Every weekend has always been a prime time to get out and cast my line whenever I’m in Vermont. The state’s quiet and peaceful surroundings have made Vermont’s beautiful fishing destination my getaway whenever I’m stressed out or just want to get away from my busy schedule at work. In fact, I have caught some of the massive trout in my entire life in Vermont’s mountain streams.
Therefore, if Vermont is not on your bucket list, then its clear water streams and lakes will convince you otherwise. After all, you will do more than just fishing while in Vermont. Unfortunately, you have to follow several rules and regulations. One of the most crucial ones is you need a fishing license to do what you love in Vermont’s waters. Unfortunately, Vermont has several types of licenses that vary in price; for more details on Vermont fishing licenses, please read on.
- Annual Resident Fishing License: $28
- Annual non-resident fishing license: $54
- Resident 5-year fishing license: $134
- Non-resident 5-year fishing license: $ 264
- Youth (15-17 years) resident fishing license: $8
- Youth (15-17 years) non-resident fishing license: $15
To learn more, here’s a link to the Vermont website
Get a FREE download of the Vermont Fishing Regulations with this shortcut link 👉 Vermont Fishing Regulations PDF
Does Vermont Have Free Fishing?
Yes, the government of Vermont has set aside two free fishing days when everyone in the state can fish for free. Plus, the fact that they have considered both winter and summer fishing lovers is a bonus. Therefore, if you love winter fishing, you should try the free ice fishing day that usually takes place on the last Saturday of January every year. (source) On this day, residents and non-residents can ice fish for free without their license on any water open to ice fishing.
On the other hand, the Annual free fishing day is usually held on the second Saturday of June every year, and in 2021 Vermont had it on June 11. Therefore, if you find yourself in Vermont in June, make sure you use the free fishing day to cast your line in their unique waters finally.
Can Non-residents Fish for Free on Free Fishing Days?
Yes, the state’s waters are usually open to the public, including residents and non-residents. But you must follow Vermont’s fishing rules and regulations even on Free Fishing Days.
Types of Fishing License in Vermont
Vermont’s fish and wildlife department have a license for every angler irrespective of age, experience, needs, and disabled. The price of these licenses may vary, with some, like the permanent disabilities license being free. Vermont even has a 5-year fishing license for both residents and non-residents. So, before we talk more about the price of these licenses, we need to discuss the different types of Vermont fishing licenses:
Permanent Fishing License
Vermont has everything for everyone, and if you love fishing in this state and have moved there permanently, you can apply for a permanent license. A permanent license is ideal for folks over 66 years old; therefore, if you have retired and are looking for a great place to stay, you should consider Vermont.
Plus, the fact that you only have to make a one-time fee payment for Vermont’s permanent license is a bonus. Fortunately, you can renew this license every year for free at the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s offices. Still, if you renew at an agent’s location, you will have to pay a processing fee of $1.50.
Permanent Disability Licenses
Any resident certified by a physician to have a permanent physical disability can apply for permanent disability licenses. Therefore, a blind guy or a person with paraplegia can get a free, permanent disability license in Vermont and finally get to fish for their entire life. You must fill out the disability statement form available on their official website or offices to obtain this license.
A veteran resident, about 60% disabled due to their service in the US armed forces, can get a free, permanent fishing license in Vermont. When applying for your permanent disability license, you must present your letter from the Veterans office, which indicates your disability rating. Therefore, you should have everything ready as a veteran before applying for your permanent disability license. (source)
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Lifetime Fishing License
Unlike some states, Vermont offers a lifetime fishing license to residents and non-residents. So if you plan on fishing in Vermont for the better part of your life or are a permanent Vermont resident, you should go for lifetime fishing licenses. (source)
The state has several packages for anglers of varying ages and duration. So you can apply for a short-term or long-term anytime you visit Vermont and have fun with your friends. For Vermont residents, the state has a 5-year fishing license that can guarantee you a memorable fishing experience every time. For more details, here is a table of the fishing licenses in Vermont.
|Annual fishing license||$28||$54|
|5-year fishing license||$134||$264|
|Youth fishing license (ages 15-17)||$8||$15|
|1-day fishing license||N/A||$21|
|3-day fishing license||$11||$23|
|7-day fishing license||N/A||$31|
Where Can I Buy a Fishing License in Vermont?
Vermont’s fish and wildlife department has provided outdoor lovers with more than one method of accessing fishing and hunting licenses. Still, the most popular means among anglers is online. Generally, you can purchase the Vermont fishing license from their online portal. All you have to do is provide your details and pay with your credit card. You can get all the fishing licenses and tags using this link. (source)
If purchasing a fishing license online is not an option, you can try the other methods the state provides. For instance, you can buy your fishing license from some of their authorized local agents situated all over the state.
