Want to Go Trout Fishing Before Opening Day in Vermont?

Catch-and-release fishing with lures or flies is allowed on nine Vermont river sections. Catches like this big brown trout are fairly common in most of these waters.

Why wait for the traditional opening day of trout fishing? One of the benefits of our mild winter is that Vermont anglers can capitalize on year-round catch-and-release trout fishing opportunities available on nine river sections, and this is the year to give it a try according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

"We normally would have deep snow and ice conditions on most rivers, but this year anglers have a great opportunity to get out there early to cast a fly or lure in waters that hold some our biggest trout," said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry. "Our regulation allowing catch-and-release trout fishing with artificials on these streams was enacted a few years ago, but we've never had conditions this favorable."

The following Vermont river sections are open for year-round trout fishing using artificial lures or flies only. All trout caught must be immediately released where they are caught.

  • Black River – From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the top of the Lovejoy Dam in Springfield.
  • Lamoille River – From the Lake Champlain boundary (top of Peterson Dam in Milton) upstream to the top of the hydroelectric Dam at Fairfax Falls.
  • Lewis Creek – From the Lake Champlain boundary upstream to the State Prison Hollow Road (TH #3) bridge in Starksboro.
  • Ompompanoosuc River – From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the Union Village Dam in Thetford.
  • Otter Creek – From the Lake Champlain boundary upstream to top of Center Rutland Falls in Rutland.
  • West River – From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the Townshend Dam (Townshend) to Connecticut River boundary.
  • White River – From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the bridge on Route 107 in Bethel.
  • Williams River – From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the top of the dam at Brockway Mills Falls in Rockingham.
  • Winooski River – From the Lake Champlain boundary upstream to the Bolton Dam in Duxbury and Waterbury.

Opening day of Vermont's regular trout fishing season is the second Saturday in April, the 14th this year.

Licenses and more information can be found at www.vtfishandwildlife.com

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