RUTLAND, Vt. – The Vermont walleye fishing season is set to open up on Saturday, May 6, marking the return of some of the best walleye fishing in New England.
“We saw some really nice, trophy-size walleye during our recent survey work, which certainly brightens the outlook a bit for the upcoming walleye season,” said Chet MacKenzie, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “The fishing conditions are also lining up to be exceptional for opening weekend as flows have dropped in many of the major spawning tributaries to Lake Champlain, meaning anglers will have a great opportunity to connect with post-spawn walleye.”
Vermont has excellent spring walleye fishing opportunities in a number of lakes and rivers across the state. Such opportunities include Lake Champlain and its tributaries – the Missisquoi, Lamoille and Winooski rivers and Otter Creek, Salem Lake, Island Pond, Clyde Pond and the Clyde River.
A trio of additional waters – Lake Carmi, Chittenden Reservoir and the Connecticut River, also offer quality walleye fishing but are subject to specific regulations.
In all waters of Vermont except Lake Carmi, Chittenden Reservoir and the Connecticut River, walleye have an 18” minimum length requirement and three-fish daily limit. The open season is from Saturday, May 6 to March 15, 2018.
Lake Carmi has a slot limit for walleye because of the lake’s high productivity and high rate of walleye harvest. The minimum length is 15 inches, all walleye between 17 and 19 inches must be released. The daily limit is five walleye, but only one may be over 19 inches long. The season is open May 6 through March 15.
Chittenden Reservoir has special walleye regulations in order to produce large walleye that can help control its over-abundant yellow perch population and provide anglers with an opportunity to harvest a trophy walleye. The minimum length is 22 inches, the daily limit is two, and the season is open June 1 through March 15.
Connecticut River walleye fishing rules are set by New Hampshire. No walleye between 16 and 18 inches may be kept and the daily limit is four fish, of which only one may be longer than 18 inches.
As a reminder to anglers, there is no open season on sauger, a close cousin to the walleye. Once more abundant in southern Lake Champlain, sauger may still appear there rarely. If caught while fishing for other fish, sauger must be immediately released.
Anglers are encouraged to reference the 2017 Vermont Fishing Guide & Regulations Digest or the new Online Fishing Regulations Tool at www.vtfishandwildlife.com to review a full listing of Vermont waters and all applicable regulations.
To purchase a fishing license, or learn more about fishing in Vermont, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.