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Researchers from Vermont Center for Ecostudies study the rare and secretive Bicknell's thrush on Mt. Mansfield. Also, a visit to Sandbar Wildlife Management Area in Milton, Vt., and a day on the river with Matt Lavallee of Winooski, Vt., who is trying to earn certification from Vermont's Master Angler Program.
Vermont is home to many productive trout streams, but none as famous as the Batten Kill. For more than 150 years, the river's reputation for producing big brown trout and beautiful native brook trout has lured anglers from across the country to southwest Vermont. Starting in the 1970s, the Batten Kill was managed strictly as a wild trout stream, initially with great success. But in the mid-90s a dramatic decline in the number of yearling trout had state biologists, anglers and others scrambling for answers. Thanks to a lot of hard work from a variety of groups, efforts are now underway to restore the Batten Kill as one of New England’s premier wild trout waters.
To properly manage Vermont's streams, wildlife officials need to survey them. The information gathered from these stream surveys is used in determining minimum lengths and quantities for anglers in addition to stocking needs and assessments of the overall stream health. Detailed records are kept on each survey and compared with previous findings to help determine environmental impacts of development near the streams. We tagged along this past spring with two Vermont Wildlife Fisheries Biologists to see how a stream is surveyed.
- Bald Hill Fish Culture Station
60 Abbott Hill Road
West Burke, VT 05871-9644
Supervisor: Chris Thompson
Fish Culturist: John Talbot
- Bennington Fish Culture Station
R.R. 2, Box 3859
Bennington, VT 05201
Supervisor: Monty Walker
Assistant Supervisor: Vacant
Fish Culturists: Brook Bicking,
Fish Culture Worker: Thomas Dwyer
- Ed Weed Fish Culture Station
14 Bell Hill Road
Grand Isle, VT 05458
Supervisor: Dan Marchant
Maintenance Supervisor: Mark LaBonte
and Kevin Kelsey
Fish Culturists: James Bellinghiri,
Gabe Cameron,Tom Chairvolotti,Sean Hilpl,
Priscilla Stutz-Lumbra, Gregory Owens
- Roxbury Fish Culture Station
3696 Roxbury Road
Roxbury, VT 05669
Supervisor: Ralph Barber
Fish Culturists: Dudley Leavitt,
- Salisbury Fish Culture Station
646 Lake Dunmore Rd.
Salisbury, VT 05759
Supervisor: Tom Dumont
Assistant Supervisor: George Scribner
Fish Culturists: Michael Ellis,
- Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
- Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
For the Adopt-a-Salmon Family program at the CP Smith School in Burlington, two fourth grade classes raised a salmon family from eggs. Five months later the one-inch fry were ready for release into Mill Brook in Jericho. OUTDOOR JOURNAL visited the school to see what the students learned from raising the fish and then attended the release, complete with ceremonial reading of poems by the students.
It's probably the last thing most anglers think of as they drift their bait in a tumbling stream or troll their lures through a deep, clear lake. But a big reason why trout fishermen in Vermont are so successful is because of the state's fish hatcheries. Vermont operates five fish culture stations, and collectively they play a critical roll in both restoring and maintaining the wonderful trout fishing found throughout the state. We visit the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station in Grand Isle for a look at some beautiful trout and salmon destined for Vermont's rivers and streams. Then we accompany members of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife as they stock the Winooski River with the help of some schoolchildren.
- Ed Weed Fish Culture Station,
Bald Hill Fish Culture Station,
Bennington Fish Culture Station,
- Roxbury Fish Culture Station,
Salisbury Fish Culture Station,
- Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Rainbow smelt are an important sport fish in the winter as well as the primary source of food for walleye and salmonids. Maintaining the balance between forage fish like smelt and species like walleye, salmon and lake trout is critical to a healthy population of fish. Each summer fisheries biologists trawl portions of the lake to get an estimate of the forage fish populations. The information gathered is just one more piece in the puzzle that determines stocking and daily limit numbers on Lake Champlain.
Host Marianne Eaton takes an introductory whitewater kayak lesson and runs her first class II whitewater. Then, host Lawrence Pyne joins Chet MacKenzie of the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife's Lake Champlain Sturgeon Restoration Program. Lastly, host Lawrence fishes the Connecticut river with local angler Forest Woodruff for American Shad. He then meets up with Ken Cox to learn how fish ladders in dams along the river have brought the fish back north.