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Grand Isle festival celebrates free fishing day

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Grand Isle festival celebrates free fishing day


GRAND ISLE, Vt. (WCAX) – 8-year-old Asher Sova didn’t catch any fish last year, but this year he caught two. Saturday, June 8, marked annual Grand Isle Family Fishing Festival, and since no one needs a license to attend and experience and no equipment is required, young anglers like Asher Sova get to try winning the catch of the day.

“We’re basically making the new generation of anglers here in Vermont,” Paige Blaker of Vermont Fish and Wildlife said.

Free Fishing Day is designed for people who want to learn how to fish. This events offers basic fishing instructions and families have the opportunity to catch some fish in the pond.

“I’m very new to fishing, I see all the time like my kid and his dad going fishing. I’m kind of excited about it like how do they fish and so I’m here for the first-time fishing,” South Burlington resident Hema Maddi said.

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A day on the water could lead to a lifetime of experiences and healthy local food.

“It’s kind of very cool and awesome, I liked it,” Maddi said.

Vermont’s regular bass season also opens the same day, marking the start of some of the hottest bass fishing action in the northeast.

“It’s really important for us to create that bond with our local communities especially what fishing is, why is it important and what can you do to get into it,” Blaker said.

The season opens each year on the second Saturday in June and extends through the last day of November.

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“I think my favorite part about this event pretty much ties back to like why I love fishing so much is because it’s for everyone. You don’t need any experience we’ll get it; we’ll teach you and it’s just such a great opportunity for people to bond together over like a new skill set they’re going to learn, and fishing is for everyone and we’re basically making this new generation of anglers here in Vermont. So, events like this are really important for gaining their interest and support,” Blaker said.

The day was filled with a variety of activities from fish biology, fly casting, law digest and regulations, lure making, and fish cleaning.



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Vermont

Vermont ski resorts report stable visitation, cross-country ski down in rough year

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Vermont ski resorts report stable visitation, cross-country ski down in rough year


Vermont’s alpine ski resorts had a pretty good year even though the weather this winter did not cooperate.

While the season’s snowfall total was actually 15 inches above the 10-year average, snowstorms were often followed by warm and rainy weather.

The number of visits to downhill resorts was down less than half-a-percentage-point from the prior season, according to data collected by the non-profit trade group, the Vermont Ski Areas Association.

At the same time, resort visits were down 6.6% in the Northeast and 6.2% nationally. A series of late-season snowstorms and, for resorts in the northern half of the state, the total solar eclipse, helped boost numbers.

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“For Vermont to remain relatively flat is really remarkable,” said Molly Mahar, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association. “And I think it’s directly attributable to their ability to provide those snow surfaces that keep people coming out even when Mother Nature maybe is a little stingy with the snow.”

It was a different story for the cross-country ski industry, however. More reliant on natural snowfall than the resorts, the state’s 26 ski touring centers reported 49.6% fewer visitors than the prior season.

According to the Vermont Climate Assessment, Vermont is getting warmer, wetter, and more variable—especially in winter. If the world does nothing to curb greenhouse gas emissions, it’s likely Vermont’s $1.6 billion ski industry will no longer be viable by 2080, due to a shortened season from lack of snow and cold temperatures.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.

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Vermont Bikepackers hostsBeginners’ Community Campout – Mountain Times

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Vermont Bikepackers hostsBeginners’ Community Campout – Mountain Times


 Friday, June 14 at 8 a.m.to Sunday, June 16 at 8 a.m.—GOSHEN—A free, fun, off-road ride and campout in the Green Mountain National Forest in Goshen. The event will be based at the Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center, 1288 Goshen-Ripton Rd, Goshen, which has been reserved for the weekend to offer this event free of charge for participants. The Outdoor Center provides access to the Blueberry Hill network of trails, the Vermont Long Trail, The Catamount Trail, and the Moosalamoo National Forest Trails. There is ample camping space and the convenience of campground amenities. 

The goal of this event is to combine off-road biking and camping to serve as a comfortable introduction to bikepacking. Blueberry Hill will serve as a basecamp where day rides will leave from, and camping will be available on both Friday and Saturday night.

Saturday morning will start at 8 a.m. with an introductory workshop to answer questions about bike setup, how to pack bags, etc. Participants will be encouraged to load up their bikes to try out different setups – and volunteers will be on hand to help with DIY set-ups.

Then riders will set off mid-morning. The route will be a loop that consists of gravel roads, forest roads, and some double/single track. There may be sections on pavement that connect to other trails, and other sections may require hike-a-bike. There are several options for resting mid ride. The main ride is 30 miles with ~3,200 ft of elevation gain, and an option to cut it short about halfway through. There will also be an option to extend for those looking for more miles.

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Riders will return to Blueberry Hill to reconvene and share stories over dinner and campfires. Another optional ride is planned for Sunday morning.

