Spiny Softshell Turtles are part of Vermont's natural heritage. But these shy creatures are at risk of vanishing in both Vermont and Quebec due to waterfront development of their natural habitats. There are only two know nesting sites of this turtle in Vermont. But even though the sites are posted, turtles are still killed every year by careless individuals. The Lake Champlain Basin Science Center recently rescued some baby turtles from damaged nesting areas. They were raised at both the center and the Ecomuseum and Montreal. We recently joined members of the center for the turtle's reintroduction to their original nesting sites.
Lake Champlain has earned the reputation as being New England's premier bass fishing lake. The quantity of large and small-mouth makes the lake a big draw for professional bass tournaments. There are no special maintenance or organized stocking programs for bass on the lake. There are just lots of 'em. Host Lawrence Pyne joined anglers Randy Savage and Gilbert Gagner of "Bronzeback Guide Service" for a day of bass fishing on Lake Champlain.
There are over 300,000 active skydivers in the United States. Stepping into the doorway of a plane at 13,500 feet and leaping for an adrenaline-filled free fall is a feeling like no other. For those interested in trying this sport, a tandem ride where you are strapped together with a certified instructor is an easy way to see what skydiving is all about. And just about anyone can drive in off the street and try it. We visited Vermont Skydiving Adventures in Addison and went up in the plane to watch first-timers take exhilarating tandem rides.
Humans have thought about flying under their own power since they first looked up at the sky. Hang gliding is a way to fulfill that fantasy. For many, the image of hang gliding is running off a small hill and staying up for a few seconds. With the proper training, hang glider pilots can launch off the side of a mountain and stay aloft for hours at a time, thousands of feet up in the air. Host Marianne Eaton takes a lesson at the Morningside Flight Park in Charlestown, New Hampshire and then joins a pilot for a tandem ride at 2500 feet.
With their graceful lines and rugged seaworthiness, Friendship Sloops were the boat of choice for lobster fisherman off the rugged coast of Maine in the late nineteenth century. Though motor powered craft replaced these beautiful boats there are still many in existence and sailed primarily as yachts. Host Marianne Eaton spent a day on Lake Champlain aboard a Friendship Sloop from the Whistling Man Schooner Company in Burlington and learned some of the basics of sailing.
When most people think of Vermont "scuba diver's paradise" doesn't exactly spring to mind. But because of its cold temperatures, Lake Champlain holds one of the best collections of shipwrecks in the United States. Vermont was one of the first states to create a public underwater historic preserve, with seven shipwreck sites currently open to the public. But to see them up close, you have to dive. We spent some time recently with a class at the Waterfront Diving Center in Burlington to get a first-hand look at what it takes to scuba dive.
- bc cartographic Vermont Underwater Preserve Page
- Dive New England
- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Underwater Historic Preserve Information
- Scubasource Dive History Page
- Scuba Spots Vermont Page
- Vermont SCUBA Diving Club
- Victory Sports
- Jonathan Eddy
Waterfront Diving Center
214 Battery Street
Burlington, VT 05401
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
Drift boats such as the "McKenzie" and "Rogue" have a rich history. Developed in the 1930s in Oregon these oar-powered boats with their wide, flat bottoms became the craft of choice for fisherman negotiating the sometimes-treacherous McKenzie and Rouge rivers. Today variations of the original drift boat designs are popular with guides and fisherman needing to negotiate shallow stretches of river. The boats offer a terrific platform from which to fly-fish from. Host Lawrence Pyne joined John Marshall of "River Excitement" in Hartland Four-Corners for a day of fishing from his "McKenzie" on the Connecticut River.
Every October, the skies over Addison, Vt., are alive with geese. That's when thousands of migrating Canada and snow geese descend on the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area for a little feeding and lots of honking on their way south for the winter. It's an area where hunters and bird watchers co-exist. Host Marianne Eaton and Bryan Pfeiffer of Vermont Bird Tours visit Dead Creek to see the geese make the annual stopover. While there, they venture into the management area to explore other habitats where wildlife exist.
Keeping tabs on our wildlife populations is key to not only preserving various species, but also to keeping track of habitat quality. When it comes to goose management, one way to keep tabs on these birds is through banding programs. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department holds an annual Goose Roundup every summer at the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area where volunteers spend a day herding and banding geese.