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Vermont Native Fish Species

Find Great Fresh Water Fishing in Every Region of Vermont

VTfishing2Welcome to Vermont Living’s easy-to-use guide to some of the best fishing holes in Vermont. Discover Vermont fishing for trout, bass, salmon, pickerel, pike, sunfish, eels, and more. The Vermont map below will lead you to Vermont fishing locations by region. To share your Vermont business with us, please contact us. Learn more about advertising in VTLiving.

Vermont Fish Speices

BROOK TROUT – AVG. LENGTH 6″-12″

trout, brookie, brook trout

Also known as “Square tails,” this species of trout is found in every area of Vermont. A native of North America, the brook trout enjoys cold, clear waters and can be taken on artificial flies, spinning lures, and live bait where permitted. Brook trout eat aquatic insects, worms, leeches, other fish, frogs, and crustaceans. 


BROWN TROUT – AVG. LENGTH 8″-18″

brown trout

This trout species was brought to Vermont in 1892 from their native home in Europe. Brown trout are found in the upper regions of the Connecticut River. A great game fish known for strength.


LAKE TROUT – AVG. LENGTH 15″-20″

lake trout, laker, togue

Actually a char, lake trout or “lakers” are native to Vermont and found near the bottom of Vermont’s deep, cold lakes. These big trout can reach 30 or more inches and can weigh more than 20 pounds!


LARGEMOUTH BASS – AVG. LENGTH 8″-15

bass, largemouth bass, largemouth

The largest member of the sunfish family in Vermont, they have a large round mouth and are commonly found in lakes and ponds. They like rocky bottoms and feed on crawlers, insects and other fish.


NORTHERN PIKE – AVG. LENGTH 15″-21″

pike, northern pike

This long, slender fish has a large mouth and sharp teeth. Pike have scales on the upper half of their gill covers, and their tail, dorsal and anal fins have dark sports or blotches.


PICKEREL – AVG. LENGTH 15″-20″

pickerel fish

Chain pickerel are members of the same family that includes northern pike. Pickerel have fully scaled gill covers, and sharp, needle-like teeth.


PUMPKINSEED (Sunfish) – AVG. LENGTH 7″-9″

pumpkinseed, sunfish, panfish, sunnies

This small, brightly colored sunfish is representative of a group of fish called “panfish”, which in Vermont includes bluegill, redbreast sunfish, rock bass, and black crappie. These fish rarely exceed 10 inches, but are plentiful, fun to catch, and excellent eating. They feed on worms, other fish, insects and are also taken on artificial flies and lures.


RAINBOW TROUT – AVG. LENGTH 8″-12″

rainbow trout, rainbow, trout

This trout is native to the American West, and was introduced to Vermont in the early 1800’s. A beautiful fish. The tail and flanks are heavily spotted with small, well-defined black spots. Migratory lake-run rainbow trout, also known as steelheads, are silver-ish in color.


LANDLOCKED SALMON – AVG. LENGTH 12″-20″

salmon, landlock salmon, landlocked salmon

Landlocked salmon are identical to sea-going Atlantic salmon. They have a forked tail, silvery flanks, and black spots on the upper half of their body. A great game fish, they prefer the cold waters of Vermont’s deepest lakes.


RAINBOW SMELT – AVG. LENGTH 6″-8″

rainbow smelt, smelts, smelt, bait fish

This small, slender, schooling fish is found in Vermont’s deeper and colder lakes. They are a favorite food of lake trout, rainbow trout, and salmon. Often caught ice fishing, rainbow smelts are quite tasty when batter dipped and fried.


SMALLMOUTH BASS – AVG. LENGTH 8″-14″

smallmouth bass, bass

Smallmouths are closely related to largemouth bass, except they prefer cooler, clearer waters, and have a slightly smaller mouth. A warm water species found in every region of Vermont.


YELLOW PERCH – AVG. LENGTH 4″-10″

perch, yellow perch, rock bass

A favorite food-fish in Vermont and common throughout the state, these schooling fish are easily recognized by their bright yellow color and dark vertical bars.


WALLEYE – AVG. LENGTH 13″-21″

walley, rock bass, walleye

The largest member of the perch family.  notice the spotless first dorsal fin – an easy way to distinguish walleye from perch or sauger.


BROWN BULLHEAD OR CATFISH – AVG. LENGTH 10″-14″

catfish, horn pout, horned pout, bullhead

Locals call them “horned pout,” the most common member of the catfish family found in Vermont waters. A hearty “bottom-feeder.”  Use live worms to catch these feisty fish.

Find great Vermont fishing in every region by clicking on the Vermont map of choice:

Good Luck Fishing in Vermont!

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department publishes an informative Guide to Vermont Fishing that includes a map of Vermont and suggested lakes and streams, as well as designated charts of species found in each body of water. This guide is free and may be obtained wherever Vermont fishing licenses are sold, or by writing to:

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501
Phone: 802-241-3700

Champlain Valley VT Fishing
Burlington, Middlebury, St. Albans, the Islands of NW Vermont
North Central VT Fishing
Montpelier, Barre, Randolph, Waterbury, Stowe, Mad River Valley
Northeast Kingdom VT Fishing
St. Johnsbury, Newport, Barton, Lyndonville, Burke, Jay, Island Pond
South Central VT Fishing
Rutland, White River Jct., Woodstock, Quechee, Brandon, Killington, Ludlow, Weston, Chester
Southern VT Fishing
Bennington, Brattleboro, Manchester, Arlington, Newfane, Mt. Snow area

vermont regions

Northeast Kingdom VT Fishing Champlain Valley VT Fishing Montpelier Stowe VT Fishing Rutland Woodstock VT Fishing Southern VT Fishing

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