2017 Lake Champlain Waterfowl Season Public Hearings

2017 Lake Champlain Waterfowl Season Public Hearings

March 14, Whitehall, NY- March 15, Essex, VT-March 16, Newport, VT

2017 Lake Champlain Waterfowl Season Public Hearings

Public hearings on the status of waterfowl populations and proposed waterfowl hunting seasons for the State of Vermont and Lake Champlain zone in New York will be held Tuesday, March 14, in Whitehall, New York, Wednesday, March 15 in Essex, Vermont and Thursday, March 16 in Newport, Vermont.

The annual hearings are being held by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Board.

Hearing Locations:

The March 14 meeting will be held at the Skenesborough Rescue Squad building, 37 Skenesborough Drive, Whitehall, New York 12887. The March 15 meeting will be held at Memorial Hall, 5 Towers Road, Essex, Vermont 05452. The March 16 meeting will be held at the Emory Hebord State Office Building, CCV Conference Room, 100 Main Street, Newport, VT 05855.

The hearings will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

 

2017 Lake Champlain Waterfowl Season Public HearingsWaterfowl hunters are encouraged to attend one of the hearings and share their preferences and opinions about the proposed seasons.

Under Federal regulations, waterfowl seasons, bag limits, and shooting hours in the Lake Champlain Zone must be uniform throughout the entire zone. Waterfowl seasons in New York’s part of the Lake Champlain Zone must be identical to the waterfowl season in Vermont’s part of the Zone.

Comments received, as well as recommendations from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, will be reviewed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board.

The proposed 2017 migratory bird hunting seasons are on the Fish & Wildlife website (vtfishandwildlife.com). Comments can be sent to ANR.FWPublicComment@Vermont.Gov.

Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities are available upon request at the Vermont meeting. Please include a description of the accommodation you will need. Individuals making such requests must include their contact information. Requests should be made as early as possible, such as an interpreter must be requested at least two weeks in advance, if possible. Please send an e-mail to: David.Sausville@Vermont.Gov or call the office staff at 802-878-1564 (voice), 1-800-253-0191 (TTY).

Ghosts and Legends of Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is located between New York’s majestic Adirondacks and Vermont’s famed Green Mountains. Yet despite the beauty of this region, it has been the site of dark and mysterious events; it is not surprising that some spirits linger in this otherwise tranquil place. Fort Ticonderoga saw some of early America’s bloodiest battles, and American, French and British ghosts still stand guard.
Champlain’s islands–Stave, Crab, Valcour and Garden–all host otherworldly inhabitants, and unidentified creatures and objects have made appearances on the water, in the sky and in the forests surrounding the lake.
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Lake Champlain Ice Safety

Lake Champlain Ice Safety

Lake Champlain Ice Safety

Skating on Lake Champlain

There are many activities that you can enjoy on Lake Champlain in the winter.  From ice fishing to cross-country skiing, from snowmobiling to skating or kite-boarding – Lake Champlain offers a wealth of outdoor fun to enjoy safely. Here are some simple things to help keep your outing fun and safe.

 

Important Ice Facts

  • New ice is usually stronger than old ice. Four inches of clear, newly formed ice may support one single person on foot, while a foot or more of old, partially thawed ice might not.
  • Ice rarely freezes uniformly. It might be a foot thick in one place and only an inch or two just a few feet away.
  • Ice formed over flowing water and currents is often dangerous. This is especially true near streams, bridges and culverts. Also, the ice outside river bends is usually weaker due to the undermining effects of the faster current.
  • The insulating effect of snow slows down the freezing process. The extra weight can also cut the amount of weight that the ice sheet can support. Also be aware that the ice near shore can be considerably weaker than ice that is farther out.
  • Booming and cracking ice isn’t necessarily dangerous. It only means that the ice is expanding and contracting as the temperature changes.
  • Schools of fish or flocks of waterfowl can also affect the relative safety of ice. The movement of fish can bring warm water up from the bottom of the lake. In the past, this has opened holes in the ice causing snowmobiles and cars to break through.

 

Lake Champlain Ice Safety

Ice Thickness Safety Chart (courtesy of the Lake Champlain Committee)

Recommended Minimum Ice Thickness

2″ or less – STAY OFF
4″ – Ice fishing, skiing, skating or other activities on foot
5″ – Snowmobile or ATV
8″ – 12″ – Car or small pickup
12″ – 15″ – Medium truck
Note: These guidelines are for new, clear solid ice.

There are many other factors than thickness that can make ice unsafe.

* White ice or “snow ice” is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.

