Regional Reports-East

Lake Fairlee and Lake Morey

Every year some of Vermont's biggest bucketmouths come out of Lake Fairlee and Lake Morey. Located just north of White River Junction near the town of Fairlee, these sister lakes not only offer excellent access but also have made a strong resurgence in the last decade in terms of both the size and numbers of largemouth bass they hold. An increase in the minimum size limit to 14 inches has had a dramatic effect at the lake. Before the change in the early 1990s, electrofishing surveys turned up an average of 12 bass per hour. In the last few studies, the average has neared 100 fish per hour, with good numbers of largemouths measuring longer than 20 inches and pushing five pounds recorded. Lake Fairlee also is producing bigger fish. In August, largemouths gravitate to structure near the inlets of the lakes, particularly in their northern ends. Diving rattle plugs and spoons are popular, as are Carolina-rigged plastic worms, particularly in purple and black. Both lakes are close to Exit 15 off I-91. Each site offers adequate parking and a paved boat ramp. Contact: Roxbury Fisheries Laboratory, Fish and Wildlife Department (Roxbury, VT 05669; 802-485-7566).