Fishing Regulations for the Connecticut River

For anglers venturing into the waters of the Connecticut River, situated between New Hampshire and Vermont, a set of specific regulations govern fishing activities. It's crucial to adhere to these regulations to ensure responsible fishing practices and the preservation of the river's ecosystem.

Licensing Requirements

Residents of New Hampshire and Vermont can utilize their respective state fishing licenses for fishing activities within the defined portion of the Connecticut River. Nonresidents holding a New Hampshire nonresident fishing license are restricted to fishing east of the Vermont low-water mark on the river.

Fishing Season

The fishing season on the Connecticut River remains open throughout the year, except for the period from October 16 to December 31. During this time, fishing is prohibited 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 and Methods

Anglers are limited to using six ice fishing devices while ice fishing and no more than two lines when fishing in open water. Additionally, the use of lead sinkers and lead jigs weighing one ounce or less, regardless of length, is prohibited.

Species-Specific Rules

American Shad

Catch and release only.

Atlantic Salmon

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

Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout

  • Open season from January 1 to October 15.
  • Daily limit: 5 fish or 5 pounds (whichever limit is reached first) through open water, except for a daily limit of 1 fish from the Samuel Moore Dam downstream to the Route 18 bridge.
  • Daily limit: 2 fish through the ice, except for a daily limit of 1 fish from the Samuel Moore Dam downstream to the Route 18 bridge.
  • Fishing for trout is prohibited from 2 hours after sunset to 1 hour before sunrise daily.

Black Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth)

  • January 1 to March 31: Daily bag limit of 2 fish, of which only 1 bass may be over 16 inches.
  • April 1 to May 14 and June 16 to June 30: Daily limit of 2 fish.
  • May 15 to June 15: Catch and release only.
  • July 1 to December 31: Daily limit of 5 fish.
  • May 15 to June 15: Fishing allowed only with artificial lures and flies.


May be taken by any legal method, and by bow and arrow with cord attached, in specified areas.

Horned Pout

Daily limit: 25 fish.

Northern Pike

Daily limit: 1 fish; minimum total length 28 inches.


Daily limit: 10 fish.

River Herring

Closed to the taking of alewives and blueback herring.


No walleye between 16 and 18 inches; daily limit of 4 fish, with only 1 fish allowed to be larger than 18 inches.

All Other Species

Daily limit of 25 fish for each species, with an aggregate possession limit of 50 fish for all listed species, including horned pout.

Special Exceptions

  • From January 1 to March 31, catch and release only with barbless lures and flies in specified areas.
  • Fishing restricted to artificial lures and flies with barbless hooks or pinched barbs in designated sections.

Fishways Closed

  • Vernon Dam and Wilder Dam shall be closed to all fishing within specified areas.
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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.