Kayaks are challenging boats to learn how to paddle. Building them requires a whole different set of challenges. We visited the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to look at their "Champlain Discovery" program that teaches teenagers with almost no woodworking experience how to build their own kayaks. The program culminates with a student trip on Lake Champlain in their new boats.
It's easy to see why kayaking is one of the fastest growing water sports. These sleek boats can go places others cannot, making them the perfect tool for wildlife viewing. Vermont is a kayaker's paradise, offering paddlers a diverse collection of lakes and rivers. Host Marianne Eaton joins kayak guide, Jamie Mittendorf, for a paddling adventure down the Otter Creek and a trip out into Lake Champlain.
Whitewater kayaking can be an exhilarating, fast-paced and fun run down the river. It's also a potentially dangerous sport that requires proper training and the right equipment. One of the biggest whitewater events in Vermont happens on the last weekends of both April and September when the Ball Mountain Dam in Jamaica holds a controlled water release, turning the West River into a class III run. Thousands of whitewater enthusiasts come from all over New England to run the rapids. Host Marianne Eaton takes an introductory whitewater kayak lesson and runs her first class II whitewater.
For around 200 miles, the Connecticut River forms the boundary between Vermont and New Hampshire, offering a number of great stretches to paddle and enjoy the scenery. It is a river filled with many personalities — peppered with whitewater in some sections and gentle pools and eddies in others. In a southern part of the river near Windsor, Vermont, lies a 12-mile stretch that makes a perfect day paddle adventure. Host Marianne Eaton joins Eric Hanson from Northstar Canoe Rentals in Cornish, New Hampshire, to paddle this stretch of the Connecticut and spend the night at one of the primitive campsites along the river.
Host Marianne Eaton joins kayak guide, Jamie Mittendorf, for a paddling adventure down the Otter Creek and a trip out into Lake Champlain. Then, we visited the "Champlain Discovery" program that teaches teenagers with almost no woodworking experience how to build their own kayaks. Also, we look at a unique project that uses water control structures to properly manage beaver dam water levels. Lastly, Host Lawrence Pyne, and angler Michael Hahn, tackle the Willoughby in search of two feet of steelhead.
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.
Host Lawrence Pyne joins an old friend for a little fall fly-fishing on the Clyde for salmon. And we join a biologist electro-fishing to examine the health of salmon populations on the lower section of the river. We then visit Helena Nordstrom,a wildlife rehabilitator, and head to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Woodstock. Lastly, Host Marianne Eaton joins Tom Bergh of Maine Island Kayak Company for a sea kayak adventure off the coast of Maine.