Department of Fish and Wildlife

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. 

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.

A salmon held with a gloved hand and the fish has a scar on its torso from a lamprey.
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.

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

A muggy summer evening in Vermont, in a swampy area, just as the sun is going down and the mosquitoes are thick in the air might not sound like a good place to hang out. But it's ideal if you're a little brown bat. Or a bat researcher. 

James Boase / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Every fisherman has a story about the "one that got away." But Chet MacKenzie is dedicated to making sure that this particular species of fish in Lake Champlain doesn't get away – or disappear. 

Lemon Fair Wild Life Management Area gains 330 acres. Milton has a new town manager. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture announces a free breakfast on the farm event.

A controversial state-owned shooting range in Hartland will re-open on Thursday, following renovations and with new rules.

Charlotte Albright / VPR/file

As the state prepares to re-open a controversial shooting range it owns in Hartland, a rift has developed within the Fish and Wildlife Board. One board member says the site is unsafe, but the commissioner strongly disagrees.

twildlife / iStock

The Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife spent three years taking input on proposed changes to deer hunting rules, and the process has finally yielded changes that will go into effect in 2016. A ban on natural urine lures and expanded opportunities for hunting with crossbows are among the new regulations hunters will get used to.

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