On January 28, 2016

Vermont’s annual free ice fishing day is Saturday, Jan. 30

By Tom Rogers, VF&WD

To celebrate Free Ice Fishing Day, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will hold an Ice Fishing Festival for kids and others new to ice fishing at Lake Elmore State Park on Saturday, Jan. 30.

Saturday, Jan. 30 — Vermont’s third annual Free Ice Fishing Day is Saturday, Jan. 30. To celebrate, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is holding an Ice Fishing Festival at Lake Elmore State Park in central Vermont. The festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and families with kids are encouraged to attend.

Fish & Wildlife Department staff, as well as instructors from Vermont’s “Let’s Go Fishing” program, will be on-hand to teach ice fishing basics. These include knot tying, baiting and using an ice fishing rod, and most importantly, how to stay warm on the ice. They’ll also discuss fishing regulations and go over fish identification.

Department staff will operate a fish fry station to cook up participants’ catch, and there will also be other refreshments on hand including plenty of hot cocoa. There will be several warming huts available.

“Ice fishing is one of the most accessible forms of fishing and can be a great way to introduce kids to how much fun fishing can be,” said Jud Kratzer, fisheries biologist for the Fish & Wildlife Department. “This festival will demonstrate that ice fishing isn’t just about catching fish,” said Kratzer. “It’s also a great way to spend some time outdoors with kids. You can skate, sled, 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.”

The Fish & Wildlife Department will lend equipment needed for this fun day on the ice, or participants may bring their own equipment. There will also be prizes and giveaways. For more information, contact Nicole Meier at 802-318-1347 or nicole.meier@vermont.gov. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required, and is available at www.tinyurl.com/IceFishingFest2015. Access is via Beach Road off Route 12.

Free Ice Fishing Day is held annually on the last Saturday in January. While the day is geared towards people who are new to ice fishing, giving them a chance to give it a try without having to buy a license, any angler may ice fish on any waterbody statewide without a fishing license.

Ice fishing for trout, salmon and bass is allowed on the following lakes from Jan. 30 to March 15:

Chittenden Reservoir, Chittenden

Echo Lake, Plymouth

Glen Lake, Castleton, Fair Haven and Benson

Lake Bomoseen, Castleton and Hubbardton

Lake Dunmore, Leicester and Salisbury

Lake Hortonia, Sudbury and Hubbardton

Lake Rescue, Ludlow

Lake St. Catherine, Wells and Poultney

Sunset Lake, Benson

For info, visit vtfishandwildlife.com.

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