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Aquatic Habitat Conservation

Land and water use practices have degraded fish habitat. Although many of the early problems involving dams, deforestation and industrial pollution are being addressed, other threats such as the spread of nuisance species and new diseases continue to create new management challenges.

Vermont's fisheries biologists implement management actions to improve and enhance aquatic communities as well as participate in environmental impact review of projects that could negatively impact fish habitat and fish populations.

Use the links below to learn more about aquatic habitat conservation:

aquatic habitatBeing a Fish is About More Than Swimming in Clean Water
Our state has come a long way cleaning up our waters. Then why do we still have a long way to go to restore our fisheries? | »more

aquatic habitatHabitat, Fish need it for food, cover and spawning. We can put all the fish we want into the rivers and lakes, but they will not be healthy or able to naturally sustain their populations without the necessary habitat to support them through their life stages. Learn what the department is doing to help conserve fish habitat, and how you can help.

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bad culvertAquatic Organism Passage
Man-made barriers have blocked streams and threatened populations of stream-dependent species. | »more

Bad culvert Animals living in or along streams need to be able to move unimpeded through the watershed. Through the combined effects of dams and poorly designed stream crossings, we have blocked streams and forced fish and wildlife to cope with restricted movement. Many populations of stream-dependent species have been diminished or lost completely because of these barriers. Learn about the benefits of well-designed stream crossings and stream continuity

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jumping fishTropical Storm Irene Impact on Fish Habitat
What Happened to Fish and their Habitat after the Flood? | »more


Jumping FishFish have survived floods and droughts for thousands of years, and are well adapted to survive and recover relatively quickly. Learn more about fish habitat and the impact of floods.

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brook trout mapVermont's Wild Brook Trout -- A Hidden Treasure
Use our fun interactive treasure map to learn about Vermont’s wild brook trout. | »more


brook trout map Your quest to discover Vermont's Wild Brook Trout begins here. Follow the stream in the map and click on each numbered topic to learn more about this hidden treasure and their habitat needs.

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Batten KillBatten Kill
Thte Batten Kill has been a renowned trout fishery since as far back as the latter half of the 19th century. What is the department is doing to conserve this valuable resource? | »more

batten kill A six-year plan for restoring and managing wild trout populations in the Batten Kill was adopted in 2007. Rebuilding the river’s trout fishery emphasizes habitat restoration and sport fishing by catch-and-release angling only. Review the plan and our other efforts to conserve the Batten Kill.

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Swanton damRemoving the Swanton Dam
Removing Swanton dam is the number one thing we can do to improve fish habitat in the Lake Champlain basin. | »more

angler with bassThe Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and others are advocating for removing the Swanton Dam on the Missisquoi River in Swanton Village. Read about the benefits of removing the dam.

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