Category Archives: News

News and events around the Lake Champlain Valley of northern New York and Vermont and southern Quebec

Vermont’s Champlain Region State Historic Sites Open May 27th

Vermont’s Champlain Region State Historic Sites Open May 27th

Vermont’s Champlain Region State Historic Sites

Lake Champlain Bridge, Chimney Point, Addison, Vermont

The State Historic Sites in Vermont’s Champlain Region open to the public on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 9:30 am.

The Champlain Region State Historic Sites are Chimney Point, Mount Independence, and the Hubbardton Battlefield.


Chimney Point

Champlain Region State Historic Sites- Chimney Point

Chimney Point Roadside Sign
Click Image to Enlarge


Located on Lake Champlain in Addison, Chimney Point is one of the most strategic locations on the lake. It is one side of a natural bottleneck of the lake. In 2017 there are two new exhibits that feature artifacts from the Lake Champlain Bridge archaeology work. The exhibits showcase evidence of nearly 9,000 years of human habitation here.

Champlain Region State Historic Sites, Chimney Point Center

Chimney Point Visitor Center

The grounds include a short trail with interpretive signs and a historic pier from the old 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge and a walk across the new bridge. Visitors can try the new bridge area map quest — forms are available at Chimney Point in Vermont or at the New York Visitor Center on the New York side of the bridge.

The site is open Wednesdays through Sundays and Monday holidays, 9:30 am to 5 pm. Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children under 15. For more information call (802) 759-2412.

Mount Independence

Mount Independence

Mural of Mount Independence Showing
Bridge Across Lake Champlain to Fort Ticonderoga

Click Image to Enlarge

Mount Independence in Orwell is a National Historic Landmark, named after the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The hill, formerly called Rattlesnake Hill, at the time of construction was manned by about 12,000 American troops – making it the most heavily manned fortification in North America at its time.

This year is the 240th anniversary of American, British, and German occupation, and a new book on its Revolutionary history is coming out in July. This year’s highlight event is ‘Soldiers Atop the Mount’ living history weekend, August 26 and 27, with a 5K walk on the 26th.

Champlain Region State Historic Sites - Mount Independence

Mount Independence Visitor Center

The museum also offers six miles of trails to walk. Open daily, 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children under 15. For more information call (802) 948-2000.

Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site

Champlain Region State Historic Sites Hubbardton Battlefield

Hubbardton Battlefield Roadside Sign
Click Image to Enlarge

Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site is the site of the only Revolutionary War battle fought in what would become Vermont. It is one of the best-preserved battlefields in America, retaining most of its original setting. Here on July 7, 1777 Colonel Seth Warner’s New England troops fought a rearguard action against British forces that were pursuing the American army retreating from Fort Ticonderoga. The American victory at Hubbardton saved those troops for use in later Patriot victories at Bennington and Saratoga.



Hubbardton Battlefield reenactmentThis year is the 240th anniversary of the July 7, 1777 battle, and it will be celebrated with a battle weekend on July 8 and 9. Up to 400 re-enactors are expected.

Open Thursdays through Sundays and Monday holidays, 9:30 am to 5 pm. Admission is $3.00 for adults and free for children under 15. For more information call (802) 273-2282.


The last day of the season is Sunday, October 15. Other Vermont State-owned Historic Sites opening on May 27 are the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth, Justin Smith Morrill Homestead in Strafford, and Old Constitution House in Windsor.

For more information, click here.

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Watch out for Turtles

Keep an Eye Out for Turtles

Watch out for Turtles

Springtime means turtles on are on the move. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking for the public’s help in keeping them safe. Female turtles are looking for places to deposit their eggs, sometimes choosing to lay along the shoulders of roads, which can end in tragedy.


“Turtles often cross roads as they search for a nest site,” said Steve Parren, biologist for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “They are a slow-moving animal in today’s fast-paced world, so they have a tough time making it safely across the road. Turtles grow slowly and live a long time, so losing a mature breeding female is a huge loss to the turtle population.”

Turtle nesting activity peaks from late May through June. At this time of year, drivers should keep an eye out for turtles in the road, especially when driving near ponds and wetlands.

To decrease the number of turtles killed by vehicles, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has collected data to find stretches of road that are hot-spots for wildlife migrations. They are working closely with VTrans, and with Jim Andrews from the Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas, among other partners.


