Tag Archives: Fish

Threatened Northern Sunfish Discovered in Lake Champlain Tributary

Threatened Northern Sunfish Discovered in Clinton County


Threatened Northern Sunfish Discovered in Lake Champlain Tributary- Great Chazy River in the village of Champlain, Clinton County, New York.

                           Northern Sunfish

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Rare Fish Unit has confirmed the presence of northern sunfish in the Great Chazy River in the village of Champlain, Clinton County, New York.

In early September Biologist Doug Carlson and technician Eric Maxwell identified nearly a dozen of the threatened fish species in the river.

“We are ecstatic for this discovery and it adds to the unique species in the Great Chazy River that showcase its diversity and fishing appeal,” said Carlson.

Also known as the longear sunfish, the northern sunfish is a small, thin, deep-bodied fish that averages three to four inches in length. It is sometimes a colorful fish with an olive to rusty-brown back, bright orange belly, and blue-green bars on the side of the head. The northern sunfish has short, round pectoral fins and an upward-slanting gill cover flap that has a white and red flexible edge.  It is often mistaken for a pumpkinseed sunfish.

The northern sunfish is a threatened species in New York State and it has suffered immense losses in Western New York.  Biologists have speculated that several factors are involved, including interactions with non-native fish like green sunfish and round goby. The population of this recent discovery in the Chazy appears robust and quite localized.


Other Articles on the Fish of Lake Champlain:    


First 2016 New York State Record Freshwater Drum Caught in Lake Champlain

12-year-old from the Adirondacks Catches Record Freshwater Drum

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that Amelia Whalen of Witherbee caught a record breaking freshwater drum from Lake Champlain in Essex County on June 4, 2016. The fish measured 36.5 inches and weighed 29 pounds 14 ounces, breaking the previous state record set in 2014 by more than 3 pounds.

12-year-old from the Adirondacks Catches Record Freshwater Drum

Amelia Whalen stands with her father who holds the record-breaking fish.

“This state record is just another example of the great fishing opportunities New York has to offer, even for lesser known species such as the freshwater drum,” said Commissioner Seggos. “No matter what time of year, angling possibilities in this state are endless, and I congratulate Amelia on her accomplishment, which is quite a feat for any angler, let alone a 12-year-old.”

Freshwater drum, also referred to as “sheepshead,” primarily dwell in large rivers and lakes. Their pronounced blunt head make them easily identifiable. With numerous small round teeth made for crushing, drum feed mostly on freshwater snails, clams and crayfish. When hooked, drum are known to put up a good fight. For more information on this unique fish species, visit NY DEC’s website.

Amelia, who caught the drum with a Lazer Blade lure, submitted details of her winning catch as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which verifies and tracks state record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award and State Record.

“It was a phenomenal memory that I’ll always have reeling in the monstrous sheepshead that day,” Amelia said. “I was unimaginably surprised when my dad told me that it was definitely going to break the record.”

A photo of the record fish can be found on the New York State Freshwater Fishing Records page on DEC’s website. For more information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, go to DEC’s website. Program details and an official entry form can also be found in DEC’s current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program call (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@dec.ny.gov .


Vermont Fish & Wildlife Offering Free Fishing Clinics

Fish & Wildlife Offering Free Fishing Clinics

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will be hosting two free fishing clinics in September, both of which are open to people of all ages and levels of experience, including those who are completely new to fishing.

The first clinic, “Basics of Fishing,” will be held on Tuesday, September 6, at the Shelburne Bay Fishing Access Area in Shelburne. The clinic will focus on general fishing techniques and equipment, and is tailored toward those who have little to no fishing experience. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. and run until 7:00 p.m.

“The Basics of Fishing program is the perfect opportunity for anyone new to the sport to learn the fundamentals and get started in fishing,” said Corey Hart, Let’s Go Fishing Coordinator with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.

A second clinic, “Intro to Trout Fishing,” will take place on Saturday, September 10, at the Waterbury Public Library as well as on the Winooski River in Waterbury. The clinic, which will concentrate specifically on trout fishing tactics, will start at 9:30 a.m. and run until 1:00 p.m.

“For those looking to learn the basics of trout fishing with spinning equipment, this clinic is a great starting place,” said Hart. “We’ll cover a range of topics including habitat, life cycle, regulations, and fishing techniques. The course is designed as an introductory level course and will emphasize basic live bait techniques as well as strategies for using artificial lures.”

The two clinics will be led by staff from Vermont Fish & Wildlife and instructors from the Let’s Go Fishing Program.

Fishing equipment will be available for use, or participants can bring their own.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required for participation in either clinic. Anyone interested can register by emailing letsgofishing@vermont.gov, or by calling 802-505-5562.

