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Title 10 Appendix: Vermont Fish and Wildlife Regulations

Chapter 002: FISH

  • Subchapter 001: General Provisions
  • § 101. Day

    Unless otherwise specifically provided, the legal day for purposes of this chapter shall begin at twelve o'clock midnight and continue until the next 12:00 midnight. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 2, eff. May 9, 1961.)

  • § 102. Hours

    Fish may be taken during the open season at any hour of the day. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 2, eff. May 9, 1961.)

  • §§ 103-106. Repealed.

  • § 107. Handheld Spear, Speargun, Crossbow, and Bow and Arrow

    (a) A person holding a hunting or combination license may take fish by handheld spear or speargun in accordance with 10 V.S.A. Appendix § 122. Section 122 sets forth the list of species that may be taken, the season, and the waters where the fish species may be taken. A Handheld Spear (including "spearing" in Title 10 § 4606(e)) is a manually powered spear used from above the water's surface. A Speargun is a pneumatic or rubber band powered device with a line not to exceed 20 feet attached to a spear, used from below the water's surface. Spearguns shall be loaded and discharged only beneath the surface of the water and shall be used while snorkeling/freediving only. Spearing while SCUBA diving is not permitted.

    (b) A person who holds a fishing or combination license may take fish species allowed under § 122 by bow or crossbow with line attached to arrow during the season provided and in waters designated by § 122 of these regulations.

    (c) A person who takes a fish by handheld spear, speargun, bow or crossbow with line attached to arrow, in accordance with § 122, shall keep the fish in his or her possession until the fish is permanently removed from waters of the state and used or disposed of properly. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 2, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 2017 Fish and Wildlife Regs, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)

  • § 108. Shooting pickerel

    A person holding a hunting or combination license may take pickerel by shooting, during the season provided therefor and in waters designated by section 122 of these regulations. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 2, eff. May 9, 1961.)

  • § 109. Repealed. 2017 Fish and Wildlife Reg., eff. January 1, 2018.

  • § 109a. Repealed.

  • § 110. Repealed.

  • § 111. Repealed. 1991, No. 230 (Adj. Sess.), § 1(11).

  • §§ 112-114. Repealed.

  • § 114a. Rule defining mouths of tributaries and lines between points to identify the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain.

     1.0 Authority

    This rule is promulgated pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 4609.

    This rule defines the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain, for reciprocal license purposes, easterly of which a Vermont fishing license is required for all individuals fifteen (15) years of age or older.

    This rule shall apply to all persons who take or attempt to take fish on the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain and that portion of Lake Champlain easterly of the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain.

    2.0 Purpose

    The purpose of this rule is to:

    a) Define that portion of Lake Champlain lying between the Vermont-New York State boundary and that portion of Lake Champlain lying wholly in Vermont where holders of a New York fishing license are extended reciprocal fishing privileges, and

    b) Provide a border for the eastern side of the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain that is easy for anglers to identify, and

    c) Ensure the conservation of the fish in the state.

     3.0 The Vermont-New York Lake Champlain Border

    For the purposes of this rule, and for reciprocal fishing privileges authorized by 10 V.S.A. § 4609(b), the Vermont-New York Lake Champlain Border is defined as starting at a point where the Poultney River empties into the East Bay, then through the middle of the deepest channel of East Bay to the middle of the deepest channel of Lake Champlain, then following the middle of the deepest channel of Lake Champlain in a generally northerly direction to the east of the Four Brothers Islands and the west of Grand Isle, North Hero and Isle La Motte, to the United States border with Canada.

     4.0 The Eastern Border of the Vermont Portion of Lake Champlain

    For the purposes of this rule, and for reciprocal fishing privileges authorized by 10 V.S.A. § 4609(b), the eastern border of the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain is defined as a line starting on the north shore of the Poultney River where it empties into East Bay, proceeding generally northerly along the shore to the old Rutland Railroad fill on Colchester Point, then following the western side of the old Rutland Railroad fill to Allen Point on Grand Isle, continuing northerly following the western shore of Grand Isle to Tromp Point, then across The Gut to Bow and Arrow Point, then continuing generally northerly along the western shore of North Hero to Pelots Point, then across the Alburg passage to the Point of the Tongue, and then along the western shore of the Alburg peninsula to the United States Border with Canada. When this line crosses a tributary to Lake Champlain, the line shall proceed from the downstream most point of land on one side of the tributary to the downstream most point of land on the other side of the tributary.

     5.0 Permitted Activities

    Holders of New York fishing licenses may take fish from that portion of Lake Champlain lying between the Vermont-New York border of Lake Champlain and the eastern border of the Vermont portion of Lake Champlain as defined in Part 4.0 above provided the State of New York grants the right to take fish to holders of Vermont fishing licenses in that portion of Lake Champlain lying between the Vermont-New York border and the New York shore.

    Graphic Representation of the Mouth of a Tributary   (Added 2003, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1500, eff. Oct. 31, 2003.)

  • § 115. Use of state controlled fishing access areas

    1.0 Authority

    1.1 This rule is adopted pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 4145(a) which authorizes the board to make rules to "regulate the use by the public of access areas, landing areas, parking areas or of other lands or waters acquired or maintained pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 4144."

    1.2 This rule applies to use of state controlled fishing access areas and to persons, businesses, or entities that use the fishing access areas.

    2.0 Purpose

    The purpose of this rule is to:

    2.1 Ensure current and future uses are orderly, sustainable, and in accordance with state and federal statutes and guidelines.

    2.2 Manage conflict between users by clarifying authorized and prohibited activities and ensuring users share in the burdens and benefits of use.

    2.3 Protect the fishing access areas for statutorily approved uses.

    3.0 Definitions 

    3.1 Commercial Activity is any activity or service that produces income to any entity or individual.

    3.2 Nonprofit Charitable Organization means an entity organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

    3.3 Picnicking includes but is not limited to any activity that involves, cooking, grilling, food preparation and, set-up associated with eating (including setting blankets or table cloths laid on the ground).

    3.4 Camping includes any activity using a tent, camper, or motor home, any activity involving preparation of an area for sleeping or, any overnight sleeping.

    3.5 Group use is use actually or potentially involving 10 or more people or two or more vehicles at a time.

    3.6 Parking is the leaving of motor vehicles or trailers unattended in an access area.

    3.7 Motor vehicles are all vehicles propelled or drawn by power other than muscle power.

    3.8 Vessel means motor boats, boats, kayaks, canoes and sail boats.

    4.0 Authorized Activities

    The following are authorized activities in order of priority:

    4.1 Angling, ice fishing and the launching of any vessel to be used for fishing and parking of vehicles and trailers necessary for and contemporaneous with these purposes.

    4.2 The launching of inboard and outboard motorboats engaging in any activity and parking of vehicles and trailers necessary for and contemporaneous with that purpose.

    4.3 Trapping, hunting and parking of vehicles and boat trailers necessary for and contemporaneous with that purpose.

    4.4 Launching of all non-motorized vessels not used for commercial purposes and parking of vehicles and boat trailers necessary for and contemporaneous  with that purpose. Users shall launch from the designated non-motorized launch site, when such a site is identified.

    4.5 ATV's and snowmobiles when being used solely for the purposes of ice fishing.

    4.6 Permitted special uses.

    5.0 Prohibited Activities

    5.1 Discarding of bottles, glass, cans, paper, junk, litter, food, or any other garbage or trash.

    5.2 Discarding of dead fish, wildlife or portions thereof.

    5.3 Washing or cleaning of vehicles and equipment other than for the purpose of removing aquatic plants and organisms.

    5.4 Washing or cleaning of fish or wildlife.

    5.5 Camping.

    5.6 Picnicking.

    5.7 Making or maintaining fire of any kind.

    5.8 Water skiing.

    5.9 Swimming.

    5.10 Use of snowmobiles and ATVs, except for those being utilized solely for the purpose of ice fishing.

    5.11 Parking of vehicles and or trailers while the vehicle owner or user is not present at the access area or on the adjacent public waters except as otherwise permitted by the Commissioner.

    5.12 Storage of vehicles and or trailers or placing of vehicles or trailers for sale.

    5.13 Withdrawal of water except as authorized under paragraph 6.0.

    5.14 Parking in excess of 72 consecutive hours except that the Commissioner may issue permits for longer parking when the Commissioner determines that there will be no adverse impact on authorized uses found in

    4.0 above.

    5.15 Commercial activity except as authorized by paragraph 7.0 below.

    5.16 Activity that interferes with a priority use, such as, but not limited to the mooring or beaching of boats, using the ramp to rig a boat or boats thus obstructing use of the ramp, and the storing of boats or trailers at an access area.

    5.17 Group use not specifically authorized by the Commissioner.

    5.18 Launching and recovery of sailboards, rafts, snow kites, and the parking of vehicles and trailers supporting these activities.

    5.19 All other activity that is not specifically permitted by this rule unless specifically authorized by the Commissioner.

     6.0 Authorized Users

    6.1 Any person who is engaged in any authorized activity.

    6.2 Any group that has received approval for group use in accordance with this rule.

    6.3 Fire departments that have executed a Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA) with the Commissioner for the installation and use of a dry hydrant. And then, only in accordance with their MOA. Fire departments may also use Access Areas without dry hydrants as emergency water sources to fight fires and will notify the local warden as soon as practicably possible.

    6.4 Individuals participating in a fishing tournament permitted under 10 V.S.A. § 4613.

    7.0 Limited Commercial Activity

    7.1 Commercial activity at fishing access areas is limited to entities and persons taking part in activities authorized by 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 above.

    8.0 Special Permits

    8.1 The Commissioner may authorize special permits for entities or persons to use an access area for group use when the Commissioner determines that there will be no adverse impact on authorized priority uses.

    8.2 The Commissioner may authorize the use of access areas by an educational institution or a nonprofit charitable organization conducting a fundraising event of limited duration, provided that the event will not conflict with a priority use of the access area.

    8.3 Special permits shall not be issued and may be revoked immediately for activities that substantially interfere with authorized uses.

    8.4 Permit fees shall be in accordance with the schedule of fees established under 10 V.S.A. § 4132(e).

    9.0 Speed Limit

    The maximum speed on access areas shall be 15 miles per hour. (Added 1962, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 641, eff. May 1, 1962; amended 1987, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 641, eff. June 4, 1987; 2006, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 641, eff. Aug. 31, 2006; 2007, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 641, eff. Sept. 1, 2006; Fish and Wildlife Board Reg., effective May 18, 2010.)

  • § 116. Atlantic salmon management in Connecticut River

    (a) Definitions.

    (1) "Angling" means fishing with hook and line which must be personally attended.

    (2) "Fly fishing" means angling with the use of a single fly with either a single or double (side by side) hook, whose gape may not exceed 1/2 inch, dressed with hair, feathers, tinsel, thread, yarn or similar material. The use of lead core lines is prohibited. Additional weight may not be built into the fly in its construction, as in a weighted nymph, and no additional weight or other attachments such as spinners or swivels shall be attached to the hook, leader or line, and the use of open or closed face spinning reels, spin cast reels, free spool reels, bait casting reels or similar devices is prohibited.

    (3) "River" means the main stem of the Connecticut River from a line drawn from Griswold Point in Old Lyme, Connecticut to Lynde Point, Old Saybrook, Connecticut upstream to the base of the dam at Lake Francis in Pittsburg, New Hampshire.

    (4) "Snagging" (snatching, lifting or jigging) means the taking or attempting to take any fish by foul hooking, that is, hooking the fish in any part of the body other than inside the mouth.

    (5) "States" means the Connecticut River basin states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

    (6) "Take" or "taking" means killing or capturing or otherwise rendering into possession.

    (b) Connecticut River Basin Atlantic Salmon License.

    (1) In accordance with the authorizing statutes, no person shall take, attempt to take, assist in taking or possess on the waters or the shores of the river or any of its tributaries any Atlantic salmon without first having obtained a Connecticut River basin Atlantic salmon license.

    (2) Such license shall be issued by the states on forms provided by the Commission and shall be valid during the calendar year of issue.

    (3) No person shall be issued such license unless such person has first obtained the appropriate sport fishing license required by the state which is to issue the Connecticut River basin Atlantic salmon license.

    (4) Such license shall be displayed in a conspicuous manner on the outer garment at all times when angling for Atlantic salmon.

    (5) The fee for such license shall be ten dollars and fifty cents ($10.50), fifty cents ($0.50) of which may be retained by the state of issuance.

    (c) Seasons, methods and limits.

    (1) No person shall take or attempt to take from the river or possess on the waters or shores of the river any Atlantic salmon except that the Commission, acting under Article VIII, Section 6 of its Statement of Practices and Procedures, when it has evidence that sufficient numbers of Atlantic salmon have returned to the river, may declare an open season in the river or in specified sections of the river for such periods as it deems appropriate and may close such season for cause.

    (2) Upon the declaration of an open season for Atlantic salmon in the river, the Commission shall provide, to the states, Connecticut River Atlantic salmon tags to be issued, at no additional cost, to holders of the Connecticut River basin Atlantic salmon license in a number determined by the Commission to be the individual season creel limit. Any person taking any Atlantic salmon in the main stem of the Connecticut River shall immediately attach thereto a Connecticut River salmon tag and the possession of an Atlantic salmon on the waters or shores of the river without such tag attached and the removal of such tag prior to preparation for consumption is prohibited.

    (3) During any open season declared by the Commission, Atlantic salmon may be taken by fly fishing only, the minimum length for Atlantic salmon shall be fifteen (15) inches and the daily and seasonal creel limit shall be as determined by the Commission upon declaration of an open season.

    (4) Any Atlantic salmon taken under the provisions of this section must be presented for inspection within forty-eight (48) hours to an authorized agent of the fish and wildlife agency in the state in which such Atlantic salmon was taken.

    (5) The snagging of Atlantic salmon is prohibited.

    (6) The taking of Atlantic salmon with the aid of an artificial light is prohibited.

    (7) No Atlantic salmon may be taken within 250 feet of any dam or fishway.

    (8) The use of a gaff to land Atlantic salmon is prohibited.

    (9) All Atlantic salmon taken contrary to this section shall be immediately returned, without avoidable injury, to the water from which taken.

    (d) Scientific purposes. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a duly authorized state, federal, or Commission employee, acting within the scope of official employment, from taking or possessing Atlantic salmon for the purposes of research, management or propagation.

