The Mountain Times

°F Sat, April 19, 2014

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Vermont’s spring trout stocking to start soon

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reports that as warmer weather approaches and anglers prepare for spring and summer fishing, its five state fish culture stations are gearing up as well.

Adam Miller, Vermont's Fish Culture Operations Manager, provided an overview of trout and salmon stocking planned for this spring.
"Fish & Wildlife's popular 'trophy trout' stocking program will continue this year with close to  14,150 two-year old trout slated for stocking statewide," said Miller. "Over 16 miles of streams and rivers and 14 lakes and ponds designated as trophy water will be available for angling. This will be an exciting year of angling if you like catching big fish."

The following streams will be stocked with trophy trout, starting in May:
Black River - Cavendish-Weathersfield
East Creek - Rutland
Lamoille River - Fairfax
Mississquoi River - in Enosburg
Otter Creek - Danby/Mt Tabor
Passumpsic River - St. Johnsbury
Winooski River - Waterbury, Duxbury

Trophy trout will be stocked in these lakes and ponds starting in April:
Amherst Lake - Plymouth
Black Pond - Hubbardton
Echo Lake - Plymouth
Kent Pond - Killington
Knapp Pond No 1 - Reading-Cavendish
Lake Paran - Bennington/Shaftsbury
Lake Raponda - Wilmington
Lake Rescue - Ludlow
Lake Shaftsbury - Shaftsbury
McIntosh Pond - Royalton
Mill Pond - Windsor
Miller Pond - Strafford
Stoughton Pond - Weathersfield
Sunset Lake - Brookfield

In addition to the trophy trout, Miller says 264,950 yearling landlocked salmon, brook, brown, rainbow, lake trout, and steelhead rainbow trout will be stocked this year in streams, as well as lakes and ponds other than Lake Champlain.

Lake and pond stocking will begin as soon as ice begins to clear and road conditions allow.  River and stream stocking generally occurs in May, after spring flows have receded and temperatures are more conducive for fishing.
Lake Champlain is scheduled to be stocked with 314,400 yearling landlocked salmon, steelhead rainbow trout, brown trout, and lake trout, and over 120,000 landlocked salmon fry, and fingerlings. In addition over 100,000 walleye fry and fingerlings will be stocked into the lake.

Vermont's trout fishing season opens Saturday, April 13, and will continue through October 31.  Willoughby River steelhead provide a popular spring fishery in the Northeast Kingdom Village of Orleans during April and early May. These steelhead are on their spring spawning run from Lake Memphremagog, and they always attract a lot of interest as they jump the falls in Orleans.

Vermont is fortunate in having excellent fishing opportunities for wild trout. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department points out that some of the biggest brown trout are typically caught during early spring in many rivers throughout the state.

Vermont's 2013 stocking schedule for trout and salmon is on the Fish & Wildlife website under "Fishing." The site is searchable for lake, pond or stream, town, or species of fish. Lakes and ponds are first to receive fish in the spring, while rivers are stocked later after the high water run-off has passed.

Photo by John Hall