The trout are jumping at Willoughby Falls

in Newport/News/Orleans

ORLEANS — One of the state’s premier wildlife watching opportunities is taking place in Orleans.

The steelhead rainbow trout have started their upstream migration, leaping up waterfalls in a spectacular display of determination on their way to their spawning grounds.

Steelhead can be spotted moving up the falls during these warmer days in mid-to-late April and sometimes into early May.

Willoughby Falls and a section of the river upstream are closed to fishing until June 1 to protect the fish while they are spawning, although there are great fishing opportunities a short way downstream from the falls.

“Many people may not realize we have opportunities to watch fish in Vermont just like there are for birds and mammals,” said Pete Emerson, fisheries biologist for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

Emerson says witnessing these trout migrate is a powerful reminder of the importance of maintaining healthy and connected waters to allow fish to thrive.

“We’re working to conserve Vermont’s waterways and the surrounding habitats so that future generations can continue to witness this incredible migration each spring.”

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