    (e) Penalties. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be subject to the penalties set forth in the statutes of the state in which the violation occurred. Upon conviction of any person for any violation of any provision of this section, the Connecticut River basin license issued to such person and the right to obtain such license shall be suspended for a period of one year for the first violation, two years for the second violation and five years for the third and subsequent violations. Upon suspension of said license, any Connecticut River Atlantic salmon tags issued under the provisions of this section shall be surrendered to the state of issuance.

    (f) Effective date. The effective date of this section shall be June 1, 1985. (Added 1985, Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission Regs., eff. June 1, 1985.)

  • § 117. Fish propagation

    (1) Purpose. The purpose of this regulation is to carry out the mandate of the Vermont General Assembly to control, through a permit program, the propagation of fish, 10 V.S.A. chapter 119, §§ 5207-5209. In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding of the operation of the fish health inspection program was adopted July 21, 1992, by the Commissioners of the Fish and Wildlife Department and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will review the Fish and Wildlife regulation governing the industry of fish propagation annually. This review will consider the recommendations of the Vermont Aquaculture Advisory Board to include testimony and data.

    (2) Scope of Regulations. The provisions of this part are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any present State law or regulation pertaining to the taking of any fish in a lawful means and lawful manner. These regulations provide for the establishment of an application process, investigation process, permit issuance process and conditions under which the propagated species may be sold or purchased.

    (3) Definitions.

    (A) Fish. All fresh water fish and any salt water fish capable of adapting to fresh water. Also includes live fish, viable fish eggs, and viable sperm.

    (B) Propagation. To cause to multiply or breed. To increase the species, or to cause to spread.

    (C) Endangered Species. All fish named as threatened or endangered by the Federal Endangered Species Act (P.L. 93-205) and those listed as threatened or endangered pursuant to 10 V.S.A. chapter 123.

    (D) Commissioner. Commissioner of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

    (E) Department. Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

    (F) Injurious Fish. Fish determined by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to be a danger to or potential danger to, Vermont's fish or wildlife.

    (G) Annual Fish Health Inspection. Annual inspection (minimum once a year) for fish pathogens using inspection procedures approved by the Department, such as those provided for in the most recent addition of the "Blue Book," which is developed by the Fish Health Section of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) or the most recent addition of the "Fish Health Protection Regulations Manual of Compliance," of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada.

    (H) Fish Health Inspector. Person responsible for carrying out fish health inspections based on standards approved by the Department, such as those provided for by the Fish Health Section of the American Fisheries Society and/or the New England Salmonid Health Guidelines.

    Fish health inspectors shall have access to adequate laboratory facilities and qualified personnel to assure the prompt conduct of inspections, diagnosis, and reporting.

    (I) Fish Lot. A group of fish of the same species and age that originated from the same discrete spawning population during the same year, and are being raised on the same water source.

    (4) Permit Requirements.

    (A) A person shall not rear for sale or distribution, any species of live fish within this state without first procuring a permit from the Commissioner to do so (10 V.S.A. chapter 119, §§ 5207-5209). Persons maintaining fish in a closed rearing aquarium (no water discharge) may request exemptions (on the fish propagation application form) from the Annual Fish Health Inspection and/or the Breeders License.

    (B) All individuals holding a Breeders License for trout and/or salmon will be required to have annual fish health inspections, conducted by a qualified fish health inspector acceptable by the Department. However, persons maintaining fish in a closed rearing unit may be exempt from the annual fish health inspection. All fish lots on the facility shall be tested for VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia), IPN (Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis), IHN (Infectious Hematopietic Necrosis), BKD (Renibacterium salmoninarum), ERM (Yersinia ruckeri), Aeromonas salmonicida (Furunculosis), Myxobolus cerebralis (Whirling disease), and other disease agents, that may be deemed necessary by the Commissioner. Fish health inspections will be scheduled by the fish health inspector. Individuals holding a Breeders License will be responsible for providing aid to help the fish health inspector with the collection of fish during the scheduled date of the inspection.

    (C) Other species will be required to be inspected for those pathogens deemed necessary by the Commissioner with the approval of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

    (D) Sample sizes for each lot must be approved by the Department such as those provided for by the Fish Health Section of the (AFS) and/or the New England Salmonid Health Guidelines. (Mixed fish lots will be sampled according to the discretion of the Department.)

    (E) If at any time fish are found to be infected with the causative agents of VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia), IHN (Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis), Whirling Disease (Myxobolus cerebralis) and/or other diseases as determined by the Commissioner to be a serious threat to the fishery resources of the State of Vermont, the Commissioner shall have the authority to impose an immediate prohibition on moving any fish. During the prohibition a compliance agreement stating the appropriate procedures for the disposal of fish and the disinfection of the facility shall be determined by the Department's appropriate representative and in consultation with the owner/perator in cooperation with a nonaffiliated fish health specialist. Other diseases as determined by the Commissioner, with the approval of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Markets, to be a serious threat to the fisheries resources of the State of Vermont may also result in this action.

    The action shall be designed to bring the least amount of economic hardship to the affected party, while affording maximum protection to other operators, growers, and the fishery resources of the State of Vermont.

    (5)(A) Application.

    (1) The applicant for a Breeders License shall apply on a form supplied by the Department and include appropriate fee. Such forms must be complete in all respects and shall contain the following information:

    (a) License number.

    (b) A description of the land or water to be utilized for propagation.

    (c) Information on whether the applicant is the owner or lessee of such lands or waters. If the applicant is not the owner, list the owner's name and address.

    (d) A map of the property and waters indicating any ingress and egress to his/her waters by public waters.

    (e) A map of existing and/or proposed fish rearing units, including water sources. Unit type, volume, and available water supply (gallons per minute) should be included.

    (f) Reason for propagating species: food fish or live sale (percent of each).

    (g) The complete name, common and scientific, of each fish species will be listed on the application.

    (h) A copy of the latest annual fish health inspection report and the fish health inspection reports of fish lots introduced to the station in the past year must be included. (See Page 2, B through E.)

    (i) The applicant shall sign the application.

    (j) A report shall be sent to the Department 30 days prior to the anniversary date of initial issuance. The report shall have an annual accounting (since submission of previous application) of all fish lots and/or eggs purchased or obtained, from who purchased or obtained, number, kind, and size of fish and/or eggs. The applicant shall sign the report. (Failure to comply will disqualify the permittee for issuance of a subsequent permit.)

    (2) Upon receipt of the application the Department shall, within 30 working days, investigate and determine if the information on the application is correct and approve or deny the application.

    (B) Issuance of Permit.

    (1) Breeders Licenses will not be issued for: Endangered Species or Injurious Fish.

    (2) If the permit application is denied, the applicant may appeal to the Commissioner for a hearing pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.

    (3) Conditional permits may be issued, based on specifications and requirements set forth by the Department.

    (4) All Breeders Licenses shall expire on the anniversary date of initial issuance. Subsequent applications for a propagation permit will, if approved, receive the same breeders permit number assigned in the past.

    (6) Marking- Invoices. All persons licensed to propagate fish pursuant to this part shall provide an invoice and/or mark any box, carton, barrel, can, or other type of container or wrapper containing any propagated fish with the following information:

    (a) Name and address of propagator, supplier, or producer

    (b) License number

    (c) Species

    (d) Number and/or total weight. (Added 1994, Fish and Wildlife Commissioner's Reg. No. 1004, eff. March 26, 1994.)

  • § 118. Repealed by order of the commissioner.

  • § 119. Filleting fish

    No species of fish that has a length limit restriction shall be filleted or altered to restrict the determination of length while on any body of water, except as follows:

    If fish are to be consumed or filleted on the water, the fillets may be removed, but the head, vertebrae, and tail must be retained and remain intact to determine legal length. (Added 1991, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 943, eff. Jan. 5, 1991.)

  • § 120. Special regulations- Noyes Pond

    1. Fishing in Noyes Pond shall be by fly fishing only. (Flies shall be artificial only.)

    2. The flies shall be single hook only, and must be either barbless or the barb filed or crimped down.

    3. Fishing from the shore of Noyes Pond and its tributaries is prohibited.

    4. Fishing is permitted only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and one (1) hour after official sunset. (Added 1991, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 987, eff. Aug. 9, 1991.)


  • Subchapter 002: Seasons, Waters, and Limits
  • § 121. Rule establishing a list for prohibited, restricted and unrestricted fish species

     1.0 Authority

    1.1 This rule is adopted pursuant to 10 V.S.A §  4081(a) which provides that the protection, propagation, control, management, and conservation of fish, wildlife, and furbearing animals in this State is in the interest of the public welfare and that the safeguarding of these valuable resources for the people of the State requires a constant and continual vigilance.

    1.2 10 V.S.A. § 4605(c)(3) provides that the Commissioner may, by rule, adopt a list of fish which, if introduced into Vermont waters, have the potential to cause harm to the fish population of the State.

     2.0 Purpose

    2.1  It is the purpose of this regulation to carry out the mandate of the Vermont General Assembly to control through a permit program the importation and possession of fish species as provided in 10 V.S.A. § 4605(c)(3) to guard the health of Vermont's fish populations by preventing the introduction of fish species that could have the potential to cause harm to fish populations of the State.

     3.0 Definitions

    3.1 "Fish" means all live fresh- and salt-water fish species including viable fish ovum and viable fish semen.

    3.2 "Transgenic Fish" means any fish that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology. This definition does not include diploid, triploid, or hybrid-crossed fish.

    3.3 "Department" means Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

    3.4 "Commissioner" means Fish and Wildlife Department Commissioner.

    3.5 "Person" means an individual, association, corporation, partnership, or municipality, or other entity.

    3.6 "State" means State of Vermont.

     4.0 Importation and Possession of Live Fish

    4.1 This rule establishes a list by which the importation and possession of fish shall be regulated.

    4.1.1 Prohibited Fish Species Section: Fish species for which importation into or possession within Vermont shall be prohibited except through a Commissioner's Prohibited Fish Species Permit. This section of the list primarily includes species not native to the State that are known to pose a threat to Vermont's fish populations and/or aquatic ecosystems.

    4.1.2 Restricted Fish Species Section: This section of the list primarily includes native and certain naturalized fish species which although they may not require a Commissioner's Prohibited Fish Species Permit as set out in 4.1.1 above, may be regulated through other department permits including but not limited to 10 V.S.A. § 4605(b) Importation of Fish; 10 V.S.A. § 5403, Protection of Endangered and Threatened Species; and 10 V.S.A. App. § 122, Fish Regulations.

    4.1.3 Unrestricted Fish Species Section: This section of the list primarily includes species commonly imported into the State for the pet or aquarium trade and are currently considered to pose minimal or no risk to Vermont fish populations. A Commissioner's Prohibited Fish Species Permit is not required to import or possess these species. Additionally, any species not on the Unrestricted, Restricted and Prohibited lists and which natural global distribution range occurs entirely within the bounds of the 30° north latitude and the 30° south latitude may be imported or possessed in Vermont without prior review and approval of the Commissioner. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an importation permit is required for any fish brought into the State which are intended to be introduced into waters of the State as per 10 V.S.A. § 4605(b), and no fish shall be introduced into any waters except private ponds lacking access to other waters of the State as per 10 V.S.A. § 4605(a).

    4.2 All fish species not included in the sections of the list covered by 4.1.2 (Restricted Fish Species Section) and 4.1.3 (Unrestricted Fish Species Section) shall also be considered to be Prohibited Fish Species.

    4.3 The importation and/or possession of transgenic fishes shall be prohibited unless explicitly included in the Unrestricted Fish Species section.

     5.0 Review, Revision & Maintenance of List

    5.1 The Commissioner may review and revise the species contained within the list. The public may submit any species of fish for consideration of inclusion in this list by submitting a written request with relevant documentation.

    5.2 The Department shall maintain an up-to-date list of prohibited, restricted, and unrestricted fish species and shall make this list available on the Department's website, from the Department's headquarters and from the Department's district offices.

     6.0 Permits

    6.1 Prohibited Fish Species Permits. The Commissioner may issue a Commissioner's Prohibited Fish Species Permit allowing importation and possession of a fish on the Prohibited Fish Species section of the list.

    6.1.1 In issuing a permit, the Commissioner shall consider:

    (a) How the fish are being kept in a controlled environment including but not limited to artificial tanks without inflow or outflow, and; without connection to waters of the State;

    (b) Whether the purpose is for research;

    (c) Whether the purpose is for education;

    (d) Whether it is for public purpose;

    (e) Whether there are available alternatives;

    (f) The health of native or naturalized fish species.

    6.1.2 A permit issued under this subsection shall include conditions that ensure the health and safety of Vermont's fish population.

    6.2 Restricted Fish Species Permits. Fish in the Restricted Fish Species section do not require a Commissioner's Prohibited Fish Species Permit. However, as noted in paragraph 4.1.2 above, other Department permits may be required to import and/or possess fish listed in the Restricted Fish Species section.

     7.0 Permit Applications

    7.1 Applications for Commissioner's Prohibited Fish Species Permits shall be complete and submitted to the Department on an application form to be provided by the Department. For an application to be considered complete, it shall be legible, shall contain all information requested by the Department, shall contain no false statements, shall bear the applicant's official signature and shall be accompanied by the required application fee.

    7.2 With regard to all fish, the applicant shall present to the Department, as a requirement of the permit, written fish health inspection reports as the Department may specify, and invoices clearly indicating the source of the fish to be imported. Fish health inspection reports shall be made by a qualified fish health inspector acceptable to the Department.

     8.0 Inspections

    8.1 Persons holding a Commissioner's Prohibited Fish Species Permit shall allow inspection at reasonable times of their premises, facilities, records, and fish by the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee(s).

    8.2 The issued permit shall be available for inspection by the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee(s).

     9.0 Quarantine, Destruction or Sterilization Where Disease and/or Harmful Species are Present

    9.1 The Department may require a period of quarantine and treatment, the destruction of fish, and/or order remedial action if necessary, if a harmful fish species and/or fish pathogen is confirmed. This shall occur at the expense of the owner.

    (Added 2009, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg., eff. Jan. 10, 2010; amended 2018 Fish and Wildlife Reg., eff. Feb. 1, 2018.)

  • § 122. Fish Management Regulation

    1.0 Authority

    This rule is adopted pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 4081(b). In adopting this rule, the Fish and Wildlife Board is following the policy established by the General Assembly that the protection, propagation, control, management, and conservation of fish, wildlife and fur-bearing animals in this state is in the interest of the public welfare and that the safeguarding of this valuable resource for the people of the state requires a constant and continual vigilance.

