What do you think?
Our Petition to
Vermont Outdoor Guide Association
The Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife has contacted me after I posted this page and made the following statement:
"The fact is, I tried to help find a middle
ground (which is reflected in the Board minutes), and the Fish and
Wildlife Board denied the petition. I think your web posting is
inaccurate, and I will be sure to pass that along to anyone who contacts
I hear this type of argument many times. "It
was the Fish and Wildlife Board, not the Department." or "If the
Department had supported the proposal, the Board would have been more
likely to look at it closer. They would rather blame each other than to
work together to find a way to fix this problem.
If the Department truly wanted this
issue cleaned up, they would find a way to make it happen. Sorry Pat, I
stand by my statements.
The best message for those below is:
Chair of Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources:
We encourage you to also contact your elected
Anyone with or without experience can launch a canoe or kayak from State fishing access areas, except for certain professionals.
Vermont remains the only state in the Northeast, possibly in the country, that bans paddle sports professionals equipped to teach technique, outdoor ethics and safety from state fishing access areas for launch and retrieval of kayaks and canoes.
While wildlife is a major element in the mission of our Fish and Wildlife Department, they ban professional naturalists and birders from using canoes or kayaks at our fishing access areas. They can however, use motorboats.
A fishing guide and his or her customers can launch and retrieve canoes or kayaks at our access areas but take out the tackle and carry cameras for wildlife photography, that's right, it's illegal.
Permits are available for special events at access areas but not for guides. This essentially allows hundreds of people on an access areas for an event but denies a guide with one customer.
We have been trying to correct this problem for several years but a few individuals have blocked every effort. Promises from folks in a position to correct this problem have not been kept.
Here is what we have suggested:
Permits for guides to use access areas similar to permits on all other State lands....DENIED
Use of underutilized access areas from a list created by the Department....DENIED
Make a list of overcrowded access areas and let the guides use the rest.....DENIED
We had an intern make a list of undeveloped access areas from the State's own info and asked if the Department would allow the use of "car top", "carry on" and undeveloped areas.....DENIED
Changing the rule by eliminating the words "Commercial non-motorized vessels"....DENIED
We suggested that with a permit process, the access areas not be used as a meeting place for guides and their customers. Bringing a van and a trailer takes no more space than a truck and a trailer.....DENIED
Simply allowing access like all the other States..... DENIED
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First Vote: Access Area Use
-- Revision of 10 V.S.A., App. § 115