“When you spot a turtle in the road, you may be able to help it across. First be sure you’re in a safe spot to stop and get out of your car, as human safety comes first,” said Andrews. “If you’re going to move a turtle off the road, always move it in the direction it was traveling. They know where they’re going.”


Watch out for Turtles - Snapping turtle

Snapping turtle

According to Andrews, most turtles can simply be picked up and carried across the road. However, if the turtle has no colorful lines, spots, or other markings, it is probably a snapping turtle, so people should not get too close to the animal to avoid being bitten. Snapping turtle’s necks are nearly as long as their shell. Instead, people should push the turtle across the road with an object like a shovel or broom.


Andrews is also asking paddlers, boaters, and anglers to report turtle sightings throughout the state to the Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas website at The reports help conservationists keep track of the status of these species so they can act if a species appears in decline.

“Sending in a report is quick and easy,” said Andrews. “Just snap a photo or two of the turtle, and submit your observation via the website or email. We’re constantly impressed with Vermonters’ commitment to conservation and willingness to help us save turtles.”

Observations can be submitted to the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas online at or



Other Lake Champlain Wildlife Articles:

Kids Fishing Events Scheduled For May & June In Vermont

Over Three Dozen Kids Fishing Events Scheduled For May & June In Vermont

Over Three Dozen Kids Fishing Events Scheduled For May & June In Vermont


Over three dozen children’s fishing events are scheduled for May and June throughout Vermont, offering the opportunity for kids and families to enjoy the sport of fishing as well as the state’s natural resources.

“Fishing is a wonderful way for families and friends to take in Vermont’s great outdoors and spend time with each other,” said Ali Thomas, education manager with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “Between several educational programs run by Vermont Fish & Wildlife, and an assortment of kids fishing derbies and clinics hosted by local organizations across the state, there is tons of fishing fun to be had in the coming weeks.”

One of the more popular programs is “Let’s Go Fishing” (LGF), which uses trained volunteer instructors to teach and encourage young people and their families about fishing. The instructors teach basic fishing skills, how to use different types of tackle, the importance of good aquatic habitat, fishing ethics and fishing regulations.

Free LGF clinics are found throughout the state during any time of the year. For a complete list of LGF clinics, visit the “Fishing Events and Programs” page at

Over Three Dozen Kids Fishing Events Scheduled For May & June In Vermont

Reel Fun Vermont

Vermont Fish & Wildlife also has a “Children’s Fishing Program” providing kids with the opportunity for a fun and successful fishing experience at locally organized events. Organizers of these events often include charitable, community, or non-profit groups such as fire departments, fish and game clubs, Rotary and Lions clubs, town recreation committees, 4-H clubs, and scouts groups, among others. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department provides eight-to-ten-inch stocked trout for the program.

A complete list of the children’s fishing events is updated periodically onthe “Fishing Events and Programs” page at

Additionally, for the third consecutive year, Vermont Fish & Wildlife and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation are teaming up to enhance fishing opportunities and experiences at Vermont State Parks through the “Reel Fun” initiative. The program provides free fishing rods and tackle to state park visitors for loan to use at 18 different Vermont State Parks.

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


Other Lake Champlain Fishing Articles:

Officials Warn About Safe Boating

Officials Warn About Safe Boating

Officials Warn About Safe Boating

Lake Champlain Water Temperatures are Deceptively Cold

Two recent deaths in cold waters have prompted safe boating warnings from officials. As temperatures increase this week, officials are concerned about increased recreational use on Lake Champlain, and are cautioning the public to take precautions.

When a canoe overturned on Malletts Bay last week, only two of the three boaters were able to swim to shore. The third man died. None of the three were wearing personal flotation devices (PFD’s).

“People get lulled into a false sense of security when it may be 70 or 75 degrees out, the water temperature is still 44 degrees currently right now,” said Corporal Michael Akerlind, Colchester Police Department. “And it takes a matter of minutes to be exposed to that water before you start losing your fine motor control and gross motor control, your ability to swim, your ablity to stay on the surface goes away just in a matter of minute.” 

Cold water is usually regarded as any water with a temperature below 77-75 degrees, so Lake Champlain is considered cold water year-round,



Deceptively Cold Water in Lake Champlain

Although the National Weather Service in Burlington monitors the water level and temperature in Lake Champlain and they make that information available to the public on their website,  those numbers can be deceiving.