    In accordance with 10 V.S.A. § 4082, this rule is designed to maintain the best health, population and utilization levels of Vermont's fisheries.

    In accordance with 10 V.S.A. § 4083, this rule establishes open seasons; establishes daily, season, possession limits and size limits; prescribes the manner and means of taking fish; and prescribes the manner of transportation and exportation of fish.

    2.0 Purpose

    It is the policy of the State that the protection, propagation control, management and conservation of fish, wildlife, and fur-bearing animals in this State is in the interest of the public welfare, and that safeguarding of this valuable resource for the people of the State requires a constant and continual vigilance.

    3.0 Open-Water Fishing, legal methods of taking fish

    3.1 Definitions

    3.1.1 Department -  Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    3.1.2 Commissioner -  Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife Commissioner.

    3.1.3 Open-water fishing -  Fishing by means of hook and line in hand or attached to a rod or other device in open water. Fishing by casting or trolling baited hooks, artificial flies or lures is considered open-water fishing.

    3.1.4 Baited Hook -  A single shank hook with 1, 2, or 3 points which may be baited with natural or artificial bait or both.

    3.1.5 Lure -  A man-made device designed to catch only 1 fish at a time, to include a spoon, plug, spinner, bait harness, tandem hook streamer or lead head jig.

    3.1.6 Fly -  A single pointed hook dressed with feathers, hair, thread, tinsel, or any similar material wound on or about the hook to which no hooks, spinners, spoons, or similar devices have been added.

    3.1.7 Handheld Spear -  A manually powered spear used from above the water's surface.

    3.1.8 Speargun -  A pneumatic or rubber band powered device, with a line not to exceed 20 feet attached to a spear, used from below the water's surface.

    3.1.9 Cull Fish -  Carp, tench, rudd, shad (alewife and gizzard shad), and goldfish. Additional invasive/exotic fish species may be designated by the Commissioner as "cull fish."

    3.1.10 Immediate Control -  Such constant control as would enable the angler to respond forthwith to a fish taking their bait, lure or fly promptly and without any delay.

    3.1.11 Snagging -  Snagging shall mean the intentional hooking of a fish in a place other than the inside of the fish's mouth. No person shall pull, jerk or otherwise purposefully and/or repeatedly manipulate a hook, or hooks and line to snag or hook a fish in any method other than to entice a fish into taking, by mouth, a hook, lure or fly. Repeated and/or exaggerated jerking or pulling of the fishing line and/or hooks in any attempt to snag fish, whether it results in physically snagging a fish or not, shall be prima facie evidence that snagging has taken place. This shall not apply to the use of a gaff to land a fish that has been legally hooked.

    3.2 Whether still fishing, casting, or trolling in Vermont waters, a person may take fish only by using not more than two lines over which he or she has immediate control and to each of which lines is attached not more than two baited hooks, or more than three artificial flies, or more than two lures with or without bait, except that at Seymour Lake and Little Averill Lake a person may take fish only by using not more than one line.

    3.3 A person open-water fishing shall not take fish through the ice, from the ice, or from an object supported by the ice.

    3.4 A person shall not take any fish pursuant to subsection (3.2) unless it is hooked in the mouth. Any fish taken under subsection (3.2) that is not hooked in the mouth shall be immediately released pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 4602. A fish hooked in any part of the body other than in the mouth shall be considered to be foul hooked, and shall be prima facie evidence of foul hooking.

    3.5 Taking or attempting to take fish by snagging is prohibited in all Vermont Waters.

    4.0 Ice Fishing

    4.1 Definitions

    4.1.1 Ice Fishing -  Ice fishing is defined as fishing by means of hook and line in hand or attached to a rod, tip-up, jack or bob, where the angler is fishing through a hole in the ice, from the ice or on an object supported by the ice. Fishing by casting or trolling baited hooks, artificial flies or lures shall not be considered ice fishing.

    4.2 Fish may be taken through the ice with not more than two baited hooks or three artificial flies or two lures on each line. A person shall not operate more than eight lines, except on Lake Champlain where no more than 15 lines may be operated, and except on Seymour and Little Averill Lakes, where not more than four lines may be operated.

    4.3 A person ice fishing shall at all times, have immediate control over all lines they operate. A person ice fishing shall be able to visually observe lines they operate. Any line that indicates a fish shall be tended with 30 minutes.

    4.4 A person shall not take any fish pursuant to subsection (4.2) unless it is hooked in the mouth. Any fish taken under subsection (4.2) that is not hooked in the mouth shall be immediately released pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 4602. A fish hooked in any part of the body other than in the mouth shall be considered to be foul hooked, and shall be prima facie evidence of foul hooking.

    4.5 The definitions of section 3 are applicable to this section.

    4.6 Taking or attempting to take fish by snagging is prohibited in all Vermont Waters.

    5.0 Lake Champlain Boundaries

    Lake Champlain proper shall be considered to include the setback at the same level and the major tributaries to the lake to the following boundaries:

    Dead Creek to Panton Road bridge in Panton;

    East Creek to the falls in Orwell (downstream of Mount Independence Road);

    Lamoille River to the top of first dam (Peterson Dam) in Milton;

    LaPlatte River to the falls in Shelburne (under Falls Road bridge);

    Lewis Creek to falls in North Ferrisburgh (just upstream of Old Hollow Road);

    Little Otter Creek to falls in Ferrisburgh Center (downstream of Little Chicago Road);

    Malletts Creek to the first falls upstream of Roosevelt Highway (US 2 and US 7) in Colchester;

    Mill River in Georgia to the falls in Georgia (just upstream of Georgia Shore Road bridge);

    Missisquoi River to the top of Swanton Dam in the Village of Swanton;

    Mud Creek to the dam in Alburg (just upstream of Route 78 bridge);

    Otter Creek to the top of the dam in the city of Vergennes;

    Poultney River to Central Vermont Power Dam at Carver Falls in West Haven;

    Rock River to first Canadian border crossing;

    Winooski River to the Winooski One hydropower dam west of Main Street (US 7) in Winooski and Burlington;

    6.0 Clyde River: Catch and Release

    Between September 1 and October 31, on the Clyde River from Lake Memphremagog upstream to Charleston Dam (Lubber Lake), West Charleston, a person may fish with artificial flies and lures only, and all salmon caught must be released.

    7.0 Seasonally Closed Waters

    7.1 The following lakes and ponds or portions thereof are hereby designated seasonally closed waters and shall be closed to all fishing except during the open season for trout as provided in section 8 of these regulations:

    Adams Reservoir, Woodford

    Ansel Pond, Bethel

    Baker Pond, Barton

    Bald Hill Pond, Westmore

    Bean Pond, Sutton

    Beaver Pond, Holland

    Beck Pond, Newark

    Beebe Pond, Sunderland

    Big Averill Lake, Norton and Averill

    Big Mud Pond, Mt. Tabor

    Blake Pond, Sutton

    Bourn Pond, Sunderland

    Branch Pond, Sunderland

    Brown Pond, Westmore

    Caspian Lake, Greensboro

    Center Pond, Newark

    Colby Pond, Plymouth

    Cow Mountain Pond, Granby

    Crystal Lake, Barton

    Duck Pond, Sutton

    Dufresne Pond, Manchester

    East Long Pond, Woodbury

    Echo Lake, Charleston

    Ewell Pond, Peacham

    Forest Lake, Averill

    Goshen Dam (Sugar Hill Reservoir), Goshen

    Griffith Lake, Mt. Tabor

    Hapgood Pond, Peru

    Hartwell Pond, Albany

    Holland Pond, Holland

    Jobs Pond, Westmore

    Knapp Brook Pond No. 1, Reading and Cavendish

    Knapp Brook Pond No. 2, Reading and Cavendish

    Lake Dunmore-Salisbury and Leicester - Except from Sucker Brook to

    the island south, which shall be open.

    Levi Pond, Groton

    Lewis Pond, Lewis

    Little Averill Lake, Averill

    Little Elmore Pond, Elmore

    Little Rocky Pond, Wallingford

    Long Pond, Newbury

    Long Pond, Westmore

    Maidstone Lake, Maidstone

    Marl Pond, Sutton

    Martins Pond, Peacham

    May Pond, Barton

    McIntosh Pond, Royalton

    Mud Pond, Hyde Park

    Nelson Pond (Forest Lake), Calais and Woodbury

    Nichols Pond, Woodbury

    North Pond, Chittenden

    Norton Pond, Norton

    Notch Pond, Ferdinand

    Noyes (Seyon) Pond, Groton

    Peacham Pond, Peacham

    Perch Pond, (Zack Woods Pond), Hyde Park

    Pigeon Pond, Groton

    Red Mill Pond, Woodford

    Seymour Lake, Morgan

    Shadow Lake, Glover

    Silver Lake, Leicester

    South America Pond, Ferdinand

    South Pond, Marlboro

    Spring Lake, Shrewsbury

    Stannard Pond, Stannard

    Sterling Pond, Cambridge

    Stoughton Pond, Weathersfield

    Stratton Pond, Stratton

    Sunset Lake, Benson

    Unknown Pond, Averys Gore

    Unknown Pond, Ferdinand

    Vail Pond, Sutton

    Vernon Hatchery Pond, Vernon

    West Mountain Pond, Maidstone

    Wheeler Pond, Barton and Sutton

    Willoughby Lake, Westmore

    Zack Woods, (Perch Pond), Hyde Park

    7.2 All streams are hereby designated seasonally closed waters and shall be closed to all fishing except during the open season for trout as provided in section 8 of these regulations; and

    7.2.1 except that the following streams shall be open to trout fishing only, and no fishing for other species shall be allowed, from November 1 to the Friday before the second Saturday in April, as set forth in Table 7.2.2.

     

    7.2.2: STREAMS OPEN TO FISHING FOR TROUT ONLY FROM

     NOVEMBER 1 TO THE FRIDAY BEFORE THE SECOND      WEEK IN APRIL

    1. Waters

    2. Methods

    3.Season

    Size Restrictions

    5.Daily Bag Limit

    Listed Below

    Artificial fly or lure only

    November 1 to the Friday before the 2nd Saturday in April:

    Catch and release only

    Zero-All trout must be immediately released to the water where taken:

    Black River – From the top of the Lovejoy Dam in Springfield upstream to  the Howard Hill Road Bridge in Cavendish.

    Deerfield River – From the Woods Road (Medburyville) bridge in Wilmington upstream approximately 2 miles to the VT Route 9W bridge in Searsburg.

    East Creek (Rutland City) – From the confluence with Otter Creek upstream (approximately 2.7 miles) to the top of the Patch Dam in Rutland City.

    Hoosic River – From the Vermont/New York border upstream to the Vermont/Massachusetts border.

    Lamoille River – From the top of the hydroelectric dam at Fairfax Falls upstream to the top of the Cady’s Falls Dam in Morristown. 

    Moose River – From the confluence with Passumpsic River upstream to the downstream edge of the Concord Avenue bridge in St. Johnsbury.

    Otter Creek – From the top of the Center Rutland Falls in Rutland upstream to the Danby-Mt. Tabor Forest Road Bridge (Forest Road #10) in Mt. Tabor.

    Passumpsic River – From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the top of Arnolds Falls Dam in St. Johnsbury.

    Walloomsac River– From the Vermont/New York border in Bennington upstream to the top of the former Vermont Tissue Plant Dam (downstream of Murphy Road) in Bennington. 

    Winooski River – From the top of the Bolton Dam  in Waterbury and Duxbury upstream to the VT Route 2/100 in Duxbury and Waterbury.

     

    8.0 Fish -  Open Seasons, Size Restrictions and Daily Bag Limits.

     

    Fish of the species named or described in the tables set forth below may be taken:

    In the waters specified in column 1, by the method specified in column 2, during the open season specified in column 3.

    Provided they meet any size restrictions specified in column 4., and only in numbers listed under daily bag limits specified in column 5., under no circumstances may a person take in one day, more than the daily bag or weight limit from a listed body of water. No person may take in aggregate more than the daily State-wide aggregate limit for any species listed.

    Businesses may buy lawfully taken fish, with the approval of the Commissioner, pursuant to the Commercial angling rules set forth in 10 V.S.A. App. 123.

    8.1 Possession limits are equal to twice the daily bag limits. Fish species with limit restrictions may not be possessed in excess of the possession limits at any time.

    8.1.1 No person shall have live fish in their possession that are transported in a manner which attempts to keep them alive when leaving waters of the State (10 V.S.A. § 1251(13)), except as follows:

    8.1.1.1 the person has been issued a Commercial Bait Dealers Permit by the Commissioner,

    8.1.1.2 the person has been issued scientific collection permit by the Commissioner which specifically approves of the activity,

    8.1.1.3 the person has been issued a fish transportation permit by the Commissioner which specifically approves of the activity,

    8.1.1.4 the person has been issued a fish breeders permit or fish importation permit by the Commissioner which specifically approves of the activity.

    8.2 The daily bag limit for a fish species on a water body with a closed season for that fish species is zero.

    8.3 "General waters" restrictions are the provisions applicable to all waters of the State, except the waters specifically named or described.

    8.4 Unless otherwise specifically provided, fish not listed in this regulation may be taken at any time and without size or catch limit, in waters not listed as seasonally closed waters in Section 7 of these regulations.

    8.5 Open Seasons, Size Restrictions and Daily Bag Limits Tables

     

    8.5.1 STATEWIDE AGGREGATE DAILY BAG LIMITS

    (Maximum number of a fish species that may be taken in one day)

     

     

             FISH SPECIES                          DAILY AGGREGRATE LIMITS

    Brook Trout                                                    12 fish

    Brown and Rainbow Trout        Maximum Combination of 6 fish

    Lake Trout                              2 fish, (3 if taken from Lake Champlain)

    Salmon                                                            2 fish

    Large and Smallmouth Bass      Maximum combination of 5 fish

    Northern Pike                                                  5 fish

    Chain Pickerel                                                10 fish

    Muskellunge                                                   0 fish

    Walleye                                                           3 fish

    Black and White Crappie                                25 fish

    American Shad                                               0 fish

    Yellow Perch                                                  50 fish

    Yellow Perch exception                      Lake Champlain - No daily limit

    Sauger                                                             0 fish

     


     

    8.5.2 BROOK, BROWN AND RAINBOW TROUT

     

    1. Waters           2. Methods         3. Season            4. Size                5. Daily Bag

                                                                                  Restrictions        Limit

     

    General              Open-Water       Second               No restriction     6 trout

    waters.                fishing              Saturday in

    (except as                                   April through

    listed below)                               October 31

    Lake Champlain Open-water        No closed           Minimum length             3 trout

                              and ice fishing   season                 of 12 inches

    Rivers and          Open-water        Second               No restriction     12 trout, of

    Streams               fishing               Saturday in                                 which not

    April through                             more

                                                        October 31                                 than 6 can be

                                                                                                         brown and/or

                                                                                                           rainbow

     

    8.5.3 TROPHY TROUT STREAMS

     

    1. Waters           2. Methods         3. Season            4. Size                5. Daily Bag

                                                                                  Restrictions        Limit

     

    Listed Below:  Open-water     Second            No restriction  2 trout in

                                 fishing        Saturday in                              aggregate

                                                    April through

                                                    October 31

    Black River along Rt. 131 in Weathersfield and Cavendish, - from

    Downers covered bridge upstream (approximately 4 miles) to the next bridge

    across the river, The Howard Hill Bridge.

