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Lake Champlain Reciprocal Fishing Regulations

New York License Holders:

  • Area Allowed: New York license holders can fish in the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain only as far east as a designated line:

    • Starting on the north shore of the Poultney River where it meets East Bay.
    • Proceeding north along the shore to the old Rutland Railroad fill on Colchester Point.
    • Following the western side of the old Rutland Railroad fill to Allen Point on Grand Isle.
    • Continuing north along the western shore of Grand Isle to Tromp Point.
    • Crossing The Gut to Bow and Arrow Point.
    • Continuing north along the western shore of North Hero to Pelots Point.
    • Crossing the Alburgh passage to the Point of the Tongue.
    • Following the western shore of the Alburgh peninsula to the U.S. border with Canada.
  • Crossing Tributaries: When the designated line crosses a tributary to Lake Champlain, it connects from the downstream most point of land on one side of the tributary to the downstream most point of land on the other side.

Vermont License Holders:

  • Area Allowed: Vermont license holders may fish Lake Champlain west of the Vermont/New York border to the New York shore. However, they are prohibited from fishing in South Bay or New York tributaries to Lake Champlain.

Note:

  • Regulation Adherence: Anglers must observe the fishing regulations of the state they are fishing in. Vermont regulations apply when fishing in Vermont, while New York regulations apply when fishing in New York. It's essential to obtain copies of each state’s fishing regulations and adhere to them accordingly.

  • Baitfish Regulations: For specific regulations regarding baitfish in Lake Champlain, refer to the Baitfish Use and Restrictions guidelines.

Regulations for Lake Champlain Waters Boundary

In order to maintain the integrity and protection of Lake Champlain and its surrounding areas, specific regulations govern the setbacks and boundaries. These regulations aim to preserve the ecological balance and ensure sustainable use of the lake and its tributaries.

Boundaries Defined

Dead Creek

The boundary extends to the Panton Road bridge in Panton, encompassing the entirety of Dead Creek within this defined area.

East Creek

Extending to the falls in Orwell, situated downstream of Mount Independence Road, the boundary of East Creek delineates its reach within this region.

Lamoille River

The boundary extends to the top of the first dam, known as Peterson Dam, in Milton, marking the limit of the Lamoille River's jurisdiction in this vicinity.

LaPlatte River

Reaching to the falls in Shelburne, specifically under the Falls Road bridge, the boundary of LaPlatte River identifies its extent within this designated area.

Lewis Creek

Extending to the falls in North Ferrisburgh, positioned just upstream of Old Hollow Road, the boundary of Lewis Creek encompasses this section of the waterway.

Little Otter Creek

Reaching to the falls in Ferrisburgh Center, downstream of Little Chicago Road, the boundary of Little Otter Creek denotes its jurisdiction in this particular area.

Malletts Creek

The boundary extends to the first falls upstream of Roosevelt Highway (U.S. Route 2 and U.S. Route 7) in Colchester, encapsulating the defined area of Malletts Creek.

Mill River

Extending to the falls in Georgia, situated just upstream of Georgia Shore Road bridge, the boundary of Mill River delineates its reach within this specified region.

Missisquoi River

Reaching to the top of Swanton Dam in the village of Swanton, the boundary marks the extent of the Missisquoi River within this designated area.

Mud Creek

Extending to the dam in Alburgh, positioned just upstream of the Route 78 bridge, the boundary of Mud Creek outlines its jurisdiction in this defined vicinity.

Otter Creek

Reaching to the top of the dam in the city of Vergennes, the boundary designates the extent of Otter Creek within this specified region.

Poultney River

Extending to Central Vermont Power (Green Mountain Power Dam) at Carver Falls in West Haven, the boundary denotes the jurisdiction of Poultney River within this designated area.

Rock River

Reaching to the first Canadian border crossing, the boundary delineates the extent of Rock River within this specified region.

Winooski River

Extending to the Winooski One hydropower dam west of Main Street (U.S. Route 7) in Winooski and Burlington, the boundary marks the jurisdiction of Winooski River within this designated area.

