Department of Fish and Wildlife

A male brook trout in his spawning colors. Trout Unlimited wants the state to reduce the catch limit to 12 a day to six.
file

As Vermont’s trout season opens, an environmental group is calling on the state to reduce the number of brook trout that can be taken.

Tom Wrasse is at his hunting shack alone. Light pours into the small room from a window framed by antlers, harvested from the surrounding central Wisconsin woods. On the opposite wall is a collage of fading photos, showing how big the hunting parties out here used to be.

Moose are falling victim to winter ticks, whose population is booming because of climate change. The state says some very limited hunting of the big animals should still be allowed.
Sandy Macys / AP

The state is proposing to drastically reduce the number of permits to hunt moose as the population continues to suffer from a parasite that has grown more abundant with climate change.

A coyote walks in snowy wooded area.
LeFion / iStock

The ban on “holding or participating" in coyote-killing tournaments was included in a major fish and wildlife bill that passed the Vermont House this week.

This catamount is on display at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier.
Matthew Johnson / Vermont Historical Society

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says there is no evidence that the catamount is still roaming in the Northeast, and the federal agency has officially removed the large cat from the federal endangered species list.

Moose in Vermont and across New England are dwindling due to more deaths from parasites like winter ticks, which are also linked to poor calving rates and low survivorship among new calves.
George Bosworth / Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

As Vermont's moose population continues to decline, state wildlife biologists say a warming climate is behind an explosion in winter ticks and "skyrocketing" levels of brain parasites, both of which are keeping moose mortality high and calving rates low.

Faced with a dwindling population and mounting threats, what does the future of moose management—and moose hunting—look like in Vermont?

Chris Bernier / Vermont Fish And Wildlife Department

Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra traveled by snowmobile into the wilderness of the Northeast Kingdom in hopes of spotting a Canada lynx or lynx tracks.

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is holding a series of meetings around Vermont to update residents on the condition of the state's moose herd. The first meeting was held in Island Pond.
Toby Talbot / AP/File

Vermont’s moose population is in trouble and scientists fear climate change is to blame.

Former Fish & Wildlife board chairman Brian Ames, left, and photographer Candace Brown discuss who should be able to use the state boat launches while standing along the Connecticut River in Putney.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont's boaters and anglers pay for public boat launches through their license fees and specific use-taxes, and the general public is not allowed to park at the areas for other uses. But the chairman of the committee on Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources says the boat launch areas should be available to everyone.

A moose enjoys a rainy day in Woodbury, Vermont. We're talking about the state of the state's wildlife.
Charles Wohlers / flickr

From fish to snakes to bears, wildlife in Vermont face some big challenges. The bear population is growing, and that's raising concern in some residential areas. The number of deer is on the rise, but the state's moose herd is struggling. And some species are being affected by climate change.

We're talking with Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter about these issues and others.

The gloved hand of a biologist holds a little brown bat in Vermont.
Jane Lindholm / VPR File

Stand outside at night and you might glimpse the swift, darting profile of a bat flying overhead. That sight wasn't rare in the past, but bats in this region have had it rough for years due to white-nose syndrome, and biologists are still working to understand and protect these tiny flying mammals.

Wildlife biologist David Sausville of Vermont Fish and Wildlife holds a Canada goose before it gets inspected and banded. Every summer the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife asks the public to help round up resident Canada geese.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

Have you ever caught a wild goose? Well, every year Vermont Fish and Wildlife invites the public to do just that, helping them corral wild Canada geese in order to record and band the birds.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife, Courtesy

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is warning people to mitigate the possibility of having a bad encounter with a bear. The department is already gearing up for what they expect to be record human-bear interactions this year.

Rainbow steelhead trout leaps out of the water.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife, Courtesy

Once a year, for about 10 days from mid-April through early May, nature offers a free show that provides viewers the chance to "oooh" and "aaah." It's the steelhead rainbow trout run, when the fish hurtle up the falls to get upstream to spawn.

A coyote walks in snowy wooded area.
LeFion / iStock

Debate keeps raging over coyote hunting in Vermont — both about the ethics and the impact on the local ecosystem.

Yet another appointee of Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin will be keeping his job under the administration of Republican Governor-elect Phil Scott.

Scott announced in an email Thursday evening that Louis Porter will stay on as commissioner of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, a post he’s served in since April of 2014. Porter, a former journalist at the Rutland Herald and Times Argus, previously served as Shumlin’s secretary of civil and military affairs.

Vermont's rifle season is underway, and hunters have been up before dawn trying to bag a buck. And this year, wardens are enforcing a new ban on the use of natural urine-based scent lures. 

Mark Scott / Vermont Fish and Wildlife

While rifle hunting season is still a week away, around 7,000 young Vermonters will be getting the chance to hunt for deer this weekend.

Courtesy The Nature Conservancy

Conservation biologists say that the good news for wildlife is there are still extensive tracts of forest habitat in the northeast. Yet as humans have built up roads and housing developments, crossing between key habitat areas — such as from the Adirondacks to the Green Mountains — can be a dangerous trip for a moose or a bear.   

e_chaya / Flickr, https://flic.kr/p/4wMeCa

New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers last week signed a resolution on climate change. 

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