As winter slowly loosens its icy grip on Lake Champlain, activity on and around the lake is almost nonexistent. But under its slushy surface, it is a different story. As spring approaches, multitudes of fish are gearing up for the spawning season, and many of the lake's bays and marshy setbacks teem with life. For the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, it's the perfect opportunity to begin gathering data for its northern pike management project.
One of the best places to fish for brook trout are beaver ponds. A good beaver pond can hold Vermont's favorite fish in numbers and sizes rarely seen in streams, and a hidden beaver pond teeming with plump, colorful brookies is a treasured discovery. One of the best places to look for a productive beaver pond is Vermont's rugged Northeast Kingdom, especially in the fall, when the orange bellies and red fins of spawning brookies are a perfect compliment to the bright fall foliage. And thanks to the efforts of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Conservation Group, finding a good beaver pond is easier than ever.
While Lake Champlain has a reputation as a world-class bass fishery, the lake's many tributaries are less well known. We'll enjoy great light-tackle fishing during the spring catch-and-release season when the Smallmouth spawn.