Thursday, August 16, 2018

Moose Hunt Auction Nets $43,072 for Wildlife Conservation Education

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Vermont’s annual auction of five moose hunting permits was held today when sealed bids were opened and the permit winners were notified.  The bids totaled $43,702.83 which will help fund Fish & Wildlife Department educational programs, such as the Green Mountain Conservation Camps for youths. 
Auction winners will hunt in Wildlife Management Units E1 or E2 in the northeast corner of the state during the October 1-7 archery season, or in the October 20-25 regular season.  Permits are for bulls-only. 
No regular public moose permit lottery was held because only thirteen moose hunting permits were authorized this year.  If any public lottery permits had been offered, all those with bonus points from past seasons would have had to apply or lose those points, as required by statute.  By law, in addition to the five permits in the auction, five permits were awarded to Vermont resident military veterans in a lottery and up to three permits are available for “Special Opportunity” recipients with life-threatening illnesses.  Source: Vermont Fish and Game Media Press Release 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Installing Water Control Devices on Beaver Dams

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

“The wetlands that beavers create provide critical habitat for a variety of wildlife such as waterfowl, songbirds, frogs, turtles, and otters.  These areas can also absorb extra water during rain events and clean pollutants from water, so we work hard to preserve these wetlands.” said Kim Royar, wildlife biologist for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. 
“Baffles don’t work in every situation and can’t replace the need to appropriately manage the beaver population,” Royar noted, “but they can often be used to help reduce flooding and minimize property damage while preserving these important wetlands. Beaver baffles add to the tools landowners have at their disposal for resolving conflicts with the species”
As a result of unregulated trapping and habitat degradation, beavers disappeared from Vermont’s landscape by the early 1700s. Beavers returned to the state after the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reintroduced them starting in the 1920s.  Today, beavers are once again plentiful and widespread throughout the state. However, most of the roads and villages in Vermont were established before beavers became abundant again.  As a result, conflicts between people and beavers are frequent and can be a challenge to resolve. Beaver baffles have helped.
With funds granted from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and generated by waterfowl hunters through the Duck Stamp Program, the Fish & Wildlife Department has installed more than 300 beaver baffles in Vermont protecting over 3,000 acres of wetland habitat since the program started in 2000. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Posted by Wayne G. Barber


Deer permits are sold as antlered deer (buck) permits or antlerless deer permits. Hunters must have the appropriate deer tag in their possession to legally harvest any antlered or antlerless deer. Deer permits are available as individual purchases or resident hunters may purchase one “All Outdoors” package permit for use in Zones 1 and 2 to take up to seven deer during the established seasons. This option is popular because it gives the hunter the flexibility to choose which season(s) to hunt and use their permits. A limit of 350 “All Outdoors” packages will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Licenses and permits are available for purchase online or at DEM's Office of Boating Registration & Licenses in Providence, as well as participating sales agent locations across the state.



WHEN: Saturday, August 25, 9 AM-4PM
WHERE: DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife Education Center, 1-B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Monday, August 6, 2018

Maine: Maranacook's Healthy but Vulnerable Trout/Salmon Fishery

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Maine: Maranacook's Healthy but Vulnerable Trout/Salmon Fishery 

Maranacook Lake is an 1800-acre water in Kennebec County, and is one of the jewels in the Winthrop lakes region.  Maranacook is almost like two lakes, with its northern basin that is relatively shallow and approximately 700 acres, and the 1,000 acre south basin that reaches depths of 118 feet and boasts a robust cold water fishery for salmon and brown trout.

Last fall, Region B fisheries biologists spent a number of weeks trap-netting Maranacook Lake. A trap-net, for those unfamiliar, is a stationary net intended to collect fish that are moving through shallow areas. The fall is an opportune time to use trap-nets, as most trout and salmon are in spawning mode and cruising the shoreline in search of suitable habitat and potential mates. Due to spawning habitat limitations, trout (brook & brown) and landlocked salmon stocked into Maranacook Lake are unable to spawn successfully, but that certainly doesn’t stop them from trying.

Three trap nets were deployed in early October near the outlet stream intown Winthrop, at Roseanne Brook on the western shore, and off a rocky peninsula along the eastern shore. The nets soaked for over a month and collected a whole mess of different fishes including brown trout, largemouth bass, golden shiners, white perch, white suckers, landlocked salmon, brown bullhead, and many more. While hundreds of fishes were measured, it was the salmon and brown trout that were most impressive.
In total, 94 salmon and 5 brown trout were trapped, measured, and released. The salmon were comprised of many age classes and averaged nearly 19” and 2.3-lbs. The 20 older salmon (age III+ and IV+) averaged over 21” and 3.3-lbs, with the largest individual tipping the scale at 24” and 5-lbs. The brown trout collection wasn’t as numerous, but it was equally notable. The five browns averaged nearly 20” and 2.5-lbs, with the largest measuring 26.5” and maxing out the 5.5-lb scale!

