Summer By The Water

Many of us share a connection with a river, lake, stream or pond. Throughout the summer, listen to VPR to hear personal stories from Vermonters about how bodies of water around the state affect their lives, and how they've seen them change over time.

Tweet @vprnet to share your favorite bodies of water in Vermont.

Matthew Dickerson fly fishes in Vermont's Mad River.
Mitch Wertlieb / VPR

Vermont has no shortage of beautiful rivers for fly fishing, but the trout that roam these waters are increasingly under threat from environmental challenges that aren't necessarily visible to the naked eye. 

The Elmore Town Hall at dusk
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Last weekend, the town of Elmore said goodbye to its summer residents with an annual block party and fireworks over the lake. While its year-round population is small enough that the old one-room schoolhouse is still in use, during the summer there’s been a lot going on.

John Conrad, a fly fishing guide for The Fly Rod Shop in Stowe, fishes for brook trout in a stream.
Emily Corwin / VPR

For those who don’t fly fish, people standing perfectly still in the middle of a stream may seem perplexing. 

But if you scramble down the bank and into the river to talk to a fly fishing enthusiast, you may find they are doing more than "just" fishing. They are also applying insect and fish ecology lessons, and — for some — practicing a kind of mindfulness.

Hanson: Lake Wise

Aug 27, 2018
Gayle Hanson

Along our stretch of lakeshore, some folks are already pulling their docks from the water. And the pressure to consume as many maple creemees as possible before school starts has begun.

Sailboats at the dock at the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center.
Ari Snider / VPR

In Burlington, one of the surest signs of summer are the small white sailboats messing around on Lake Champlain. The boats belong to the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, which offers lessons, youth camps, and special programs all summer.

Willem Lange

'Way up in northern New Hampshire, almost at the 45th parallel, is a tiny glacial pond slowly filling in with water lilies. It’s a place I go to when I want absolute peace and quiet.

Lucas Campbell operates one of the few landing crafts on Lake Champlain. Here, he readies the boat to take off from Burton Island State Park.
Henry Epp / VPR

Lake Champlain has a long history as a commercial waterway. In the 1800s, it was a crowded passage for boats hauling lumber and other goods between New York City and Montreal and points in between.

Much of that industry is long gone, but there's still some work on the lake for those who want it.

Martha Molnar

When we moved to the so-called Lake District in south central Vermont, we didn’t realize what that meant. A full decade later, we’re still discovering the beautiful lakes and their generous four-season offerings.

Lange: Quiniktikut

Aug 6, 2018
Rick Shreve of Orford, NH

Thanks to Daniel Webster, the border of the United States in New Hampshire is a few rods north of a tiny abandoned beaver dam that's the source of the Connecticut River.

An open water view of the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge.
Lynne McCrea / VPR

Situated on Lake Champlain in northwestern Vermont, the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge is recognized internationally for its biological diversity and high-quality wetlands.

Walter Carpenter has served as a park attendant at the Waterbury Reservoir since 2008. During that time, he's developed new strategies for managing the 40,000 or so people who visit the day-use state park every summer.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

For the 40,000 or so visitors that go to the Waterbury Reservoir every summer, the 850-acre body of water has become a go-to oasis on hot summer days. But managing all that traffic, it turns out, is no simple task.

Coyote Hollow from the Levins' rooftop. photograph courtesy of Casey Levin

From the porch, on a clear August day, I can see Mount Ascutney, forty miles distant, more an afterthought than a keynote, far beyond the more imposing Gove Hill.

Hanson: Seymour Lake

Jul 25, 2018
Gayle Hanson

From the angler hip deep in the ripples of the Battenkill to a flotilla of Curtis Pond paddle-boarders, every Vermonter has their favorite summer water activity and their favorite place to do it.

Sharessa Guiterrez swims while her support crew sits in a boat with her name on the side.
John Dillon / VPR

An international border divides Lake Memphremagog in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. And for the last seven summers, a group of marathon swimmers have challenged that border and themselves.

Jake Wheeler, East Burke

Slowly, I edge down the forty-five degree slope, on rain-slick pine needles and maple leaves. I’m in waders with fishing rod and wading stick in one hand, reaching for saplings with the other, and impatient to get to the river.

Marlboro resident Marco Panella dives into South Pond for his daily swim across the water.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

South Pond, in the Windham County town of Marlboro, is only open to town residents.

That means during the summer, South Pond is the village green, the playground and the town pool. It’s where families share potlucks and people come to unwind, exercise and re-energize.

Bill Schubart

My favorite way to recover after a hot afternoon’s hard work has always been to chug down a quart of ice cold water from a Mason jar and then jump into a clear mountain brook or a neighbor’s pond.

Green Mountain Conservation Camp instructors take part in aquatic ecology training at Buck Lake the week before the first campers arrive.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

There are plenty of lake homes in Woodbury, but not on Buck Lake. It's pretty much only home to a Green Mountain Conservation Camp.

Mary Holland / www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

Sea lampreys are a conundrum. In Lake Champlain they’re hated, while in the Connecticut River they’re championed.

Brooke Wilkinson

Vermont rarely sees temperatures in the triple digits.

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