Safety enhancement work on Goshen dam re-routers fish to other waterways

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GOSHEN — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department recently announced that trout originally planned for stocking at Sugar Hill Reservoir, also known as Goshen Dam, will be added to 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 safety enhancements are made to the Goshen dam.

Recreation, like swimming, will still be open at Sugar Hill Reservoir while the water level is reduced so Green Mountain Power, which owns and operates the dam, can safely make improvements.

“Goshen Dam has always been a popular place for anglers,” said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist Shawn Good. “The yearling and trophy-sized brook trout we stock there attract anglers from all over the area.”

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.

Good says the 58-acre waterbody is expected to be maintained at a low water level for the rest of the year, reducing the maximum depth of the reservoir to only about ten feet and the total surface area to around 18 acres.

“We believe that this year, the trout will be better utilized elsewhere because, with the planned lowering of water levels, we felt trout wouldn’t survive well,” said Good.

U.S. Forest Service biologist Jeremy Mears says local anglers can still find plenty of fishing opportunities in the area’s National Forest.

Stream fishing for native brook trout is abundant throughout the area, and there are also opportunities for shore fishing at Chittenden Reservoir, Blueberry Lake, or Silver Lake.