Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ice Season Safety Equipment

Living here in New England this winter season we have had a very unusual fall/winter transition especially for anglers that like to get onto the ice in search of their quarry. We have had cold weather that would skim over the lakes and ponds and as the ice is firming up we would get a spell of warm weather that either would soften things or take away anything that was formed.

When the cold had finally settled in for a fair amount of time the ice was getting to be a couple inches of solid good ice. Then what happens is we get into our snow storm phase and that dumps up to 2 feet of the white stuff onto this good ice. In turn what this did was weigh down the minimal ice that was there and water comes on top to form slush and an insulating layer that is not what the ice angler wanted to see.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Hampshire NOAA to Create Saltwater Angler Registry in 2010

On December 31, 2008, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Fisheries Service will release the final rule creating a national saltwater angler registry of all marine recreational fishermen to help the nation better protect its shared marine resources. The rule requires anglers and spearfishers who fish recreationally in federal ocean waters or who fish anywhere in tidal waters for anadromous fish, including striped bass, smelt, shad, or salmon, to register with the national saltwater angler registry beginning January 1, 2010. NOAA had originally proposed that registration be required beginning in January 2009, but, based on public input, decided to give states another year to put in place their own data collection systems. The requirement to establish a registry was part of a law approved by Congress in 2007.

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Help MassWildlife Count Eagles!

Anyone spotting an eagle from December 3, 2008 through January 14, 2009is encouraged to report the sighting by email at or by postal service to "Eagle Survey," Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581. Please provide date, time, location, and town of eagle sightings, number of birds, whether juvenile or adult, and, observer's contact information. More information on the Midwinter Eagle Survey.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Be Safe on the Ice -- N.H. Ice Conditions Unpredictable

Officials at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department are reminding those getting outdoors this winter to stay safe on the ice.

"This year, we've already seen wide-ranging temperatures, deep snow and high winds that can shift ice on waterbodies," said Major Tim Acerno of Fish and Game Law Enforcement. "Outdoor enthusiasts should always test the ice before venturing out onto ice-covered waters."

Assess ice safety by using an ice chisel or axe to chop a hole in the ice to determine its thickness and condition. Continue to do this as you get further out on to the ice, because the thickness of the ice will not be uniform all over the waterbody.

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Connecticut School Vacation Children's Programs

Gillette Castle State ParkOpen for School Vacation Children's Programs Monday, December 29th and Tuesday, December 30th

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be offering two days of special children’s programs at Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam on Monday, December 29th and Tuesday, December 30 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. In addition to castle tours, there will be a variety of activities including: tracking, wildlife program, scavenger hunt, arts & crafts, birding, and a bonfire.

For the holiday season each room of the castle has been decorated with holiday ornaments as part of the William Gillette Holiday Celebration.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

No ice is safe ice

With the way the weather has been in New England the last week or two, this is making ice conditions very unsafe. There was little ice to start with before the 2 storm weekend dumped many inches of snow on whatever little ice there was. Now we have had warm temps, wind and rain as well and this has really softened the ice that is there. The weather forecast is predicting 60 plus degrees this weekend and that may open lakes and ponds up once again. By keeping a close eye on our children at this critical state we are in right now, this will allow them to have a fun day tomorrow. There have been a few folks that have had to be rescued already this season and luckily they were rescued and not seriously injured. No ice is ever safe but right now especially it is not safe.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vermont STAY SAFE – Follow These Ice Fishing Safety Tips

STAY SAFE – Follow These Ice Fishing Safety Tips

Ice fishing is popular and a lot of fun in Vermont. Each winter thousands of anglers venture out onto frozen lakes to fish through the ice. And, each winter there are ice-related accidents often caused by poor judgement or decisions based on inadequate information.

Here are some safety tips every person venturing out onto frozen lakes should observe according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rhode Island Announces Plans to Stock Atlantic Salmon


The Department of Environmental Management announces that staff from its Division of Fish and Wildlife will stock about 500 surplus domestic Atlantic salmon broodstock in five ponds statewide at the beginning of January in anticipation of the winter ice-fishing season. Winter trout stocking will take place during the same time period.

Salmon stocking locations will include Olney Pond in Lincoln, Stafford Pond in Tiverton, Barber Pond in South Kingstown, Meadowbrook Pond in Richmond, and Carbuncle Pond in Coventry. The salmon, mostly between five and 12 pounds each, are from the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Nashua National Fish Hatchery. Additional salmon may also become available from the National Fish Hatchery in Vermont.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Hampshire Wildlife Action Grants Available for Teachers

Grant Application Deadline: February 15, 2009

Teachers interested in starting wildlife habitat projects can apply to the Homes for Wildlife Action Grant Program at New Hampshire Fish and Game for start-up funds. The program provides mini-grants of up to $300 - or $600 with matching funds -- for projects allowing students and educators to enhance habitat for people and wildlife.

The deadline for submitting proposals is February 15, 2009. For a proposal packet, write to Marilyn Wyzga, Public Affairs Division, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H. 03301; email; or call (603) 271-3211.

The Homes for Wildlife Action Grant Program is designed to support student environmental action that can be measured in acres improved or protected for wildlife. Activities can include hands-on schoolyard or community habitat improvement or projects influencing community attitudes about maintaining or protecting wildlife habitat.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Vermont Youth Hunting Memories Contest Extended

The Vermont Big Game Trophy Club and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department have extended the deadline for the Youth Hunting Memories Contest to December 31, 2008.

Vermont is encouraging young hunters to submit a short essay and photo, if available, that describes their experience this year. Criteria to be judged include: ethics, landowner relations, appreciation of wildlife, respect for our hunting heritage, and family values. The top entry from each county will win a special prize from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

Winners will be announced at the Yankee Sportsman Classic on January 17, 2009 in Essex.

Rest of the story:

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fishing Report December 15 2008

We are now through half of December and our lakes and ponds are still not frozen over. On this day the air temps actually were near 60 degrees and figured that I might as well take advantage of this and get the kayak out for one last run. Unfortunately when you get nice temps like this in December you will pay with the winds that come along and I definitely did just that. Went out first thing in the morning as I knew that the winds would get stronger once it got a little later in the day. It didn’t matter as the wind was blowing straight down the pond and was going to make it tough for me to fish.

Rest of the report:

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NH 2009 Fishing and Hunting Licenses Now Available

New Hampshire fishing and hunting licenses for 2009 are here. Get yours today and be ready to enjoy a full year of outdoor adventure, from winter ice fishing to hunting next fall. Licenses are good for the calendar year, from January 1 through December 31, 2009, so the sooner you get yours, the more days of outdoor recreation you'll be able to enjoy. Licenses can be purchased online at or from Fish and Game license agents statewide.

