Category Archives: Boating

Boating, canoeing, kayaking

Anglers and boaters reminded of cold water safety

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.


Anglers and boaters reminded of cold water safety

Anglers and boaters reminded of cold water safety

“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.


Anglers and boaters reminded of cold water safety. PFD Wear it !

PFD… Wear It!

“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

To learn more about fishing in Vermont or to purchase a Vermont fishing license, visit


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Plattsburgh City Marina Plans

Plattsburgh City Marina PlansThis spring the city of Plattsburgh, NY will have some international help to open a marina.

Despite the chill of mid-winter, Plattsburgh is already planning for the upcoming boating season on Lake Champlain with a new Plattsburgh City marina plan. City councilors recently accepted a proposal from Navtours USA to staff the decks this summer for the city.

A year ago the City Council rejected a plan that would have turned over the entire operation of the marina to Navtours, a Montreal-based marina company that also rents boats on Lake Champlain. The newly approved plan calls for the marina at the Dock Street Landing to be run by the Plattsburgh recreation department with staff at at contracted through Navtours.

“This is a brand new arrangement, it’s a brand new facility, the city’s never operated a marina before. We have had the space on the water for a very long time… What we’re striving for is world class customer service, to be able to give the best impression of our city possible.” ~ Steve Peters, Plattsburgh City superintendent of recreation.

Plattsburgh City Marina Plans

Lake Champlain off the Dock Street Landing in Plattsburgh, NY

The Navtours staffers will provide bilingual service to all customers since each employee is required to speak both french and English. By hiring Navtours USA to run the decks, the city expects to provide the best service to both local customers and visitors from Quebec.

“Navtours USA was going to be on the docks anyway, so really we reached an agreement so their deckhands would be our deckhands, and their supervisor will also be our supervisor. But it’s a much different operation that what we contemplated last year.” ~ Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon

The New Plattsburgh City Marina

The City Council agreed to spend $650,000 for the new docks. The project will be funded through a $100,000 grant, received last year; the balance to be borrowed. An existing building will be renovated to feature a welcome desk, as well as other conveniences for customers.

The city will install docks with 34 boat slips, able to accommodate boats up to 40′ long, and 25 moorings. The rate for boat slips at the new Plattsburgh City marina is $82 per lineal foot of boat length.

Plattsburgh City Marina Plans“If Lake Champlain’s a super highway, this is the off-ramp. We don’t provide gasoline, we don’t provide a ship store, we don’t provide a full service restaurant, we don’t provide a whole bunch of things that a normal marina might. We really just want to be the destination,” ~ Mayor James Calnon

Navtours will operate the marina during the established boating season, May 15 to Oct. 4. In addition to staffing the marina, Navtours will also provide 12 charter sail boats available for use by the general public.

Although the marina will be operating near another local boat deck, Mayor Calnon hopes that the arrangement will bring more business to the city rather than compete with existing businesses. 

City officials expect the marina will be ready in mid-May, although the official season begins in June.

More Lake Champlain News:

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John Guilmette Fishing Access Area Closed for Improvements

John Guilmette Fishing Access Area Closed for Improvements

When the area reopens, it will feature an expanded two-lane concrete boat ramp and a 70-foot dock. A redesigned parking lot will better accommodate persons with disabilities. The closure will begin immediately and may last through the winter, depending on fall weather conditions.

“We purchased this land nearly two years ago from private landowners who were operating the site as a boat ramp. This is a great location for people to access the Inland Sea, and acquisition was a critical step in maintaining this access for boaters and anglers, but the site was in serious need of upgrades. We think anglers and boaters will be very happy to see these improvements made.” ~ Mike Wichrowski, lands and facilities coordinator, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

John Guilmette Fishing Access Area Closed for Improvements - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Program

The construction project at John Guilmette Fishing Access area is being funded through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Program. These funds are generated as part of an excise tax on fishing equipment, boats and motors, and marine fuel taxes.

To purchase a Vermont fishing license or to find out more about fishing opportunities in Vermont, visit



Other Lake Champlain Wildlife Articles:



Remember to Wear PFD – Flotation Vests When Boating

Boaters Reminded to Wear Flotation Vests ( PFD )


The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding Lake Champlain anglers and boaters that New York State boating laws require all persons aboard motorboats, canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and sailboats less than 21 feet in length to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while on New York waters from November 1 to May 1.

New York enacted this PFD law in the fall of 2009 after a number of people died who were not wearing life jackets while boating during spring and fall cold water temperatures.

Boaters Reminded to Wear Flotation Vests ( PFD )

Types of Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s)

“Warm fall sunshine can often give boaters a false sense of security,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry. “The reality is, water temperatures are dropping quickly, and people can find themselves at risk of exposure, hypothermia, or worse, if they suddenly find themselves capsized or in the water.”Sudden immersion in cold water after falling overboard or capsizing, particularly at water temperatures below 68°F, can overcome even the strongest swimmers. It may lead to sudden cardiac arrest or gasping and inhalation of water, the loss of swimming ability and grip strength, and eventually hypothermia and unconsciousness.

“We encourage late fall anglers, duck hunters and all boaters to be cautious and safe while on any watercraft at this time of year,” said Berry. “Wearing a life jacket, no matter what the season, is the single best way boaters can keep themselves safe on the water, and it can significantly improve their chances of survival if something unexpected happens while boating.”


Vermont Fish & Wildlife also reminds anglers and boaters that children under 12 years of age must wear a Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device at all times while boating on any Vermont water body.


More on Lake Champlain Boating Safety:



Crown Point docks to reopen

Crown Point docks to reopen

Town taking reservations for Monitor Bay service

By LOHR McKINSTRY  (originally published in Press-Republican)

A state-of-the-art shore retaining wall is now protecting docks and campsites at the Monitor Bay Town Campground on Lake Champlain. The work has been completed, Crown Point Town Supervisor Charles Harrington said. The $285,000 project was partially funded with a $117,500 State Department of State Environmental Protection Fund Act grant. The town issued five-year municipal serial bonds to pay for the work, which included the new protection wall at the campground docks and electrical and water services.

Harrington said the campground barrier was damaged by wave erosion in 2009, then again by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. “We’re now accepting reservations for dock space from Crown Point residents. The docks had been closed due to unsafe conditions.”

Riznick Construction of Crown Point was the low bidder for the work at about $224,000, plus $12,000 for the electrical and water hookups at the docks. The project also has engineering costs. “They removed the old railroad-tie retaining wall and stairs and replaced the wall with modern, long-lasting vinyl,” Harrington said. The project had been approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, Adirondack Park Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Harrington said the town will take dock reservations until Feb. 28, with a $500 deposit and the rest paid at docking time. Monitor Bay campers can reserve from March 1 to 31, he said, after which reservations will be open to all. For town residents, the rates are $720 for up to 16 feet of dock space and $45 for each extra foot. Non-residents pay $900 and $56 an additional foot for the space.

Harrington said a celebration commemorating the reopening of the town docks is planned for this spring, with a date to be set. The town nets about $15,000 a year on the 42-site campground.