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 196 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. Jason Batchelder, 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 hot line at 1-800-75ALERT. Reports of time-sensitive violations should be called in to a local State Police radio dispatcher who can contact a warden.”