When cold December nights begin to freeze local ponds and lakes, most waterfowl hunters are packing away their guns and digging out the ice augers. But there are a few hardy souls that brave the bitter temperatures in pursuit of goldeneyes. Also known as whistlers or ice ducks, these rugged diving ducks are the often the last migratory birds found on Lake Champlain as fall gives way to winter, and they offer some of the hottest hunting of the year.
When it comes to fishing in New England it’s tough to beat the opportunities that are offered by Lake Champlain. But when the ice goes out early and you’re still looking to catch fish you don’t have to wait long or look very far. On Vermont’s east coast the Connecticut River offers some of the best walleye fishing in the northeast and in the spring the fish start biting in mid March. The walleye fishery is so good on the Connecticut that even if you miss the peak by a day or two you’re still going to get into fish especially if you’re with someone who knows where to find them.
Formed in West African refugee camps, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have found worldwide acclaim for their infectious music and message of peace. The All Stars are set to wow the crowd, May 24 at Higher Ground, performing past hits and music from their latest release, Rise & Shine.
This is a pre-launch concert for the "Summer Global Music Voyage” concert series, presented by Higher Ground and Vermont’s own Cumbancha. Beginning June 30, the concert series will present four world music luminaries: Novalima, Freshlyground, Rupa & the April Fishes and Bombino. Tickets are available for individual shows or the full series. Find more info at highergroundmusic.com.
$15 advance / $17 at the door
1-888-512-7469 / highergroundmusic.com
If you're looking for big steelhead trout in Vermont, you'll find no finer spot to cast than the eleven-mile stretch of the Willoughby River between Lake Willoughby and the Barton River. Every spring people come from miles around not only to fish, but watch them jumping upstream to reach spawning grounds. The falls at Orleans presents one of the best fish watching opportunities in Vermont if not all New England. Host Lawrence Pyne, and angler Michael Hahn, tackle the Willoughby in search of two feet of steelhead.
When it comes to making things out of wood no animal is more persistent and more proficient than the beaver. Beaver dams provide valuable wet land habitat for several species of fish and wildlife. But these same dams can cause a lot of damage to roads and septic systems. In this segment, we look at a unique project called the "Cooperative Beaver Baffle Demonstration Project" that uses water control structures to properly manage beaver dam water levels.
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.
Rock Climbing can be an intimidating sport for many people. But with the proper training it can be an exhilarating experience. There is a sense of accomplishment when scaling what you thought was impossible. It can be a real confidence booster, and its lessons can be applied to everyday life. Host Marianne Eaton attends the Petra Cliffs Rock Climbing Center in Burlington and then tackles a sixty-foot cliff high above Lake Dunmore in Salisbury with her teachers.
Learning traditional outdoor skills such as hunting and fishing can be an intimidating experience for some women. The National Wild Turkey Federation offers a program to help women gain confidence and experience in a number of outdoor activities including target shooting, fly fishing, kayaking and tracking. In this segment, we spend a day with the Vermont chapter of the Federation for their "Women in the Outdoors" program.