

March 25 to May 25

Chain Pickerel

None

10

Open-water and Ice fishing

All year

Shooting, hand-held spearing

March 25 to May 25

Crappie

8”

25

Open-water and Ice fishing

All year

Lake Sturgeon

NA

0

No fishing

No open season

Lake Trout

15”

3

Open-water and Ice fishing

All year

Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

15”

2

Open-water and Ice fishing

All year

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

12”

Total of largemouth + smallmouth = no more than 5"

Open-water fishing

2nd Sat. in June to Nov. 30

Muskellunge

NA

0

Catch and release with artificial lures and flies only

All year

Northern Pike

20”

5

Open-water and Ice fishing

All year

Shooting, hand-held spearing

March 25 to May 25

Rainbow Smelt

None

No limit

Open-water and Ice fishing

All year

Sauger

NA

0

None

No open season

Walleye

18”

3

Open-water and Ice fishing

1st Sat. in May to March 15

Yellow Perch

None

No limit

Open-water and Ice fishing

All year

All Other Species

None

No limit

Open-water and Ice fishing

All year


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.

Vermont and New York Reciprocal Fishing License 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.

For Lake Champlain baitfish regulations, see Baitfish Use and Restrictions.

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.

Lake Champlain Open-Water Fishing—Number of Lines/Rods:

A person may take fish only by using not more than two lines of which he or she has 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.