Your hunting or fishing license - or, best of all, your "combo" license -- is your year-round ticket to the Granite State's great outdoors. For New Hampshire residents, an annual fishing license costs $35; a basic hunting license is $24.50; and a combination (hunting and fishing) license is $48.50. Nonresidents can buy an annual fishing license for $53; a hunting license for $105.50; or a combination license for $143.50. Residents can buy a one-day fishing license for just $10. Nonresidents have the option of buying one-, three- or seven-day fishing licenses.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

NH Hunters and Anglers: Thank a Landowner Today

The holiday season is an important time to extend thanks to landowners who maintain access for outdoor recreation on their properties, reminds Charles Miner Jr., Landowner Relations Program Administrator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

"As another year comes to a close and our hunting and fishing adventures become memories, it's time for us to remember the landowners who through their generosity helped to make these experiences possible," said Miner. "Access to hunt and fish is a privilege provided by landowners. Let them know you appreciate it."

Miner suggests the following points for hunters and anglers to keep in mind when thanking those who allow access their property for outdoor recreation:

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Fishing and Yakking

There is a period here in New England, and across the northern United States for that matter, that the boats are put away but there isn’t any ice yet. We sit and look at our favorite bodies of waters and wish for the days that we can wet a line once again. For those that continue their fishing throughout the winter months and not hang it up as some anglers do, don’t fret as there are still ways to enjoy catching a fish.

We winterize out bigger boats as the cold nights wreak havoc on our inboard and outboard motors especially with the lower units. Then there are the anglers that take to the ice once that is safe enough for one to walk on in search of the swimming quarry that lies below. This transition period can be short lived but it could also go on for a couple of months.

Here in New England early season ice can happen in the beginning of December, but that seems to be a rarity. It will take until almost February in certain years and this does get very frustrating to the ones that want to drill a hole and sit on the ice. But normally around Christmas time we are usually finally on the ice and this couldn’t be a happier day.

Rest of the article:

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Friday, December 12, 2008

No Ice is Safe

With the cold weather that we had not long ago, there was a skim coat of ice that had formed over the local ponds and lakes. Throw a little dusting of snow on top of it and this looks inviting to our kids. This time of year is when we really need to keep an eye on our children if you are near any type of water. The skim coat is a thin layer of ice that will not support any type of weight and caution needs to be taken if you are around the lake or pond. Talking with our kids and explaining to them that the ice out there is never safe, and they should never walk out there without a parent being with them. The weather has gotten warmer now and the rain has pretty much taken care of any ice that was out there and it will be sometime before the ice forms once again but explaining these things now prepares them for the winter season ahead.

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NH Become an Outdoors-Woman this Winter!

Women who want to explore active outdoor interests like ice-fishing or snowshoeing can attend a one-day Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (B.O.W.) winter workshop on Saturday, February 21, 2009 (snow date Sunday, February 22), at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness, N.H. The workshop costs $55, which includes a box lunch. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Winter B.O.W. is sponsored jointly by N.H. Fish and Game and the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Connecticut DEP Offers Outdoor Safety Tips

The Department of Environmental Protection today reminded outdoor enthusiasts - including hunters and non-hunters alike – to be safe in the woods.

"We are still in the midst of hunting season in Connecticut," said Dale May, Director of the DEP Wildlife Division. "This is also a popular time for others to enjoy the many outdoor opportunities that our state has to offer, including hiking and biking.

It is especially important for all outdoor users to respect the rights of others and be aware of all activities that may be occurring outdoors. Connecticut hunters have an excellent safety record and awareness on the part of non-hunters can help in our efforts to keep hunting safe for everyone."

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fishing Report December 3 2008

Where or where is my ice this year? Here in New England we are teetering on those temps that it cools down enough to skim the ponds over but by late afternoon, the sun and wind takes all that was created away again to start over the process. Since this is the case I still need to resort to my kayak fishing and went back to the same pond that I was on a few days ago. Still looking for the nice sized crappies and they are still making me work to find the active fish. The air temps were in the upper 40’s and did have to paddle through a little ice but the winds of course were blowing once again as this pond never seems to be calm.

Rest of the report:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fishing Report November 29 2008

After eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day and then a day of rain following to keep you in the house, decided that I needed some time out on the water again. Driving to the pond there were numerous other ponds that had ice on them and got me a little nervous as to what I was going to see. Arrived at my ice fishing pond and found a few kayakers out there and no ice to be seen made my day and got ready to fish. Of course the wind was blowing as usual on this pond and not sure that I have ever been there when it doesn’t blow.

Rest of the report:

Video of the day:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Outdoor Safety Tips from MA Fish and Game

Fall is a wonderful time to be outdoors with its dazzling colors, crisp air and wildlife activity galore. Whether your passion is hiking, hunting, fishing, birding or just taking in the scenery, a few common sense safety reminders will add to your enjoyment during a day in the field.

Know your limits.
Don't take off on a long hike, hunt or bike ride if you're not physically ready. Tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return.

Watch the weather.
New England weather is notorious for quick changes. Be ready with an extra layer of clothing, warm hat and gloves.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

RI Cautions Drivers to be Alert for Deer

The Department of Environmental Management is advising motorists to be alert for deer, particularly at dawn and dusk. The deer mating season is currently underway, and will continue through November and much of December. Deer tend to move around more frequently during this time, and November is typically the peak period for road kills.

With shorter daylight hours, many commuters are on area roads during the dawn and dusk hours, when deer tend to be most active. Many of those deer live and roam in suburban and urban areas. Deer dart out suddenly and often travel together, according to DEM, so motorists should watch for any other deer that may try to cross the road, following the first one. DEM cautions that motorists should slow down while driving at dawn and dusk, use high beams when possible, and always use seat belts, since most injuries occur to drivers who are not belted.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fishing Report November 24 2008

It has been quite sometime since I have been able to wet a line, with the cold and windy weather that had overcome New England. Having put the big boat to sleep for the winter it is now time to concentrate on these smaller ponds with my kayak. Typically this time of year I fish out of my kayak using my ice fishing gear. By jigging over the side and watching the electronics, this is getting me in tune for the coming ice fishing season. With many nights in the teens lately, I knew that the waters were going to be cooling but I was surprised when I arrived at the lake to see a skim coat of ice.

Rest of the report:

Video of the day:

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Maine Warden Service Says ‘Stay Off The Ice’

The Maine Warden Service is urging people to not venture out onto any ice that may be covering Maine’s waterways.

In some parts of the state, Maine’s lakes and ponds may appear to be frozen, but safe ice conditions cannot be assumed even though temperatures have been below freezing in recent days and at night. Also, any snow covering thin layers of ice acts as insulation and slows the freezing process.

