Reel Fun Fishing Program Expands at Vermont State Parks


Reel Fun Fishing program expands at Vermont state parks

Reel Fun Fishing program expands at Vermont state parks

Reel Fun Fishing Program Expands at Vermont State Parks

Vermont State Parks and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department have expanded the popular Reel Fun Vermont program for 2017. Eighteen Vermont State Parks now offer free loaner fishing equipment to park visitors, along with a mix of educational resources focused on the sport of fishing.

“We’re excited to offer Reel Fun at six more state parks this summer, making fishing easy and accessible to even more park campers and day visitors,” said Chris Adams, information specialist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “Many Vermont State Parks offer tremendous fishing opportunities and we’ve made it our objective to help folks enjoy the sport by offering them the resources to wet a line during their park visit.”

The following state parks will participate this season: Grand Isle, Button Bay and Burton Island on Lake Champlain; Bomoseen on Lake Bomoseen; Branbury on Lake Dunmore; Brighton on Spectacle Pond; Camp Plymouth on Echo Lake; Elmore on Lake Elmore; Emerald Lake on Emerald Lake; Gifford Woods on Kent Pond; Half Moon on Half Moon Pond; Lake Carmi on Lake Carmi; Lake St. Catherine on Lake St. Catherine; Little River on Waterbury Reservoir; Silver Lake on Silver Lake; Stillwater on Groton Lake; Wilgus on the Connecticut River; and Woodford on Adams Reservoir.


Reel Fun Fishing program expands at Vermont state parks


In addition to rods, reels, fishing line and an assortment of lures, park visitors will have access to a fishing guide publication for the various Reel Fun parks, developed by Vermont Fish & Wildlife.

The guides include information about each waterbody, including a lake, pond or river map, a list of fish species present, fishing tips and techniques applicable to the waterbody, and information about obtaining a Vermont fishing license.

Introductory fishing clinics coordinated through the Let’s Go Fishing program will also be held at many of the parks during the summer, helping people new to the sport learn the basics of fishing. Lastly, a full Reel Fun Week will be held from July 10-17.

“State parks and fishing fun go hand in hand,” said Adams. “Whether you want to fish from shore or take out a canoe, kayak or paddleboat, all of the Reel Fun parks are great spots to enjoy the sport of fishing with family and friends. Not to mention, the variety of fish species found at many of the parks is remarkable. You just never know what you might catch!”

The Battle of Carillon, or the 1758 Battle of Ticonderoga

The Battle of Carillon, or the 1758 Battle of Ticonderoga

July 8, 1758


Fort Ticonderoga or Carillon

Fort Ticonderoga or Carillon

The Battle of Carillon, also known as the 1758 Battle of Ticonderoga, was fought July 8, 1758, during the French and Indian War (which was part of the global Seven Years’ War). It was fought near Fort Carillon (now known as Fort Ticonderoga) on the shore of Lake Champlain in the frontier area between the British colony of New York and the French colony of New France.

The British and their colonists in New England had long been troubled by French and their native allies attacking the ever-expanding frontier settlements. Many of these attacks generated from the French stronghold of Fort St. Frederic (now Crown Point) on the western shore of Lake Champlain. That fort secured French control of the lake.

In 1755 the French began construction of Fort Carillon to protect the portage along the LaChute River between Lakes George and Champlain. It was from Fort Carillon that the French , under General Montcalm, staged their successful attack and siege of Fort William Henry in 1757. The fall of William Henry, and the later massacre of its surrendered defenders and civilians, left both lakes in the hands of the French.


A Massive British Army Attacks

British troops preparing to sail north before the Battle of Carillon

British troops preparing to sail north before the Battle of Carillon

On July 5, 1758 a massive British army sailed north down Lake George to attack Carillon and Fort St. Frederic.The force consisted of 6,000 British regulars and 12,000 provincial troops, including militia, rangers and native allies. It is said that the fleet transporting the army was three columns wide and three miles long as they rowed up Lake George.

The army made landfall at the north end of Lake George on July 6 with minimal casualties, except for the loss of General Howe, who was beloved by his troops and probably the best field commander in the British army.


The Battle of Carillon

Troops of The Black Watch storming the breastworks at the Battle of Carillon

Troops of The Black Watch storming the breastworks at the Battle of Carillon

The battle mostly took place on a rise about 3/4 mile from the fort. The French army of about 3,600 men under General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and the Chevalier de Levis decisively defeated the overwhelmingly numerically superior force of 18,000 British troops under General James Abercrombie.

The British frontal assault of an entrenched French position without using field artillery left the British and their allies vulnerable and allowed the French to win a decisive victory. It was the bloodiest battle in the American theater of this war, with about 400 French and more than 2,500 British casualties.

Many military historians have cited the Battle of Carillon as a classic example of tactical military incompetence. Abercrombie, confident of a quick victory, ignored several military options, such as: flanking the French breastworks, waiting for his artillery, or laying siege to the fort. Instead, he decided instead on a direct frontal assault of the entrenched French position without the benefit of artillery.