“Even though we say the water temperature today was 47, there is a lot of upwelling going on where cold water refreshes into the warmer climates and that upwelling temperatures of the lake is only in the mid 30s so there may be one location that is 47 degrees and you just move 5 feet away and the water temperature is 39, so really it is just extremely dangerous this time of year.” said Scott Whittier, National Weather Service.

According to the National Weather Service, the lake temperature won’t hit the 50’s until the beginning of June. Temperatures will hit the 60’s by the end of June, but won’t get into the 70’s until late July or early August. Again officials say make sure you have a PFD with you, preferably on you.

The water temperature of Lake Champlain is still in the low to mid 40’s, which can send someone into hypothermia very quickly. According to the Coast Guard, the water was just 46 degrees when the man died Saturday morning.


Cold Water Safe Boating Safety Precautions

The U.S. Coast Guard has seen a rise in incidents out on the water, especially with paddle crafts and is urging boating safety.

“Being overturned is probably the most common one you see,” said Petty Officer Chris Bowman. “Things can get rough out there pretty quickly and if you’re not aware of what the weather is, what the forecast is, as things turn they can obviously become very precarious for you as well,” 

According to  Bowman there are precautions you can take to prevent tragedy, including checking conditions before you head out.

Officials Warn About Safe Boating with PFD“No matter what the situation is, whether it’s bright and sunny out, no winds, whatever it is, wear a life jacket, That extra bit of flotation, even if you go unconscious and into hypothermia, it will help you float. It will keep you alive and maybe long enough for someone to come out and save you,” Petty Officer Chris Bowman said. “The second-best thing you can do is know the conditions around you. Know the water temperature.”

Bowman added that you should always have a float plan in place, letting someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.


If the above isn’t reason enough to wear your PFD, you should also be aware that it’s the law.

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.


Salinity Increasing in Vermont’s Lakes: Prevention is Key to Protection

Salinity Increasing in Vermont’s Lakes


Salinity Increasing in Vermont’s Lakes

The charts above show chloride concentrations (mg/L) over time at selected Lake Champlain stations. (Data source: Lake Champlain Long-Term Water Quality and Biological Monitoring Project)
Click image to Enlarge

Prevention is Key to Protection

A new study on increasing salinity levels in freshwater lakes around North America has been in the news recently. The study used data from 371 lakes, including Lake Champlain and several others Vermont lakes. The study found that chloride, the major contributor to salinity in freshwater, has been increasing in many lakes around North America during the last several decades. If the trend continues, chloride levels could become high enough to harm some lake organisms. Much of this chloride is getting into surface waters through winter road de-icing. The study notes that impervious surfaces, such as parking lots, roofs, roads, and other hard surfaces are a strong predictor of chloride trends in the Northeast.


Lake Champlain Impacted

Lake Champlain was highlighted as one of the lakes showing an increasing chloride trend. The Lake Champlain Long-Term Water Quality and Biological Monitoring Project has been

Lake monitoring

tracking chloride since 1990 and has documented increased chloride in all areas of the lake. Because of these findings and other data from around the Northeast, the Watershed Management Division added chloride criteria to the Vermont Water Quality Standards in 2014, representing the maximum level allowable without harm to aquatic life. The Watershed Management Division and other partners and stakeholders identify watersheds around Vermont with elevated chloride levels so that outreach and chloride reduction efforts can start. While the increasing trend in chloride in Lake Champlain is noteworthy, levels are very low relative to the Vermont Water Quality Standards limits.



Winter de-icing practices around Northeast use road salt (sodium chloride) and some calcium chloride to keep roads safe. Salinity Increasing in Vermont’s Lakes: Prevention is Key to ProtectionThe Vermont Agency of Transportation and many local municipalities have implemented smart de-icing practices that include applying the amount of sodium chloride needed to keep roads open for travel while reducing the impact on water. Homeowners, business owners, and private maintenance companies can also protect our waters by carefully applying de-icing salts and other products throughout the winter.

To learn more about the harmful impacts of salt on aquatic organisms, read the Watershed Management Division’s summary of chloride impacts. Homeowners and business owners can watch this video to learn about the best tools to remove snow and ice.

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