MONTPELIER >> The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department recently announced the launch of its new online fishing regulations tool, a platform designed to provide anglers with instant access to Vermont fishing laws as well as information about access areas for lakes, ponds and rivers across the state.
"Fishing regulations are important tools for managing Vermont's diverse fisheries and meeting the varied desires of the angling public," said Bernie Pientka, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. "Given the need for these regulations to be easily accessible to anglers, we developed the online regulations tool by combining our database of information with current technologies to make it faster and easier for anglers to find out when, where and how they can fish in Vermont."
The internet-based tool provides multiple functions, including the use of an interactive map, which allows users to select any waterbody in the state and instantly view fishing regulations specific to those waters.
The map feature also works in coordination with the Global Positioning Systems in many mobile devices, allowing users to view fisheries regulations at their current location.
"Regulations can also be viewed by selecting a waterbody, town or county from a comprehensive list," said Pientka. "Regardless of how you might prefer to access the information, the end result is a simple and clear list of fishing regulations for each waterbody that is right at your fingertips. We hope that anglers will take advantage of this convenient tool, whether it be in advance of their next fishing trip or while out on the water."
While the online fishing regulations tool has been through an initial test-phase and is now live and available to the public, Pientka said that the tool will continue to evolve based on feedback from anglers.
In addition to the online fishing regulations tool, the Department aims to develop a mobile fishing regulations application that will work in areas without internet service, and add further information to the mapping platform to expand its uses outside of providing fisheries regulations alone.
The new online fishing regulations tool can be accessed at http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/cms/one.aspx?portalid=73163&pageid=2530485. To purchase a fishing license or learn more about fishing in Vermont, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
Vermont moose hunting applications are available
MONTPELIER >> Vermont moose hunting permit applications are now available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com).
Printed applications will be available from Vermont license agents in early May.
A total of 135 regular moose season permits and 25 archery moose season permits will be issued for Vermont's 2016 October moose hunt. The regular season will be Oct. 15 to 20, and the archery season is Oct. 1 to 7.
The number of permits are reduced from last year in ten Wildlife Management Units, and permits will be for bulls-only in all WMUs except B, C and E1. The 160 permits being issued represent a 40 percent decrease from the number of permits issued last year. Hunters are expected to harvest close to 70 moose.
"We recommended a reduction in permit numbers and a continuation of bulls-only permits in most of the units this year based on biological data, and our population estimates indicating moose densities remain below management goals in many areas," said wildlife biologist Cedric Alexander, Vermont's moose project leader. "The intent of the proposal to allow population growth in most of Vermont."
Alexander estimates Vermont has over 2,000 moose statewide with the greatest concentration in the Northeast Kingdom.
"We continue to take a very conservative approach given recent regional and national trends of moose populations and health," added Alexander. "Moose biologists from the southern tier of moose range across North America are increasingly concerned about the effects of warming temperatures on moose health. Moose can easily become stressed by warmer weather causing them to feed less and early spring snow melt that results in higher winter tick loads the following year."
Lottery applications are $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. The deadline to apply is June 15. Winners of the permit lottery will purchase resident hunting permits for $100 and nonresident hunting permits for $350. Hunters also will have the option to bid on five moose hunting permits in an auction to be announced later. Hunters who have received a permit within the past five years are not eligible to apply for a permit or buy a bonus point.
Deer ages available on F&W website
RUTLAND >> Hunters who provided the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department with a tooth from their deer can now find out how old their deer was by visiting the department's website.
A total of 2,672 teeth were received from successful rifle season hunters. When added to the 1,937 deer examined by biologists during the youth and rifle seasons, the department was able to get accurate ages for 4,609 deer.
"We are thankful to the thousands of hunters who were willing to support our deer management efforts by providing us with a tooth from their deer," said Deer Project Leader Nick Fortin. "We are particularly grateful to the handful of dedicated reporting stations that collected a tooth from every deer they reported. This effort would not have been as successful without their assistance."
Now, the department would like more information on antler size in older bucks.
"Relatively few mature bucks are harvested each year, so it's important that we collect antler data from as many of these deer as possible," said Fortin. "This information helps us evaluate concerns related to antler development and the current antler point restriction."
If your deer was three years old or older and it wasn't examined by a biologist at the reporting station, Fish & Wildlife would like to measure its antlers. To get your antlers measured, bring them to a Fish & Wildlife district office during the month of April. Or, you can send a picture (or two) to AntlerPics@vermont.gov. Pictures must clearly show all antler points. Detailed instructions are available on the Fish & Wildlife's website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com).