“There are no safe ice conditions anywhere in the state right now. Period,” said Col. Joel Wilkinson, chief warden of the Maine Warden Service.

As the temperatures continue to fall in the coming weeks, and the ice begins to thicken, the Maine Warden Service is recommending that people check the thickness of any ice before venturing out for any activity on frozen water.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

RI Annouces 2008-2009 Shotgun Deer Hunting Season Dates and Regulations

The Department of Environmental Management announces the seasons and general rules for shotgun deer hunting in Rhode Island. The shotgun season for taking either-sex and antlerless deer — female deer or male deer with antlers less than three inches long — on the mainland begins on Saturday, December 6 and continues through December 14. Hunters can utilize both state and private land during that period. The shotgun season continues for taking both either-sex and antlerless deer, on private land only, from December 15 through December 21. Antlerless deer permit holders may also continue to hunt private land on December 27 & December 28, and on January 3 & January 4 this season.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Free Ice-Fishing Events Offered

In January, the Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) program is offering free ice-fishing classes statewide for families and individuals age 9 and up.

Each spring and fall, CARE offers year-round classes that include a fishing trip, Fishing Tackle and course materials are provided at no charge.

Ice-fishing events are scheduled from 9:30am to noon on Jan 24 at the Bolton Fire House and from 8 to 11am on Jan 31 on Batam Lake in Litchfield.

Pre-registration is required for both events. For the Bolton event, call 1-860-896-0159. For the Litchfield event, call 1-860-424-3474.

If there is safe ice, other classes and fishing derbies may be scheduled. For a full schedule and more information about the program, call 1-860-663-1656. Or visit and enter "CARE" in the search box.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Seasons are Changing

These last few days the weather here in New England reminds you of being in the northern tundra, cold. Temps at night lately are in the low 20’s and this is cooling our waters very quickly and if this keeps up, will accelerate the ice coming this season. Driving around yesterday I had noticed that the swamps and small ponds are skimmed over with ice and this is getting me excited. If you are still venturing out onto the waters, definitely take some precautions to ensure that you have safe and enjoyable trip. Here in MA, legally, you are suppose to wear your lifejacket in any small craft and this is going to give you a little extra time to help you get out of the water if you happen to go in. We are in transition period now and there are still waters that can be used so enjoy sometime out there and bundle up as the fish have not gone anywhere and chances are they are getting hungry.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vermont's Second Annual Youth Hunting Memories Contest

We want to hear about one of your hunting experiences and why hunting is important to you. Please send us an essay and a photo if you have one.

Your essay will be judged on ethics, landowner relations, appreciation of wildlife, respect for our hunting heritage, and family values.

The contest is open to youth aged 16 and younger, and submissions must be received by December 19, 2008 by 4:30 p.m. The top entry from each Vermont County will win a special prize from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The County winners will be announced at the 2009 Yankee Sportsman Classic Show this January.

The top entries will be considered for an “Archery Only” hunt for two, parent and child (or mentor and child), at Antelope Outfitters in Torrington, Wyoming. The runner-up will receive a two-day hare hunt at Pine Grove Lodge in Pleasant Ridge, Maine. The hunt winners will be announced at the Vermont Big Game Trophy Club Awards Banquet on April 4, 2009.

The contest is presented by Vermont Fish & Widlife Department, Vermont Big Game Trophy Club, University of Vermont 4-H Shooting Sport, and Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. To learn more about the contest rules click here.

To learn more about the department and for a complete listing of staff, visit the About Us section of our web site.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gearing Kids up for Ice

At this time of year, in between fall and winter, kids are not participating much in angling adventures, as the weather turns cool and wet. So to keep their enthusiasm going strong about fishing as we approach the new season of fishing when the ice returns, keep them involved in activities revolving around fishing. Many ice anglers are in the mode these days of getting their ice gear together and ready and you should involve your kids in this process as well. Let them play around some with the ice fishing rod/reel so that they can get a feel for that once again. Have them help you sort through your baits especially the micro plastics, as they will have a fun time looking and touching these. As well as the electronics, you can show and teach them some about the flasher and camera inside your home by actually having them on and explaining what they are seeing on the screen. By keeping them involved in this preparation into a new season, this will keep their enthusiasm high for another great season of fishing ahead.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Maine's Noteworthy Hunting and Wildlife management Information by Region

The following information is for hunters, naturalists or anyone fascinated by Maine's diverse and plentiful wildlife species. Profiles on moose, bear, deer, turkey, waterfowl, and upland game - hunting tips, management strategies, harvest statistics. It's a one-of-a kind collection of reports from Maine's wildlife biologists and the Maine Warden Service. Find the topic listed below or select a region on the map for the location you would like to visit.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Watch for New "Granite State Outdoors" Program

Next time you're channel surfing, check out your community television station: there's a good chance you'll catch a glimpse of a moose, discover a new place to go paddling, or get some timely fishing advice on Granite State Outdoors, NH Fish and Game's new outdoor television program. This month, public access television stations across New Hampshire will begin airing Granite State Outdoors or "GSO-TV," produced by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department specifically for community television audiences, featuring local information on wildlife and outdoor recreation in an entertaining format.

"Granite State Outdoors can help outdoor enthusiasts better plan their time spent outside -- whether you enjoy outdoor adventures like moose watching, salmon fishing, turkey hunting or discovering a great new destination by canoe or kayak," said Jon Charpentier, Supervisor of Media & Promotion at NH Fish and Game.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fishing Report November 3 2008

Since things are slowing way down for me lately, I decided that I needed some water time to clear my head once again. Took the boat over to my favorite bass lake and of course my intermittent motor fuel pump issue showed up again and was unable to get the motor started. Went back home and loaded the kayak and equipment into the truck and headed off to my local crappie pond. This is a little early yet for kayak fishing and me but since I did not have a choice why not.

Rest of the report:

Video of the day:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vermont Deer Check Stations

Biological Deer Check Stations Open Nov. 8-9

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will be conducting 26 biological deer check stations on Vermont's Youth Deer Hunting Weekend, November 8 and 9, to collect information on the age and health of Vermont deer.

The department conducted biological deer check stations during the first weekend of rifle season in the past, but made the change to Youth Weekend to continue gathering data on yearling bucks.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Fish are Shallow

We are getting deep into the fall season here in New England and many anglers have put away their gear for the winter. The anglers that are still out there on the water, these anglers are the ones that are catching nice fish and numbers of fish as well. There is a surprising thing that the angler can take advantage of at this time of year and that is fishing shallow water. The waters are still somewhat warm and there are still green weeds in the shallower waters. Fish are still using these areas to feed heavily as they fatten themselves for the winter ahead. If you are fishing deep in the fall try fishing shallow as well and this may increase your chances of catching some nice fish. If they are not biting shallow, then move out deeper but don’t overlook the shallow bite.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fishing October 27 2008

What a stressful week this has been and getting to the water and doing some fall fishing was desperately needed to clear out my head. Decided that since there was no wind what so ever, I wanted to go to the reservoir that I frequent quite often, that I fish from the shore throughout the season to see how I do out on the lake. This body of water is loaded with smallmouth bass and they were the target that I wanted to catch.