Maranacook is monitored closely since not only does it have an outstanding coldwater fishery, but it also is bordered by waters where invasive species such as pike and crappie are present. While these species are documented in Maranacook, both populations appear limited at present. For now, their scarcity means good things for the trout and salmon programs.

If you’re looking to catch trout and salmon in central Maine, Maranacook Lake is one you’ll want to put on your bucket list. The salmon are numerous and the brown trout grow large.  But, based on its close proximity to a handful of connected northern pike and black crappie waters, its trout and salmon programs are always in jeopardy. Both invasive species pose a constant threat to native salmonids in the lake. It’s a threat we take very seriously. We’ll continue to actively monitor the fishery through future nettings, frequent creel surveys, and regular correspondence with Maranacook Lake anglers.
Source: Outdoor Wire and Outdoor Wire Photo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Massachusetts Wachusett "Reservoir Zone" Controlled Deer Hunt

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

DWSP has designated a "Reservoir Zone" hunting area as the 2,800 acres around the Wachusett Reservoir within the boundary set by Routes 110, 12, 140, and 70. 
The Wachusett Controlled Deer hunt will take place from December 1 to December 31, including shotgun and primitive firearm seasons. 
The Reservoir Zone is open for white-tailed deer hunting ONLY.
Hunters must apply for a permit.  Permits will be a randomly selected based on a specific hunter density. Selected hunters will be given a special access permit to hunt within the Reservoir Zone. 
Hunters will be required to walk into this zone from one of the existing gate locations.
Permit application instructions:
  1. Click here to apply for the Wachusett Reservoir Controlled Deer Hunt. 
  2. Application available until August 31.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Governor Scott Appoints Three New Fish & Wildlife Board Members

Poste by Wayne G. Barber

MONTPELIER, Vt – Governor Phil Scott has appointed three new members to represent Addison, Essex, and Grand Isle counties on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board. The new members are Wendy Butler from Addison County, Mike Kolsun from Essex County, and Bryan McCarthy from Grand Isle County. 
The fourteen-member Fish and Wildlife Board is a group of Vermont citizens that enact fish and wildlife regulations for hunting, fishing, and trapping. Members serve six-year terms.
“The Fish and Wildlife Board members bring a strong level of personal experience to the job of setting Vermont’s hunting, fishing, and trapping regulations,” said Gov. Scott. “Volunteer board members give a great deal of their time and energy to the task, so I’m grateful to them for stepping up to serve the people of Vermont.” 

Wendy Butler lives in New Haven. A certified volunteer hunter education instructor since 2007, Butler enjoys guiding new hunters, many of whom have returned with their first deer, turkey, or duck. She has instructed women in outdoor skills at ‘Becoming an Outdoor Woman’ Camp and at Doe Camp. Butler works to improve wildlife habitat on her family’s 250-acre property, releasing apple trees, creating brush piles, and working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to improve habitat for golden-winged warblers. 
Mike Kolsun is a resident of Brighton. A self-proclaimed “late-onset hunter,” Kolsun took up hunting in his early twenties, learning about safety, ethics and respect for the sport through good friends and mentors. Kolsun was inspired by these mentors to give back and has been a hunter education instructor for 30 years, in addition to being a certified bow hunter and trapper education instructor. He also instructs for the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow program and helped develop Vermont’s “Let’s Go Fishing” program.
Bryan McCarthy lives in North Hero. A trustee of The Nature Conservancy of Vermont for the past eight years, McCarthy serves as the organization’s ‘sportsman outreach’ representative; he has previously chaired the conservation committee. McCarthy has a strong appreciation for wildlife management science and habitat conservation, having volunteered with Lake Champlain International and as a member of the Lake Champlain Walleye Association, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Ruffed Grouse Society, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Vermont Traditions Coalition.
“We’re glad to welcome Wendy, Mike, and Bryan to the board,” said Kevin Lawrence, Fish and Wildlife Board chair. “Board members are charged with the complex task of setting fishing, hunting, and trapping regulations after evaluating the scientific recommendations and legal advice from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, along with the input from the state’s hunters, anglers, trappers and wildlife watchers. I look forward to the fresh perspective these new members will bring to our discussions.”  Vermont Fish and Wildlife Media Press Release

Friday, July 20, 2018

Phenology Calendar

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Fourth Week of July

Earthworms make up 15-20 percent of a robin's summer diet. Many worms are plucked from mowed lawns where the robins can more easily see them.

Crows may be getting help in raising their chicks from last year's offspring.

Sharp-shinned hawks eat small birds, averaging about one per day.

First Week of August

The lovely song of the hermit thrush may still be heard. Most other birds have stopped singing.

Milk snake eggs that were laid in the spring are hatching.

Large dragonflies such as the green darner (Ajax junius) may replace flying with some gliding on hot days to prevent overheating their flight muscles. Source: Northern Woodlands, Virginia Barlow