The Champlain Valley is rich with activities for the outdoorsman (or woman!). Fishing is a pastime that many partake in. There are many opportunities for anglers to enjoy the waters of Lake Champlain or one of the valley’s many rivers, streams, and ponds.
81 fish species have been identified in the lake, and more than 20 are fish frequently sought after by anglers. Check out some other suggested fishing locations throughout Essex County to find the spot for you.
So what do you need to know about the area’s fishing regulations?
You Need a License
To go fishing you must have a fishing license! Prices vary for type/length of license you purchase. Regulations also shift from state to state. Here is the New York licensing information. Some areas of Lake Champlain require a Vermont fishing license.
- The holder of a license shall have such license on the holder’s person while exercising any privilege of that license.
- The holder of a license shall exhibit it on demand to any police officer, peace office, or the owner, lessee, or other person in control of the lands or waters on which the license holder is present.
- No license authorizes the holder to trespass upon private lands or waters or interfere with property belonging to another person. (NYDEC)
Effective January 1, 2004, a reciprocal license agreement went into effect. This agreement between NY & VT allows some areas of Lake Champlain to be fished with a license from either state, but certain areas still designate the need of one from a specific state.
Children under 16 do not need a license in NY or VT. You also do not need one when fishing on a licensed fishing preserve (NYDEC). The following also do not require one:
- Citizen-resident owners, lessee and citizen members of their immediate families occupying and cultivating farm lands, when fishing on their own lands.
- Persons holding farm fish pond licenses and members of their immediate families, when fishing on waters covered by their licenses. (NYDEC)
There are some exemptions that can allow one to receive a free license in New York including:
- Blind citizens
- Native Americans who are members of the Shinnecock and Poospatuck tribes or the Six Nations residing on reservations in New York State
- An active member of the U.S. Armed Forces & New York State resident. For more information, visit Sporting Licenses Under the Patriot Plan.
- Resident patients at U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals or facilities (NYDEC)
Where can you get a NY license?
You can go online at the NYDEC to purchase a sporting license.
By phone: 1-86-NY-DECALS (1-866-933-2257).
Or you can go in person to a local town clerk’s office or sporting goods store. You can find one near you that sells them.
Once you have your fishing license you need to learn about the area’s fishing seasons!