A reminder on use of fishing access areas

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MONTPELIER — The COVID pandemic has affected our lives in many ways, and if you have gone fishing or launched a boat at one of Vermont's state fishing access areas recently, you may know that they are getting a lot of use this year.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department owns and manages 196 fishing access areas on lakes and rivers throughout the state. They are open 24/7, and their use is regulated with priority to anglers and boaters because the purchase and maintenance of these areas are funded by the sale of fishing licenses, a federal tax on fishing equipment and boating fuels, and motorboat registration fees.

"Vermont is fortunate to have these areas providing public access to many of our public waters throughout the state, and we are seeing a dramatic increase of their use this year because so many people have more time at home," said Mike Wichrowski, who manages the fishing access areas for Fish & Wildlife. "More anglers and boaters are showing up, and so are lots of other people. We are getting many complaints about illegal use, littering, parking problems, and thoughtless activity affecting other users."

"We are glad to see the fishing access areas being enjoyed," he added, "and, we are asking folks to be respectful of each other, to learn the rules of use of Vermont's fishing access areas and to follow them."

The following are authorized activities in order of priority:

- Fishing and the launching of any vessel to be used for fishing and the parking of vehicles and trailers used for these activities

- The launching of motorboats and parking their vehicles and trailers

- Hunting, trapping and parking of vehicles and boat trailers used for these activities

- Launching of non-motorized vessels not used for commercial purposes and the parking of their vehicles and boat trailers

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- ATVs and snowmobiles when being used for ice fishing

Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to:

- Discarding of bottles, glass, cans, paper, junk, litter, food, garbage, or trash

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- Swimming

- Dog walking or dog swimming

- Washing or cleaning of fish or wildlife

- Camping, picnicking, or making or maintaining a fire

- Parking of vehicles or trailers while the owner or user is not present or on adjacent public water

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- Withdrawal of water except by fire departments

- Parking for more than 72 hours

- Commercial activities except by those associated with the above authorized activities

- Group use not authorized by permit

- Launching and recovery of sailboards, rafts, snow kites, and the parking of associated vehicles and trailers

- All other activities not listed above as authorized or granted by special permit

To locate and learn more about Vermont's state fishing access areas, go to https://vtfishandwildlife.com/fish/boating-in-vermont/fishing-

access-areas.


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