A Special Message from the Commissioner
As 2017 opens, we are reminded that open, accessible land in Vermont has become more limited each year. The department is working to moderate that trend by expanding WMAs and access areas. Our conservation and land trust partners also help by welcoming sportsmen and women onto their lands and streambanks. But quality hunting, fishing, and trapping experiences more frequently occur only with the support of Vermont’s private landowners.
Public access on private land allows us to properly manage Vermont’s fish and wildlife species, while allowing for the harvest of fresh local meat. Access to land helps ensure that Vermont’s sporting heritage is enjoyed by the next generation, and Vermont’s strong connection to the land is maintained.
Landowners have also been instrumental in maintaining quality habitat in Vermont. Whether through easements, enrolling their land in “Current Use,” or simply maintaining a healthy, connected, natural landscape on their property, landowners are key to the future of fish and wildlife in Vermont. This season, remember to thank landowners whose unposted lands provide places to enjoy fish and wildlife, and as always, be a courteous guest.
New for 2017, you’ll notice the hunting/trapping guide is separate from the fishing guide. Splitting them up saves money and makes them easier to carry. As fishing regulations are updated every two years, the fishing regulations will be printed every other year, which will also keep costs down.
May this year bring you many opportunities to enjoy Vermont’s incredible fish and wildlife!
Louis Porter, Commissioner