Rest of the report:

Video of the trip:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

See Biologists in Action at "Salmon Sunday"

CONCORD, N.H. -- Bring the kids and find out everything you wanted to know about New Hampshire's freshwater fish and fisheries at New Hampshire Fish and Game's annual event, "Salmon Sunday," at Pope Dam in Melvin Village on November 16, 2008, from 1 to 3 p.m. Pope Dam is nine miles north of Wolfeboro on Route 109 in the town of Tuftonboro. For more information on Salmon Sunday, call (603) 744-5470.

"Salmon Sunday is a great chance for everyone to get a close-up look at landlocked salmon from Lake Winnipesaukee in their fall spawning colors," said Don Miller, fisheries biologist for the Lakes Region. "Kids love to see the big salmon, averaging about four pounds each, and watch biologists collecting the eggs."

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rhode Island Foliage Report

Rhode Island Foliage Report 2008

Here is a great foliage tracker that keeps you up to date on how the leaves are changing throughout the state...

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Massachusetts Fall Foliage Report

Massachusetts Foliage Report 2008

Here is a great foliage tracker that keeps you up to date on how the leaves are changing throughout the state...

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vermont Fall Foliage 2008

Vermont Foliage Report 2008

Here is a great foliage tracker that keeps you up to date on how the leaves are changing throughout the state...

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Maine Fall Foliage Report 2008

Maine Foliage Report 2008

Here is a great foliage tracker that keeps you up to date on how the leaves are changing throughout the state...

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Connecticut Fall Foliage Report 2008

Connecticut Foliage Report 2008

Here is a great foliage tracker that keeps you up to date on how the leaves are changing throughout the state...

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kids Fall Fishing

Fall time is probably one of the best opportunity times that will give you an advantage for getting your kids to catch a bigger fish. In the fall before the really cool nights start taking over, the shallow waters of our favorite lakes are still somewhat warm. Being the waters are still warm yet, the fish that we seek are still utilizing the shallows in their search for food and also fattening themselves up for the long winter ahead. As we get more colder nights more consistently, these shallow waters will cool way down and this will drive these fish out into deeper warmer water that is more comfortable for them. So by taking advantage of a nice day to fish and taking your kids out, there are a variety of species that can be caught along the shoreline. Fishing for panfish with a float and bait to casting plastic baits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits for the larger predator fish. Take advantage of these warmer fall days and get the family out there and do some fishing and watch their expressions as they reel in a monster fish and they will definitely be remembering these outings for quite a while.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Where to Hunt in NH

Where Can I Hunt In New Hampshire?

Based on long-standing tradition, nearly all lands in the state of New Hampshire are open to hunting. The "rule of thumb" in New Hampshire is: all state, federal, municipal, county and private land is open to hunting unless it is posted against hunting. However, hunting is a privilege granted by the landowner -- not a right granted to the hunter. There are four general categories of land ownership in the state, all of which allow hunting with a few exceptions.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

New Hampshire Fall Foliage Guide

New Hampshire Foliage Report 2008

Here is a great foliage tracker that keeps you up to date on how the leaves are changing throughout the state...

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fishing Report October 15 2008

With the upcoming cold front heading in our direction, figured I better get out there and give it a try as things may be a little different after the front passes. This was another beautiful fall day with air temps in the low 60’s and a light breeze blowing into the shoreline that I planned on fishing. Started at my usual last location and the sunfish were in the feeding mood and size was definitely there. Was fishing T.H.E. Jig under a float about 14 inches and fished mainly near any wood that was in the water. Objects in the water seemed to be a strong attractor today and there wasn’t any fish caught that wasn’t near the wood. These fish are still fairly aggressive and once you hit an area that they are occupying, it doesn’t take long to show you that they are there. Moved down the shoreline to another area that I frequent that is an opening in a tree that is hanging over the water. Same thing in this area as long as you were placing the bait near branches that were in the water there were a few fish hanging around. I was going to go back to the original place that I started but there were four Labradors that decided to take a swim there and chased the fish out of the area. The fall colors are coming into their peak in this area and when the sun is shining there is not a better view. With the cooler weather there weren’t any snakes hanging around the trees and that was fine by me. Hopefully I will be able to get out there again soon and catch a few as it is a great feeling to be able to catch fish in the fall and take full advantage of these remaining days as the hard water season is coming.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gearing up for Hard Water

Many anglers don’t look forward to when their open water season is coming to an end. This means that they need to put all of their fishing gear away for a number of months, and also getting the boat winterized and getting that ready for the long winter season ahead.

For those anglers that hang up their fishing when the water turns hard, they are the ones that are missing out on some of the best times to be on the water hard or soft. Hard water fishing in my eyes is much easier to get ready for as the equipment is more compact and easier to travel with.

Hard water fishing is much more exhilarating as the physical work that is involved is much more rewarding when fish location is achieved. The solitude of the frozen waters and the coolness of the cool crisp days really get an anglers blood pumping once the hard water season comes around.

Rest of the article:

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Fishing Report October 12 2008

I am going to have to start this report out by saying that half way to the lake I realized that I had forgotten my camera at home and any angler knows what happens when you leave your camera at home.

With that said, this morning was one of those beautiful fall New England mornings with air temps at 45 degrees, no wind at all and clear sky’s for as far as you could see. There were a couple of trailers in the lot already and this time of year is great as the lake is void of boat traffic and as each week passes, it gets to be less all the time. The lake is still high for this time of year and never got over to the dam area to see if they are letting the water out yet. This is one practice that I don’t like here as they lower all of the lakes 1-2 feet for anticipation of snows and then we don’t get the snow and come spring the lakes are low. Anyway, the water temps are still hanging around 57 degrees which is still fairly warm for this time of year and with the warmer fall weather we may be out here through November as well. Started fishing on a deep hump that usually holds some bigger fish in the fall as there are plenty of smaller fish, sunfish, crappies and white perch that hang around here as well. Was using a technique that is used here in New England quite a bit in the fall and that is vertical jigging a Silver Buddy. A Silver Buddy is a blade bait that vibrates as you are jigging it and works great for fishing deep structure vertically and by using my Vexilar I am able to watch what is going on down there. I was jigging up a lot of action down there and could see that there were fish checking out the Silver Buddy but none of them would hit it and I assumed that they were probably white perch. Next time out I will bring along my underwater camera and see if I can get a look at what is going on down there. I tried this area for about 45 minutes moving around the area with no takers so I then headed off to the next spot.