     

    East Creek in Rutland City - From the confluence with Otter Creek

    upstream (approximately 2.7 miles) to the top of the Patch Dam in Rutland

    City.

     

    Lamoille River From the downstream edge of the bridge on Route 104 in

    the Village of Fairfax upstream (approximately 1.6 miles) to the top of the

    Fairfax Falls Dam in Fairfax.

     

    Little River - From the confluence with Winooski River in Waterbury

    upstream to the top of the Waterbury Reservoir Dam in Waterbury.

     

    Missisquoi River in Enosburg and Sheldon - From the downstream edge

    of Kane Road (TH-3) bridge upstream (approximately 5.7 miles) to the top of

    the Enosburg Falls Dam in Enosburg Falls.

     

    Otter Creek in Danby and Mt. Tabor - From the Vermont Railway Bridge

    north of the fishing access upstream (approximately 2 miles) to the Danby-Mt.

    Tabor Forest Rd. Bridge (Forest Road # 10).

     

    Passumpsic River in the Village of St. Johnsbury - From the top of

    the Gage Dam in St. Johnsbury upstream (approximately 2.4 miles) to the top

    of the Arnold Falls Dam.

     

    Moose River - From the confluence with the Passumpsic River

    upstream (approximately 350 feet) to the downstream edge of the Concord

    Avenue bridge in the Village of St. Johnsbury.

     

    Walloomsac River in Bennington - From the Vermont/New York border

    upstream to the top of the former Vermont Tissue Plant Dam (downstream of

    Murphy Road) in Bennington.

     

    Winooski River in Duxbury and Waterbury - From the top of the Bolton

    Dam in Duxbury and Waterbury upstream to the Route 2 Bridge (east side of

    Waterbury Village).

    8.5.4 RAINBOW TROUT (Including STEELHEAD) / BROWN TROUT

     

    1. Waters      2. Methods      3. Season       4. Size                            5. Daily Bag

                                                                      Restrictions                    Limit

     

    Listed       Open-water   Second         Minimum length         2 trout

    Below:      fishing          Saturday in   of 10 inches

                                           April through

                                           October 31

     Lakes and Ponds

          Caspian Lake, Greensboro

          Echo Lake,

    Charleston

          Lake Memphremagog (including South Bay), Coventry, Derby, Newport

                City and Newport;

    Willoughby Lake, Westmore

     

    Rivers and Streams:

          Orleans County:

              Barton River - From Lake Memphremagog upstream to the downstream

                side of the US Route 5 bridge southernmost and closest to the Village

                of Barton in Barton.

              Black River - From Lake Memphremagog upstream to the downstream

                side of the VT Route 14 / 58 bridge in Irasburg.

              Johns River - From the downstream edge of the first bridge (culvert)

                upstream of Lake Memphremagog on North Derby Road (TH #6)

                upstream to U.S. 5, in Derby.

              Willoughby River - The entire Willoughby River, from the confluence

                with Barton River in Barton upstream to the Willoughby Lake outlet  in

                Westmore.

    8.5.5 BROOK, BROWN, RAINBOW, LAKE TROUT AND SALMON - 2 FISH AGGREGATE LIMITS

     

    1. Waters      2. Methods      3. Season       4. Size                  5. Daily Bag

                                                                            Restrictions    Limit

    Listed          Open-water       Second              See                  Two fish in

    below:         fishing               Saturday in        regulations     aggregate

                                                  April through   for specific

                                                  October 31        bodies of

                                                                            waters

    Big Averill Lake, Norton and Averill

    Caspian Lake, Greensboro

    Center

    Pond, Newark

    Crystal Lake, Barton

    East Long Pond, Woodbury

    Echo Lake,

    Charleston

    Elligo Lake, Craftsbury and Greensboro

    Forest Lake (Nelson

    Pond), Calais and Woodbury

    Harveys Lake, Barnet

    Jobs Pond, Westmore

    Lake Dunmore, Salisbury

    Lake Memphremagog (including South Bay), Coventry, Derby, Newport City and Newport

    Little Averill Lake, Averill

    Long Pond, Westmore

    Maidstone Lake, Maidstone

    Martins Pond, Peacham

    Nelson Pond (Forest

    Lake), Calais and Woodbury

    Nichols Pond, Woodbury

    Seymour Lake, Morgan

    Shadow Lake, Glover

    Spring Lake, Shrewsbury

    Sunset Lake, Benson

    Willoughby Lake, Westmore.


     

    8.5.6 STREAMS OPEN TO YEAR ROUND TROUT FISHING

     

    1. Waters      2. Methods      3. Season           4. Size             5. Daily Bag

                                                                            Restrictions    Limit

    The follow   Artificial fly    No closed           Catch and       Zero - All

    ing por-        or lure only,     season for           release only    trout must be  

    tions of         except during   catch and                                   immediately

    the speci-      the open           release only                               returned to

    fied rivers     season for                                                          the waters

    shall be         trout.                                                                  where taken,

    open to                                                                                    except during

    fishing for                                                                               the open

    trout  year                                                                                season, limits

    round:                                                                                      apply in

    (Listed                                                                                     accordance

    below)                                                                                    with the river

                                                                                                    selected.

                                                    Open season;    During the

                                                    from the 2nd    open season

                                                    Saturday in     follow any

                                                    April through   species

                                                    October 31      restrictions

                                                   for the

                                                   selected river

    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.

    Missisquoi River - From Lake Champlain boundary upstream to the top of

                the Enosburg Falls Dam in Enosburg Falls.

    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.

    Waits River - From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the top of

                the Central Vermont Power Dam in Bradford.

    West River - From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the

                Townshend Dam in Townshend.

    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.

    8.5.7 LAKE TROUT AND SALMON

     

    1. Waters         2. Methods      3. Season         4. Size             5. Daily Bag

                                                                            Restrictions    Limit

    General           Open-water   Second             Salmon -          2 Lake Trout

    Waters (all      fishing          Saturday in         Minimum  or   2 Salmon or

    waters except                       April through     length of          1 of each

    as listed below)                    October 31         15 inches

                                                                            Lake Trout -

                                                                            Minimum

                                                                            Length of

                                                                            18 inches

    Lake                Open-water  No Closed          Lake Trout      3 Lake Trout

    Champlain       and ice          Season               and Salmon -   and 2 Salmon

                            fishing                                     Minimum

                                                                            length of

                                                                            15 inches

    Little               Open-water  Angling:             Lake Trout -    1 Lake Trout

    Averill             fishing, with second                Minimum        and 1 salmon

    Lake                not more       Saturday in         length of

    and                  1 line           April through      20 inches         or 2 Salmon

    Seymour                              October 31

    Lake

               

                            Ice fishing   Ice fishing:          Salmon -

                            with not       third Saturday     Minimum

                            more than    in January           length of

                            4 lines        through March     15 inches

                                               15

    Clyde Pond,    Open-        Second                  Lake Trout -    2 Lake Trout

    Pond,               water         Saturday in            Minimum         or 2 Salmon

    Salem Lake,                fishing       April through        length of          or 2 Salmon or

    Little Salem                       August 31              18 inches         1 of each

    Lake, and                         

    Clyde River

    from Lake

    Memphremagog                                              Salmon -

    upstream to                                                     Minimum

    Citizen's                                                          length of

    Charleston                                                       17 inches

    Dam (Lubber

    Lake), West

    Charleston

                                                                           

                            Open-           September 1       Lake                            2 Lake Trout,

                            water            through               Trout -             0 Salmon, (all

                            fishing:         October 31         Minimum        salmon must be

                            River from                              length of          immediately

                Lake                                        18 inches         released

                Memphremagog                                                    

                            to Charleston

                            Dam -

                            Artificial

                            flies and

                            lures only

    Lake                Open-water   Second              Lake Trout -    2 Lake Trout

    Memphremagog   fishing     Saturday in        Minimum        or 2 Salmon or

    (including                             April through     length of          1 of each

    South Bay                            October 31         18 inches

     

                            Ice Fishing   Third Saturday  Salmon -

                                                  in January          Minimum

                                                  through              length of

                                                  March 15           17 inches

    Listed              Open-water   Second       Lake Trout -    2 Lake Trout

    Below:              fishing                 Saturday in     Minimum length  or 2 Salmon or

                                               April through   of 18 inches    1 of each

                                               October 31

                                                                       Salmon -

                                                                       Minimum length

                                                                       of 17 inches

    Orleans County:

           Barton River - From Lake Memphremagog upstream to the downstream

                side of the US Route 5 bridge southernmost and closest to the Village

                of Barton in Barton.

           Black River - From Lake Memphremagog upstream to the downstream

                side of the VT Route 14 / 58 bridge in Irasburg.

           Johns River - From the downstream edge of the first bridge (culvert)

                upstream of Lake Memphremagog on North Derby Road  (TH #6)

                upstream to U.S. 5, in Derby.

           Willoughby River - The entire Willoughby River, from confluence with

                Barton River in Barton upstream to the Willoughby Lake outlet in

                Westmore.


     

    8.5.8 SPECIAL ICE FISHING PROVISIONS FOR BROOK, BROWN, RAINBOW, LAKE TROUT, SALMON AND BASS

     

    1. Waters     2. Methods      3. Season            4. Size             5. Daily Bag

                                                                            Restrictions    Limit

    Listed       Ice Fishing         Third Saturday    See species      See species

    below:                                  in January           restriction        restriction

                                                 through March   for individual  for individual

                                                 15                       body of water  body of water

     

    Big Averill Lake, Norton and Averill;

    Big Salem Lake, Derby;

    Caspian

    Lake, Greensboro;

    Chittenden Dam, Chittenden;

    Crystal Lake, Barton;

    Echo Lake, Charleston;

    Echo Lake, Plymouth;

    Eden Lake, Eden;

    Elligo Lake, Craftsbury and Greensboro;

    Glen Lake, Castleton, Fair Haven, and Benson;

    Harriman Reservoir, Whitingham and Wilmington;

    Harveys Lake, Barnet;

    Island Pond, Brighton;

    Joes Pond, Cabot, Danville;

    Lake Bomoseen, Castleton and Hubbardton;

    Lake Dunmore, Leicester, and Salisbury;

    Lake Fairlee, Thetford, West Fairlee, Fairlee;

    Lake Hortonia, Sudbury, Hubbardton;

    Lake Memphremagog (including South Bay and the connecting waters),

                Coventry, Derby, Newport City and Newport;

    Lake Morey, Fairlee;

    Lake Rescue, Ludlow;

    Lake St. Catherine, Wells, Poultney;

    Little Averill Lake, Averill;

    Little Salem Lake, Derby;

    Maidstone Lake, Maidstone;

    Marshfield Dam (Mollys Falls Reservoir), Cabot;

    Miles Pond, Concord;

    Nelson Pond (Forest Lake), Calais and Woodbury;

    Newark Pond, Newark

    Norton Pond, Norton;

    Parker Pond, Glover;

    Peacham Pond, Peachman;

    Pensioner Pond, Charleston;

    Seymour Lake, Morgan;

    Shadow Lake, Glover;

    Somerset Reservoir, Somerset;

    Sunset Lake, Benson;

    Wallace Pond, Canaan;

    Waterbury Reservoir, Waterbury;

    Willoughby Lake,

    Westmore;

    Woodbury Lake, (Sabin Pond), Calais and Woodbury

     

    8.5.9 SPECIAL REGULATION TROUT STREAMS

    1. Waters              2. Methods           3. Season              4. Size                                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                               Restrictions                          Limit

     

    White                     Open-water           Second                   Minimum length                  1 trout

    River  -                  fishing, with         Saturday in           of 18 inches

    From the               artificial                April through

    confluence            lures and               October 31.

    with                       flies only.

    Lilliesville

    Brook in

    Stockbridge

    downstream

    3.3 miles to

    220 ft.

    downstream of

    the

    confluence

    with

    Cleveland

    Brook in

    Bethel.

     Mettawee             Open-water           Second                   10 to 14                                 2 trout, only

    River -                   fishing                    Saturday in           inches                                     1 greater than

    From the                                               April through       protected                               14 inches

    downstream                                          October 31.         slot: (all

    edge of the                                                                           trout 10 to 14

    Route 153                                                                            inches must be

    bridge in                                                                               released)

    Pawlet

    upstream

    (approximately

     16 miles) to

    the

    downstream

    edge of first

    bridge on

    Dorset Hollow

    Road and

    including

    tributary:

    Flower Brook

    upstream

    (approximately

     1000 ft) to

    the

    downstream

    edge of the

    Route 30

    bridge in

    Pawlet.

    Winooski              Open-water           June 1 through     10 to 16                                 2 trout, only

    River                     fishing                   October 31           inches                                    1 greater than

    Tributaries -                                                                         protected                               16 inches

    Listed Below                                                                       slot: (all

                                                                                                    fish 10 to 16

                                                                                                    inches must be

                                                                                                   released)

     

     Winooski River Tributaries

     Joiner Brook, Bolton  - From the confluence of the Winooski River upstream approximately

                    1900 feet to the first falls.

     Pinneo Brook, Bolton - From the confluence of the Winooski River upstream approximately

                    100 feet to the railroad crossing.

     Preston Brook, Bolton -  From the confluence of the Winooski River upstream approximately

                    2600 feet to the first falls.

     Ridley Brook, Duxbury - From the confluence of the Winooski River upstream approximately

                    1700 feet to the first falls.

