Using Baitfish in Vermont

Baitfish

Baitfish regulations are designed to protect Vermont’s fish populations and fishing opportunities by managing the movement of baitfish to prevent the introduction or spread of fish diseases and other aquatic invasive species.

New regulations, effective January 1, 2020, will provide more flexibility for anglers by allowing the movement of baitfish from one waterbody to another through a zone system.

The New Baitfish Regulation:

  • Establishes an east and a west baitfish zone within which baitfish can be used (not between). 

VIEW ZONE INFO AND MAP

  • Establishes a list of black-list waters that have high fish disease or invasive species risk. Baitfish can be used on these waters but may not be used on other waters. 

VIEW BLACK-LIST WATERS LIST AND MAP

  • Extends the time that baitfish transportation receipts are valid from 4 days to 10 days.
  • Establishes new baitfish holding rules that account for baitfish zones and black-list waters.
  • Allows anglers to harvest and move approved wild baitfish species from waterbodies through a wild baitfish endorsement that can be added at no cost to an angler’s fishing/combination license.

VIEW WILD BAITFISH ENDORSEMENT INFO

  • Allows commercial baitshops to harvest approved wild baitfish species from a baitfish zone (i.e rainbow smelt, white sucker, etc.) and sell them to anglers for use in that same baitfish zone. 

VIEW COMMERCIAL BAITFISH DEALER INFO 

I Buy My Baitfish 

Use this link to learn about the rules for anglers who purchase their bait from a dealer.

I Want to Harvest and Use My Own Wild Caught Baitfish

Use this link to learn the rules for harvesting your own wild caught bait and getting a wild baitfish endorsement.

I am a Commercial Baitfish Dealer

Use this link to learn the rules governing Commercial Baitfish Dealers.

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Contact Us

Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Commissioner Louis Porter

1 National Life Drive
Fish & Wildlife LogoDavis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3702
802-828-1000
fwinformation@vermont.gov

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