MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont’s fourth angler opinion survey about fishing in Vermont is completed, and the results are now available on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s website www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
Fish and Wildlife conducted its fourth statewide angler survey as part of a long-term effort to gauge angler opinions, with previous surveys in 1991, 2000 and 2010. The survey was sent to 5,900 randomly selected resident and nonresident anglers and asked questions about angler experiences and opinions related to fishing in Vermont during 2017, 2018 and 2019.
“These surveys provide valuable insight that we use to inform our decisions and track trends through time,” said Fisheries Program Manager Maureen Lynch. “This information also helps us more accurately weigh public opinion alongside biological considerations.”
Anglers spent an estimated 2.1 million days fishing in 2019, and fishing quality throughout the state was rated higher in 2019 than in 2009.
“We did see a decrease in the total number of days anglers spent fishing, which is a trend recognized throughout the last 30 years in Vermont as well as in other states across the country,” said State Fisheries Biologist Bret Ladago. “However, 2020 marked the highest number of resident Vermont fishing licenses sold since 1992.”
“We’re hopeful that all of the folks that took advantage of this fun and exciting opportunity in 2020 will stick with it moving forward and encourage others to join them. It’s an inexpensive way to get outside, spend time with friends and family and maybe bring home a tasty, locally-sourced meal.”
Brook trout remained the most preferred species for open water anglers, and yellow perch were the most preferred species for ice anglers. The popularity of bass, northern pike and panfish species continues to increase, with over 60 percent of anglers fishing for smallmouth bass during the last three years. The survey also showed that anglers continue to value both the state’s trout stocking and wild trout management programs.
For additional highlights from Vermont’s 2020 Statewide Angler Survey or to read the full report, go to https://vtfishandwildlife.com/statewide-angler-survey.