This event is for those new to bikepacking and/or looking to expand their skills and competencies in this activity. The atmosphere will be supportive and non-competitive, with the goal of sharing bikepacking and creating a safe and inclusive opportunity to engage in off-road riding on a loaded bike. You bring your bike, gear, food and self-supported riding skills and we’ll bring the community and camaraderie.

Q&A:

Should we plan to be fully self-supported?

Yes, we might have some snacks on hand but plan to be fully self-supported. Blueberry Hill Inn across the road will be serving pizza for a fee the night of 6/14. Nearby towns such as Brandon, Ripton, and Forestdale have stores if backup supplies are needed (though the hours may be restricted for stores in Ripton and Forestdale).

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Are we biking with our sleeping gear or leaving it at Blueberry Hill?

No, feel free to leave supplies and food at the BHOC. There is space inside the outdoor center for gear to stay dry. Additionally there is a drinking water tap available.

What’s the parking situation?

Parking is available on site, but we encourage folks to carpool, or even bike to the event!

What level of amenities should we expect?

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There are bathrooms and water on site, parking is on site at the Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center, there is a drinking water tap available and there is space inside the outdoor center for storage.

What should I bring? How should I pack?

If you don’t have items in this list that is OK! The goal of this campout is to learn about bikepacking. Bring what you have and learn from your peers on what setup works for them.

A bike suitable for the route. The routes use significant sections of forest trail, and gravel bikes may face intermittent sections of hike-a-bike. This route is best for larger gravel or mountain bikes with tires at least 1.75”/45mm wide. We don’t recommend road bikes with slick tires. If you’re deciding between tires that might be too small vs. too big, we’d encourage you to err on the side of too big. You’ll be more comfortable, and this is definitely not a race!

A helmet. All riders are required to wear a helmet at all times when riding their bikes during this event. 

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Clothing, repair tools, equipment, food and water to ride self-sufficiently along the route.

Overnight gear and food for up to 2 nights of camping. This can be packed on your bike or stored at the Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center.

What if there is inclement weather?

Be prepared for all kinds of weather, including temperatures ranging from 40 to 80 degrees fahrenheit, potential precipitation, and possibly some wind. 

Insect repellant is encouraged.

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Are there re-supply locations? How much water should I bring?

Please arrive prepared with the food you need for the event, including meals to prepare at camp. You’re welcome to team up with others to cook in small groups.

You’ll need 2 days worth of ride food, 2 lunch(es), 1 dinner (2 if camping on 6/14), and 2 breakfasts. 

We recommend you carry 1-2 liters of water capacity during the ride. Blueberry Hill has a tap available for riders to use to top off their bottles. There will be water sources such as streams and lakes throughout the ride if you have means of purifying your water!

Resupply: The outdoor center will have water available to top off. There are some stores in bordering towns but would be a little bit of a trek to get to. The Blueberry Hill inn is across the road and does offer meals.

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What is the service like in that area?

Cell phone service can be spotty and is not guaranteed.

A satellite tracker (such as a SPOT or InReach) is not mandatory but is nice to have if available to you.

Download the ride files ahead of time and ensure you can use them without cell phone service, or on your GPS device (Garmin, Wahoo, etc.).



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Feeling lucky, Busyheads? Tickets for Noah Kahan’s Vermont show available by lottery only

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Feeling lucky, Busyheads? Tickets for Noah Kahan’s Vermont show available by lottery only


Noah Kahan, whose Vermont-inspired 2022 album “Stick Season” shot him to stardom, will play a home-state show in September to benefit his mental-health charity.

Kahan will perform Thursday, Sept. 19, on the midway lawn at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. Tickets for the show at the 5,000-capacity venue are by lottery only; fans have until 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday, June 16, to request two tickets per person, according to Higher Ground, the South Burlington music venue and promoter that’s presenting the concert.

“Requesting tickets does not guarantee the option to purchase,” according to a June 11 news release from Higher Ground. “Requesters will be notified by email whether or not they have been selected on Thursday, June 20th. If selected, fans will automatically be charged and purchase tickets.”

Prices range from $89 to $449 plus fees. The $449 tickets are premium VIP admission. Tickets are free for ages 2 and under.

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Proceeds from the show will benefit The Busyhead Project, a nonprofit mental-health foundation founded by Kahan, and related Vermont charities. The organization is named for Kahan’s 2019 debut album; “Busyhead” has also come to be the name for the Strafford-raised singer-songwriter’s ardent fans.

“Stick Season” the album reached number two on the Billboard charts and the song of the same name hit the top spot. A Grammy Award nominee this year for Best New Artist, Kahan played two concerts that sold out almost instantly last summer at 4,500-capacity Waterfront Park in Burlington.

If you go

WHAT: Noah Kahan in concert

WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19

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WHERE: Champlain Valley Exposition midway lawn, Essex Junction

INFORMATION: $89-$449. https://highergroundmusic.com/events/noah-kahan/

Contact Brent Hallenbeck at bhallenbeck@freepressmedia.com.



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