There is a flat that I fish frequently that is at the mouth of a creek arm and the water depth is from 4-8 feet of water. In the fall time I am always looking for green weeds and there were plenty here and the weeds that are here are of the grass looking type in clumps spread around the area. The bass use these clumps as ambush points waiting for a quick meal to come along. The bait and technique that was only used was the Carolina Rig with a BearPaw Freedom Fry for the bait choice. Casting this rig into the weed clumps and working it slowly back through the grass all the way to the boat is very critical to get the most bites that you can. Was only a few casts in this area and the first fish pickup was happening with a hook set and battle on hand, the first 2 pound largemouth was in the boat. To me if I get a bite fairly early when getting to a spot, this tells me that these fish are using the area and should be more there. Was nice not having any wind which allows the boat to just sit in the spot and not move which lets you to work the area much better. Kept working through this area and caught a couple more of the same size fish as earlier and these fish definitely are in the feeding mood as when they pick the bait up, they definitely didn’t drop it at all. Things were slowing down as there was a light breeze picking up and decided to try a few more spots to see if the fish were hanging in other areas of grass. After trying those areas with no results, I had 45 minutes left before I needed to head out and went back to the flat in the creek arm. Was only a few casts once again and a fish hit and swung another 2 pound largemouth into the boat and sure felt good to be catching fish once again. Made a few more casts and a bigger fish grabbed the bait and fought it to the boat and as I was reaching to grab the fish I could see that the line was lassoed around its mouth and as I untangled the line the hook wasn’t even in it’s mouth and he swam away. This fish looked to be a 3 pound largemouth and all of these fish were very healthy looking fish. After a little more time there the clock said it was time to go home and loaded up and ended my day of fishing. This day goes to show what I have been talking about the last couple of weeks in that fall fishing can be feast or famine and today was a feast. Would have been nice to have my camera along as there were plenty of things that I wanted to show from the fall leaf colors, what types of things I was fishing and the water with the weeds to give you an idea of what these fish are relating to. But there will be plenty more times out there and hopefully the fish will be feeding like they were today. For the three hours that I was out on the lake, I had boated 5 nice largemouth bass and probably was one of the most productive days that I have had on this lake. If you have put your boat away for the winter, you don’t know what you are missing as these fish are feeding and as each week goes by they will be feeding more every day.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Fishing Report October 9 2008

Another beautiful day here in New England and why not spend a little time seeing what the fish are doing once again. Decided to head back to the same lake as the previous day and noticed that the wind was a bit stronger today with temps around 73 with a nice fall day. I have four places along this lake that I usually target and go to the furthest one first and then work my way back towards the truck. Was fishing once again with T.H.E. Jig in the blue/chartreuse color pattern and once arriving at the first location, with the wind blowing in there wasn’t any action happening there.

Rest or the report:

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fishing Report October 8 2008

I have been very fortunate to have lakes close by to my place of employment and this allows me to get away during my lunch time to clear my head and be able to think things out. Today was another beautiful day here in New England with temps around 70 and the sun shining as well as little to no wind to contend with. Decided to got to my favorite panfish lake and see if their activity has picked up at all. One nice thing about going here is that you have to walk around a good portion of the lake down a trail to get to where I like to fish. The scenery is getting better every day as the leaves are changing to their falls colors, especially if the sun is out and shining on them and it is getting to be quite a scene to see. So far I haven’t been able to find any schools of panfish in this lake and today wasn’t any different. I was able to catch fish but you would catch one here and catch one there and just not able to get more than one out of a spot. I was fishing T.H.E. Jig in the blue/chartreuse color pattern under a stick bobber. Of the fish that were caught I am definitely seeing the size going up as the sunfish that were caught were good palm sized fish and very colorful for this time of year as well. Haven’t seen to much crappie activity along the shoreline yet and may have to get the kayak out and search deeper water to find them. But, I have been having a good time catching these bigger sunfish and always look forward to going back again soon. After catching a few fish and clearing my head, this makes it a little easier getting through the rest of the day at work and the stress that goes along with that.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fall Fishing

Fall fishing can be some of the best fishing as well as some very tough fishing with the ever changing water temps and fall turnover occurring. The name of the game for a successful fall fishing trip is to cover as much water as possible. Try and locate green vegetation as this is some of the only things that are still putting fresh oxygen into the waters. Green vegetation is a fish magnet and the fish in the lakes are searching out these areas of green vegetation. By covering vast amounts of water, this will allow you to present your bait to more fish in that particular lake. Once an area is found to hold fish, then you can slow down and work that area more meticulously and hopefully catch a number of fish. These areas may have schools of fish in them since fall time the fish are doing more schooling together now as opposed to other times of the year. Get out there and enjoy the fall weather and cover water as much as you can.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NH Clam Flat Status

Clam Flat Status ~ Call 1-800-43-CLAMS

Updated October 3, 2008. For more information and updates, call the Clam Flat Hotline at 1-800-43-CLAMS. The next scheduled update for this web page is October 10, 2008. This webpage is not updated on weekends. Call the Clam Flat Hotline at 1-800-43-CLAMS for updates.

Click here for the latest status chart:

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Fishing Report October 5 2008

Fall is definitely in the air here in New England as I had started my day on the lake in 41 degree air temps. Luckily there wasn’t any wind and the lake was like glass with steam rising off of the waters surface. Water temps are hovering right around 56 degrees in this particular lake as the color of the water is fairly murky with about 2 feet of visibility and the is allowing it to retain some heat from the rays of the sun. This time of year I really enjoy fishing as the waters are void of boats as once Labor Day weekend passes many folks put their boats away for the winter. There was one other boat fishing this particular day and they didn’t hang around to long.

Rest of the report:


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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cod, Poor Man's Lobster

2 lbs cod fish filletsWater, to cover
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
2-3 slices lemons
1/2 cup vermouth
4-6 tablespoons butter, melted
fresh parsley, chopped fine for garnish

Directions:Place fish in a wok
Cover with water and add the next 5 ingredients
Bring to a boil at 225 degrees
Reduce heat to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until fish is opaque
Carefully remove fish from wok with slotted spatula
Serve hot with melted butter and chopped parsley
Submitted by: SueVM

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tree Stand Safety Tips for Hunters

More and more hunters are taking a stand, but this has nothing to do with the upcoming election.

The bowhunting boom of the 1970s introduced a new tool to hunters -- portable, commercially-made tree stands -- and both bow and firearm hunters were quick to discover their advantages. You can see over the brush, and when the wind is right, your scent will drift above deer that are close by. However, using them safely and responsibly demands preparation and precaution. With archery season open and firearms season just around the corner, here are some tips to get the most out of your tree stand hunting experience:

* Choose a live, straight tree. After you locate an area where there is plenty of deer activity, then choose a healthy tree within easy shooting range.