     

    Listed                Open-water              Second                  10 to 16                                2 trout, only

    Below:              fishing                       Saturday in           inches                                    1 greater than

                                                                   April through       protected                               16 inches

                                                                   October 31           slot: (all

                                                                                                   fish 10 to 16

                                                                                                   inches must be

                                                                                                   released)

     

     New Haven River - From Munger Street Bridge in New Haven upstream (approximately 4.1

                    miles) to the South Street bridge in Bristol.

     Winooski River - From Preston Brook mouth upstream (approximately 4.4 miles) to the

                    Ridley Brook mouth.

     

    Batten               Open-water               Second                   All trout must                       Zero, all

    Kill -                  fishing                       Saturday in           be immediately                     trout must be

    From the                                               April through       released.                                immediately

    New York                                             October 31                                                           released.

    State line

    upstream

    (approximately

     20.6 miles)

    to downstream

    side of Depot

    Street Bridge

    (Route 11/30)

    in Manchester.

    Dog River         Open-water              Second                   All trout must                       Zero, all

    - From               fishing with              Saturday in           be immediately                    trout must be

    the                     artificial                    April through       released                                 immediately

    downstream      lures and                   October 31                                                           released.

    edge of the        flies only for

    Junction Road   anglers 15

    Bridge in           years of age

    Berlin/              or older

    Montpelier

    upstream to

    the top of

    the

    Northfield

    Falls Dam in

    Northfield

     

    Listed               Open-water               Second                   No size                                   12 trout of

    below:               fishing                        Saturday in           restriction.                            which not

                                                                   April through                                                      more than 6

                                                                   September 30                                                      can be

                                                                                                                                                    brown and/or

                                                                                                                                                   rainbow trout

                                                                                                                                                   in aggregate.

                               Open-water              October 1,             All trout must                       Zero, all

                               fishing                       through                 be immediately                    trout must be

                                                                   October 31           released.                                immediately

                                                                                                                                                    released.

     

    Batten Kill (East Branch) - In towns of Manchester and Dorset from the downstream side of

                    Depot Street Bridge (Route 11/30) in Manchester upstream (approximately 5.0 miles)

                    to the downstream side of the US Route 7 Bridge south of East Dorset.

    Green River - In the towns of Arlington and Sandgate from its confluence with Batten Kill

                    upstream (approximately 8.5 miles) to the confluence with Moffitt Hollow Brook in

                    Beartown.

    Roaring Branch In the towns of Arlington and Sunderland from its confluence with the Batten

                    Kill upstream (approximately 3.0 miles) to the downstream side of the Bridge #14 on

                    Sunderland TH# 3 in East Kansas.

    Warm Brook - In the town of Arlington from its Confluence with the Roaring Branch upstream

                    (approximately 0.8 miles) to the base of the so-called Hale Company Dam in East

                    Arlington.

     


     

    8.5.10 ANADROMOUS ATLANTIC SALMON

     

    1. Waters              2. Methods           3. Season                              4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                               Restrictions          Limit

     

    Connecticut          No person             No Open Season                  All fish must        Zero - All

    River and              shall take or                                                        be immediately    Anadromous

    tributaries             attempt to                                                            released                 Atlantic

    take an                                                                                                salmon must

    anadromous                                                                                         be immedi-

                                  Atlantic                                                                                             ately released

                                  salmon, any

                                  salmon

                                  unintentionally

                                  taken shall

                                  be immediately

                                  released in

                                  accordance

                                  with section

                                  4602

     

    8.5.11 AMERICAN SHAD

     

    1. Waters                              2. Methods           3. Season              4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                               Restrictions          Limit

    Connecticut                          Open-water         No closed             All shad                 Zero - All

    River,                                  fishing                    season                    must be                  shall must be

    Including                                                                                               released                 immediately

    Vermont river                                                                                                                       released

    tributaries


     

    8.5.12 BOWFIN, REDHORSE SUCKER (MULLET),

    LONGNOSE GAR

     

    1. Waters              2. Methods            3. Season             4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                               Restrictions          Limit

     

    General                 Open-water and    No closed            No restriction       No more than 5

    Waters (and          ice fishing              season                                                  of any one

    as listed                                                                                                                 species

    below)

    General                 Speargun, bow      No closed             No restriction      No more than 5

    Waters                  and crossbow        season                                                 of any one

    (Except                 all with line                                                                          species

    seasonally             attached to

    closed waters        arrow

    and as listed

    below

    Lake                      Open-water and  No closed             No restriction       No more than 5

    Champlain,           ice fishing,            season                                                   fish of any

    not to                     speargun, bow                                                                      one species

    include                   and crossbow

    tributaries             all with line

                                    attached to

                                    arrow

    Lake                      Shooting and        March 25              No restriction        No more than 5

    Champlain,           Handheld Spear  through May                                       of any one

    not to                                                     25, Title 10                                          species

    include                                                  4606(e)

    tributaries


     

    8.5.13 SUCKER (LONGNOSE AND WHITE),

    and CULL FISH

     

    1. Waters              2. Methods           3. Season              4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                               Restrictions          Limit

     

    General                 Open-water and  No closed               No restriction       No Limit

    Waters (and           ice fishing          season

    as listed

    below)

    General                 Speargun, bow   No Closed              No restriction       No Limit

    Waters                  and crossbow     Season

    (Except                 all with line

    seasonally             attached to

    closed waters        arrow

    and as listed

    below)

    Lake                      Open-water and  No closed               No restriction       No Limit

    Champlain,           ice fishing,          season

    not to                     speargun, bow

    include                  and crossbow

    tributaries             all with line

                                   attached to

                                   arrow

    Lake                      Shooting and    March 25                  No restriction       No Limit

    Champlain,           Handheld         through May

    not to                      Spear                25, Title 10

    include                                           4606(e)

    tributaries

     

    8.5.14 BULLHEAD

     

    1. Waters               2. Methods      3. Season                  4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                    Restrictions          Limit

    General                 Open-water      No closed                  No restriction       No Limit

    Waters (and          and ice             season

    as listed                  fishing

    below)

    Lake                      Open-water      No closed                  No restriction       No Limit

    Champlain,           and ice              season

    not to                      fishing

    include

    tributaries

    Lake                      Shooting and    March 25                  No restriction       No Limit

    Champlain,           Handheld          through May

    not to                      Spear                 25, Title 10

    include                                             4606(e)

    tributaries


     

    8.5.15 NORTHERN PIKE

     

    1. Waters              2. Methods           3. Season              4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                               Restrictions          Limit

     

    General                 Open-water           No closed             Minimum length  5 Fish

    Waters                  and ice                   season                   of 20 inches

    (except as              fishing

    listed below)

    Lake Champlain Open-water           No closed             Minimum length  5 Fish

                                   and ice                   season                   of 20 inches

                                    fishing

                                   Shooting and        March 25              Minimum length  5 Fish

                                   handheld               through May        of 20 inches

                                   spearing                25, 10 VSA

    4606

     

    8.5.16 CHAIN AND REDFIN PICKEREL

     

    1. Waters              2. Methods            3. Season             4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                   Restrictions           Limits

    General                 Open-water and  No closed             No restriction       No Limit

    Waters                   ice fishing            season

    (except as

    listed below)

    Lake Champlain Open-water and  No closed               No restriction       10 fish

                                   ice fishing             season

                                   Shooting and        March 25              No restriction       10 Fish

                                   handheld               through May 25

                                   spearing

     

    8.5.17 MUSKELLUNGE

     

    1. Waters              2. Methods           3. Season              4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                   Restrictions          Limits

    General                 Open-water and  No closed             All                          Zero – All             

    Waters                  ice fishing;            season                   muskellunge         muskellunge

    (except as              Catch and                                            must be                 must be

    listed below)          release with                                         released                 immediately

                                    artificial                                                                                released

                                   lures and

                                   flies only

    Lake Champlain Open-water and  No closed             All                          Zero - All

                                   ice fishing;            season                   muskellunge         muskellunge

                                   Catch and                                            must be                 must be

                                   release with                                          released                 immediately

                                   artificial                                                                                released

                                   lures and

                                   flies only

                                   Shooting and         March 25                                             Zero Fish

                                   handheld               through May

                                   spearing                25, 10 VSA

                                                                   4606(e)


    8.5.18 SMELT

    1. Waters              2. Methods           3. Season              4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                   Restrictions          Limits

    All waters             Open-water           No closed             No restriction       No limit

                                   and ice                   season

                                   fishing

     

     

    8.5.19 BLACK AND WHITE CRAPPIE

    1. Waters              2. Methods            3. Season             4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                   Restrictions          Limits

    All waters             Open-water and  No closed             Minimum length  25 fish,

                                   ice fishing             season                   of 8 inches            Combined

     

     

    8.5.20 YELLOW PERCH

    1. Waters              2. Methods            3. Season             4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                   Restrictions          Limits

    General                 Open-water and  No closed             No restriction       50 fish

    Waters                  ice fishing             season

    (except as

    listed

    below)

    Lake Champlain Open-water and     No closed             No restriction       No Limit

                                   ice fishing             season

     

    Businesses may buy lawfully taken fish, with the approval of the Commissioner, pursuant to the Commercial angling rule set for in 10 V.S.A. APP § 123

     

    8.5.21 YELLOW PERCH

    1. Waters              2. Methods            3. Season             4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                   Restrictions          Limits

    General                 Open-water          No closed             No restriction       5 fish

    Waters                  fishing                   season

    (except as

    listed below)

    Lakes, Ponds        Open-water          Second                  Minimum length  5 Fish

    and reservoirs       fishing                    Saturday in            of 10 inches                                 

    (Ice                         June through

                                   fishing - see          through

                                   special                   Nov. 30th.

                                   provisions)

    Lakes, Ponds        Open-water          Second                  All bass must         Zero - All

    and                        fishing: Catch       Saturday in            be released            bass must be

    reservoirs              and release            April through                                      immediately

    (seasonally            with                       the Friday                                             released

    closed)                  artificial                before the

                                   lures and               Second

                                   flies only               Saturday in

                                                                   June, both

                                                                   dates

                                                                   inclusive.

    Lakes, Ponds        Open-water          Dec. 1 through     All bass must       Zero - All

    and                        fishing: Catch       the Friday             be released            bass must be

    reservoirs              and release            before the                                             immediately

    (not                        with                       Second                                                  released

    seasonally             artificial                Saturday in

    closed)                  lures and               June, both

                                   flies only               dates

                                                                   inclusive.

    Seasonally,           Open-water          Only when such  No restrictions      5 fish

    Closed Waters      fishing                   rivers and

    - streams                                              streams are

                                                                   open to trout

                                                                   fishing except

                                                                   as prohibited

                                                                   by Section 9.2

    Lake Morey,         Open-water           Second                  Largemouth          5 Fish

    Fairlee                   fishing (Ice           Saturday in           bass - Minimum

                                   fishing -                 June through       length of 14

                                   see special            Nov. 30                inches

                                    provisions)

    Lake Morey,         Open-water          Dec. 1 through     All bass must       Zero  - All

    Fairlee                   fishing Catch        Friday before        be released            bass must be

                                   and release            the Second                                           immediately

                                   with                       Saturday in                                          released.

                                   artificial                June, both

                                   lures and               dates

                                   flies only               inclusive.


     

     

    Kent Pond,           Open-water          Second                  Largemouth          10 fish, only

    Killington             fishing                   Saturday in           Bass:                     1 fish greater

    and Baker                                            June through        protected               than 12 inches.

    Pond,                                                     Nov. 30                slot: 10-12

    Brookfield                                                                            inches (all

                                                                                                   fish between

                                                                                                   10 & 12 inches

                                                                                                   must be

                                                                                                   released)

    Kent Pond,           Open-water          Dec. 1 through     All bass must       Zero  - All

    Killington             fishing: Catch       Friday before        be released            bass must be

    and Baker             and release            the Second                                           immediately

    Pond,                     with                       Saturday in                                          released

    Brookfield            artificial                June, both

                                   lures and               dates

                                   flies only               inclusive.

     

    8.5.22 WALLEYE

    1. Waters              2. Methods            3. Season             4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                   Restrictions          Limits

     

     

    General                 Open-water and  First Saturday      Minimum length  3 Fish

    Waters and           ice fishing             in May through    of 18 inches

    Lake                                                      March 15

    Champlain

    (except as

    listed

    below)

    Lake Carmi,         Open-water and  First Saturday      Minimum length  5 fish,

    Franklin                Ice fishing             in May through    of 15 inches          provided only

                                                                   March 15              Protected              1 is over 19

                                                                                                   lengths - 17           inches

                                                                                                   to 19 inches

                                                                                                   (all fish

                                                                                                   between 17 &

                                                                                                   19 inches must

                                                                                                   be released)

    Chittenden            Open-water and  June 1 through     Minimum length  2 fish

    Reservoir,             ice fishing             March 15              of 22 inches

    Chittenden

    8.5.23 SAUGER

    1. Waters              2. Methods            3. Season             4. Size                   5. Daily Bag

                                                                                                   Restrictions          Limits

     

    General                 Open-water and  No open season    Any fish taken     Zero - All

    Waters and           ice fishing                                             must be                 Sauger taken

    Lake                                                                                      immediately         must be

    Champlain                                                                           released.                immediately

                                                                                                                                   released.


     

    Spawning grounds for game fish - generally

    8.6 The below listed waters are declared spawning grounds for game fish and are hereby closed to the taking of fish from second Saturday in April through May 31 annually.

    Chittenden County

    Joiner Brook, Bolton - From the confluence of the Winooski River

                   upstream approximately 1,900 feet to the first falls.

    Pinneo Brook, Bolton - From the confluence of the Winooski River

                   upstream approximately 100 feet to the railroad crossing.

    Preston Brook, Bolton - From the confluence of the Winooski River

                   upstream approximately 2,600 feet to the first falls.

    Orleans County

    Black River - From 600 feet below the falls at Old Harman Mill in

                   Coventry upstream to the top of falls at Old Harman Mill in

                   Coventry.

    Ware Brook - From the downstream edge of  the furthest downstream

                   bridge/culvert  on  Back Coventry Road (TH #8 in Irasburg)

                   upstream approximately one mile to top of the first major

                   natural  falls on Ware Brook.

    Alder (Stony) Brook - From its confluence with the Black River

                   upstream 3 1/2 miles to the outlet of Sargent Pond, in Coventry.

