New England Walleye Waters

Walleye exist in catchable numbers in New England and they provide a fun fishery both through the ice and in open water.

In the Midwest, walleye are king. They grow to lengths of more than 2 feet, aggressively strike lures and baits, and make delicious table fare. Midwestern Fishermen await the opening of the walleye season with the same excitement that anglers in the Northeast await return of the striped bass in spring. In New England, however, walleye are largely overlooked. Many anglers don’t even know that walleye exist in catchable numbers in New England, but they do, and they provide a fun fishery both through the ice and in open water.

Here’s a list of where you can find walleye in New England.

The Connecticut River

New England’s longest river contains walleye in its New Hampshire/Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut stretches. Walleye in the Connecticut River can grow large, with fish exceeding 24 inches. They can be found in great numbers in deep holes during the winter, where fishermen use blade baits to catch them.

Lake Champlain

At one point, walleye were the most popular fish in Vermont. There was even a commercial fishery for them on Lake Champlain. The population bottomed out in the 1970s and 1980s, but restoration efforts have brought walleye fishing back to the biggest lake in New England.

Connecticut Lakes

The Connecticut DEEP stocks 10 public waters with walleye fingerlings every fall. These lakes are: Beach Pond, Squantz Pond, Cedar Lake, Gardner Lake, Lake Zoar, Batterson Park Pond, Mount Tom Pond, Coventry Lake, West Thompson Lake, Mashapaug Lake, and Lake Pocotopaug (no public access, East Hampton residents only).

Walleye are also stocked into Saugatuck Reservoir and Lake Saltonstall.


For more information on walleye fishing in New England, pick up the February Issue of On The Water Magazine.


10 on “New England Walleye Waters

  1. David McKinney

    What about channel catfish, any hotspots for those? If anyone has any, please post some info as it would greatly be appreciated!

    FYI: I already know about the Connecticut River, where they are even caught all winter long, but that’s on the other side of MA. I’m sure they are closer to home near the greater Boston area as I’ve caught stragglers in the Charles before, so there must be other locations (nearby)worth a shot.

    Also, what about burbot (aka, ling or cusk, as the are known in NH and ME), any info on this little utilized but prized fish?

    I have to believe that there must be some hot spots is MA, as we are so close to the New Hampshire border, where they are quite plentiful in that state. (IMO, MA should start a stocking program for those; I’ve eaten them before and like them better than trout! :P)

    1. Brad

      I thought the same thing about burbot David. Look at your regs booklet. It’s illegal to take burbot in MA. I asked fish and game about this and didn’t get a good answer as to why. They do need deep water though. So limited to resevoirs and a few other lakes.

      1. David McKinney

        Illegal to keep burbot in MA? I haven’t noticed that regulation, but that’s strange as there is no real classified fishery for this species, that I know of, in this state. My theory, based on past experience & observation (of myself and other fishermen), is that having fished freshwater in MA for over 38 years, there are monster cats and burbot here in a body of water closer to you than you may think. Whether these were once stocked or someone released them in there a while back I’m not sure. I would have to believe that they can sustain themselves if so, and an untapped fishery in some reservoirs (even local ponds) may be a closely guarded secret among a few diehards out there.

      2. David McKinney

        Quick funny story about burbot:

        When I was doing some consulting work in Plattsburgh, NY (around 2013), I used to head up a couple times a month, and I would fish Lake Champlain whenever I got the chance (pretty much until the ice covered it all up; regret never having ice fished it either). There was this place just past Cumberland Head, when you get off of the ferry (from South Hero, VT) into Plattsburgh, where a former (retired) boxer turned fisherman told me one day that he used to SPEAR tons of burbot in one to two feet of water at night, right in front of a place where the lake would run into a small (but relatively deep) estuary called Dead Creek (right off Route 9). You can actually find this place on Map Quest if you zoom in close enough.

        Anyway, the subject of burbot came up that one day, and he told me that this place was a little goldmine for burbot; you didn’t even need to fish a rod and reel, just wade in and spear them at night with a head lamp in shallow water! He also said he used to get so many fish that he wouldn’t bother with a trash bin as it would fill up to quickly and get too heavy…he would just back the pickup down the road (there was a McDonald’s parking lot nearby) and chuck them in there directly. And he said there were many big fish over 2′ mixed in that batch of fresh burbot, and he claimed he had done that well on several occasions with his fishing bud, who vouched for his story, but neither had gone in a couple of years. His friend said “You can find them by looking for there shiny eyes at night, as soon as the lamp hits through the water, and that’s where you need to look to spear them in the head!”

        When I asked if any of this was legal he said he wasn’t sure, as burbot wasn’t a classified fishery in upstate New York. I guess he figured what park ranger was going to be out there looking for you around Christmas Day in pitch black night?

        Regardless, I sincerely regret never having gone for a look there and verifying his story, as he told me to be there around a week before/after Xmas (if there’s no ice covering everything), on the beach where the creek empties into the lake (creating almost a small rip) for the best chance at “filling the back of a pickup with fish”. But my consultation work ended that spring, and I never got the chance. 🙁

    1. Kevin Blinkoff

      We’ve discovered that there is no public access, there is a ramp for town residents only.

      1. Frank Cummings

        Not sure about the size of the lake, but if your state has the same “Colonial Laws” as Mass., if it’s over 10 acres there has to be public access for “fishing and fowling”. In Mass., if there is no public access, we can access the great pond over private property without permission — it’s a public body of water for fishing and fowling and it’s a right to access the water.

      2. Frank Cummings

        Also, in Mass., if there is no public access, there is no stocking. I think there is a limit to parking fees if a pond is stocked by the state. Towns will push you around, but you have to stand up to them.

  2. Dennis

    As a fisherman for most of my 64 year old life and around 8 years old learning in the streams of Vermont to growing up here in Connecticut. I as Connecticut taxpayer who’s part of fishing license is used for hatcheries.How is it my monies to raise walleyes and stocked in a Connecticut body of water I am not allowed to fish because I don’t live in that town. There are no public boat ramps but taxpayers from other towns and cities pay for the fish only they the Residents of East Hampton can catch. This is not the way my fishing license monies were meant to be used. Put in a public boat ramp and then the State of Connecticut ,Department of Deep will stock this lake. This has to change. Don’t deny our future fishermen and fisher women this right.

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