KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- The daily limit on brook trout will likely not drop from 12 to six, and sections of the Walloomsac River may be stocked with trophy trout, if proposals by the Fish and Wildlife Board make it through their third and final vote.
The Fish and Wildlife Board recently voted on these and other regulations, and now the matters will go before a legislative committee, said State Fisheries Biologist Rich Kirn. Once the committee approves them, they will go back to the board for a third vote. He said they can still change, but typically once rules make it past the second vote they tend to be adopted.
Kirn said earlier this year, Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry asked the board if it would expand the trout fishing seasons to have more catch-and-release options. Along with this he proposed lowering the brook trout limit to six. This, Kirn said, set the idea up for public discussion. A series of public meetings were held, plus Fish and Wildlife board members received comments from the public elsewhere and the brook trout rule was scrapped.
There are other proposed changes to the fishing regulations. The section of the Walloomsac River proposed for stocking is in Bennington, according to the Fish and Wildlife Department, and would be for the stocking of trophy brown or rainbow trout at least two-years old. The limit for that section of river would be two trout per day.
The proposal would also open 11 sections of rivers throughout the state to catch-and-release trout fishing using flies or lures beyond the normal seasons. Catch-and-release for bass, using flies or lures, is also proposed outside the normal seasons for all lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, unless they have been otherwise closed.
"The department has made it a priority to increase opportunities for fish and wildlife-based recreation in which there will not be a biological impact," said Berry in a release. "This new fishing regulation will greatly expand angling opportunities and help promote open-water fishing during more of the year."
The department's website, www.vtfishandwildlife.com, has a complete list of rules in effect and proposed rules. Click the tab labeled "Law Enforcement and Game Wardens," then "Rules and Proposed Rules."
According to the department, after the third vote by the board the rules would not be in effect until 2014.
The Fish and Wildlife Board is appointed by the governor and is largely made of citizens.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.