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.
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. Read More »
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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. Read More »
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