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Free Ice Fishing Day celebrated January 25

ice fishing day Jan. 25

Photo courtesy of Eric Palmer, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will hold an Ice Fishing Festival for kids and others new to ice fishing in celebration of Free Ice Fishing Day on January 25.


To celebrate Vermont's first-ever statewide Free Ice Fishing Day on January 25, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Vermont Sportsman are teaming up to host an ice fishing festival on Lake Champlain. Vermont Sportsman is a group that organizes ice fishing tournaments and educational clinics throughout the state.
The festival will be held at Larrabee's Point fishing access area in Shoreham, Vt. Some of Vermont's best ice anglers will be participating in a tournament hosted by Vermont Sportsman beginning at 5:45 a.m. These professional anglers will stick around after the tournament to share their skills and knowledge with new ice anglers in the afternoon. 
Events for the public will start at 1 p.m. The festival is free, and families with kids are encouraged to attend. Events include minnow races, free clinics on ice, fishing gear and techniques, and fish identification games, along with prizes and other gear given out to kids.  Fish & Wildlife staff will operate a fish fry station to cook fish caught by the participants. Other refreshments will also be available.
"Ice fishing is one of the most accessible forms of fishing and can be a great way to introduce kids to the fun of fishing," said Shawn Good, fisheries biologist for the Fish & Wildlife Department.
"This festival will demonstrate that ice fishing isn't just about catching fish," said Good.
"It's also a great way to spend some time outdoors with kids. You can skate, slide, make a snow fort and have a cookout - all while waiting for the flags on your tip-ups to signal when you've caught a fish."
Free Ice Fishing Day is new to Vermont in 2014 and will be held annually on the fourth Saturday in January.
"We worked with the Vermont legislature to create a Free Ice Fishing Day to encourage individuals, friends and families to try one of the most popular fishing methods enjoyed in Vermont," said Patrick Berry, commissioner of Fish & Wildlife. "Vermonters enjoy ice fishing as a chance to get out together, have fun, and catch a few truly fresh fish to bring home for dinner."
Food and warming huts will be available to keep people comfortable.
Participants need not worry about bringing equipment to the festival. The Fish & Wildlife Department will supply all equipment needed for a fun day on the ice.