    Willoughby River - From the confluence of the Brownington Branch of

                   the Willoughby River in Brownington upstream to the

                   downstream edge of the bridge on Vermont Route 58 in the

                   village of Evansville (Brownington); and from the downstream

                   edge of bridge on the Tarbox Hill Road in Orleans Village

                   upstream to the top of the natural falls upstream of the bridge on

                   Tarbox Hill Road  in Orleans Village.

    Dorin, Wells, Myers, Schoolhouse and Mill Brooks - From mouth of

                   brooks at Lake Willoughby upstream approximately 3/4 mile in

                   Dorin Brook, all of Wells Brook, 1/2 mile in Myers Brook, 1/4

                   mile in the Schoolhouse Brook and 1/4 mile in Mill Brook and

                   tributaries, all in Westmore. For identification purpose these

                   brooks are arranged in order from north to south, and flow

                   through Vermont Agency of Transportation structures on Route

                   5A number 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6, respectively.

    Brownington Branch of the Willoughby River in Brownington - From its

                   confluence at the Willoughby River extending upstream to the

                   second road crossing on Brownington Chilafoux Road (TH

                   #15). Said crossing is located approximately 2.4 miles from

                   Brownington Center on Chilafoux Road (TH #15).

    Country Club Brook - From its confluence with the Willoughby River

                   extending upstream to Hollow Road (TH #14) in Barton.

    Porter Brook, Greensboro - From Caspian Lake upstream to its

                   headwaters. (1987, Fish and Wildlife Commissioner's Reg. No.

                   970, eff. April 1, 1987.)

    Johns River - From the downstream edge of the bridge on Beebe Road

                   (TH #3) upstream approximately two tenths of a mile to the

                   downstream edge of bridge on Elm Street (TH #2) in Derby.

    Outlet Brook - From the highway bridge near Echo Lake in Charleston

                   upstream to the top of dam at outlet of Seymour Lake.

    Washington County

    Chase Brook - From its confluence with the Dog River upstream

                   approximately 1/2 mile to the top of the natural falls in Berlin.

    Ridley Brook, Duxbury - From the confluence of the Winooski River

                   upstream approximately 1,700 feet to the first falls.

    Windsor County

    Lilliesville Brook in the Town of Stockbridge from its confluence with

                   the White River upstream to the 2nd bridge on the Lilliesville

                   Brook Road.

    Locust Creek in Bethel from its confluence with the White River

                   upstream to the 2nd bridge on Rt. 12.

    8.7 The below named waters are closed from March 16 through May 31:

    Chittenden County

    Lamoille River - From the downstream edge of the bridge on Bear Trap

                   Road in Milton (referred to as the West Milton Bridge upstream

                   to the top of first dam (Peterson Dam)) in Milton.

    Winooski River -From the Winooski One Hydro dam west of Main

                   Street (US 7) in  Winooski and Burlington and extending

                   downstream to the downstream side of the first railroad bridge.

    Franklin County

    Missisquoi River - From the top of the Swanton dam in the Village of

                   Swanton downstream approximately 850 feet to the water

                   treatment plant on the west side of the river, and downstream

                   approximately 850 feet to the upstream end of the cement

                   breakwater on the east side of the river. (1988, Fish and

                   Wildlife Board Reg. No. 975, eff. April 7, 1988.)

    8.8 The below named waters are closed from March 16 to the Friday before the 1st Saturday in May, both dates inclusive:

    Franklin County

    Missisquoi River - From the top of the Swanton Dam in the Village of

                   Swanton extending downstream 5,120 feet to the Northwest

                   corner (downstream) of the Riverside Cemetery and across the

                   river to a pole on the Northeast bank.

    8.9 The below named waters are closed to fishing year-round:

    Orleans County

    Clyde River - From 260 feet below the top of the abandoned Mill Dam

                   immediately upstream of the Number 1, 2, 3 hydroelectric

                   powerhouse in Newport City, upstream to the top of the

                   abandoned Mill Dam immediately upstream of the Number 1, 2,

                   3 hydroelectric powerhouse in Newport City.

    8.10 The below named waters are closed from October 1 through October 31:

    Orleans County

    Johns River - From the downstream edge of the first bridge (culvert)

                   upstream of Lake Memphremagog on North Derby Road  (TH

                   #6) upstream to U.S. 5, in Derby.

     

    (Added 1961, No. 119, § 2, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1963, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. -, eff. Aug. 23, 1963; 1966, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. -, eff. Jan. 1, 1967; 1968, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. -, eff. Jan. 1, 1969; 1971, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 840, eff. March 19, 1971; 1971, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. -, eff. June 21, 1971; 1973, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 866, eff. Jan. 20, 1973; 1974, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 892, eff. Dec. 26, 1974; 1975, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 895, eff. Jan. 1, 1976; 1976, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 899, eff. Jan. 1, 1977; 1977, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 904, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1978; 1977, No. 245 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Apr. 17, 1978; 1978, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 906, eff. Oct. 21, 1978; 1979, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 913, eff. Nov. 21, 1979; 1980, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 915, eff. June 30, 1980; 1980, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 926, §§ 1-7, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; 1983, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 936, §§ 1, 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1983; 1983, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 942, eff. June 9, 1983; 1983, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 946, eff. Oct. 17, 1983; 1984, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 950, eff. Sept. 17, 1984; 1984, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 951, eff. Sept. 17, 1984; 1985, No. 953, eff. Jan. 1, 1985; 1985, No. 49; 1986, No. 962, eff. June 6, 1986; 1987, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 971, eff. Sept. 17, 1987; 1990, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 980, eff. Feb. 23, 1990; 1991, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 982, eff. Jan. 5, 1991; 1991, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 990, eff. Sept. 1991; 1993, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 998, eff. March 23, 1993; 1995, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. Jan. 2, 1996; 1997, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. Nov. 1, 1997; 1999, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. March 13, 1999; 2000 Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. Oct. 7, 2000; 2003, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. Dec. 6, 2002; 2004, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. June 4, 2004; 2005, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. July 21, 2005; 2005A, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. March 31, 2006; 2007, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. Sept. 1, 2006; 2008, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1003, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; 2010 Fish and Wildlife Reg. effective Jan. 1, 2011; 2013 Fish and Wildlife Reg. eff. Jan. 1, 2014; 2015 Fish and Wildlife Reg. eff. Jan. 1, 2016; 2017 Fish and Wildlife Reg. eff. Jan. 1, 2018; 2018 Fish and Wildlife Reg. eff. Jan. 1, 2019.)

  • § 123. Commercial Angling Rule

     1.0 Authority

    1.1 This rule is adopted pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 4083 and 10 V.S.A. § 4611. This rule implements the policy established by the General Assembly that the protection, propagation, control, management, and conservation of fish, wildlife and fur-bearing animals in this State is in the interest of the public welfare and that the safeguarding of this valuable resource for the people of the State requires a constant and continual vigilance.

    1.2 In accordance with 10 V.S.A. § 4083 and 10 V.S.A. § 4611 this rule establishes requirements related to purchase and sale of fish including, but not limited to, prohibiting fish species, seasons, limits, reporting requirements and possible permit requirements.

     2.0 Purpose

    The purpose of this rule is to:

    2.1 Establish the conditions for anglers to sell legally harvested approved fish species.

    2.2 Establish the process and requirements for businesses and/or individuals to purchase fish legally harvested by anglers.

    2.3 Establish a list of fish species in addition to those listed in 10 V.S.A. § 4611 that are prohibited for sale by anglers.

     3.0 Definitions

    3.1 Angler -  Any person engaged in the take or attempted take of fish, by any method.

    3.2 Buyer -  Any person engaged in the purchase of fish harvested within this state.

    3.3 Legally Harvested -  Any fish species harvested by any lawful methods approved under the provisions of this part.

    3.4 Seller -  Any person engaged in the sale of fish harvested within this State.

     4.0 Selling Fish

    4.1 No angler shall sell fish species which are not legally harvestable or are listed in 10 V.S.A. § 4611 or in Section 6.0 of this rule.

    4.2 Anglers shall provide information about their commercial fishing activity to the Department as required by the Commissioner.

     5.0 Buying Fish

    5.1 No person or business shall buy fish for resale without a Fish Buyer Permit issued by the Commissioner.

    5.2 No person or business shall buy fish species which are not legally harvestable or are listed in 10 V.S.A. § 4611 or in Section 6.0 of this rule.

    5.3 A Fish Buyer Permit shall be effective from January 1 through December 31.

    5.4 A holder of Fish Buyer Permit must submit quarterly reports as required by the Commissioner. Reports shall include but not limited to pounds purchased for each size group by species (Jan-Mar; April-June; July-Sep; Oct-Dec). The reports will include information from all species purchased. Additionally, the percentage of purchased amount from Lake Champlain shall be broken out and reported separately.

    5.5 The Fish Buyer's reports shall be submitted within 30 days of the last day of the quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31).

    5.6 The Fish Buyer Permit provides Fish Buyer an exemption from specific creel/possession limits. This exemption to creel and possession limits is restricted to the address specified above under "Business Location", which is defined as an established immobile place of business (not directly on the ice or on any public waters or public access areas), and the transport of legally bought and/or sold fish within the State of Vermont, from the Permitted Fish Buyer's Business Location.

    5.7 Failure to comply with these rules, including submission of quarterly reports, may result in the revocation of a Fish Buyer Permit.

     6.0 List of Species Prohibited for sale and purchase

    • Species listed in 10 V.S.A. § 4611.

    (Added 2017, Fish and Wildlife Regs, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)

  • § 124. Valley Brook- Spawning waters

    Pursuant to the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 4140, the below named waters are declared spawning grounds for game fish and are hereby closed to the taking of fish from October 1 to October 31.

     

    Orleans County

    Valley Brook—Tributary to Seymour Lake is to be closed in its entirety.  

     

     (1986, Fish and Wildlife Commissioner's Reg. No. -, eff. Oct. 1, 1986.)

  • §§ 125, 126. Repealed.

  • § 127. Repealed.

  • § 128. Repealed.

  • §§ 129, 130. Repealed.

  • § 131. Repealed.

  • § 132. Repealed.

  • § 133. Expired.

  • § 134. Repealed. 1995, Fish and Wildlife Commissioner's Reg. No. 986.

  • § 135. Expired.

  • § 136. Repealed.

  • § 137. Fishing tournaments

    (A) The permit for a fishing tournament as required by 10 V.S.A. § 4613 shall be applied for no less than 30 days before the date of the tournament. The following information will be supplied to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department:

    Name of Organization, contact person(s), address and phone number(s), dates and times of the tournament, body of water, location of headquarters and check stations, number of anglers expected, fish species involved, a copy of the tournament rules, name and address permit is to be mailed to.

    (B) Within 30 days after the tournament ends a report of the following information shall be provided to the Department:

    Total number of tickets sold, estimated number of anglers, number of anglers that registered catch, number of each species of fish registered, and the number of registered fish released alive following registration.

    Tournament sponsors may be requested to cooperate further with the Department in gathering additional information.

    All tournaments rules shall be structured within the laws of the State of Vermont. A fishing license is required by anyone 15 years of age and older. All legal fishing methods and limits shall apply. (1994, Fish and Wildlife Commissioner's Reg. No. 1005, eff. Feb. 13, 1994.)

  • § 138. Hatchery Brook closure

    That portion of the so-called Hatchery Brook, located in the Town of Grand Isle to the south of the fish hatchery buildings, from the mouth of the brook at Gordon's Landing, Lake Champlain, upstream approximately 1,150 feet to the main hatchery driveway off Bell Hill Road shall be closed to all fishing. (1995, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. No. 1012, eff. Jan. 2, 1996.)

  • § 139. Fish importation

    1.0 Authority

    1.1 This rule is adopted pursuant to 10 V.S.A §§ 4081(a), 4082, 4083 and 4605 which authorize the board to carry out the purposes of protecting the state's fish and the waters of this state.

     2.0 Purpose:

    2.1 It is the purpose of this regulation to carry out the mandate of the Vermont general assembly to control through a permit program the importation of fish as provided in 10 V.S.A. § 4605 to guard the health of Vermont's fish populations and prevent the introduction of fish and fish diseases that could have the potential to cause harm to fish populations in the waters of the state.

     3.0 Definitions

    3.1 Fish -  all fresh and salt-water fish species including fish ovum and fish semen that will be introduced into any of the inland or outlying waters of the state as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 1251(13).

    3.2 Board -  Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board

    3.3 Department -  Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

    3.4 Commissioner -  Fish and Wildlife Department Commissioner

    3.5 Person -  an individual, association, corporation, partnership, or municipality.

    3.6 State -  State of Vermont

    3.7 Fish Hatchery -  Any fish culture station, hatchery, rearing pond, net pen, container which holds, rears or releases fish for sale and/or distribution in waters of Vermont.

     4.0 Importation of Fish

    4.1 It is unlawful for any person to bring into the State any fish that will be introduced into any of the inland or outlying waters of the State unless upon application in writing and receipt of a fish importation permit from the Commissioner.

    4.2 No person shall import fish unless the fish come from a fish hatchery approved by the Commissioner. Fish disease inspection shall be made by inspection of the fish at the hatchery source by an inspector acceptable to the Department. Inspection procedures, methods of diagnosis, and inspection frequency will be specified by the Department.

    4.3 Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 4.2, the Commissioner may, subject to conditions designed to protect the fish and wildlife in the State, permit the importation of live wild caught fish species from waters identified in a list maintained by the Department.

    4.4 No fish that are considered endangered or threatened by the Department shall be permitted into the State unless the Department determines that the intent of such importation is for scientific purposes or for purposes of re-establishment of fish populations.

    4.5 The importation and possession of dead fish is exempt from this regulation provided they are disposed of to guard against the introduction of fish diseases to State waters. Acceptable disposal methods include: 1) placement of all fish waste products in an approved state landfill; or 2) incineration of all fish waste products; or 3) burial of fish on private land only, no less than one hundred feet from a public water.

    4.6 Dead fish imported and possessed as bait must be processed through approved methods which eliminate all fish pathogens. These approved methods will be identified in a list maintained by the Department.

     5.0 Permits

    5.1 Bait Dealers Permit

    5.1.1 All commercial dealers who import, export or sell fish must first obtain a valid bait dealers permit pursuant to 10 V.S.A App. § 122.

    5.2 Importation Permit

    5.2.1 The Commissioner shall not issue a permit unless it has been determined that the fish proposed to be brought into the State do not conflict with the purpose of this regulation.