SAFETY TIPS FOR TRAVELING ON ICE

The following guidelines can help you make wise choices:

  • Ice Chisel or spud

    Test the thickness yourself using an ice chisel or spud, an ice auger or even a cordless 1/4 inch drill with a long bit.

  • Avoid driving on ice when possible. If you must drive a vehicle, be ready to leave it in a hurry – keep the windows down and have a simple emergency plan of action that you’ve discussed with your passengers.
  • Refrain from alcoholic beverages. Even a couple of beers are enough to cause a careless error in judgment that could cost you your life. And contrary to common belief, alcohol actually makes you colder and doesn’t warm you up.
  • Don’t “overdrive” your snowmobile’s headlight. At 30 miles per hour, it can take a longer distance to stop on ice than your headlight shines. Many fatal snowmobile through-the-ice accidents occur because the machine was traveling too fast for the operator to stop when the headlamp illuminated a hole in the ice.
  • Ice Picks

    Always bring two ice picks and wear them around your neck so that they are within quick reach. The ice picks really help pulling yourself back onto solid ice. It’s amazing how difficult it is to pull yourself back on the surface of wet, slippery ice while you’re wearing a snowmobile suit weighted down with 60 lbs of water.

  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) under your winter gear. Or wear one of the new flotation snowmobile suits. Note: Do not wear a PFD when traveling across the ice in an enclosed vehicle.

 

Now, you’re ready to go. Get out on the ice and enjoy the Lake Champlain ice safely.


 

Other Lake Champlain Ice Fishing Articles:

Two Record Fish Caught in Vermont in 2016

Two Record Fish Caught in Vermont in 2016

New records set for bluegill and freshwater drum

Two Record Fish Caught in Vermont in 2016

Joseph Whalen Jr. With 25.54# Freshwater Drum- One of Two Record Fish Caught in Vermont in 2016

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department announced that two fish caught in 2016 were certified as new state records, making them the 14th and 15th state records that have been set for individual species of fish since 2010.

John Konya of Bradford caught a new record bluegill in August while fishing with a nightcrawler and silver spinner on Miller Pond in West Fairlee. The fish weighed 1.98 pounds, measured 12.25 inches long and had a girth of 12.5 inches. Konya’s bluegill beat the previous record bluegill which was caught in Lake Champlain in 2008 and weighed 1.93 pounds.

In September, New York angler Joseph Whalen Jr. landed the new Vermont record freshwater drum while fishing in the mid-lake area of Lake Champlain. The drum weighed 25.54 pounds, measured 34.5 inches in length and was 26.5 inches around at its widest point.

Interestingly, Whalen’s daughter Amelia caught the current New York state record freshwater drum in 2016. That fish, also caught in Lake Champlain, weighed in at 29.87 pounds and measured 36.5 inches in length.

“We saw some incredible fish in 2016, most notably the new record bluegill and freshwater drum,” said Shawn Good, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “The diversity of record fish we’re seeing each year really speaks to both the variety and quality of sport fish that are present in Vermont in healthy populations. Vermont truly is an anglers’ paradise that is matched by very few locations elsewhere.”

Good also pointed to the two record freshwater drum caught by the Whalen’s from Lake Champlain as a highlight from 2016 for a variety of reasons.

“These fish prove that anglers can land trophy-size fish by thinking outside the box and maybe targeting some of the lesser-known species of fish we have here in Vermont,” said Good. “I can’t think of any other state that has seen as many new state records for different species of fish in recent years as we have here. New records set for 15 different species in just six years is amazing. These catches are creating a great deal of excitement around Vermont fishing, and anglers are expanding their fishing pursuits as a result. 

“What’s equally as impressive to see is a family making fishing one of their favorite activities. Fishing and enjoying Vermont’s great outdoors with family and friends is a truly rewarding pastime that we hope everyone can experience at some point in their life.” 

To learn more about fishing in Vermont or to purchase a fishing license, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com


 

Other Lake Champlain Fishing Articles:

Reminder to Remove Ice Shanties from Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

A Reminder to Remove Ice Shanties

A Reminder to Remove Ice Shanties

Vermont state law requires that ice fishing shanties be removed from the ice before the ice weakens, according the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

The name and address of the owner must be affixed to the ice shanty, and the shanty must be removed before the ice becomes unsafe or loses its ability to support the shanty out of the water, or before the last Sunday in March — the 26th this year — whichever comes first. All contents, debris, wood, and supports must also be removed so they do not become a hazard to navigation in the spring.

The fine for leaving your ice fishing shanty on the ice can be $1,000, and shanties may not be left at state fishing access areas.

District game wardens are available for questions via the Vermont State Police radio dispatcher.


 

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