Fresh Water Fishing In Vermont

                 

COLD WATER SPECIES

                 
LANDLOCKED SALMON   Landlocked salmon (Solmo salar) are identical to ocean-going Atlantic salmon. Salmon have black x-shaped or irregular spots concentrated on the upper half of the body. Their scales are conspicuous. The tail is forked, and a solid gray or black color. There are no spots on the tail, a feature that can be used to differentiate salmon from rainbow trout, which have radiating rows of black spots on the tail. The mouth seldom extends past the eye as it does in brown trout. Salmon have silvery sides, a silvery-white belly, and may have a brown, green or blue back. As spawning time approaches, they take on a bronze or dark brown color.  

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RAINBOW TROUT   Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are true trout that are native to northwestern North America. They have been stocked in Vermont waters since the late l800s. Migratory rainbows, both sea-run and lake type, are known as steelhead. The tail is heavily spotted with radiating rows of small black spots. A black margin defines the olive-colored adipose fin that is just behind the dorsal fin. Scales are conspicuous. The body is heavily spotted with small, well-defined black spots. The top of the body varies from steel-blue, blue-green, yellow-green to brownish. Flanks are silvery, white, pale yellow-green, or gray with a pink or reddish stripe that is usually more pronounced in early-spring spawning males.   fish 
               

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BROWN TROUT   Brown trout (Salmo trutta) were first brought to Vermont from their native Europe and western Asia in 1892. Scales are conspicuous on browns, as they are on all members of the genus Salmo. There are no markings on the lower fins, unlike lake and brook trout which have white leading edges on their lower fins. The tail is squared and has only vague, if any, black spots. The mouth extends well past the eye. In streams, browns have a light brown overall coloration. The back is brown and the flanks are lighter or silvery, Spots are reddish intermixed with brown or black spots. Each defined spot is surrounded by a pale halo. In large lakes the overall coloration becomes silvery, masking most of the spotting on the body.   fish 
               

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BROOK TROUT   The brook (Salvelinusfontinalis), Vermont's only native stream dwelling trout, is usually easy to identify. Scales are inconspicuous compared with the readily apparent scales of rainbow and brown trout. The tail is square, or nearly so, hence the nickname squaretail. It is the only Vermont trout with wormlike markings over the top 1/3 of its body. The body is well-spotted with light orange or yellow spots, and small bright red spots on circular bases of light gray or blue along the lateral midsection. There are no black spots. The lower fins are orange with a white leading edge followed by a black stripe. Males become brightly colored with an orange belly, as in our illustration, during the fall spawning season.    fish
               

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LAKE TROUT   This native trout has inconspicuous scales and lower fins with white leading edges. These characteristics differentiate lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from all the salmonids except brook trout. Unlike brook trout they have a deeply forked tail. Lake trout are covered with irregular, often beanshaped, light spots, and never have orange or red body spots. Occasionally there may be an orange or orange-red coloration on the lower fins. The background color of lake trout varies from light green or gray, dark green, bluish-or purplish-gray to almost black. The belly is light colored. Fish in large lakes may become silvery, making spots difficult to see.    fish
               

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AMERICAN SHAD   The American shad (Alosa sapidissima) is an anadromous (migrates to the sea and returns to freshwater) species that has returned to Vermont with the recent completion of the fish ladders at the dams in Bellows Fails and Vernon. Shad fishing has long been popular in the lower reaches of the Connecticut River, and undoubtedly will be in Vermont. Shad are a stout-bodied fish with deeply forked tail. Scales are large. Shad are a silvery color on the flanks, lighter on the belly and blue or blue-green on the back. There is a large black spot on the shoulder behind the rear edge of the gill cover followed by several smaller dark spots.    fish
               

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RAINBOW SMELT   The Rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) is a small schooling fish found in mid- to lower-levels of lakes. In spring these fish migrate to streams to spawn. They are a preferred forage fish for many of the trout and salmon. Scales on smelt are conspicuous. The tail is forked. Smelt are silver-bodied with a pale green back and purple, blue and pink irridescent reflection on the side when freshly caught.    fish
       

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