A new record for fish will be set in 2023

A new record for fish will be set in 2023

A Longnose Gar caught by an angler in 2023 has been certified as a new state record, Vermont Fish and Wildlife announced Monday, February 5.

In May of 2023, Pennsylvania angler Jeremy Picking was out evening fishing on Lake Champlain and took an 18.6-pound gar. This big fish is 54 3/4 inches long, 1/4 inch longer but 3 ounces lighter than the current record Longnose Gar caught with a rod and reel in 2007. State records are kept separately for four species of fish that can be caught with a hook . Line and fishing.

In recent years, anglers have expanded their species preferences to include many underappreciated but equally challenging native sportfish species, said Sean Judd, a biologist with the Vermont Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, which manages the state’s record fish program.

“While the fishing remains excellent for traditional sportfish species such as bass, trout, walleye and pike, there are many other fish that can provide amazing action with the potential for real prizes,” Good says. , gar, freshwater drum, suckers, and even wallfish—the largest native minnow species in Vermont—the opportunities are endless.”


Courtesy VTF&W

Fishermen continue to reap the benefits of successful sea lamprey over the long term
Control and improve the walleye stocking program in Lake Champlain.
This fish, caught by angler Naosori Osasa on Grand Isle, weighed just under 12 pounds.

Although there are no new state records, two other notable fish were inducted into the state’s record fish program in 2023 — an 11.86-pound walleye from Lake Champlain and a 25.6-pound trout from Echo Lake in Charleston.

“While Lake Champlain gets most of the attention for Vermont’s lake trout fishing opportunities, many of the inland lakes in Vermont’s northeastern kingdom are real sleepers for big fish,” Judd said.

“In fact, if you’re talking exclusively about large-sized lake trout, the Northeast Kingdom is where you want to be,” said Judd Kratzer, a biologist with the Department of Fisheries. “All 69 lake trout over 20 pounds that have been included in the record fish program over the years have come from Kingdom waters. The 530-acre Echo Lake produced four of them, the largest of which was just shy of 30 pounds. “This is remarkable for a lake of this size.”

While many of the Kingdom’s lakes offer the best potential for Vermont lake trout over 20 pounds, Judd says the average size tends to be smaller overall than what anglers will find on Lake Champlain.


Courtesy VTF&W
Jeremy Picking caught an 18.6-pound longbowfish last May on Lake Champlain. He broke the 1966 record by a pound.

And on Lake Champlain, Judd says the 11.86-pound walleye entry is a testament to the continuing successes of the lake’s fishery management efforts.

Judd says the department’s state-of-the-art walleye hatchery on Grand Isle, and the continued success in long-term sea lamprey control by the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative (comprising the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation And the New York State Environmental Protection Agency). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) only helps promote walleye and other sport fish species in the lake.

“It’s been amazing to see what anglers are catching recently in Champlain for walleye. The population has really boomed in the last few years, with a lot of fish over 10 pounds being caught. As a fisheries biologist, fish in the lake, it is really encouraging to see our hard work and long-term management efforts pay off for anglers.”

For more information, visit: vtfishandwildlife.com/fish.


Courtesy VTF&W
The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont hosts several lakes that support an abundance of naturally spawning lake trout with the occasional trophy, like this 25.6-pound fish caught at Echo Lake last year by Roger Stoddard of Morgan.

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