    5.2.2 For all fish species, the Commissioner shall consider the following criteria in determining whether to issue a fish importation permit: does the fish proposed for importation pose a potential threat to the fisheries resources of the State through diseases or species competition; are they free of all disease organisms as the Department may specify; could the fish be a significant competitor with resident fish and wildlife for food and habitat; could the fish be destructive to habitat; could the fish be a threat to the health of resident fishes, wildlife, or humans; and could the fish pose any other threat to public or private interests as may be determined by the Department.

    5.3 Temporary Exhibition

    5.3.1 Any person importing fish for the purposes of temporary exhibition must obtain a fish importation permit from the Commissioner. The Commissioner may impose conditions necessary to protect the health and welfare of Vermont's fish and wildlife.

     6.0 Applications

    6.1 Application for a fish importation, bait dealers, scientific, education, or temporary exhibit permit must be complete and submitted to the Department on an application form to be provided by the Department.  For an application to be considered complete, it must be legible, must contain all information requested by the Department, shall contain no false statements, must bear the applicant's official signature and must be accompanied by the required application fee.

    6.2 With regard to all fish, the applicant shall present to the Department, as a requirement of the permit, written fish health inspection reports as the Department may specify. Fish health inspection reports shall be made by a qualified fish health inspector acceptable to the Department.

     7.0 Inspections

    7.1 Persons holding a fish importation, bait dealers and education or temporary exhibit permit shall allow inspection at reasonable times of their premises, facilities, records, and fish by state game wardens or other duly authorized persons as the Commissioner may direct.

    7.2 The issued permit shall be available for inspection by any duly authorized persons as the Commissioner may direct.

     8.0 Quarantine, Destruction, Sterilization and Disposition Where Disease and Harmful Species are Present

    8.1 The Department may require a period of quarantine and treatment, the destruction of fish, and/or order whatever remedial action necessary; if a harmful fish species and/or fish pathogens are confirmed. This shall occur at the expense of the owner.

    8.2 Commercial hatcheries or ponds under private ownership may be ordered by the Department to be sterilized at the expense of the owner, if upon inspection a harmful fish pathogen or species is confirmed.

    8.3 Any fish, which are brought into the state in violation of these regulations or kept in violation of any permit issued may be disposed of in accordance with  10 V.S.A. § 4709. (Added 2007, Fish and Wildlife Reg. No. 881A, eff. March 13, 2007.)

  • § 140. Commissioner's Rule Private Stocking of Fish in Public and Private Waters

     1.0 Authority

    1.1 Title 10 V.S.A. § 4081(a) provides that the protection, propagation, control, management, and conservation of fish, wildlife, and furbearing animals in Vermont is in the interest of public welfare and that the safeguarding of these valuable resources for the people of the state requires a constant and continual vigilance.

    1.2 This rule is adopted in accordance with 10 V.S.A. § 4605(c) which authorizes the Commissioner to promulgate rules and require a permit prior to introducing of attempting to introduce fish species into waters of the State.

     2.0 Purpose:

    2.1 The purposes of this rule are to protect the health of Vermont's fish populations by preventing the introduction of fish species or pathogens that have the potential to cause harm to the fish populations of the state, and to implement the fish management objectives of the Department.

     3.0 Definitions

    3.1 "Fish" means all live fresh- and salt-water fish species including viable fish ovum and viable fish semen.

    3.2 "Department" means the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    3.3 "Commissioner" means the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife Commissioner.

    3.4 "Permit" means the Fish Stocking Permit required under this rule.

    3.5 "Person" means an individual, association, corporation, partnership, or municipality, or other entity.

    3.6 "Private Fish Propagator" means a private fish culture facility that has been approved by the Department and has been issued a Vermont Fish Breeders License or Fish Importation Permit.

    3.7 "Private Pond" means a body of standing water as defined by 10 V.S.A. § 1442(14), that is a natural water body of not more than 20 acres located on property owned by one person or an artificial water body of any size located on property owned by one person. A "private pond" shall include a reservoir specifically constructed for one of the following purposes: snowmaking, storage, golf course irrigation, stormwater management, or fire suppression.

    3.8 "State" means State of Vermont.

    3.9 "Stocking" means the intentional release of fish into Waters of the State of which they did not originate.

    3.10 "Waters of the State" means all rivers, streams, creeks, brooks, reservoirs, ponds, lakes, springs, and all bodies of surface waters, artificial or natural, which are contained within, flow through or border upon the State or any portion of it, as defined by 10 VSA § 1251(13).

     4.0 Fish Stocking Permit Requirements

    4.1 A person shall not stock any Waters of the State, with any fish species or fish eggs without first obtaining a Fish Stocking Permit from the Commissioner of the Department, except that:

    a) A Fish Stocking Permit is not required to stock a Private Pond with no inlet or outlet with access to Waters of the State; however, other rules such as rules or statutes regarding possession and transport of fish may apply; and

    b) A person or Private Fish Propagator may stock a Private Pond with an inlet or outlet with access to Waters of the State; located on property owned by one person, with brook trout ( Salvelinus fontinalis), brown trout ( Salmo trutta), and rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss) without a permit provided that the person stocks no more than 4,000 fish annually to a single pond.

    4.2 A person or Private Fish Propagator shall only stock brook trout, brown trout, or rainbow trout in Waters of the State.

    4.3 The Commissioner may waive the permit requirement in 4.1 for persons cooperating or partnering with the Department.

    4.4 If a permit is required under this rule, the person who owns the fish at the time of stocking shall apply for the permit.

    4.5 Fish stocked in Waters of the State shall originate from Private Fish Propagators approved by the Department.

    4.6 A person who purchases fish from a Private Fish Propagator, a Vermont Conservation District, or other approved source, and transports those fish themselves, shall be directly liable for compliance with the provisions of this rule.

    4.7 This rule shall not apply to stocking conducted by Department staff or stocking conducted under the supervision of or at the direction of the Commissioner.

     5.0 Permit Applications

    5.1 All applications for a Fish Stocking Permit shall be complete and submitted to the Department on an application form provided by the Department. For an application to be considered complete, it shall be legible, shall contain all information requested by the Department, shall contain no false statements, shall bear the applicant's official signature and shall be accompanied by the required application fee.

    5.2 During review of an application, the Commissioner shall consider the following criteria:

    a) The water source and discharge location of the waterbody;

    b) Fish species and fish communities in connected waters or watershed;

    c) The health of native or naturalized fish species;

    d) Fisheries management activities and objectives in connected waters or watershed; and

    e) Any other information the Commissioner deems to be relevant to maintaining the health and management objectives of the Waters of the State to be stocked.

    5.3 A permit issued under this subsection shall include conditions that ensure the health and safety of Vermont's fish communities.

     6.0 Inspections

    6.1 Persons holding a Fish Stocking Permit shall allow inspection at reasonable times of their premises, facilities, records, and fish by the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee(s).

    6.2 The permittee shall retain a copy of the permit and make it available for inspection by the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee(s).

    6.3 The permittee shall possess a copy of the permit and exhibit upon request of the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee(s) at the time of stocking.

     7.0 Quarantine, Destruction or Sterilization Where Disease and/or Harmful Species are Present

    7.1 At the expense of the owner, the Department may require the seizure and/r destruction of any fish that the Commissioner determines:

    a) Has been stocked or possessed in violation of this rule or a permit issued under this rule,

    b) Poses a threat to Vermont fisheries, or

    c) Is confirmed to have a fish pathogen or disease.

    7.2 The Commissioner may require commercial hatchery ponds or ponds under private ownership to be sterilized using a method approved by the Department at the expense of the owner if, upon inspection, a harmful fish pathogen or species is confirmed. (Added 2018, Fish and Wildlife Reg., eff. Feb. 1, 2018.)

  • § 141. Baitfish Regulation

     1.0 Authority

    This regulation is adopted pursuant to 10 V.S.A. §4081(b). In adopting this regulation, the Fish and Wildlife Board is implementing the policy that the protection, propagation, control, management, and conservation of fish, wildlife and fur-bearing animals in this state is in the interest of the public welfare and that the safeguarding of this valuable resource for the people of the state requires a constant and continual vigilance.

    In accordance with 10 V.S.A. §4082, this regulation is designed to maintain the best health, population and utilization levels of Vermont's fisheries.

    In accordance with 10 V.S.A. §4083, this regulation establishes open seasons; establishes daily, season, possession limits and size limits; prescribes the manner and means of taking fish; and prescribes the purchase, sale, and use of baitfish.

     2.0 Purpose:

    2.1 This regulation applies to fish used as bait. This regulation shall apply to all persons who take, possess, transport, use, purchase, or sell baitfish.

    2.2 The purpose of this regulation is to: a) conserve and protect the fish, and fisheries in the state, b) maintain the best health of species and natural ecological systems in the state, c) prevent the introduction or spread of diseases or parasites harmful to humans and wild species, and d) prevent the escape or release of non-native species or species that injure or compete with natural ecological systems and processes.

     3.0 Definitions

    3.1 "Application" means a specific form provided by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    3.2 "Baitbox" means a receptacle used for holding or keeping baitfish alive for personal use. A legal baitbox shall not exceed 25 cubic feet in volume.

    3.3 "Baitfish" means fish species and parts thereof, living or dead, used for the purpose of attracting and catching fish.

    3.4 "Baitfish zone" means a specific geographic area, where it is permissible to use baitfish in accordance with this regulation, and the area is described and depicted on a map by the Commissioner and posted on the Department website.

    3.5 "Black-list water" means a specific waterbody and any listed tributaries where the use of baitfish is restricted in accordance with this regulation, and the waterbody is described and depicted on a map by the Commissioner and posted on the Department website.

    3.6 "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    3.7 "Department" means the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    3.8 "Fish hatchery" refers to any fish culture station, hatchery, or artificial rearing pond which grows or maintains baitfish for sale in Vermont.

    3.9 "Ice fishing" means a manner of fishing as described in 10 V.S.A App. §122 Subsection 4.0.

    3.10 "Open-water fishing" means a manner of fishing as described in 10 V.S.A. App. § 122 Subsection 3.0.

    3.11 "Permit" is a document from the Commissioner granting a Commercial Bait Dealers Permit.

    3.12 "Waterbody" means any lake, pond, river, or stream including all tributaries upstream to the first barrier impassable to upstream fish movement.

    3.13 "Commercially preserved baitfish" means baitfish which are chemically treated in a manner approved by the Department, and then packaged for retail sale.

    3.14 "Personal baitfish harvest" and "Personally harvested baitfish" means baitfish taken for non-commercial use.

     4.0 Personal Baitfish Harvest

    4.1 Personally harvested baitfish from black-list waters shall not be used on any other waters or transported away from the black-list water from which they were harvested.

    4.2 Personally harvested baitfish may be used on multiple waterbodies and may be transported away from the waterbody from which they were collected and retained for later use, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

    4.2.1  The personally harvested baitfish shall not be harvested from or have been previously used on a black-list water;

    4.2.2  Personally harvested baitfish shall only be used in the same baitfish zone they were harvested in; and

    4.2.3  A person using personally harvested baitfish on any waterbody that is different from the waterbody where the baitfish was harvested shall possess a wild baitfish endorsement in accordance with Subsection 6.0 of this regulation.

    4.3 A person shall only harvest for use as bait those fish species listed under Subsection 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, and 8.4 of this regulation.

    4.4 Personally harvested baitfish shall only be taken by the following methods: a) minnow traps no longer than eighteen inches with an entrance for fish not exceeding one inch in diameter, b) dip nets, cast nets, and umbrella nets not exceeding a total of 51 square feet of mesh, or a seine net not exceeding 25 feet in length, c) Open-water/ice fishing by hook and line.

    4.5 No person shall personally harvest baitfish in seasonally closed waters for trout as listed in 10 V.S.A. App. § 122, Subsection 7.0, except during the open season for trout. Personal baitfish harvest in seasonally closed waters during open seasons for trout shall only be conducted by open-water/ice fishing or the use of minnow traps no longer than eighteen inches with an entrance for fish not exceeding one inch in diameter.

    4.6 All traps, nets, baitboxes or other holding receptacles capable of taking, holding or keeping live baitfish in public waters shall be marked with the name, address, and telephone number of the owner and user.

    4.7 Baitfish may be held on the water in a baitbox as defined in Subsection 3.2 of this regulation.

    4.8 Only a person with a valid wild baitfish endorsement (Subsection 6.0) may transport unused personally harvested baitfish, collected in non-black-list waters, away from waters of the state for later use. Baitfish may be held in waters of the baitfish zone where they were harvested provided the water is not a black-list water or waters described in Subsection 12.0. Outside of the baitfish zone where harvested, the baitfish shall be kept in a closed container isolated from any inflow of lake, pond, or stream water, or outflows to such waters of the state.

    4.9 No person shall personally harvest baitfish from any waterbody of the state that is defined as closed to baitfish harvest. The Department will maintain and make available a list of closed waters.

    4.10 Fish eggs may be collected from legally harvested fish from Vermont waters, and used immediately as bait on the same water where taken unless that waterbody has been closed to baitfish collection. Personally harvested fish eggs shall not be transported and used in any waterbody other than the waterbody where the fish eggs were harvested. No person shall transport fish eggs away from a waterbody and return them to the same waterbody for use as bait unless they have been processed in a manner approved by the Department as described on the Department website.

     5.0 Commercially Purchased Baitfish

    5.1 No person shall import baitfish into the State of Vermont without a fish importation permit, except as provided for in subsections 5.8 and 5.9 of this regulation.

    5.2 A person purchasing commercial baitfish shall retain a transportation receipt issued by a state-approved commercial bait dealer, authorizing transportation of baitfish overland. The receipt shall contain the following information: 1) A unique receipt identification number, 2) The name and telephone number of the bait dealer, 3) time and date of sale, 4) species purchased, 5) quantity purchased, 6) baitfish zone or black-list water (limited to one) in which the baitfish will be used, and 7) the signature of purchaser.

    5.3 A person in possession of commercially purchased baitfish shall only use those baitfish in the baitfish zone or black-list water recorded on the transportation receipt and shall retain and exhibit the receipt upon request of the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee(s).

    5.4 A transportation receipt shall be valid for 10 days from time and date of sale.

    5.5 A person may transport unused commercially purchased baitfish away from waters of the state, and retain for later use in the same baitfish zone or black-list water as indicated on the baitfish transportation receipt, with the following prohibitions.

