State stocking trout in Vt. waterways - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

State stocking trout in Vt. waterways

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LAKE BOMOSEEN, Vt. -

Trout season has begun and Chris Santini of Fair Haven is not wasting any time.

"I believe that I might be able to catch at least four trout this season," Santini said. "At least I'm hoping."

Hope can be found in Lake Bomoseen. That's where folks from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department are stocking 5,000 brown trout. Santini is pulling out of all his tricks to try to get a bite.

Fish and Wildlife does this yearly stocking for two reasons.

"Some areas where natural reproduction isn't occurring as much as we would like for it to happen, we have it as a restoration program," said Adam Miller of Vt. Fish and Wildlife.

And for the second reason Santini is here-- recreation.

"All these fish are just for recreational angling and they make fine table fair, especially if they get a little bit bigger. A lot of people come just for that reason," said Joel Flewelling of Vt. Fish and Wildlife.

Santini says he is hooked on Lake Bomoseen and the sight of the trout splashing into the waters below.

But the lake has had trouble with two different invasive species-- zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil.

"Most likely the zebra mussel hitched a ride on some boat that wasn't completely drained of its water. They have been in here for years," Flewelling said.

Officials say milfoil can be a nuisance for swimming and boating, but it does provide a natural habitat for certain types of fish like large-mouth bass.

Fish and Wildlife officials encourage everyone to clean their boats and trailers when going from one lake to another. And to practice safe boating, especially during the early months of the season.

"Even though the air temperature might be 70, the water temperature is still in the 40s. It wouldn't take long before you would show signs of hypothermia if you were to fall in," Flewelling warned.

Staying safe-- and keeping at it.

"Usually I try to put it in front of his face and see if he is hungry and then they usually grab it. But I guess this one over there wasn't trying to grab it," Santini said.

Let the fishing games begin.

Fish and Wildlife officials say they will be stocking more than 200,000 fish throughout the state over the next several weeks. Click here for a list of locations.

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