The ice has left, fishing seasons are beginning and boaters are anxious to get on the water.The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reminds anglers and recreational boaters to be aware of the cold water conditions that are present in the spring.
“The spring season offers some of the best fishing of the year in Vermont, and can also be a very enjoyable time for boaters to get out on the water before the busy summer season begins. That being said, we’d like to remind anglers and boaters to exercise safe practices and be conscious of the cold, high and swift water that exists in various bodies of water across the state.” ~ Col. Jason Batchelder, Vermont Fish & Wildlife warden
Cold Water Safety
Lower water temperatures during the spring season increase the risk of hypothermia if there is an on-the-water accident. Sudden immersion in cold water can cause the loss of swimming ability and strength, gasping and the inhalation of water, and rapid unconsciousness.
“Often the first few warm, sunny days of spring can be misleading as water temperatures remain in the high 30’s and 40’s throughout Vermont. We strongly encourage folks to get out on the water and take advantage of the outdoor opportunities available in Vermont this spring, but just remember to be prepared and make good decisions. That goes for anglers fishing along streams and rivers also, as high water from melting snow can create strong current.” ~ ~ Col. Jason Batchelder, Vermont Fish & Wildlife
Wear Your PFD – It’s The Law
Vermont boating laws require that all vessels carry one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III or V PFD for each person on board. Vessels 16 feet in length or longer must also have one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type IV PFD on board. Also, children under 12 years of age must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II or III PFD at all times while any vessel is underway.
“The use of a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is paramount at this time of year, given that it can significantly increase the odds of survival in cold-water situations,” ~ Col. Jason Batchelder
Additionally, New York State boating laws, which apply to waters on the New York side of Lake Champlain, require all persons aboard motorboats, canoes, kayaks, rowboats and sailboats less than 21 feet in length to wear a PFD while on New York waters from November 1 to May 1.
To learn more about boating safety and Vermont’s boating laws, visit http://www.boat-ed.com/vermont/handbook/.
To learn more about fishing in Vermont or to purchase a Vermont fishing license, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
More Articles About Lake Champlain Safety:
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- New York DEC Advises About Poor Ice Conditions
- Lake Champlain Ice Safety
- Essential Ice Fishing Safety Gear
- 12 Ice Safety Tips From Vermont Fish & Wildlife