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Casting Away: Vermonters Can Fish With a Warden This Summer

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Anglers at Baker Pond in Brookfield - COURTESY OF THE VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
  • Courtesy Of The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
  • Anglers at Baker Pond in Brookfield

A new Vermont program aims to get people hooked on fishing during the pandemic.

The state Fish & Wildlife Department is offering Fish With a Warden sessions all summer and into September to school people on how to cast into Vermont's waterways. The free program is open to all ages and is scheduled for fishing access areas across the state, said Corey Hart, a Fish & Wildlife education specialist. A handful of events so far have drawn groups of about 15 people.

"They've been real pleasant evenings," Hart said. "It's been a mix of anglers that have fished before and are just looking to have their questions answered, and those with limited fishing experience who are looking for some tips and tricks."

The department has traditionally offered a program called Let's Go Fishing. The new program is a coronavirus-era attempt at doing something similar, according to Hart. And it's well timed: Hart said fishing license purchases are way up this year.

Participants should bring their own gear and, if they're 15 or older, a fishing license. The hourlong sessions begin with a talk by the warden about the local ecology and the history of the access area before everyone splits up to fish. Anglers must wear masks and abide by social-distancing rules, Hart said.

They can decide whether to keep or release their catch. 

"If you go out with just a worm and bobber, they'll do really well with panfish," Hart said. "A lot of the areas are good bass locations, so there's some good opportunities to get some bass."

Eleven events are currently scheduled, including one on Thursday, July 30, at Ricker Pond in Groton, and another on August 5 at the Little River Dam in Waterbury. Participants are required to sign up ahead of time; class size is limited to 25.

For more information, visit vtfishandwildlife.com.

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