With more people outdoors, Vermont Fish & Wildlife sees misuse at fishing areas

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Officials with Vermont Fish & Wildlife say because of the pandemic, a lot more people have been going to Vermont’s fishing access areas.  The department also saw a record number of people buying fishing licenses since the 1990’s.  However, with more people comes more problems.

“We’ve tried to manage that conflict, but it does get difficult because there are so many people out, this summer is hot, today’s a beautiful day and people want to be out on the water,” said Mike Wichrowski

Mike Wichrowski is the facilities and land manager for Vermont Fish & Wildlife. He said fishing areas around the country are seeing the same problem.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife manages 196 fishing access areas. The property is paid for by fishers and anglers.

The areas can be used for hunting, fishing, trapping, and boating. The areas cannot be used for things like swimming, camping, bonfires, dog swimming or walking, and parking for other areas. Wichrowski said swimming at the fishing areas can be especially dangerous.

“If people are launching or retrieving boats motorboats can be dangerous if someone does not see on a ramp people can get injured,” said Wichrowski.

Wichrowski also said they have seen issues with trash. Typically, the Fish & Wildlife Department works with the Department of Corrections to help clean up the areas. But, that is not an option this summer as the DOC is working to combat COVID in their facilities. So, Vermont Fish & Wildlife is encouraging the public to help.

“If you have a small bag just take five minutes and pick up some trash you see it will go a long way in keeping our sites looking nice,” said Wichrowski.

More information and guidance on fishing access areas can be found here.

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