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VTF&W Hosts Public Discussion June 20 on Berlin Pond Fishing Regulations

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BERLIN VT – The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is hosting a public discussion on Berlin Pond fishing regulations on Wednesday, June 20 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Fish & Wildlife Department Annex building at 190 Junction Road in Berlin, across from the Amtrak train station.
Bret Ladago, a fisheries biologist with the department will present background fisheries information, answer related questions, collect angler observations, and discuss potential future regulations. 
In 2012, Berlin Pond was opened to public recreation, including fishing, for the first time in many decades.  A “test water designation” was implemented in June 2012 to reduce potential overfishing of unexploited fish populations.  It protected bass from harvest and reduced the limit of yellow perch from 50 to 10 fish daily.  This test water designation expires at the end of 2018, and the department is seeking public opinion on future fishing regulations for Berlin Pond. 
“We have found some extremely old, s…

Help Keep Vermont’s Bears Wild

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Report Bear Incidents to Vt Fish & Wildlife Department Website
MONTPELIER, VT – Conflicts between people and Vermont’s healthy bear population are becoming more common and Vermont State Game Wardens and biologists have been busy fielding calls from the public.  Reports of bears frequenting human areas have been on the rise this summer, especially in the towns of Middlebury, East Montpelier, Lyndonville, Waterbury, Duxbury, Bolton, Killington, Richmond, and Addison.  

According to Vermont Fish and Wildlife bear biologist Forrest Hammond, black bears are naturally skittish, but lose their fear of people as they begin to associate human areas with food rewards. Allowing bears to feed off backyard birdseed, garbage, livestock, and beehives causes them to get overly comfortable around humans, which often leads to negative consequences for the bear.
“Once a bear is conditioned to associate people with food, little can be done to fix the problem because relocating bears is rarely effective…

Bomoseen State Park Named Most ‘Family-Friendly’ Fishing Spot in Vermont

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CASTLETON, Vt. – The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation has nominated Bomoseen State Park in Castleton as the best family-friendly fishing spot in Vermont. 
Bomoseen is now in the running for being named among the foundation’s ‘Top 10 Mom-Approved Places to Fish and Boat in the Nation.’  Voting is open now through June 29 and each vote is a chance to win a family fishing and boating trip to Florida.
“Taking kids fishing can be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a summer day,” said Shawn Good, a fisheries biologist stationed near Bomoseen who frequently fishes there with his son.  “Bomoseen State Park has many of the things that make for a successful fishing trip with young children. It’s best to break up time spent fishing with other activities, and Bomoseen has playgrounds and a beach to go swimming during that down time.  There are also canoe and kayak rentals so that families can get out on the water together while they’re fishing.”
Bomoseen also participates in Vermont…

Vermont’s Summer Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 9

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Grand Isle Family Fishing Festival, Bass Opener both on Free Fishing Day
MONTPELIER, Vt. –Vermont’s annual, statewide Summer Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 9 this year, and it will be highlighted by a free family fishing festival in Grand Isle as well as opening day of the state’s regular bass fishing season.
“Vermont’s Free Fishing Day gives resident and nonresident anglers the opportunity to go fishing without a license for the day in Vermont lakes and streams,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter.  “Fishing is an activity that can be shared with friends and family or easily taught to newcomers while enjoying quality time together.”  
Free Fishing Day in Vermont also will be celebrated at the “Grand Isle Family Fishing Festival,” to be held at the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station at 14 Bell Hill Road in Grand Isle.  The festival will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Designed for young anglers and families, this exciting event offers basic fishing instruction and the chan…

GOT BATS? Summer Volunteers Needed: Trainings to be Held in Castleton (June 21) and Ferrisburgh (June 27)

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CASTLETON and FERRISBURGH, Vt. – The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is looking for volunteer citizen scientists to count bats in the greater Champlain Valley and a few other sites around the state this summer. Long-term monitoring is critical to the management and recovery of endangered little brown bats in Vermont. Volunteers will receive training at this event and be matched with monitoring sites after learning about these rare, insect-eating mammals. The events start at 7:30 and finish after dusk, around 9:30.
Bomoseen State Park, 22 Cedar Mountain Road, Castleton, VT on June 21 (Rain date June 22)Rokeby Museum, 4334 Route 7, Ferrisburgh, VT on June 27 (Rain date June 28)Alyssa Bennett is the Small Mammals Biologist at the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, where she works mainly on the conservation and recovery of Vermont’s nine bat species. Bennett will provide a 30-minute presentation about Vermont bats, their natural history and threats, and ways the publ…

Release of Aquarium Fish or Plants is an Environmental Threat

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ESSEX, Vt. – Keeping an aquarium with tropical fish and plants can be fun and educational.  But, releasing these fish or plants outdoors can be harmful to native species and is prohibited by Vermont law according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. 
Many of the common tropical fishes and aquatic plants kept in home aquariums originate from Central and South America, Africa and southeast Asia.  While some are imported, others are raised here, most notably in Florida. 
Unfortunately, some exotic fishes are released into the wild each year by their owners.  People may not be able to take their fish with them when they move, or they may simply lose interest in maintaining an aquarium.  Some tropical fish also can grow too large for their aquarium. 
There are several good reasons not to release aquarium fishes and plants into the wild.  If they survive, and reproduce, they are difficult, if not impossible to control or eradicate.  They can cause changes in the native aquatic env…

Enjoy Vermont’s Wildlife From a Distance

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Keep wildlife wild
BURLINGTON – State health and wildlife officials have one message for people who come across any animals in the wild – “Just leave them be.”
The State’s head game warden, Col. Jason Batchelder, says spring is the time of year when wardens get calls from people who find little animals they believe are abandoned or orphaned, and take the animals home to care for them. Batchelder says that’s bad for the animals, and potentially for people too. “It’s perfectly normal for young wildlife to be on their own, especially newborn fawns.” said Batchelder. “Young and small animals can be irresistibly cute, but their best chance of survival is to remain in the wild. If you have concerns about an animal, contact the local game warden.”
Natalie Kwit, DVM, is Vermont’s public health veterinarian. “It’s easy to think an animal in the wild may need rescuing, especially a baby animal. Even though they can be cute, wild animals are not pets, and can pose serious health risks to people wh…