In 2011, three new state records were established for burbot, pumpkinseed sunfish and white sucker in Vermont.
In February 2011, Patrick Woodward caught the first state record fish of the year, a 5.63-pound burbot from Lake Champlain.
In April, Brian Cadoret caught a 5.32-pound white sucker, only to have that record broken days later by Drew Price, who caught and entered a 6.34-pound fish. Both fish were caught from the same location — a small brook flowing into Lake Dunmore.
A similar situation occurred later in the summer of 2011, when the pumpkinseed sunfish record was broken twice in a short period. In August, Sylvia Beaudoin entered a 1.01-pound pumpkinseed, besting the previous record of 0.98 pounds set in 2010. However, Beaudoin's record lasted only a week, until Michael Peet caught a pumpkinseed weighing in at 1.02 pounds. Both sunfish were caught in Lake Champlain.
These are just the latest records to be set in a decade marked by record-breaking fish catches in Vermont. Of the 33 fish species eligible for state record consideration, 15 records have been set since 2001, with five of them coming since 2010.
"The new Master Angler Program we started in 2010 has really been a showcase for the phenomenal fishing we have all across the state," department fisheries biologist Shawn Good said in a press release. "There really are some exceptional fish being caught by anglers all over Vermont."
The forecast for 2012 looks just as promising — a new potential state record burbot was caught in Lake Champlain just last week, weighing in at 8.81 pounds, more than 3 pounds heavier than the record burbot submitted a year ago. The new record will not be officially recognized until the appropriate paperwork has been filed by the angler and reviewed by department officials.
For more information on Vermont's state record fish or to download a record fish entry form, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com/Fishing_frmRecords.cfm.