Department of Fish and Wildlife

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.

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.

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. 

Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont Fish and Wildlife recently announced a policy change that will allow anglers to once again wear felt-soled waders after a five-year ban. It marks a change in the state's approach to dealing with one damaging aquatic algae: didymo, also known by the much more colorful name of "rock snot."

Courtesy of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is using cameras to study how bears will react to a new commercial wind project in southeastern Vermont.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Vermont's Department of Fish and Wildlife is warning people about a potentially growing outbreak of canine distemper among wild animals in central Vermont.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

Vermont’s deer hunting rifle season begins on Saturday morning.

This year, the Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking hunters to send them the middle incisor teeth of deer that are killed.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR File

At a Vermont Fish and Wildlife sampling station in South Hero, a tiny brook is alive with splashing dorsal fins. It's full of landlocked Atlantic salmon from Lake Champlain fighting their way upstream to spawn. This year, the fish are arriving in record numbers.      

Toby Talbot / AP

Hunting license sales have been on a steady decline in Vermont over the last few decades, mirroring a trend seen in many states around the country. License fees account for a significant portion of the budget for Fish and Wildlife departments. So the declining numbers of hunters negatively impact those budgets, and fee increases can't keep pace with the increasing costs of research and enforcement.

Tom Rodgers

Vermont may not have a lot of pink-kneed tarantulas, bearded dragons, Burmese pythons or brown caymen. But when there are reports made that one needs to be captured or confiscated, efforts are made to get that animal out.

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