Over 218 authorized agents all over Vermont sell fishing and hunting licenses to outdoor lovers. These agents use a computerized system to issue the licenses but at a fee, and you can find the one near you from this link. (source)
The department has created a unique license agent lookup system that you can use to get the contacts of the license agent near you. Or you can get your license in their Montpelier Offices.
After purchasing your license online, you must print it and present it when fishing in all the state-owned waters. Remember, you must have your license on you every time you go fishing in the state-owned water bodies.
Where Can I Get the Fishing Regulations in Vermont?
Just because the Vermont waters are open to anyone with fishing gear and a license doesn’t mean that the state government sets no fishing rules and regulations. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has created several laws and regulations to protect the state’s fish population while making fishing fun and safe.
Get a FREE download of the Vermont Fishing Regulations with this shortcut link 👉 Vermont Fishing Regulations PDF
After all, without proper control, some species can go extinct; therefore, they have imposed fines on anyone who breaks the rules and regulations. Consequently, you need to know when the lakes, streams, and ponds are open for fishing and their bag limits. Remember, catching some fish species is prohibited in Vermont and knowing them can help you a lot on your next fishing trip to Vermont.
You can find the PDF document on the fishing rules and regulations online on their official website using the following link. (6) These regulations stipulate the bag limit, prohibited fish species, and when the fishing season is open to the public. (source)
What Is the Fishing License Age Requirement for Vermont?
Generally, anyone over 15 needs a fishing license to fish in Vermont and can purchase their license at the state’s authorized local agents. Vermont has grouped all the anglers according to their age. Anyone between 15 and 17 years is considered a youth and can get a resident youth license for $8 or a non-resident youth fishing license for $15.
Like most states, Vermont does have a permanent fishing license for senior residents over 66 years. Still, senior non-residents can fish with a standard 18-year fishing license. Another benefit of fishing in Vermont is the youth can apply for a combined hunting and fishing license. Plus, anyone below 15 years can fish for free in Vermont; therefore, your kids can tag along every time at no extra fee.
When Do Vermont Fishing Licenses Expire?
In Vermont, all annual fishing licenses are valid from the date of purchase to December 31; therefore, the best time to buy a yearly license is in January. But hardcore anglers who love fishing in Vermont can go for the 5-year licenses available for non-residents and residents. The 5-year licenses expire on December 31 of their fifth year.
Other short-term licenses can last for 7 and 5 days or a single day. Plus, you can get another short-term as soon as your license expires. However, continuing fishing in Vermont’s beautiful waters would be best.
Can You Fish Without a License in Vermont?
Vermont has two free-fishing days yearly when folks can fish without licenses in the state-operated waters. The free Ice fishing day is in January, while the Annual fishing day is in June. On the other hand, anyone below 15 years can fish for free year-round and even carry the recommended bag limit home every time they cast their lines.
Can You Fish on Private Property Without a License?
In most American states, you don’t need a fishing license on privately owned ponds, and Vermont is no exception. And as long as you get permission from the owner or the person in charge, you can fish on private land with a pond with no stream outlets or inlets. Remember, you still have to follow the rules and regulations of the privately-owned pond to have fun and a higher likelihood of being invited back in the future.
“Fishing on a privately owned pond without the owner’s permission is trespassing.“
What Is the Fine for Fishing Without a License in Vermont?
Generally, fishing without a license on state-owned waters is illegal in the United States. If found without one can result in a fine or, in the worst-case scenario, jail term and license cancellation. In fact, in some states, you cannot be allowed to fish even on private land if your license faced cancellation for one reason or the other. In Vermont, you can pay a fine of about $1,197 if found fishing without a fishing license. (source)
What Is the Fishing Season in Vermont?
It’s widely known that fishing and hunting regulations can hinder fishing participation. In fact, they have been known to cause inexperienced and new anglers to fish less and less. But most folks need to understand that these regulations exist for a reason. One of the main ones is guaranteeing the continuity of the various fish species in Vermont. Therefore, most fishing destinations in Vermont have different fishing seasons.
Knowing the fishing seasons for specific destinations can protect you from numerous fines, including paying a fine of about $25 per fish from illegal harvesting. (6)
Generally, fishing is open all year round in Vermont with a few exceptions; plus, some fish species are prohibited in certain parts of the waters or seasons.
Are There Seasonally Closed Waters in Vermont?
All the seasonally closed waters in Vermont are usually closed all year round except between the second Saturday of April and October 31. For instance, a few seasonal ponds in Sunderland are closed most of the year but can provide an exceptional fishing experience. These Sunderland ponds include Branch Pond, Bourn Pond, and Beebe Pond.
