Upcoming Vermont Fishing Seasons

Vermont's traditional trout fishing season opens Saturday, April 9 this year, and anglers are looking forward to some great fishing for brook, brown and rainbow trout in the Green Mountain State's lakes and streams.

"Willoughby River steelhead provide a popular spring fishery in the Northeast Kingdom at the Village of Orleans," said Vermont Director of Fisheries Eric Palmer. "These steelhead are on their spring spawning run from Lake Memphremagog, and they always attract a lot of interest, partly because they can be seen jumping the falls in Orleans."

"Vermont has excellent fishing opportunities for wild trout," he added, "and some of the biggest brown trout are caught during early spring in many rivers throughout the state."

Vermont's 2011 stocking schedule will be available in late March on the Fish and Wildlife website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) under the "Fishing" category. The site is interactive, so you can enter the body of water, town or species of fish and see what fish will be stocked. Lakes and ponds are first to receive fish in the spring, while rivers are stocked later after the high water run-off has passed.

As an added bonus, Vermont's catch-and-release bass fishing season in lakes starts the same day as trout season on April 9 and continues through June 10. Only lures and flies may be used, and bass must be immediately released. You can learn more about Vermont's spring catch-and-release bass fishing season on the Fish and Wildlife website atwww.vtfishandwildlifebassfishing.cfm.

The Fish and Wildlife Department is cautioning anglers that a new law prohibits the use of felt-soled boots or waders in Vermont waters in order to prevent the spread of the invasive algae called didymo.

Anglers also are reminded to use sinkers that are not made of lead. It is unlawful to use a lead sinker weighing one-half ounce or less while fishing in Vermont. Weighted fly line, lead-core line, downrigger cannonballs, weighted flies, lure, spoons, or jig heads are not prohibited.

Planning a Vermont spring fishing trip is easy. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has a 2011 Vermont Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Laws and Guide that includes maps showing lakes and streams as well as fishing access areas and public lands. It also lists the fish species found in each body of water and it includes fishing regulations. Copies are available where fishing licenses are sold, or from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501. Tel. 802-241-3700. You also can download sections of the publication from their website.

Fishing license fees are $22.00 for adult residents, $8.00 for residents 15-17 years of age, $45.00 for adult nonresidents, and $15.00 for nonresidents 15-17 years old. One, three and seven day fishing licenses also are available for nonresidents. Children under age 15 do not need a fishing license in Vermont. Licenses are available at agents statewide and from Fish & Wildlife's website.

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