* Choose smart stands. Only use stands certified by the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA).

Rest of the story:

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Fishing Report October 2 2008

The fall winds have started blowing and the leaves are beginning to change with the nights cooling with winter coming soon. It has been a while since wetting a line and was getting to be too much that I went to a local lake during lunch to catch a fish once again. Decided to try for some panfish and went to the lake that I ice fish frequently. With all of the rains lately the water level was considerably higher for this time of year. The wind was blowing onto the side that I was fishing so casting was a little troublesome and you had to wait for that in-between wind gusts to cast where you wanted. Wasn’t long and my quest was answered as the sunfish were still occupying the shallow shoreline areas. I was fishing T.H.E. Jig in the blue/chartreuse color pattern underneath a stick bobber. Casting this setup around and near overhanging branches and wood that is in the water as areas that didn’t have any type of cover, there weren’t any fish there. The bite wasn’t fast or furious by any means but consistent for the work I had done to try and catch them. Also was able to catch a couple of smaller bass on T.H.E. Jig that were chasing small minnows around the surface of the lake in a calmer cove. Definitely going to keep fishing and hopefully get the boat out this weekend and won’t be long and will also get the kayak out and start searching for deeper crappies up to the hard water season.
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Children's First Fish

Children's "First Fish" Certificate
Award Program
Receive a special "First Fish" award certificate from the Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife, signed by the Chief, and a free gift. Simply print out this APPLICATION, fill it out completely, and return to:
RI Division of Fish and Wildlife,Aquatic Resource Education Program,277 Great Neck Rd., West Kingston, RI 02892

Contact person: Christine Dudley (401) 789-0281 or
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall Plastics

When the fall season comes along, it is always a guess as to what we are going to throw out there into the water to catch a fish. Fall can be a tough time to fish as well as there are fall days that no matter what you throw for a bait, fish just chow on whatever you are throwing them.

If you happen to hit a day that the fish are on fire and eating everything in sight, just throw what they want and catch as many fish as you can. But traditionally for fall time baits they consist of crankbaits and spinnerbaits and if you don’t feel liking casting and cranking all day, there is another alternative that may get overlooked and you will have in the boat at all times, the plastic bait.

Lets take a look at a few plastics that have worked well over the last handful of seasons and we are going to look at what BearPaw Hand Poured Baits has for these selections. We are going to take a look at five of their baits and give an idea of what can be done with these baits in your fall fishing.

Read the article here:

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Connecticut Trout Parks

Trout Park? What's a Trout Park?Is it some kind of strange fish carnival? No, actually a Trout Park is a pond or stream that will be stocked weekly with trout from the state’s fish hatcheries.

11 water bodies in Connecticut have been designated as Trout Parks. Trout Parks are located in easily accessible areas to enhance trout fishing opportunities for young anglers and novice anglers as well as for those with mobility challenges. The frequent stockings, generally between Opening Day and Memorial Day, will greatly increase an angler’s chances of catching a fish, making it a more attractive "fishing hole", particularly to children and families.

Although the Trout Parks will have more fish in them, their daily creel limit (the number of trout an angler can keep) has been reduced from five to two fish per day in order to spread the catch among a greater number of anglers.

So round up the family, get over to one of the Trout Parks and start fishing!

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Rain brings food

Are we water logged yet here in New England? After the last three days of solid rain, New England is once again saturated and water levels coming up very quickly again. The downside to all of this rain is that it is keeping folks in the house and off of the waters. The upside to this is it is creating a feeding smorgasbord for the fish in our favorite lake. What this means is that if you fish a lake that has a stream or runoff coming into the lake, that is where you should concentrate your efforts for locating fish after rains like we have had. What happens is the extra flowing water coming in is bringing along with it extra food morsels from the ground being washed. worms, bugs and small creatures of sorts fall victim to the flowing waters, but as these waters dump into the lake, fish know this and are sitting and waiting for dinner. If you are able to get on the lake in the next few days, definitely search out areas that have some of this water flowing into the lake as you maybe surprised in what you find there.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Time to Collect

As we are getting into the fall mode here in New England, many activities start coming around between apple picking, hay rides, Halloween and of course searching for those colored leaves. The New England landscape is changing each day and one thing Kids really like to do is search for colorful leaves as they are falling. Taking Kids for walks is a great family time get together and also getting out and getting some fresh air. This gets them away from those video games, and TV screens and to venture out and search for those miraculous leaves for their ever changing colors and different shapes. Winter will be here soon so why not enjoy one of the best seasons of the year, fall.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vermont's Critter Curriculum Website

We would like to encourage you all to explore the library of content we have for you.

Kids, we have lots of information to help you research Vermont's animals for your research projects, we have fact sheets, photos, illustrations, and some interesting ideas to help you finish your project. We even have cool printable materials, including a special animal tracks guide for you; just print it and head on out to see what you can identify. Check up on us often, as we are constantly trying to get you more stuff.

Teachers, Get your students thinking about the environment, peek at several of the lesson plan ideas that we have posted, created by participants in the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department's Teachers Course at Buck Lake. Make sure you check back in periodically as we update our site as new ideas arrive.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

LifeJacket’s a Must

Now that we have entered into the fall season and here in New England we have been experiencing some very cool weather, this is cooling our favorite lakes and ponds very quickly. When going out onto your favorite waters, make sure that you are wearing your lifejacket at this time of year, the lifejacket will definitely aid in saving your life. The waters temps are dropping fast and with that hypothermia sets in as well and once this happens, it makes it very difficult for you to be able to get to shore if you happen to fall in. In Massachusetts from September 15 until middle of May, you are required by law to wear your lifejacket at all times in small craft like a canoe or kayak. Fall can be one of the best seasons to be on the water but by taking some caution while you are out there, you will be able to enjoy another trip again next time.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

12th Massachusetts Outdoor Expo for Families, Sturbridge

September 28--12th Massachusetts Outdoor Expo for Families, Sturbridge

Families, friends, Scouts and other youth groups should mark their calendar and join the fun at the 12th annual Massachusetts Outdoor Expo (Big MOE) from 9AM - 4:30 PM held at the Hamilton Rod and Gun Club grounds, off New Boston Road, in Sturbridge. The Big MOE, sponsored by Facts About Wildlife and Nature Society (FAWNS), is a free, family oriented event celebrating Outdoor Skills, Nature, Art & Animals. This all day family event is free thanks to co-sponsors including MassWildlife, Hamilton Rod and Gun Club, The Weatherby Foundation. A number of sportsmens clubs, locally based outdoor related businesses, and other conservation groups sponsor a variety of skills stations, craft tables and other exhibits relating to wildlife and the outdoors. The "Big MOE" is the perfect opportunity to introduce young and old to outdoor skills and activities.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Prime Fall Time Fishing

Many anglers enjoy fishing throughout the summer months and one can’t blame them as the weather is so much more tolerable as opposed to either the spring or fall. But to those that put their boats and equipment away after the Labor Day weekend holiday; these anglers are the ones that are missing the best part of the year for catching quality fish.