Fishing Regulations for Lake Champlain

To ensure sustainable fishing practices and preserve the aquatic ecosystem of Lake Champlain and its tributaries, a set of comprehensive regulations govern fishing activities. These regulations encompass various aspects, including permitted methods, species, seasons, and limits.

Setbacks and Tributaries

The general fishing regulations for Lake Champlain mandate setbacks at the same water level and the lower portion of its tributaries. However, spawning waters are excluded from these regulations.

Open-Water Fishing Regulations

Number of Lines/Rods

During open-water fishing in Lake Champlain, individuals are allowed to use a maximum of two lines, over which they must maintain immediate control. Each line can be equipped with either two baited hooks, three artificial flies, or two lures with or without bait.

Species and Regulations

The regulations categorize various species of fish found in Lake Champlain, specifying their open season for harvest, minimum length requirements, daily limits, and legal fishing methods.

Bowfin, Mullet (Redhorse), Gar

These species can be harvested year-round with no minimum length requirement. However, the daily limit is capped at no more than 5 of any one species. Legal fishing methods include open-water and ice fishing, spear gun, bow, and crossbow, all with a line attached. Additionally, shooting and hand-held spearing are permitted from March 25 to May 25.

Brook Trout, Brown Trout, and Rainbow Trout

These trout species have an open season for harvest year-round, with a minimum length requirement of 12 inches. Anglers are allowed a total of no more than 3 brook, brown, and rainbow trout combined. Legal fishing methods include both open-water and ice fishing.

Bullhead

With no closed season, bullheads have no minimum length requirement and no limit on harvest. Both open-water and ice fishing are permitted. Shooting and hand-held spearing are allowed from March 25 to May 25.

Carp, Suckers (Longnose and White), Cull Fish

These species can be harvested year-round with no minimum length requirement and no limit on harvest. Legal fishing methods include open-water and ice fishing, spear gun, bow, and crossbow, all with a line attached. Additionally, shooting and hand-held spearing are permitted from March 25 to May 25.

Chain Pickerel

With no closed season, chain pickerel have no minimum length requirement but a daily limit of 10. Legal fishing methods include both open-water and ice fishing. Shooting and hand-held spearing are allowed from March 25 to May 25.

Crappie

Crappie can be harvested year-round with a minimum length requirement of 8 inches and a daily limit of 25. Both open-water and ice fishing are permitted.

Lake Sturgeon

There is no open season for lake sturgeon, and thus, no fishing is allowed.

Lake Trout

Lake trout can be harvested year-round with a minimum length requirement of 15 inches and a daily limit of 3. Both open-water and ice fishing are permitted.

Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

Similar to lake trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon can be harvested year-round with a minimum length requirement of 15 inches and a daily limit of 2. Both open-water and ice fishing are permitted.

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

From the 2nd Saturday in June to November 30, largemouth and smallmouth bass can be harvested with a minimum length requirement of 12 inches. The combined daily limit for both species is capped at no more than 5. Only open-water fishing is permitted during this period.

Muskellunge

There is no closed season for muskellunge, but they are strictly catch and release only. Artificial lures and flies are the only permitted bait.

Northern Pike

Northern pike can be harvested year-round with a minimum length requirement of 20 inches and a daily limit of 5. Both open-water and ice fishing are permitted. Additionally, shooting and hand-held spearing are allowed from March 25 to May 25.

Rainbow Smelt

Rainbow smelt can be harvested year-round with no minimum length requirement and no limit on harvest. Both open-water and ice fishing are permitted.

Sauger

There is no open season for sauger, and thus, no fishing is allowed.

Walleye

From the 1st Saturday in May to March 15, walleye can be harvested with a minimum length requirement of 18 inches and a daily limit of 3. Both open-water and ice fishing are permitted.

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch can be harvested year-round with no minimum length requirement and no limit on harvest. Both open-water and ice fishing are permitted.

All Other Species

For all other species not specifically mentioned, there are no closed seasons, no minimum length requirements, and no limits on harvest. Both open-water and ice fishing are permitted.

Catch and Release

For species with defined harvest seasons, targeted catch and release angling is allowed outside of the harvest season. However, this must be done using artificial lures and flies, except in areas closed to fishing.

Vermont Lake Champlain Fishing Regulations

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Disclaimer:

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.