Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department honors key fish culture volunteers
Posted on 03/16/2015
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Media Contact: Adam Miller, (802) 777-2852

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department honors key fish culture volunteers


MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is recognizing four Vermont sporting groups for their significant volunteer efforts in assisting the department with its fish culture program. 

The partnering organizations include the Hale Mountain Fish & Game Club in Shaftsbury, the Lake Champlain Walleye Association based in Swanton, the Orleans Rod & Gun Club in Orleans, and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Conservation Group based in East Charleston.

“These groups and their members have generously volunteered countless hours cleaning hatchery ponds, observing and feeding fish, and ultimately raising thousands of healthy fish to be released into Vermont waters,” said Adam Miller, fish culture operations manager with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “The success of our fish culture program toward managing and restoring fisheries would not be possible without these types of key partnerships and we’d like to both recognize and thank these folks for their contributions.”

In cooperation with Vermont Fish & Wildlife, each partnering organization has taken on varying responsibilities and projects – many of which are detailed in the following highlights:

• Hale Mountain Fish & Game Club: Cooperatively operates the Shaftsbury Ponds which raise yearling trout for stocking and for the Children’s Fishing Program - a program which provides other local sporting groups with cultured trout so children, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities have an increased opportunity to catch fish in an environment conducive to angling. A number of club members have volunteered at the ponds, feeding and taking care of these fish year-round. 

• Lake Champlain Walleye Association: Cooperatively operates four ponds throughout the Lake Champlain basin which raise fingerling walleye that are released back into the lake in an effort to augment naturally reproducing walleye. Members work tirelessly to raise healthy numbers of walleye fingerlings for Lake Champlain to increase angling opportunities for walleye.

• Orleans Rod & Gun Club: Cooperatively operates the Essex Steelhead Pond which raises 2-year old steelhead smolts that are stocked as part of the Willoughby River steelhead restoration program. Club members work hard each year to ensure that quality, healthy fish are raised for the Willoughby River steelhead restoration effort. 

• Vermont Fish and Wildlife Conservation Group: Operates the Morgan Hatchery which raises brook trout fry that are stocked into beaver ponds throughout the Northeast Kingdom. The dedicated work of this group has ensured that this cooperative partnership continues to provide beneficial angling opportunities to the NEK.
Collectively, the partnerships are part of the Cooperative Nursery Program, an initiative designed to involve sporting groups in raising and stocking fish into local waterways.  The program has provided approximately 192,000 fish for stocking in Vermont – enhancing department fishing programs, increasing angling opportunities, and helping to both manage and restore fisheries. 

Louis Porter, commissioner of Vermont Fish & Wildlife, applauded the four organizations for their commitment to Vermont’s sporting traditions and natural environment. 

“We are incredibly appreciative of these partners and their important work, work that truly benefits our fisheries, improves local angling opportunities and supports Vermont’s economy and natural resources in total,” Porter said.