As the temperatures are getting cooler with everyday that passes, this will take the temperature of the lake down with it as well. Taking the waters from around 80 degrees down into the low 60’s, this is like a trigger that is being pulled as the fish know that it is time to put the feed bag on and start putting some weight on them before the long winter ahead.

Many fish go into somewhat of a dormant stage in the northern part of the country throughout the winter months. So for them to be able to handle those long northern winters they need to put on more weight so that they will be able to draw from that as each day of the cold season passes. So to put on this extra weight that they will need, these fish are eating and chasing everything in sight.

Continue with the article:

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Brake for Moose: It Could Save Your Life

New Hampshire is famous for its moose, but having these massive mammals in abundance can also lead to dangerous and costly moose-vehicle collisions. Each year, there are roughly 250 moose-related accidents in the Granite State, many resulting in injuries or death to drivers and passengers. N.H. Fish and Game wildlife officials and law enforcement officers urge drivers to use caution when on the roads, especially at dusk and dawn, for your safety and that of the moose. Here is some important information to keep in mind when driving in New Hampshire:

New Hampshire's moose herd is approximately 6,000 strong.

The average moose weighs 1,000 lbs.

Moose are hard to see at night. They are 6 feet tall at the shoulder and your headlights will often only reveal their legs, which are the same color as the pavement. Their height also means that if you hit one, the bulk of a moose will fall on your windshield and roof.

Don't count on seeing "eye shine." Moose eyes do reflect light, but your headlights won't reach that high.

From April to November, moose are very active and the highest numbers of moose-vehicle collisions occur. In spring, yearlings have just been separated from their mothers and are apt to show up anywhere at anytime. In fall, moose are on the move because it's their mating season.

Moose are attracted to salt licks caused by winter road management, so it is not surprising to see them on or very near the road.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Vermont's Seventh Annual Dead Creek Wildlife Day Is Oct. 4

If you enjoy wildlife then make plans to attend the seventh annual Dead Creek Wildlife Day in Addison, Vermont on Saturday, October 4.

Activities at Dead Creek Wildlife Day are especially for people who enjoy hunting, fishing, birdwatching, or learning about Vermont's diverse wildlife. The event will be held at Vermont Fish & Wildlifes Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on Route 17 west of Route 22A.

Early risers can begin the day with bird banding demonstrations at 7:00 a.m. Two large tents at the Dead Creek WMA headquarters will open at 9:30 a.m. and feature wildlife-related exhibits and kids craft activities such as decoy carving, face painting and building bluebird boxes.

The day's main activities run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and include nature walks, illustrated talks, live wildlife presentations, hunting dog demonstrations, fishing and hunting tips, and much more. All events are free, and a free shuttle bus will provide regular access to nearby field events throughout the day.

The festival is hosted by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, VermontDepartment of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Inc., Otter Creek Audubon Society, Addison County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, and Addison County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information and a schedule of events, call Vermont Fish & Wildlife at (802) 241-3700 or visit the web site: and click on the Dead Creek Wildlife Day icon.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall Fishing

Fall is one of those seasons that seems to get forgotten in the fishing community. Many sportsmen are dual outdoor activities and when fall comes around, they concentrate their efforts more in the woods than on the water. But for those that stick with the water aspect of the fall time, these anglers are the ones that are going to reap the rewards. Fall fishing is probably one of the best times to catch that trophy of a lifetime and there maybe a number of them caught at that. The fish are feeding heavily to get ready for the long winter ahead and at the same time become very aggressive as well. Fast moving baits are a charm at this time of year as they allow you to cover vast amounts of water in a short period of time. Once you locate an area that has a school of fish using that area, then you can slow down a little and fish it more precisely if that is the case. Fishing in the fall I find is the best as more times than not you will have the whole lake to yourself and what other time of the open water season do you get that.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Illegal Koi Spotted in Pickerel Pond, Maine

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists have retrieved a non-native koi/carp from Pickerel Pond in Limerick and have received reports that there may be at least one other in this particular body of water.

This illegal koi was retrieved from Pickerel Pond in Limerick by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fisheries biologists. The illegal introduction of species to Maine's waters has the potential to cause devastating harm to native fish, aquatic plants and water quality.

Koi, which is the Japanese term for carp, is an invasive species that can survive and reproduce in Maine’s waters and cause devastating harm to the state’s native fish species, aquatic plant life, and the quality of water.

Based on public reports, it is believed the koi was introduced into Pickerel Pond earlier this summer, but it is not known how it got there. IF&W was alerted to the koi by Limerick Town Selectman Dean Lepage and resident Ilene Dashner, and these reports prompted a quick response from fisheries biologists who hope their efforts will reduce the risk of the koi taking over the pond.

Rest of the story:

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lake Champlain Northern Pike Regulation Survey

Northern pike are one of the most popular sport fish sought by Vermont resident anglers in the open water and ice fishing seasons.The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department would like to hear your opinion on the current status of northern pike regulations on Lake Champlain.If you have an interest in Lake Champlain’s northern pike regulations, we would appreciate your input. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey.A final summary of survey results will be posted on the department’s website in early 2009.Thank you for your time and interest in Vermont’s fisheries resources.

Click here for the form to fill out in this survey:

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall Time for Kids Fishing

Fall is one of those prime times that make a fun day to have the kids out on the water chasing a few fish. The pleasure boaters have left to put their boats away for the year and this leaves our favorite waters void of much activity. Fall is also the time of year that kids may catch a trophy of their lifetime as the fish are on a feeding binge getting ready for the long winter ahead. Picking a nice sunny day makes for an enjoyable time to be out on the water with the kids and also is much more comfortable for them as well. You may have to search a little to find the active fish but once they are found there usually is good numbers of them as the fish are in the schooling mode this time of year. Why not take the kids out on the water and enjoy a pleasant day basking in the sun, talking while enjoying each others company and catching some good fish.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Submit Vermont Deer Pictures

Contribute Your Trail Cam & Other Photos:

People have been sending in photographs of whitetail bucks that they have been taking with trail cameras, etc. We have set up an on-line photo gallery where we are posting photographs that we have had sent to us of bucks from around Vermont. If you have any photographs of 2008 bucks that you would like to share, send them by email to We are not asking that you give away any of your secret "hot-spots", however, it would be helpful and appreciated if you would identify the Town in which the photo was taken and the Date that the picture was taken.