Other Lake Champlain Fishing Articles:

August 6 Declared Hatchery Day in Vermont

August 6 Declared Hatchery Day in Vermont

Open houses & activities to be held at fish hatcheries across the state
Governor Peter Shumlin and officials from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department today announced the declaration of August 6, 2016, as “Hatchery Day” in Vermont in recognition of the important role the state’s fish hatcheries play toward benefiting Vermont’s environment and outdoor recreationalists.

“First and foremost, Vermont’s fish hatcheries play an integral role in the successful management of the state’s fisheries,” said Shumlin. “They’re also a symbol of Vermont’s commitment to our natural resources, a tremendous tool for educating the public about the environment, and a significant part of the state’s history. I’m excited to help celebrate the importance and tradition of Vermont’s fish hatcheries through this declaration.”

Hatchery Day, which will be celebrated by open houses and other activities at the state’s hatcheries, will also commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bennington Fish Culture Station and the 125th anniversary of the Roxbury Fish Culture Station, a facility soon to be rebuilt following impacts from Tropical Storm Irene.

“Much has changed since the state’s first hatchery opened in 1891, but our commitment to raising fish to restore fisheries and provide quality recreational angling opportunities has remained steadfast,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. “Hatchery staff work extremely hard, often around-the-clock, to ensure the hatcheries run efficiently and effectively and meet these overarching objectives. Hatchery Day will be a celebration of the past, present and future of the program — one that we’re very proud of.”
The public is invited to attend open houses at all five of the state’s fish hatcheries on Saturday, August 6, beginning at 9 a.m. These hatcheries include: Ed Weed Fish Culture Station in Grand Isle; Roxbury Fish Culture Station in Roxbury; Ball Hill Fish Culture Station in Newark; Salisbury Fish Culture Station in Salisbury; and Bennington Fish Culture Station in Bennington.

“We encourage families and people of all ages to take a tour of our hatcheries, participate in a range of fun activities for the day and learn how we raise fish and why raising them is so important to Vermont,” said Adam Miller, fish culture operations manager with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.

Each year Vermont’s hatcheries produce approximately 1.5 million fish for stocking, including a range of species such as brook, brown, rainbow, lake and steelhead trout, as well as walleye and landlocked Atlantic salmon.

Along with their role in fisheries restoration, stocked fish also serve as an economic driver for the state, accounting for roughly $31.6 million annually in angler expenditures added to Vermont’s economy.

To learn more about Hatchery Day in Vermont, Vermont’s fisheries programs, fishing regulations, or to purchase a fishing license, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.

VT Walleye Fishing Starts May 7

VT Walleye Fishing Starts May 7

The best walleye fishing in New England will begin soon in several Vermont rivers and lakes, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The department is reminding anglers that walleye fishing season starts in much of the state on the first Saturday in May and that regulations vary, depending on the water you are fishing.

VT Walleye Fishing Starts May 7


There is no open season on sauger, a close cousin to the walleye. Once more abundant in southern Lake Champlain, sauger may still appear there rarely. If caught while fishing for other fish, sauger must be immediately released. (See: VT Fish & Wildlife To Hold Hearings Lake Champlain Sauger Fishing Regulation Change)

In all waters of Vermont except Lake Carmi, Chittenden Reservoir and the Connecticut River, walleye have an 18″ minimum length requirement and three-fish daily limit. The open season is from Saturday, May 7 to March 15, 2017.


Lake Champlain Walleye Fishing

Excellent walleye fishing opportunities occur each spring in Lake Champlain and its tributaries: the Missisquoi River, Lamoille River, Winooski River, and Otter Creek. Vermont’s state record walleye weighed 14.55 lbs. and was caught in Lake Champlain by Richard Levesque of Swanton in 2010.

Other Vermont Walleye Fishing Hotspots

Lake Carmi has a slot limit for walleye because of the lake’s high productivity and high rate of walleye harvest. The minimum length is 15 inches, all walleye between 17 and 19 inches must be released. The daily limit is five walleye, but only one may be over 19 inches long. The season is open May 7 through March 15.

Chittenden Reservoir has special walleye regulations in order to produce large walleye that can help control its over-abundant yellow perch population and provide anglers with an opportunity to harvest a trophy walleye. The minimum length is 22 inches, the daily limit is two, and the season is open June 1 through March 15.

Connecticut River walleye fishing rules are set by New Hampshire. No walleye between 16 to 18 inches may be kept and the daily limit is four fish, of which only one may be longer than 18 inches.

The Northeast Kingdom also offers walleye fishing opportunities in Salem Lake, Island Pond, Clyde Pond, and the Clyde River.

Other Lake Champlain Fishing Articles: