Outdoor Rec GuideFishing
The Poultney area is home to many fishing opportunities, from the winding Poultney River, to the 552-acre Lake St. Catherine, as well as two nearby Wildlife Management Areas.
Fishing licenses can be purchased at the Poultney Town Clerk’s office (9 Main Street in Poultney, Vermont), at Williams Hardware (51 Main Street in Poultney, Vermont), and online through the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
Lake St. Catherine is a productive waterbody with a diverse habitat suitable to various warm and cold water species, including rainbow smelt, yellow perch, bluegill, pumpkinseed, common white sucker, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black crappie, northern pike, brown bullhead and various minnow species including golden shiner and emerald shiner. Lake trout, brown trout and rainbow trout are also stocked regularly for anglers to catch.
Lake St. Catherine Fish & Wildlife Access
Located at 19 West Lake Road in Wells, Vermont, the Fish & Wildlife access point for Lake St. Catherine includes a concrete boat ramp (for small and medium sized boats) and parking for 30 trailers (including one ADA parking space).
Lake St. Catherine State Park
To the north and south of the swimming area at Lake St. Catherine State Park, the shoreline provides great fishing for bass, panfish and pike. Try fishing around rocky shoreline outcroppings, gravel points, drop-offs and clumps of submerged vegetation with a basic bobber and worm, or with artificial lures such as small spinners and plastic worms. Floating top water lures such as poppers, floating frogs or walking-style baits work well early and late in the day.
For the lake's trophy-sized trout, you'll need a boat to fish the deeper waters in the middle and western sections of the lake.
The State of Vermont manages 100 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) consisting of over 130,000 acres of public land. Managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, these areas are conserved to benefit wildlife and provide opportunities for public enjoyment. Poultney is home to two such WMAs, the Birdseye WMA and the Buczek Marsh WMA.
Birdseye Wildlife Management Area
This 3,640-acre parcel of public land is located approximately six miles west of Rutland in the towns of Ira, Castleton and Poultney. Within the WMA, brown and brook trout can be found in the spawning grounds of Gulley Brook.
The WMA’s name is derived from the prominent 2,216-foot Birdseye Mountain at the center of the property. Hunting, fishing, trapping and dispersed hiking and wildlife viewing are popular activities, and a section of the VAST snowmobile trail passes through the property. Parking for the WMA is available at pull-offs on Birdseye Road and Ames Hollow.
Buczek Marsh Wildlife Management Area
Buczek Marsh Wildlife Management Area is a 96-acre parcel of land owned by the State of Vermont and managed by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
Brook trout and suckers have been reported in the marsh. However, as with this type of habitat, fish numbers may be limited due to natural winter dieoffs that occasionally occur when a prolonged winter and snow cover deplete the pond of oxygen.
Access to the WMA is a right-of-way footpath off Ferncliff Road in Poultney, Vermont.