We greatly appreciate your help and support. We hope that this will be fun for all.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Fishing, wind and rain

September 14 2008

The fall weather has taken over and here in New England and we have also been feeling some of the effects of the hurricanes that are crossing this country. The rains have been falling and winds have been blowing, but at least the temps are very mild. Today’s weather was on/off rain, with strong westerly winds and the water temps are hovering right around 68-69 degrees. Went back to the lake that I had previously fished a few days ago and what a change compared to then. The bite was very tough and I concentrated again in the thickest weeds that I could find. Was switching between fishing a Carolina rigged BearPaws Freedom Fry and also a Texas rigged BearPaws B-Bug. Fished these baits as slow as I could through the weeds and the bites were far and few between. The bites that I did get were solid but missed every one of them and figured that they were picking up the tails of the baits and that was not allowing a good hook set. Tried a number of weed flats and only had a couple of areas that had any type of activity at all. It has been a long time since I have fished in the rain and it reminded me of the days of tournament fishing when you had to be out there no matter the weather. Today there is a lot of wind and blue skies and warm temps comes along with that but starting tomorrow another major cold front coming through once again and this must mean that fall is here. Definitely going to have to start throwing a crankbait or spinnerbait now and cover as much water as I possibly can. Fishing is only going to get better and as the hunting seasons start, the lakes are going to be void of boats and the lakes will be back to those diehard anglers that utilize the best season of the year.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mapleton Maine Youth Catches Record-Setting Artic Charr

Mapleton – The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife confirms that an 11-year-old young man from Mapleton has caught a record-setting Arctic Charr, breaking a 35-year-old record.

Carter McLaughlin, 11, of Mapleton, caught the charr on Aug. 20 at Pushineer Pond in T15 R9. According to IF&W Assistant Fisheries Biologist Frank Frost, who measured the fish, the record-setter was 25.4 inches in total length and weighed 5.24 pounds.

The previous record weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces and was 22-3/8-inches long. It was caught by Merton Wyman of Belgrade on Basin Pond on May 5, 1973.

What makes this fish a “truly incredible catch” is its overall size and weight as well as the fact that it was caught in one of Maine’s 12 native charr waters, according to Peter Bourque, a supervisor in IF&W’s Fisheries Division. The previous record (1973) was taken from a then-newly introduced population of Arctic Charr, which also are known by the name “blueback trout.” New introductions tend to seek out new niches where they will often grow beyond normal sizes, Bourque said.

According to IF&W records, the fish that was caught in 1973 was one of 27 adult “bluebacks” stocked in Basin Pond in 1969. The 27 adult fish originally came from Wadleigh Pond in Piscataquis County and were part of a fishery research project to perpetuate the blueback trout in waters other than those in which they occurred naturally.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Fishing, years gone by

Many of us anglers these days can look back from the days we were kids and smile from all of the memories that we have. Those days may not be able to be relived, but these days are the days that we will never forget as we grow older. From the many days of fishing with our school buddies to those many excursions with dad and gramps to the water.

There were many trips that our buddies would show up on their bikes with the fishing rod strapped to the bikes frame and the tackle box in their hand. Of course the closest lake was around five miles away but at those times we really didn’t care how far it was as we were going fishing.

After peddling for what seemed like an eternity, we could see the lake in the distance and knew that there were going to be fish caught when we got to our secret spot. This was our best place to fish and you always hoped that nobody beat you there. This place consisted of a culvert that went under the highway and the sunfish that lived in there were very nice sized fish.

The key to fishing here was to aim the cast to go into the culvert, but you had to cast as far as you could possibly cast. With the hook baited and the bobber set to the magic depth, you would eye up your target and get the angle just right and launch that cast as deep into that culvert as possible. As soon as the bobber hits the water, down it goes and the battle is on to get that trophy bluegill out of their deep dark homes.

The two of you would look at each other and start laughing hysterically at the size of these fish and how we were catching them. We weren’t in any type of backwater type of lake with the tranquility of the breeze blowing or the birds chirping. We were fishing next to a major road with cars zooming by us not more than ten feet behind the guard rail. As the afternoon would wear on you know that you had to be home for dinner and would strap everything back onto our bikes and off we would go back home after a very fun filled day.

Then the weekend would come and it was time to go visit grandma and grandpa for a couple of days. They really enjoyed having fresh fish for a meal and grandpa had a great spot that would give us plenty of opportunities at catching a few meals. Run out to the garden with a bucket in hand and a digging fork to dig up a bunch of worms for the days fishing trip. After digging up a few dozen worms, load the rest of the gear in the truck and head for this honey hole.

This was one of those areas that you hoped that someone doesn’t beat you there as it is another shoreline fishing spot. This area was a channel that came off of the main lake and wasn’t to deep but also had some weed growth in it as well. Staking out our spot we would get all setup and get ready for a fun filled day of catching fish.

Gramps would help you get your fishing rod and bait setup and would tell you to cast over to that spot over there. The bobber would hit the water and as soon as it would standup, down it would go. There was cast after cast that would play out the exact same way over and over again. The bucket was filling up very quickly between gramps, dad and me as the fish were biting like they were having their last meal.

Then there is that time when the bobber goes down and when you set the hook it doesn’t feel like a sunfish that is on the line. The fish is fighting and your mind is wondering as to what you have on the hook. Now gramps, dad and everyone else that is fishing there is watching you. Gramps is telling you how to fight this fish as we don’t want to lose it whatever it is.

As it comes to shore the bobber is getting closer but no one has seen the fish yet. A few feet away you are pulling the line in and there it is, the biggest dogfish that you have ever seen. What a great fight this fish gave you and there was no way that you were going to touch this fish as it was the ugliest thing that you have ever seen.

As the afternoon wore on, catching all of these fish seemed to get a little boring after a while and I would start searching for other creatures that were living there. This is when I came across a little painted turtle and asked Dad if I could keep this little guy. Went and got another bucket and filled it with water and now I had a new little friend. We had our fair share of fish and looking at our catch, we knew that it was going to be a long night of filleting fish and many meals were going to be frozen and also a fish fry was in store.

There are many memories that have been made over the years and many more that are still to be made. But these memories that are from my childhood seem to be the best by far since at those times things were so simple and there wasn’t much for complexity at those times as well.

Those early days of spending time with gramps are missed very much these days. Being the first grandchild of four, there was a much stronger bond between him and I and being we had such similar interests, we got along so well together and spent many days fishing and walking in the woods. These days of memories are never to be lost but they are very missed from time to time when grandpa comes to mind and I can relive those many trips together through all of my memories.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors