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

Vermont Fishing Regulation Change Hearings Scheduled

VT F&W Board Seeks Public Input on Proposed Fishing Regulation Changes

Series of public hearings scheduled for Newport, Rutland, Montpelier and St. Albans

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board is  of seeking public input on proposed fishing regulation changes that could go into effect starting in 2018.

Among the proposed changes are:
  •  Simplifying regulations on the Missisquoi River for muskellunge and year-round fishing.
  • Expanding the Little River two-trout bag limit to the section between the Route 2 bridge and Waterbury Reservoir Dam.
  • Making the existing Dog River test water designations for catch and release trout fishing into permanent regulations.
  • Changing the catch and release trout regulation on the Batten Kill to include an “artificial lures and flies” gear restriction, similar to the Dog River.
  • Simplifying the Clyde River regulations and expanding its catch and release season for salmon to include September and October.
  • Establishing rules against snagging fish.
  • Creating a new definition of “immediate control” for ice fishing.
  • Moving existing language related to commercial angling into a new section.
  • Expanding the “legal method of take” for fish to include spear gun and cross bow on a limited number of species.
  • Implementing new bags limits on bowfin, redhorse sucker and longnose gar.
  • In addition, an angling group is proposing from September 1 to October 31 on the Clyde River from Lake Memphremagog upstream to the West Charleston dam, that angling be restricted to fly fishing with floating line, unweighted leader and one unweighted artificial fly with a single hook.

Hearing Schedule

The Board will be hosting four public hearings to gather comments on the proposals, and will accept written comments through May 17, 2017. 

The hearings start at 6:30 p.m., and the schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, May 2 in Newport at the Emory Hebord State Office Building
  • Wednesday, May 3 in Rutland at Rutland High School
  • Thursday, May 4 in Montpelier at the Pavilion Building at 109 Main Street
  • Tuesday, May 9 in St. Albans at the St. Albans Town Education Center.

To submit questions or comments to the Board, email 

To learn more about the proposed regulation changes, the public hearing schedule, or the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board, visit the “Fish & Wildlife Board” page under the “About Us” section at

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New York DEC Proposes Additional Free Fishing Days

New York DEC Proposes Additional Free Fishing Days

Additional Free Fishing DaysThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing four additional free fishing days to complement the state’s existing free sport fishing days. DEC is seeking public comments on the proposed changes.

Since 1991, free sport fishing days have allowed New York residents and non-residents to fish for free without a fishing license at any of the state’s 7,500 lakes and ponds or 70,000 miles of rivers and streams.

The free events give people who might not fish a chance to try the rewarding sport at no cost, introduce people to a new hobby, and encourage people to support the sport by purchasing a New York State fishing license.

The proposed additions are:

  • Presidents Day Weekend (the weekend immediately preceding Presidents Day in the month of February) – These two days generally coincide with winter recess for schools, making it ideal for families to try ice fishing.
  • National Hunting and Fishing Day (one day) – Takes place annually on the 4th Saturday in September and links to events taking place nationwide. Fishing at this time of year is generally good for many species, including fall salmon fishing in the Great Lakes tributaries.
  • Veteran’s Day (one day) – Fishing is one of the most therapeutic outdoor activities, making it an excellent tribute to veterans and those currently serving. Governor Cuomo specified Veteran’s Day as a free fishing day in 2015, and this proposal would make it a permanent free fishing day.
  • Additionally, to avoid confusion about the existing free fishing days in June, DEC is proposing the regulation be changed from “the weekend which includes the last Saturday in June,” to the “last full weekend in June.”

Defining specific free fishing days allows DEC to more effectively promote these days well in advance of their occurrence, ultimately increasing public participation. Furthermore, having a designated set of free fishing days allows those planning vacations around these dates to do so without issue.

Public comments are welcome through May 6, 2017, and can be emailed to – enter “Free Sport Fishing Days” in the subject line.


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Vermont F&W Seeks Let’s Go Fishing Program Instructors

Vermont F&W Seeks Let’s Go Fishing Program Instructors

Vermont F&W Seeks Let’s Go Fishing Program Instructors

Let’s Go Fishing Program Instructors

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is seeking volunteers who would like to become ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ instructors so they can pass on Vermont’s fishing tradition to the next generation of Vermonters.

The department will be hosting a one-day, free training workshop for new instructors on Saturday, April 15, at the ANR Annex building, 190 Junction Road, Berlin, VT.

Instructors in the ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ program organize and instruct clinics in their communities for young people and their families. Participants in the training workshop will learn how to teach a fishing clinic, in addition to learning about fishing ethics, aquatic ecology, fisheries management, habitat conservation, and tackle craft. The class is informal, and it is not necessary to have a high level of fishing ability to become an instructor.

“Becoming an instructor will give you the opportunity to introduce Vermonters both young and old to the joys of fishing, while teaching them all they need to know to enjoy a day on the water,” said Corey Hart, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ coordinator. 

There is no charge for the training and all curriculum materials and lunch will be provided. The workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Pre-registration is required, and you must be 18 years of age to take part. Register by April 10 by calling 802-505-5562 or emailing 

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Fishing Clinic: Introduction to Targeting Trout and Salmon with Lead-core Line

Introduction to Targeting Trout and Salmon with Lead-core Line Fishing Clinic

Introduction to Targeting Trout and Salmon with Lead-core Line Fishing ClinicDate and Time: April 1 2017 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Location: Education Center at Kehoe Conservation Camp,
636 Point of Pines Rd. Castleton VT 05735

Description: Introduction to Targeting trout and Salmon with Lead-core line

Learn something new at this free fishing clinic. It’s  open to people of all ages and levels of experience, including those completely new to fishing.

This lecture based course will explore basic lead-core line fishing techniques such as, how its used, where, when and how to implement it from a variety of boating platforms.

Bring your own lunch and come spend the day learning about this unique method of fishing from a boat.

Registration is required and can be completed by emailing or calling 802-265-2279.

Source: Fishing Clinics and Events – Vermont Fish and Wildlife


Public Hearings for Otter, Muskrat Proposal in Vermont

Public Hearings for Otter, Muskrat Proposal in Vermont

Public Hearings Set for Otter, Muskrat Proposal in VermontVermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board have set three public hearings to gather advice on proposed changes to otter and muskrat trapping regulations. 

The otter, muskrat proposal began as a petition from a member of the public and has passed first vote by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board. The proposed changes would extend the otter trapping season by an extra month through then end of March to align with beaver trapping season. The proposal would also extend muskrat colony cage trap check times to 72 hours to align with the check time requirements for all other kill type traps set in aquatic environments. 

After receiving public comment through emails, letters and public hearings, the Board will go through two more rounds of voting before the rule is finalized. 

The proposal is available for public review at Comments on the proposal can be sent to 

The hearings are from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. as follows: 

  • Monday, April 3 – Lyndon State College, Burke Mountain Room (Conference Center), Lyndon, VT 

  • Tuesday, April 4 – Kehoe Conservation Camp, 636 Point of Pine Road, Castleton, VT 

  • Thursday, April 13 – St. Albans Town Education Center, 1695 Main St., St Albans, VT 

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