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Every November fisheries biologists and a team of assistants use electrofishing boats at night to capture lake trout on Lake Champlain. Data is collected from upwards of 400 lakers each fall to monitor the health of the fishery and measure impacts of the lamprey control program.
If you’re looking for a summer camp experience that’s more than just a playground for your children. Then the green Mountain Conservation Camps might be for you. Back in the 1960’s former Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner, Ed Kehoe, developed a new summer camp experience for Vermont youngsters. He included traditional outdoor activities, but by integrating a strong conservation message and hands on experience with everything from firearms to bluebird boxes, Kehoe’s design offered a whole lot more. Now named in his honor, Camp Kehoe on Lake Bomoseen is a great way to introduce any child to the outdoors.
The Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife's Green Mountain Conservation Camp Program gives kids a chance to get hands-on experience in conservation, outdoor skills and hunter safety. In addition to developing social interaction, group cooperation and leadership skills, the camps promote an awareness and appreciation of the natural environment. We spent a day at Camp Kehoe on Lake Bomoseen to get a first-hand look at the summer fun and the learning experience of conservation camp.
With the loon population of Vermont down to eight nesting pairs in 1983, the Loon Recovery Project combined the talents of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to study ways to increase the loon population. Outdoor Journal visits with Eric Hanson, project biologist and the kids of Vermont Audubon's "Take Part Program" as they demonstrate what they have done to increase the loon population to almost forty nesting pairs.
Over the years miles of trail systems have been developed In Vermont, giving us access to some of our state's most beautiful forests and spectacular views. Keeping these trails clear and useable is a huge task. The Northeast Kingdom Conservation Service Corps, or "Kingdom Corps" for short, gives young people ages 12 to 15 a chance to work on environmental projects that help improve communities. The program is run by the NorthWoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston. We spend a day with a group of teens from the Kingdom Corps who dedicate their summers to creating and maintaining trails ... and a whole lot more.
There's an exciting story behind every set of antlers that is brought home by a hunter. In most cases, the bigger the rack, the larger the animal. Keeping a record of the measurements pays tribute to the hunter, the animal and the managed habitat they come from. The Boone & Crockett Club is the oldest conservation club in the United States. Started by Teddy Roosevelt in 1887, it promotes conservation and outdoor ethics, and supports wildlife research and management. The club maintains records for North America's big game animals. A Boone & Crockett measurer uses special guidelines to measure both antlers and skulls to determine an animal's size. The club maintains statistics for Canada, Mexico and the United States. At the Sportsmen's and Women's Appreciation Banquet organized by the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife every two years, hunters are encouraged to bring in their racks for measurement by the state's only Boone & Crockett certified measurer. We visit this year's banquet at the Montpelier Elk's Club, where certified measurer Ron Boucher shows us how it's done.
- Ron Boucher
P.O. Box 373
Wallingford, VT 05773
Almost half of today's students graduating with a wildlife degree have never hunted and have a minimal understanding of the impact that hunters provide to wildlife management and other conservation programs. In 2005 the Wildlife Management Institute and Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation began the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow program as a way to introduce students to the culture and concepts of hunting. For the last two years the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow program has held their program at Camp Kehoe on Lake Bomoseen in Castleton, Vermont.
Host Lawrence Pyne joins Barry Cahoon on a brisk February morning of fishing for big lake trout on Lake Whiloughby. Then, we visit the banquet at the Montpelier Elk's Club, where certified measurer Ron Boucher shows us how The Boone & Crockett Club maintains records for North America's big game animals. Lastly, host Marianne Eaton joins members of the Mad River Rocket Company for a hike up Granville Gulf and a run on the powder.