NEWPORT — The best walleye fishing in New England will begin soon in several Vermont rivers and lakes, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The department is reminding anglers that walleye fishing season starts in much of the state on the first Saturday in May and that regulations vary, depending on the water you are fishing.
There is no open season on sauger, a close cousin to the walleye. Once more abundant in southern Lake Champlain, sauger may still appear there rarely. If caught while fishing for other fish, sauger must be immediately released.
In all waters of Vermont except Lake Carmi, Chittenden Reservoir and the Connecticut River, walleye have an 18” minimum length requirement and three-fish daily limit. The open season is from Saturday, May 7 to March 15, 2017.
Lake Carmi has a slot limit for walleye because of the lake’s high productivity and high rate of walleye harvest. The minimum length is 15 inches, all walleye between 17 and 19 inches must be released. The daily limit is five walleye, but only one may be over 19 inches long. The season is open May 7 through March 15.
Chittenden Reservoir has special walleye regulations in order to produce large walleye that can help control its over-abundant yellow perch population and provide anglers with an opportunity to harvest a trophy walleye. The minimum length is 22 inches, the daily limit is two, and the season is open June 1 through March 15.
Connecticut River walleye fishing rules are set by New Hampshire. No walleye between 16 to 18 inches may be kept and the daily limit is four fish, of which only one may be longer than 18 inches.
Excellent walleye fishing opportunities occur each spring in the lakes mentioned above as well as in Lake Champlain and its tributaries: the Missisquoi River, Lamoille River, Winooski River, and Otter Creek.
The Northeast Kingdom also offers walleye fishing opportunities in Salem Lake, Island Pond, Clyde Pond, and the Clyde River.
Vermont’s state record walleye weighed 14.55 lbs. and was caught in Lake Champlain by Richard Levesque of Swanton in 2010.