Vermont Waterfowl Hunting Zone Boundary Change Proposed
WATERBURY, VT — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board has given its initial approval of a proposal by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to establish the boundary between two Vermont waterfowl hunting zones in the northwest corner of the state. The proposed boundary is a change from previous years.
Vermont has three Waterfowl Hunting Zones: the Lake Champlain Zone, Vermont Interior Zone, and Connecticut River Zone. During recent years, each zone has been allowed a 60-day duck hunting season with one split (two segments). Waterfowl hunting seasons and zone regulations must follow criteria established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. States are allowed to make minor modifications to zone boundaries once every five years.
The proposed boundary change would remove the Missisquoi Bay and Delta area in Swanton, and the Mud Creek Controlled Waterfowl Hunting Area in Alburgh, from the Lake Champlain Zone and place these areas in the Vermont Interior Zone.
The Missisquoi and Mud Creek marshes usually freeze up by late November. These areas have more in common with the Vermont Interior Zone than the Lake Champlain Zone which offers waterfowl hunting opportunities until mid-late December. Moving these areas to the Vermont Interior Zone will provide more ice-free hunting days in October when the Lake Champlain Zone is traditionally closed. The proposed change will also make it easier to set hunting seasons for the Lake Champlain Zone.
Instead of following VT Route 7 to the Canadian border, the new boundary would follow US 7 to VT 78 in Swanton; VT 78 to VT 36; VT 36 to Maquam Bay; along and around the shoreline of Maquam Bay and Hog Island to VT 78 at the West Swanton Bridge; VT 78 to VT 2 in Alburgh; VT 2 to the Richelieu River; along the east shore of the Richelieu River to the Canadian border.
Two more votes are required by the Board in coming months before the proposed change will be adopted. A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 25, 2011, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., in the Swanton Village Complex (Auditorium), which is located at 120 First Street, Swanton, VT. If approved, the boundary change will be in effect during the 2011 hunting season.
The text of the proposed regulation change can be viewed on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department website www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Click on "About Us" and then "Fish and Wildlife Board."