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  Buy Your License
Hatcheries

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has five hatcheries, each with its own unique characteristics. The department started raising fish in Vermont in 1891. The oldest hatchery is in Roxbury, built in 1890-91. The newest hatchery was built in 1991 in Grand Isle. Today, the department's hatchery system produces almost a million fish annually. All of our hatcheries are open for viewing daily. For visitation hours or to schedule a group or school tour, please call the specific fish culture station listed below.
hatchery
Why Stock?

Stocking of select Vermont water bodies is an annual activity for the department's fisheries division. While anglers enjoy the benefits of fishing such areas, the decision to stock a particular stream or lake is not just based on the sport fishing opportunities such an activity provides. The department developed a management plan for trout in 1993 that helped determine which Vermont water bodies should be stocked. Stocking is generally based on several factors: the quality of the natural fish populations, restoration considerations, and the amount of angling that occurs on a body of water. Each year the department's fishery biologists evaluate waters around the state to determine the appropriate level of stocking. This scientifically based management is done after evaluating the fish populations and angling pressure.

brook trout in bucket Currently, approximately 45% of Vermont's fish are stocked as part of a restoration effort. Restoration efforts are aimed at reestablishing wild populations in a given water body. Stocking efforts for Lake Champlain and the Connecticut Rivers are two notable water bodies where restoration efforts are underway. Approximately 15% of stocked fish are used in programs often referred to as "put, grow and take." In these cases there is good habitat for fish survival, but limited habitat for reproduction. The remaining 40% are used in streams and ponds where there are not enough wild fish to support a fishery due to limited habitat. In both of these instances, the stocked fish are intended to support sport fishing opportunities for anglers.

The department's hatchery system is run with extreme care to avoid diseases within the fish populations. This begins with the genetic management of the parent fish, even before the first egg is collected, and continues throughout the rearing cycle. Specific protocols are followed during the rearing cycle to ensure stocked fish are healthy and are of good stocking quality.


Bald Hill Fish Culture Stations
Newark, Vermont (802) 467-3660

The Bald Hill FCS, located in Vermont's scenic Northeast Kingdom, opened in 1952 for the production of trout and salmon for stocking statewide. The role of Bald Hill FCS has changed in recent years. In addition to trout and salmon, the hatchery is raising walleye, a cool water species. Millions of walleye fry are stocked along with approximately 100,000 walleye fingerlings (2 inches in length) in a variety of waters throughout the state. At Bald Hill we also raise landlocked Atlantic salmon brood stock which are artificially spawned to supply other state and federal hatcheries with eggs. The facility is located eight miles north of West Burke, Vermont, off route 5A.  
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Bennington Fish Culture Station
Bennington, Vermont (802) 447-2844

Bennington FCS, built in 1916, is Vermont's second largest fish culture station. This culture station uses a combination of spring, artesian well, and stream water for raising brook, brown, and rainbow trout. The facility's interesting and informative activities and visitor center make it an attraction for visitors of all ages. Visitors can interact with the fish and possibly get a glimpse of a great blue heron, osprey, otters or mink. The station is located two miles from downtown Bennington on South Stream Road.

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Ed Weed Fish Culture Station
Grand Isle, Vermont (802) 372-3171

Located in the picturesque island community of Grand Isle, the Ed Weed FCS began raising fish in 1991. It is the newest and largest of the five Vermont state hatcheries. A brochure available at the station will take you on a self-guided tour. Using Lake Champlain as its sole water source, this fish culture station raises over one-half million brook, brown, lake, rainbows, steelhead and landlocked Atlantic salmon yearlings (6 to 12 inches in length) for statewide stocking. It is also the home of the Vermont Trophy Trout. These two-year-old brown and rainbow trout are stocked every spring. The Ed Weed FCS and visitor center are located on Vermont route 314, across from the Lake Champlain Transportation Company ferry to Plattsburgh, New York.  
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Roxbury Fish Culture Station
Roxbury, Vermont (802) 485-7568

The Roxbury FCS, listed as a historic site on the National Register of Historic Sites, is the oldest of the culture stations. It began operations in 1891 following the 1890 legislation session in which a demand for more brook trout was identified. Nestled in the valley of the Third Branch White River, the station has a beautiful setting. The Roxbury FCS uses some of Vermont's cleanest spring water as its main source. In conjunction with its spacious cold water gravel ponds, the facility is raising brook trout and sea-run Atlantic salmon. Roxbury FCS is located eight miles south of Northfield on Vermont route 12 A.
roxbury FCS
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salisbury fcs Salisbury Fish Culture Station
Salisbury, Vermont (802) 352-4371

The Salisbury FCS is a brood stock station, producing approximately nine million trout eggs annually for the other state facilities. The station uses high-quality well water, an excellent water source for rearing adult brook, brown, lake, rainbow and steelhead trout brood fish and for the egg incubation system. When the adult fish are no longer needed for egg production, they are stocked statewide. The Salisbury FCS can spawn fish in the summer months in a light-controlled room. This room can mimic any cycle of daylight needed, enabling the fish culture station to provide eggs to other facilities earlier in the year which, in turn, gives the fish a longer growing season and allows the fish culture stations to grow larger fish. Salisbury has the largest fish of the culture stations. If you want to see big fish, this is the place to go! Salisbury FCS is located seven miles south of Middlebury, Vermont on route 53.
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