Two New Fishing Access Areas in Vermont


Anglers and boaters now have guaranteed access at two lake sites -- one on Lake Champlain in South Hero, the other at Maidstone Lake in the Northeast Kingdom. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department acquired the properties, adding them to the list of state-owned, free public fishing and boating access areas around the state.

The land in South Hero was traditionally used as a boat access, but had the potential to be sold, which threatened future use of a critical access point to the lake on the west end of the Sandbar Causeway. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department recently purchased the property as a new state fishing and boating access area for the public.

"The new 'John Guilmette Fishing Access Area' will serve a large group of anglers and boaters, as well as duck hunters, by providing year-round access at a key location on northern Lake Champlain," said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry. "When you launch your boat, you can go north in the Inland Sea, or head south to the mouth of the Lamoille River, Malletts Bay, or the main portion of the lake."

"This site is critical because it is protected and allows boats with deep drafts to easily launch," said Mike Wichrowski Land and Facilities Coordinator for Fish & Wildlife. "While anyone can use the site today, we plan on improving the ramp, dock, and parking layout. The design phase will be ongoing this summer, with site improvements scheduled for next year."

Last month the Fish & Wildlife Department also acquired the Maidstone Lake Access Area as part of a donation. The department had been leasing the land for a number of years and has now ensured public access in perpetuity.

Learn more about Vermont's fishing access areas at their website ( under the "Fishing" category of subjects. (//

Excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, import duties, and interest are collected and appropriated from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department currently uses these monies for acquiring land as well as developing and maintaining boat and fishing access areas. Historically, most of Vermont's existing fishing and boating access areas were purchased with funds from the sale of fishing licenses and the taxes on fishing equipment.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department maintains over 170 developed fishing access areas. These sites provide public access to waters in Vermont for shore fishing opportunities and launching of water craft. The department manages 135 access areas with concrete or gravel ramps for launching boats. There are another 21 department access areas where non-motorized vessels can be launched, and 18 access areas dedicated to shore fishing. All access areas are open to hunting, trapping, fishing, and boating.

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