The Vermillion River, its tributaries, and its watershed lakes and ponds are well-known for their fishing opportunities, including northern pike, sunfish, walleye, and trout, as well as other less notable game fish and rough fish species.

Most notable of the game fish species is the River’s self-sustaining brown trout population. While brown trout have been found throughout much of the watershed, some portions of the river and its tributaries are known to have more brown trout than others or conditions favorable to brown trout. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has designated portions of the Vermillion River as trout streams. The trout stream portions of the river and tributaries generally start above Cedar Avenue at Highview Avenue and end just a ways downstream, or east, of the Hwy 52 bridge. The DNR also usually stocks the river with rainbow trout for the annual stream trout fishing season, which fishers can keep if you catch them.

Stream temperature impacts trout growth and population. Read this fact sheet to learn more.

Trout fishing regulations on the Vermillion River changed in 2016, allowing a greater opportunity to harvest stocked rainbow trout while further protecting the naturally-reproducing population of brown trout. The VRWJPO and DNR captured brown trout averaging nine inches long and rainbow trout averaging 12 inches long in surveys. The DNR is the official authority on fishing regulations and should be consulted directly. See the Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources maintains a trout angling opportunities map.

We want your fishing trip to be successful. Learn the basic equipment you need, how to tell the difference between rainbow trout (catch and keep) and brown trout (catch and release), and more to get started on a new hobby or renew your interest in fishing.