Courtesy of Vermont State Parks
Calvin Trudo, grand prize winner of the 2015 #ReelFunVT photo contest, shows off the bluegill he caught while fishing at Lake Bomoseen State Park last summer. The 2016 #ReelFunVT photo contest is open all summer.
The “ Reel Fun ” program is in full swing across Vermont for the second year running, meaning even more fishing opportunities for campers and visitors at state parks throughout the state.
Created in 2015 through a joint effort by Vermont Fish & Wildlife and Vermont State Parks, “Reel Fun” is designed to make fishing more accessible to the public by providing park visitors with free, loaner fishing equipment to use at any of the participating state parks.
“Reel Fun” has quickly become a favorite of fishing enthusiasts and novice anglers alike since its inception, and with the addition of two new participating parks as well as various on-site “Let’s Go Fishing Clinics” in 2016, program coordinators are optimistic about its continued growth.
“What makes the ‘Reel Fun’ program great is that it makes fishing so easy to try for park visitors,” said Chris Adams, information specialist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “The rods, reels, tackle and even informational guides for fishing at each park are all provided, making fishing incredibly accessible and enjoyable to anyone interested in wetting a line.”
With the addition of Button Bay and Burton Island state parks, the program is now available at 12 different state parks around Vermont. Other participating state parks include: Grand Isle, Lake Carmi, Stillwater on Groton Lake, Branbury on Lake Dunmore, Silver Lake, Wilgus on the Connecticut River, Half Moon, Lake St. Catherine, Woodford on Adams Reservoir and Brighton on Spectacle Pond.
“Reel Fun Vermont” will be bolstered this summer by expanded instructional fishing clinics which will be held at many of the participating parks by “Let’s Go Fishing” program instructors and trained park staff.
The family-friendly program also continues to benefit from the excellent fishing locations offered by the 12 state parks.
“Vermont is fortunate to have incredible fishing for a wide range of fish species, and these quality opportunities can be found right at the twelve ‘Reel Fun’ parks,” said Adams. “From bass, pike, panfish and trout, to non-traditional species like bullhead and freshwater drum, you just never know what you might catch at many of these fishing spots.”
Similar to 2015, the program will also include a “Reel Fun VT” photo contest where visitors can submit photos of themselves fishing at state parks to either Vermont State Parks or Vermont Fish & Wildlife. At the end of the summer, three winners will be chosen and will receive prizes ranging from complete starter fishing kits to Vermont State Parks camping and season passes.
“We’re excited about another great summer of fishing fun in Vermont State Parks,” said Rochelle Skinner, park sales and service manager with Vermont State Parks. “Whether you want to fish from shore or take out one of our canoes, kayaks or paddleboats, we think you’ll really enjoy fishing at a Vermont State Park.”
For more information about Vermont State Parks, make a camping reservation or learn about day use, visit vtstateparks.com/index.htm. For more information about the Reel Fun program, fishing in Vermont or to purchase a fishing license, visit vtfishandwildlife.com.