In Sutton, you can only fish in Vail Pond, Marl pond, Duck pond, and Wheeler Pond between April and October. (source) The Long Pond, Jobs Pond, and Bald Hill Ponds in Westmore are seasonal ponds. During the off-season, anglers can only practice catch-and-release using artificial flies and lures. (source)
Are Trophy Trout Streams Open for Fishing Year Round?
Vermont is known for offering the best trout fishing experience in the United States, thanks to the wild browns, rainbows, and brookies. These streams include East Creek, Deerfield River, Black River, Little River, Wallomsac River, and Moose River. Unfortunately, they’re not open to open-water fishing all year round. (source)
Therefore, if you love open-water fishing, you should visit Vermont between the second Saturday of April and October 31. Unfortunately, you will have a bag limit of 2 trout per day.
When Can I Fish Certain Fish Species?
Unfortunately, even if general fishing is open all year round, you can only fish some species if you want. In fact, there are very few species you can harvest all year round, including the American Shad, Bowfin, Redhorse, carp, cull fish, crappie, rainbow smelt, northern pike, muskellunge, white perch, rock bass, and yellow perch.
But for some species, you must monitor the size of the fish you catch. For instance, you can only capture 5 x 20″ Northern Pikes in Vermont.
Some species are open to fishing only year-round, like the Walleye, which you can only harvest between the first Saturday of May and March 15. You can only harvest 10″ long smallmouth and largemouth bass between the second Saturday of June and mid-March. Fishing landlocked Atlantic salmon and lake trout fishing in Vermont is from January to mid-March and the second weekend of April to October 31.
Open water fishing for rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout is between the second Saturday of April and October and the beginning of January and mid-March. (source)
|Fish species||Opening date||Closing date|
|General fishing||January 1||December 31|
|Anadromous Atlantic Salmon||No open season||No open season|
|Brown trout Brook trout Rainbow trout||April 2 Saturday January 1||October March 15|
|Smallmouth and largemouth bass||June 2 Saturday||March 15|
|Walleye||May 1 Saturday||March 15|
|Rock bass||January 1||December 31|
|Yellow Perch||January 1||December 31|
Frequently Asked Questions for Fishing in Vermont
Where Can I Fish in Vermont?
General fishing is open in Vermont all year round; you can always find a unique pond, lake, or stream to do what you love the most. Some of the best places to fish in Vermont include Shelburne Bay, Baker pond, Lake Champlain, Lower Lamoille River, Winooski River, and Sunset Lake, among others. Sunset Lake has a unique floating bridge that has been my favorite fishing spot for years.
For more details on some of the best places to fish in Vermont, click the following link.
Can I Fish at Night in Vermont?
Most of the waters in Vermont are usually open to night fishing. So if you love camping, you can come with your RV or camping gear and finally fish from dusk to dawn in Vermont.
How Many Fishing Poles Can I Have?
In Vermont, you can not use more than TWO lines. To read more check out 👉 Title 10 Appendix : Vermont Fish And Wildlife Regulations
Do You Need a Fishing License in Vermont if You’re Over 65?
Residents and non-resident senior anglers over 65 years must have a fishing license. Unfortunately, Vermont doesn’t have a package for those over 65 years old like most states.
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- Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, License Price List, Information, and Other Requirements, https://anrweb.vt.gov/FWD/FW/LicenseInformation.aspx/ accessed October 10, 2022.
- Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Vermont’s Free Ice Fishing Day is January 29, https://anr.vermont.gov/content/vermont%E2%80%99s-free-ice-fishing-day-january-29/ accessed October 10, 2022
- Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department staff, License center, https://vtfishandwildlife.com/licenses-and-lotteries/license-center/ accessed October 10, 2022.
- Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department staff, https://www.vtfwdsales.com/online/cid_entry.php/ accessed October, 10 2022
- Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Where to Buy a License-License Agent Lookup, https://anrweb.vt.gov/FWD/FW/LicenseAgents.aspx?_ga=2.74096082.191568191.1665373401-672428552.1665373396/ accessed October 10, 2022.
- Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department staff, Vermont Fishing Guide & Regulation, https://www.eregulations.com/assets/docs/guides/22VTFW.pdf/ accessed October 10, 2022.
- Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Fishing Regulations, https://anrweb.vt.gov/FWD/FW/FishingRegs.aspx%3FID%3D239/ accessed October 10, 2022.
- Mike Nosek, What you need to know if getting into ice fishing including the license purchasing process, https://www.samessenger.com/news/what-you-need-to-know-if-getting-into-ice-fishing-including-the-license-purchasing-process/article_74b56a7e-5046-11eb-8f99-bb6262371858.html/ accessed October 10, 2022.