Are you a die-hard angler? New regulations have opened up new year-round open water fishing opportunities in the state of Vermont. Beginning in 2014, revised Vermont regulations allow catch-and release trout fishing with artificial flies or lures outside of the normal trout season. The eleven sections of waterways covered provide over seventy additional miles of river to year-round trout fishing.
Additionally, the state’s bass catch-and-release open water angling opportunities (not ice fishing) – also with artificial flies and lures only – have been expanded to include all lakes, ponds and reservoirs not listed as ‘seasonally closed waters.’ A complete list of ‘seasonally closed waters’ is available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website, www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Under the “Fishing” tab, click on “Law Digest and Guide” for more information.
The following rules are are in effect on these new catch-and-release waters:
- Only artificial flies or lures may be used, except during the open season for trout (2nd Sat. in April – 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 Cady’s 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 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.
Additionally a section of the Walloomsac River in Bennington was also designated as a trophy trout stream with the changes and is being stocked with two-year old brown and rainbow trout – both with a daily limit of two per day.