The Lake Champlain region is host to numerous ponds, rivers, and, of course, the big lake itself. Knowledgable anglers know that all of these bodies of water offer terrific fishing opportunities, but here are five Lake Champlain region fishing facts for the rest of us!
1. There’s a fish hatchery that you can visit!
The Essex County Fish Hatchery is located in Crown Point, and is open to the public. The hatchery raises rainbow, brook, and brown trout and releases approximately 50,000 one- and two-year-old trout in the region’s waters each season to augment the fish stocked by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation!
2. It’s all about the bass.
The Bassmaster Tournament Series consistently ranks Lake Champlain in its list of top 100 bass fisheries, where quantity, quality, and even scenery are important factors. In fact, Lake Champlain has ranked in the top 25 several times, and was even awarded fifth place in 2012.
3. Two for one.
Lake Champlain meets the shores of both Vermont and New York, but one license will work for both states! In 2004, a reciprocal license agreement went into effect, allowing for an angler to fish with either a Vermont or New York fishing license in portions of Lake Champlain as described by law.
4. Fishing season is all four.
Seasons, that is. Fishing for most species is allowed year-round on Lake Champlain and in all tributaries upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish. In winter, of course, that includes ice fishing, which for the initiated can be accomplished while simultaneously practicing your figure skating tricks.
5. Champ, the Lake Champlain Monster, is off limits to fishermen.
No, really. Legislation passed in the early 1980s regarding the plesiosaur. Vermont's state House, and New York's state Assembly and Senate have all passed resolutions protecting Champ, and Port Henry (the official home of Champ) — declaring its waters off the Adirondack Coast a safe haven for the lake creature. That’s why you won’t learn about any Champ-specific lures from the local licensed guides.
Make plans to stay for a while and drop a line — you'll soon learn why this is such a popular part of the Adirondacks for fishing!