    5.5.1  A person shall not transport unused commercially purchased baitfish away from a black list water if the baitfish transportation receipt does not specify that black list water.

    5.5.2  A person shall not transport unused commercially purchased smelt for the use as bait away from a black list water.

    5.6 A person transporting unused commercially purchased baitfish away from waters of the state for later use may hold them in waters of the baitfish zone listed on the transportation receipt provided that the water is not a black-list water and the holding waters are not listed in subsection 12.0 of this regulation. Outside of the baitfish zone or black-listed water listed on the transportation receipt, the commercially purchased baitfish shall be kept in a closed container isolated from any inflow of lake, pond, or stream water, or outflow to such waters of the state.

    5.7 Baitfish may be held beyond the 10 days period in a baitfish zone or black-list water provided they remain in the same waterbody in a baitbox in accordance with Subsection 3.2 of this regulation.

    5.8 A person may purchase baitfish from a New York baitshop for use in the Lake Champlain black-list water, provided the baitshop is Vermont-licensed, and the baitfish are accompanied by a Vermont-issued baitfish transportation receipt. For the purposes of this regulation, the Lake Champlain black-list water are defined in 10 V.S.A. Appendix § 122 Subsection 5.

    5.9 A person may purchase baitfish from a New Hampshire baitshop for use in the Connecticut River black-list water, provided the baitshop is Vermont-licensed, and the baitfish are accompanied by a Vermont-issued baitfish transportation receipt. For the purposes of this regulation, the Connecticut River is defined as all waters of the river including the bays, setbacks, and tributaries, but only to the first highway bridge crossing said tributaries on the Vermont side.

    5.10 Commercially prepared and preserved baitfish and fish eggs available from retail stores may be purchased and used as bait, taken home, and kept for later use provided they are retained in the original packaging at all times.

     6.0 Wild Baitfish Endorsement

    6.1 Any person who wishes to use, sell, or transport personally harvested baitfish outside of the waterbody in which they were harvested must possess and exhibit upon request of the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee(s) a wild baitfish endorsement as developed and administered by the Department.

    6.2 A person who wishes to obtain a wild baitfish endorsement shall satisfactorily complete a wild baitfish certification course.

    6.3 The wild baitfish certification course shall instruct participants regarding the requirements of the baitfish regulations and the vectors and risks associated with aquatic nuisance species and pathogens.

     7.0 Commercial Bait Dealers

    7.1 Any person who buys baitfish for resale or sells baitfish shall obtain a commercial bait dealers permit from the Commissioner except as provided for in subsection 7.2. Only persons operating a place of business and offering baitfish for sale to the public may apply for and hold a commercial bait dealers permit.

    7.2 A commercial bait dealers permit is not required when:

    7.2.1  A person only sells commercially preserved baitfish as defined in Subsection 3.13 of this regulation.

    7.2.2  A person sells baitfish as specified by subsections 8.1 and 8.2 to another angler while on the same waterbody where the baitfish were personally harvested.

    7.2.3  A person sells personally harvested rainbow smelt and meets the following criteria:

    7.2.3.1  The personally harvested rainbow smelt shall be harvested, transported, and possessed in accordance with subsection 4.0 of this regulation.

    7.2.3.2  The buyer shall possess a valid zone-specific commercial bait dealers permit.

    7.2.3.3  The commercial bait dealer's zone designation shall be the same zone from which the personally harvested rainbow smelt were harvested.

    7.2.3.4  The seller shall possess a valid wild baitfish endorsement in accordance with subsection 6.0 of this regulation.

    7.2.3.5  The seller shall complete and sign an affidavit, as specified by subsection 7.11.1 of this regulation, attesting the waterbody of origin for any personally harvested rainbow smelt that are sold.

    7.3 Commercial bait dealers shall only purchase and sell the baitfish species listed under subsection 8.1 of this regulation. Commercial bait dealers may also sell rainbow smelt as bait, provided one of the following criteria are met:

    7.3.1  Rainbow smelt are obtained from a fish hatchery approved by the Commissioner as set forth in subsection 7.5 of this regulation and its subsections: or

    7.3.2  Rainbow smelt are harvested by open-water/ice fishing and sold for use on the same waterbody on which the bait dealer is located in accordance with subsection 7.6 of this regulation and its subsections; or

    7.3.3  Rainbow smelt are commercially purchased or harvested in accordance with subsection 7.7 and its subsections.

    7.4 Commercial bait dealers must declare in their permit application if they will be a statewide baitfish dealer, waterbody-specific baitfish dealer, or a zone-specific baitfish dealer (limited to one).

    7.5 Statewide baitfish dealers are prohibited from possessing, buying or selling wild-caught baitfish.

    7.5.1  Baitfish sold by statewide baitfish dealers shall originate from a fish hatchery approved by the Commissioner.

    7.5.2  Statewide baitfish dealers shall hold or keep baitfish in waters drawn from a secure well, a municipal water source, or other water source approved by the Department.

    7.5.3  Baitfish sold by statewide baitfish dealers may be used in waters throughout the state, except those waters listed in subsection 12.0 of this regulation.

    7.6 Waterbody specific baitfish dealers shall declare on their permit application the waterbody on which they are located.

    7.6.1  Waterbody-specific baitfish dealers may harvest wild baitfish only from the declared waterbody and offer them for sale and use only on the declared waterbody.

    7.6.2  The baitfish facilities of waterbody specific bait fish dealers shall discharge to their declared waterbody. The discharge treatment infrastructure shall adequately filter and disinfect water to the satisfaction of the Department. Note that this does not relieve the baitfish dealer from compliance with all other applicable requirements.

    7.6.3  No waterbody-specific baitfish dealer shall harvest baitfish by netting in or on seasonally closed waters for trout as listed in 10 V.S.A. Appendix § 122 Subsection 7.0 unless otherwise permitted by their commercial bait dealers permit. Waterbody specific baitfish dealers shall not operate dip nets, cast nets, or umbrella nets exceeding 51 square feet of mesh, or a seine net exceeding 125 feet in length, for the purposes of taking fish for bait, unless otherwise permitted by their commercial bait dealers permit.

    7.6.4  All traps, nets, baitboxes or other holding receptacles capable of taking, holding or keeping live baitfish in public waters shall be marked with the name, address, and telephone number of the owner and user.

    7.6.5  No person shall commercially harvest baitfish on any waterbody of the state that is listed as closed to baitfish harvest. The Department will maintain and make available a list of closed waters.

    7.7 Zone-specific baitfish dealers shall declare on their permit application the waterbody on which they are located, the baitfish zone in which they are located, the baitfish zone from which they intend to harvest, and purchase wild baitfish (limited to one) and the baitfish zone where the baitfish they sell may be used (limited to one).

    7.7.1  Zone-specific baitfish dealers shall be located in the baitfish zone which they intend to harvest, purchase, hold, and sell baitfish in, with the following exceptions:

    7.7.1.1  Baitfish may be purchased from a fish hatchery approved by the Commissioner outside of the zone-specific dealer's baitfish zone and sold as zone-specific baitfish.

    7.7.1.2  A Zone-specific baitfish dealer can be physically located outside of the baitfish zone in which they intend to sell baitfish for provided they hold or keep baitfish in water drawn from a secure water source as approved by the Department.

    7.7.2  Zone-specific baitfish dealers shall harvest and purchase wild baitfish only from the declared baitfish zone where the baitfish they sell may be used, and such baitfish shall be offered for sale and use only in the declared baitfish zone or black-list water within the declared baitfish zone.

    7.7.3  Zone-specific baitfish dealers may purchase wild rainbow smelt provided they meet the provisions of subsections 7.2.3 and 7.11.1 of this regulation.

    7.7.4  Zone-specific baitfish dealers shall not harvest or purchase wild baitfish which are from or have been used previously on a black-list water nor shall they hold or keep baitfish in waters drawn from a black-list water.

    7.7.5  The baitfish holding facilities of zone-specific baitfish dealers shall discharge to the declared baitfish zone or to a water treatment infrastructure which adequately filters and disinfects water to the satisfaction of the Department. Note that this does not relieve the baitfish dealer from compliance with all other applicable requirements.

    7.7.6  No zone-specific baitfish dealer shall harvest baitfish by netting in seasonally closed waters for trout as listed in 10 V.S.A App § 122 subsection 7.0, unless otherwise permitted by their commercial bait fish dealers permit. No zone-specific baitfish dealer shall operate dip nets, cast nets, or umbrella nets that exceed 51 square feet of mesh, or a seine net that exceeds 125 feet in length, for the purposes of taking fish for bait, unless otherwise permitted by their commercial bait dealers permit.

    7.7.7  All traps, nets, baitboxes, or other holding receptacles capable of taking, holding, or keeping live baitfish in public waters shall be marked with the name, address, and telephone number of the owner and user.

    7.7.8  No person shall commercially harvest baitfish on any waterbody of the state that is defined as closed to baitfish harvest. The Department will maintain and make available a list of closed waters.

    7.8 A commercial bait dealer shall provide to each customer at the point of sale a copy of a transportation receipt containing the following information: 1) A unique receipt identification number, 2) The name and telephone number of the bait dealer, 3) time and date of sale, 4) species purchased, 5) quantity purchased, 6) baitfish zone or black-list water (limited to one) in which the baitfish will be used, and 7) the signature of purchaser.

    7.9 A transportation receipt shall be valid for 10 days from time and date of sale.

    7.10 Receipt books shall be provided to commercial bait dealers by the Department.

    7.11 Any holder of a commercial bait dealers permit shall maintain receipts or records for each lot of wholesaled hatchery-raised or wild-caught baitfish introduced into their shop. The receipts or records shall include: name, address and telephone number of seller (for wholesaled baitfish), and date received, species identification, and quantity purchased or harvested, for wholesaled and wild-caught baitfish. The permit holder shall retain the receipts and records for at least one year after the date of sale or harvest. Receipts or records shall be provided to the Department immediately upon request.

    7.11.1  Any holder of a commercial bait dealers permit that purchases personally harvested wild rainbow smelt from a person shall maintain a list of purchases which includes: name, address, telephone number, and signature of the seller, date of sale, quantity of fish purchased, and waterbody of origin. Such form will be provided by the Department to the commercial bait dealer.

     8.0 Approved Species of Fish for use as Bait

    8.1 Banded killifish Fundulus diaphanus  Blacknose dace Rhinichthys atratulus  Bluntnose minnow Pimephales notatus  Common shiner Luxilus cornutus  Creek chub Semotilus atromaculatus

    Eastern silvery minnow Hybognathus regius  Emerald shiner Notropis atherinoides  Fallfish Semotilus corporalis  Fathead minnow Pimephales promelas  Golden shiner Notemigonus crysoleucas  Longnose dace Rhinichthys cataractae  Longnose sucker Catostomus catostomus  Mimic shiner Notropis volucellus

    Northern redbelly dace Phoxinus eos   Spottail shiner Notropis hudsonius  White sucker Catostomus commersoni

    8.2 Rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax may be taken only by open-water/ice fishing and may be commercially sold as bait.

    8.3 The following additional fish species, or parts thereof, may be taken only by open-water/ice fishing and used for bait only in those waters where taken and shall not be transported alive from those waters. Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus  Pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus  Rock bass Ambloplites rupestris  Yellow perch Perca flavescens

    8.4 Lake Champlain -  In addition to subsection 8.2, the following fish species, or parts thereof, may be taken only by open-water/ice fishing in Lake Champlain and used as bait in Lake Champlain, as described in 10 V.S.A. App § 122 subsection 5.0, and may not be commercially harvested or sold as bait; Alewife may only be used/possessed if dead:   Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus  White perch Morone americana

    8.5 All other species of fish are prohibited for use as bait.

     9.0 Commercial Bait Dealer Application Process

    9.1 A person who wishes to obtain a commercial bait dealers permit shall apply to the Commissioner in writing on a form provided by the Department. The Department may require the applicant to submit such additional information as is necessary to determine that the permitted activities comply with the purposes of this regulation, including but not limited to fish health testing, and an analysis of the impact of the sale of baitfish on Vermont's fish species, fisheries, and natural ecosystems and processes.

    9.2 If the application is deficient, the Department shall inform the applicant of the deficiencies and return the application within 30 days of receipt, along with any associated fee, to the applicant for revision and re-submission.

    9.3 If the application is denied, the Commissioner shall, within 30 days of receipt of application, send the applicant a written denial setting forth the reasons for the denial.

     10.0 Permit Compliance

    10.1 The Permittee shall make the permit available upon request by Commissioner or Commissioner's designee. Premises and equipment used by persons to take, harvest, purchase, store, or sell baitfish shall be accessible for inspection by the Commissioner and his or her designee. Samples for species determination or disease examination shall be provided immediately upon request.

    10.2 Permittees shall provide the Department with additional information as requested on an annual basis or prior to the re-issuance of a new permit.

     11.0 Permit Revocation

    11.1 The Commissioner may revoke any permit for: any violation of a permit; failure to comply with this regulation; a violation of any regulations of the Board; a violation of the provisions of Part 4, Title 10, Vermont Statutes Annotated; or if the Commissioner determines that the revocation is necessary to protect fish or fisheries of Vermont.

    11.2 The Commissioner shall comply with all applicable requirements of 3 V.S.A. Chapter 25, related to any permit revocation.

    11.3 Appeals of the decisions of the Commissioner are subject to the Vermont Regulations of Civil Procedure.

    12.0 Use of fish as bait The use of fish in any form whether alive or dead for bait in fishing is prohibited in:  Adams Reservoir, Woodford;

    Beaver Pond, Holland;  Beebe Pond, Sunderland;  Big Mud Pond, Mt. Tabor;  Blake Pond, Sutton;  Bourn Pond, Sunderland;  Branch Pond, Sunderland;  Cow Mountain Pond, Granby;  Griffith Lake, Mt. Tabor;  Jobs Pond, Westmore;  Lewis Pond, Lewis;  Little Rock Pond, Wallingford;  Martins Pond, Peacham;  McIntosh Pond, Royalton;  North Pond, Chittenden;  Notch Pond, Ferdinand; Red Mill Pond, Woodford; Sterling Pond, Cambridge;  South America Pond, Ferdinand;  Stratton Pond, Stratton;  Unknown Pond, Averys Gore;

    Unknown Pond, Ferdinand  and any additional waters created or reclaimed by the Department. This regulation shall be posted at all waters affected. (Added 2019, Fish and Wildlife Reg., eff. Jan. 1, 2020.)