Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife Department is now officially declaring the August trout an all-time Lake Champlain record – and it is enormous.
Vermont’s famous Lake Champlain now has a new record-holder for the largest trout ever caught in its waters. Today, the VFWD recognizes the record-breaker: a 3-foot-long trout from back in August. Angler Jeffrey Sanford, a native of South Burlington, took in the 36.5-inch lake trout himself… caught on the first boat he’s ever owned.
In an official press statement released by the VFWD, Sanford says he “just got my first boat this year.” He adds this was also his “first time out alone.” What’s more – Sanford says this monster trout was his first catch of the day, too.
” It hit on my first cast of the day. Once I netted it and got it in the boat I was astounded at its size and lack of any lamprey scars or wounds.” What a day of firsts!
“It was an amazing fish and quite the battle. I’m extremely excited for next season! We have such an incredible fishery here.”
Lake Champlain trout confirmed as all-time record
While Sanford celebrates the confirmation of his Lake Champlain record, fishery biologists are celebrating what this trout means for the local ecosystem.
One such biologist, Shawn Good, is a top authority for fish at the VFWD. He explains that Jeffrey’s catch is “exciting for more than just its size”. For him, it “shows the effectiveness of the ongoing sea lamprey control efforts in the area”.
“Jeff’s fish is the largest lake trout from Lake Champlain entered in the Record Fish Program since the department started keeping fish records in 1969,” adds Good. “There have been much larger lake trout caught in other Vermont waters, but this Champlain fish is a big deal.”
“We’re seeing lower overall wounding [by lamprey] rates on many of these fish, and the fact that anglers are catching older, larger lake trout, salmon, and other fish species is proof that continued long-term sea lamprey control is working, and resulting in improved fishing opportunities on Champlain.”
And anything that is good for the environment – is good for fishers, too.
Sanford’s record confirmation comes just days after a record-breaking trout in Yellowstone.