The Importance of the Battle of Carillon

French troops cheering General Montcalm after the Battle of Carillon

French troops cheering General Montcalm after the Battle of Carillon

British forces, expecting an easy victory, thought the capture of Carillon would lead in turn to the capture of the more strategic and important Fort St. Frederic (Fort Crown Point), and ultimately mastery of Lake Champlain. The staggering defeat forced them to retreat back up Lake George to the ruins of Fort William Henry and ultimately to Fort Edward.

The battle ended the military career of General Abercromby, and bolstered the status of General Montcalm, who was to die next year on the Plains of Abraham, defending Quebec from British assault.

The fort was abandoned by the French the following year, and it has since been known as Fort Ticonderoga (after its location). This battle gave the fort a reputation for impregnability that had an effect on future military operations in the area. Despite several large-scale military movements through the area, in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War, this was the only major battle fought near the fort’s location.


Lake Champlain Archaeological Site Boat Tour

Lake Champlain Archaeological Site Boat Tour

Lake Champlain Archaeological Site Boat Tour


Fort Ticonderoga’s 60-foot Carillon is offering boat tours with views of the lake, surrounding mountains and the Fort Ti itself, while crossing some of the most archaeologically rich waters in North America.

The 90-minute archaeological tour, available daily Tuesday through Sunday, features the story of Fort Ticonderoga and places the fort into a larger context as part of the imperial struggle for the continent in the 18th century.


Lake Champlain Archaeological Site Boat Tour past Fort Ticonderoga


“From shipwrecks to a massive bridge that the Americans built in 1776, Lake Champlain holds defining stories of America’s past,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO.



Boat tours aboard the Carillon will run through October. The 60-foot, 35-passenger boat is available for daily tours, field trips, sunset cruises, and charters. Boat tours are available rain or shine.

Lake Champlain Archaeological Site Boat Tour


Tickets for the boat cruise are available at Fort Ticonderoga or in advance by calling 518-585-2821.

For more information, and a full list of ongoing programs, visit their website at

Fort Ticonderoga is located at 102 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga.

Melosira: Educational Boat Trips Teach Public About Lake Champlain

Melosira: Educational Boat Trips Teach Public About Lake Champlain

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, Lake Champlain Sea Grant and ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain will host three Summer on the Lake educational boat cruises in July and August.

Melosira: Educational Boat Trips Teach Public About Lake Champlain

UVM’s R.V. Melosira launching a remotely operated vehicle

The public is invited aboard the UVM research and education vessel, the R/V Melosira, to learn about Lake Champlain and its watershed’s geologic, cultural and historical aspects. Trips will focus on one of two themes, Stories of Lake Champlain (July 17, 9:30-11:30 a.m.) or Life Underwater (Aug. 17, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and Aug. 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m.).

Trips depart from the south side of the Rubenstein Lab/Echo Building at 3 College St. in Burlington. The cost is $25 per person. Participants must be at the boat 15 minutes prior to departure time. The minimum age to participate is eight-years-old. For more information and to register, visit

Both trips will begin with an interactive introduction to the geology of Lake Champlain and its watershed. From there, the two themes diverge.

Stories of Lake Champlain

Stories of Lake Champlain will provide a cultural and historical view of Vermont’s largest lake. Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Abenaki tribe will share the history of native tribes in the area and their relationship with water. Later in the trip, participants will learn about the lake’s naval history following European settlement.

Rock Dunder

Stops and sights will include Red Rocks Park, Lone Rock Point, Rock Dunder (of historic significance to the Abenakis) and the Horse Ferry shipwreck. The trip will conclude with an optional hands-on sediment assessment session to look for signs of historical land uses and practices on the lake.


Participants on the Life Underwater

Participants on the Life Underwater trips will try their hand at being limnologists, scientists who study lakes. They will collect biological, chemical and physical measurements to assess the lake’s health and current conditions by towing for and identifying plankton, sampling sediment and monitoring water clarity, among other activities.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in any of these programs, please contact Kris Stepenuck at (802) 656-8504 or no later than three weeks prior to the trip.

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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Baby turtles released into Lake Champlain

Nearly 20 baby spiny softshell turtles were recently released into Lake Champlain. For about 10 years, Vermont Fish and Wildlife has captured the babies in the fall, kept them safe through the winter and then released them again in the summer.

Experts believe there are about 300 of the turtles in the lake, but because the babies are easy prey, they’re considered a threatened species.

Many of the turtles were sponsored by families who get to play a crucial role in the release.

Here’s a species that’s probably been here for 10,000 years. It’s been in Lake Champlain since it’s been the current Lake Champlain,” said Steve Parrin, of Vermont Fish and Wildlife. ” We would try to raise turtles in captivity, give them a head start so that they would be bigger and more resistant to predation where they would be larger, maybe quicker, and have a better chance at survival.

The release attracted the attention of Massachusetts native Michael Henry who made a special trip. “Big turtle fans, definitely. It’s not too far, three and a half hours, but definitely worth it,” Henry said.


“I’m hoping that’s a memory that’s going to stick with them and that they’re going to catch fire in the belly and they’re going to really care about what a tremendous place Vermont is,” Parrin said.



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