By John Hall, Vermont Fish & Wildlife
ORLEANS – One of the state’s premier wildlife watching opportunities is taking place in Vermont. The steelhead rainbow trout have started their upstream migration, leaping up waterfalls in a spectacular display of determination on their way to their spawning grounds.
Steelhead can be spotted moving up the falls during these warmer days in mid-to-late April and sometimes into early May.
Willoughby Falls and a section of river upstream are closed to fishing until June 1 to protect the fish while they are spawning, although there are great fishing opportunities a short way downstream from the falls.
“Many people may not realize we have opportunities to watch fish in Vermont just like there are for birds and mammals,” said Pete Emerson, fisheries biologist for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. “Witnessing these trout migrate is a powerful reminder of the importance of maintaining healthy and connected waters to allow fish to thrive. We’re working to conserve Vermont’s waterways and the surrounding habitats so that future generations can continue to witness this incredible migration each spring.”
MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has set a minimum age requirement of 12 years for their online-only hunter education course, bowhunter education course and trapper education correspondence course to begin on October 1.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we began offering an online-only option for our hunter education and bowhunter education courses as well as a correspondence course for trapper education to reduce the health and safety risk to our instructors and students,” said Education Manager Alison Thomas. “Online-only and correspondence education allow individuals interested in hunting and trapping to obtain the necessary certifications to prepare for the upcoming fall hunting seasons.”
“These three courses are completely remote with no in-person contact. We want to ensure that our program creates a proper system for instructing safe and responsible new hunters and trappers. We continue to offer a very limited number of traditional, in-person courses and home study programs with no age requirement.”
“While our online-only courses meet all the standards and requirements established by the International Hunter Education Association,” said Thomas, “we encourage everyone who takes an online course to also take an in-person course if available, for the added benefits of hands-on and in-person learning.”
Requests for exemptions to the age requirement for online classes should be made directly to the Hunter Education Program by calling (802) 828-1193 or emailing HunterEducation@vermont.gov. Exemptions will be considered for those youth age 12 and under that are immuno-compromised or are otherwise unable to attend in-person classes.
Anyone interested in taking hunter education classes should visit the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s Hunter Education Program webpage: https://vtfishandwildlife.com/hunt/hunter-education for more information or to enroll in a course. More information is also available by calling the Hunter Education Program at 802-828-1193 or sending an email to HunterEducation@vermont.gov.
VT. Fish & Wildlife News