Lake Champlain Fishing, Size, Depth, and More

Lake Champlain
© Cassie Blaise-Metcalf/

Written by Chanel Coetzee

Updated: July 22, 2023

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The impressive Lake Champlain borders two states in the U.S. of New York and Vermont, and one Canadian province, Quebec. It lies in a valley surrounded by the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. However, Vermont lays claim to most of this extraordinary lake as it spreads over more than half of this Lake Champlain’s 490 square miles. The biggest city on the lake’s shores is Burlington, Vermont. This lake was essential during the Revolutionary War, allowing movement from the colonies to Canada.

Picture graph of Lake Champlain
The dimensions of Lake Champlain are impressive, and the fishing and wildlife are abundant as well.


Lone Rock Point on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont.

Lone Rock Point is on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont.

© Kreutz

This lake is situated in the northwestern corner of Vermont, spanning over the New York state line westward towards the Canadian border. Montreal, Quebec, is the closest metropolitan area to Lake Champlain (a one-hour drive), followed by Boston (a three-and-a-half-hour drive) and New York City (a five-hour drive). Lake Champlain is divided into five geological sub-basins:

  • The Main Lake from Crown Point to Canada
  • South Lake runs North from Whitehall to Crown Point
  • Malletts Bay
  • Inland Sea/Northeast Arm
  • Missisquioi Bay.


Samuel de Champlain was a French explorer that stumbled across Lake Champlain in 1609 and named it after himself. The lake proved its worth during the Revolutionary War when it was an essential transportation system from the colonies to Canada. Additionally, during the War of 1812, it served the military again as they used it to build ships. After World War II in 1945, the lake became a popular tourist attraction and now serves as a vital economic source for the surrounding towns.

This gorgeous lake is home to the oldest known fossil reef, between 450 to 480 million years old. In fact, there is a myth that a dinosaur similar to the Loch Ness Monster still occupies the lake. This prehistoric creature is named Champ, and many people have claimed to see him while visiting the lake. Although it’s unknown whether he is a whale, plesiosaur, dinosaur, or even exists, it’s always exciting to go out to Lake Champlain and try to find him.


Lake Champlain forms a boundary between New York and Vermont for most of its length. Therefore, it has a width of 14 miles, a length of 130 miles, and a total area of 490 square miles.


Lake Champlain has an average depth of approximately 64 feet. However, its deepest point is 400 feet between Essex, NY, and Charlotte, VT.

Water Level

The average yearly water level of Lake Champlain is 95.5 feet.


Lake Champlain is considered one of the best bass fishing lakes in the Northeast and contains more than 90 species of fish. In addition, Bassmaster Magazine has ranked it the sixth-best lake in the region.

Fish species in Lake Champlain include:


Lake Champlain is rated the U.S.’s eighth naturally occurring body of fresh water. For example, it contains 6.8 trillion gallons of water and provides drinking water to 200,000 people. Geologists get lost in various rocks and landforms belonging to this lake. It contains the oldest fossil coral reef on the planet and young mountains formed by ancient rocks. It is also an excavation site of a 10,000-year-old beluga whale.


Lake Champlain is the perfect place to launch a boat. Whether it’s a motor, paddle, or sailboat, this lake offers breathtaking views of towering mountains, rolling fields, and rocky cliffs. It also offers scenic boat tours so you can let your hair down while admiring the expansive waterways, sandy shores, sheltered bays, and secluded spots encompassed by nature.

Other Activities

This lake has many options for recreation, including:

  • Visiting Ornamental Farm at Shelbourne Farms
  • Learning about American history at the North Star Underground Railroad Museum
  • Staying in accommodation on Knight Island
  • Getting some exercise on Burlington Bike Path
  • Enjoying the walking trails at Waterfront Park
  • Taking a ferry from Burlington to Port Kent
  • Shopping at Church Street Marketplace.


Lake Champlain is a camper’s paradise and provides all sorts of outdoor living spaces, like RV parks or old-school camping grounds; no matter what, this lake can accommodate you and your family.

There are endless options for your nature-filled getaway, such as:

Where Is Lake Champlain Located on a Map?

Lake Champlain is home to a number of islands, the largest of which are Grand Isle, Isle La Motte, and North Hero. Some think that Lake Champlain should be counted as one of the Great Lakes because it is connected to the St. Lawrence Seaway (via the Richelieu River) and because of the Champlain Canal, which connects the lake to the Hudson River.

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About the Author

Chanel Coetzee is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily focusing on big cats, dogs, and travel. Chanel has been writing and researching about animals for over 10 years. She has also worked closely with big cats like lions, cheetahs, leopards, and tigers at a rescue and rehabilitation center in South Africa since 2009. As a resident of Cape Town, South Africa, Chanel enjoys beach walks with her Stafford bull terrier and traveling off the beaten path.

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