Press Release

Fires and swimming are prohibited at fishing access areas


2005 – Marshfield Reservoir – Launching kayaks

With the beginning of summer and anglers fishing from shore, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reminds people that open fires and swimming are prohibited at all Vermont state fishing access areas.

Open fires and their remnants, create unsafe areas for other anglers and boaters to use and enjoy.  The remnants of these fires are also unhealthy for the animals and fish that live in the adjacent waters.  Fish and Wildlife cleans up the toxic waste left by open fires on state lands annually at considerable expense.

Swimming at fishing access areas is prohibited due to safety concerns and because the primary uses of the fishing access areas is for launching and retrieving motorboats and for shore fishing. 

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department maintains 203 developed fishing access areas on lakes and rivers throughout the state.  These areas have allowed uses determined by law, and swimming is not one of them. 

The access areas were purchased and are maintained with funds derived from the sale of fishing licenses and motorboat registrations, as well as a federal excise tax on fishing equipment, fishing tackle and gasoline for motorboats.  These funding sources explicitly prohibit activities that are in conflict with fishing and boating.

Fish and Wildlife regulations prohibit certain uses of fishing access areas including, but not limited to — swimming, littering, camping, picnicking, making a fire, parking of vehicles not related to priority uses, and commercial activity.

“Vermont State Game Wardens will be strictly enforcing the rules at state fishing access areas this summer,” said Col. Justin Stedman, Vermont’s Chief Game Warden.  “Please help keep our lands clean and open for others to enjoy, and report violations to your local warden or use the anonymous Operation Game Thief online report form on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website at this link:  Reports of time-sensitive violations should be called in to a local State Police radio dispatcher who can contact a warden.” 

Categories: Press Release

7 replies »

  1. This is all fine by me. But I’m just wondering…might the State of Vermont begin to ENFORCE ALL the LAWS within our state and not just those pertaining to Fish & Wildlife?

    Will we be protecting our international border? How about adhering to our VT Constitution and prohibiting children from voting or prosecuting and imprisoning all those who deal drugs or commit violent crimes here? Again, just wondering.

  2. These essential access areas are funded in a targeted manner and it is entirely appropriate to prioritize users and prohibit certain activities that can generally be enjoyed in a wider variety of places. One very nice aspect of the fishing accesses is that they are open 24/7 unlike many other public spaces that are dawn to dusk and gated closed because of people engaging in nefarious activities.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you ! Is anybody that uses the F&W access at #10 pond as a parking lot for the adjacent beach paying attention to this ? This means you to !

  4. Not to mention the launch access areas are for launching & recovering motorized watercraft, and the priority is given to fishing, then motorized pleasure craft.
    So kayaks/canoes/SUP or sailboard are not high priority and those folks need to understand that you don’t clog up a launch ramp by loading/unloading your non-motorized watercraft, even if you are intending to fish from that craft.
    Fishing licenses, motorized craft registrations, marine fuel taxes, all pay for these launch access areas, not unregistered yaks/SUP’s

    BTW, there’s legislation under the golden dome to make all those non-motorized watercraft pay annually to register…look it up…

  5. Folks remember this is up to you to help vt fish & wildlife Enforce this!!
    Make the call Folks!!
    We are the eye and ears too Folks!!
    The Vermonter and Legal American!!

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