GOSHEN, Vt. – The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department today announced that
trout originally planned for the 2021 stocking season at Sugar Hill Reservoir, also known as Goshen Dam, in Goshen will be stocked at other area waterways for anglers. The shift is being made to ensure there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy Vermont’s waterways, while on-going safety enhancements are made to the Goshen dam.
“Goshen Dam has always been a popular place for anglers. The yearling and trophy-sized brook trout we stock there attract anglers from all over the area,” said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist Shawn Good. “It’s in a beautiful setting in the Green Mountain National Forest, and the fishing platform and access facilities Green Mountain Power and the National Forest provide and maintain make it a great fishing destination.”
The reservoir was slated to receive an April stocking of 1,350 yearling brook trout averaging nine inches and 450 two-year old “Trophy Brook Trout” averaging thirteen inches in length, according to Good.
The trout are being reallocated to Lefferts Pond in Chittenden, Smith Pond in Pittsford, Silver Lake in Leicester, and Prentiss Pond in Dorset.
A drawdown for dam enhancements on the 58-acre waterbody began last year and the need for additional work was identified over the winter. New plans call for water levels in the reservoir to be drawn down further in the early spring, reducing the maximum depth to about 1 foot with a surface area of approximately 1.5 acres.
“Obviously, this is important work to enhance safety, and it will make it impossible for normal trout stocking there and will also eliminate fishing opportunities at the work site. In the meantime, trout normally destined for Goshen Dam will provide anglers with increased opportunities at other area waterways,” said Good.
State and federal agencies will be working with Green Mountain Power to develop a plan to restore Sugar Hill Reservoir and its aquatic and fish communities for 2022 and beyond once dam work is completed and the reservoir is refilled.
Most facilities at Sugar Hill Reservoir will be inaccessible this season for safety while work is continuing, including the roundabout at the reservoir, the access road across the dam, and the road to the plunge pool area due to contractor parking, vehicle traffic, and equipment operation.
U.S. Forest Service biologist Jeremy Mears says local anglers can still find plenty of fishing opportunities in the area’s National Forest.
“There are still many places for anglers to enjoy fishing on the National Forest. Stream fishing for native brook trout is abundant throughout the area, and there also are opportunities for shore fishing at Chittenden Reservoir, Blueberry Lake, or Silver Lake. Please be sure to check the Green Mountain National Forest website (https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/gmfl/home) for updates before you go.”